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View Diary: Dear pollsters: you're either very lucky or full of malarky! (12 comments)

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  •  The following is not true: (1+ / 0-)
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    Of these 18 polls, not a single one missed the correct result by more than its margin of error.
    The Rassmussen Poll missed its margin of error, which was +/- 3. (Surprise, surprise!)

    Gallup has a higher margin of error, so it has not missed its margin of error yet.

    With votes still being counted on the West Coast, Gallup very well also could miss its margin of error and many of the polls that showed the race as being tied also could have missed their margin of error.

    As it stands right now, ABC/WashPost and Pew, which both had Obama at +3, were the best.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 09:02:28 AM PST

    •  you need to double the margin of error (2+ / 0-)
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      Lawrence, raster44

      when talking about head-to-head numbers.  Ras shows Romney +1.  If we take 3 points away from Romney and give them to Obama, we have O+5, so Ras is still within the margin of error.  

    •  The MoE is relevant only ... (1+ / 0-)
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      with regard to an unbiased sample. It's fairly clear that Ras uses a likely voter model that skews R (they appear to be off in a systematic way). So the Ras poll isn't a great counter-example.

      But the Diary raises a question that has been lurking in the back of my head for a while, too. Yes, if we take averages of polls the MoE should shrink because the effective sample size has increased (assuming, heroically but apparently effectively, that differences in sampling methodology and weighting procedures between pollsters cancel out). But the degree to which the pollsters all were on the "right" side of this contest, not just at the national level but also at the state level, is fairly extraordinary.

      Indeed, I'm astonished at how well the polls have done. Gobsmacked. Response rates for many polls were down to 2-3%; it's the rare poll, I think (but correct me if I'm wrong) that succeeds with a 9% response rate. That responders appear to be representative of non-responders is desperately surprising to me.

      •  Hey, they can get lucky sometimes (1+ / 0-)
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        Can't they?

        Remember, that a polling firm worth its salt (PPP, for example) re-evaluates constantly, always trying to improve their model. The problem is that polling in this country is just so damn difficult. You can work very, very hard to get very few responses, many of whom may be exceptions that skew your results (i.e. landlines skewing R, cell phones skewing D).

        “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” - Hanlon's Razor

        by Mister Black on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:24:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  final numbers (4+ / 0-)

      I only have one issue here.  That is there are still i great deal of votes that have not been counted in CA, OR, and WA state.  I cant determine just how many but i could be 4 or 5 million.  So BO's margin of winning could easily go from 3 million and 2.7% to as much as 4.5 million and closer to 4%.

      In addition, if you look at the swing state polls BO won by much bigger margins than the polls showed in IA, WS, CO, NV, VA, and NH. and in some cases by several %.  For example BO won WS by 6%, IA by 6%, CO by 4%, NH by 6%, and VA by 3%.  These were much higher that the state averages on Huff post and the other polling composite sites.  In the case of CO, IA, and VA by quite a bit more.  

      Thus, i would make the argument that if fact almost all the polls except for Dem Corps were wrong and as a whole it was not Rommey who was being under polled it was BO and this was seen in both the national polls and ever more in the swing state polls.  Just my opinion.

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