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View Diary: Meta-analysis of all state polls (47 comments)

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  •  I like it... (none)
    Of course, if RealClearPolitics has a bias then you have a bias.

    Have you looked at Paul Brace's work on consistent bias in polling organizations?

    •  RealClearPolitics is sufficiently unfiltered (none)
      You are correct. However, I have not detected major reporting biases on that site. Every poll I read about (for instance on DailyKos) appears there quite rapidly. I have also done basic things like drop crazy outliers such as Fox News and Badger. Dropping these does not affect the calculated outcome. Dropping another controversial poll, Zogby Interactive, also makes little difference.

      The underlying principle is that there are so many polls that it is very hard to game the calculation. This is the same reason that people are interested in meta-analysis.

      I have read a little about biases in polling organizations, but sorry, not the work of Brace. For now I plan to continue calculating in this blind style, mainly because I am concerned about my own biases.

      •  RCP (none)
        is definitely a conservative site...filter through their daily links.
      •  Lots of us shoot the breeze . . . (none)
        with our qualitative impressions of the trends we see in these same polls, writing endless commentaries and analyses based on the sniffles in our nose.  You have provided a mathematical way of verifying our shakey, seat-of-the-pants impressions, and I am most grateful to you for your efforts.  (Don't pay attention to any peer review type comments you get in Kos; this is all about energizing up the masses.)
        •  Quantifying intuition (none)
          Yes, I agree that all I have done is put a number on the sense that we get from reading polls. In general, that's the purpose of any well-crafted statistic! Thanks for making the connection.

          In regard to peer-review type comments: now that you mention it, there is a resemblance. Some of the nastier comments I've seen on blogs do resemble things I have seen in anonymous reviews. I agree that it is better for one's mental health to ignore that sort of thing! Of course, in peer review I do not have that luxury...

          •  I have sat on those panels for NIH (none)
            Those things are two days of relentless ratcheting up the ante of "gotcha" on work that is oftentimes first class out of the gate.  Your input here is first class.  I hope you will continue to do this.

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