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View Diary: VA-GOV: Hints of Low Turnout--Who Will Benefit? (64 comments)

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  •  ya' think? (1+ / 0-)
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    plf515

    I mean, I'm no stats geek but a line chart isn't tough to follow.

    However, as a methodology geek, I'm not sure that the poll samples can't be all that generalizable.  Everyone on here keeps talking about the massive shift in the demographic that has occurred in light of the Obama election. If these samples are taken on likely voters in past elections, then how can that be generalizable to a massively changed electorate?

    Also, I'm not sure how valid the probabilities can be when there is no solid estimation on turnout.  I mean, there are a load of possible spurious variables that will affect that- the most obvious being weather.  And statistical projection are made on the likelihood of the sample representing a particular proportion of the population.  If we don't accurately know the population (which has been estimated from 1500 to 4000), then we can't accurately calculate the probabilities of the sample.  

    "The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth." B Obama

    by patgdc on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 09:40:34 AM PDT

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    •  different pollsters weight the demographics (0+ / 0-)

      differently, and most won't share their methods.

      The turnout problem is very tricky.  Special elections are notoriously weird.

      Weds: What are you reading?
      Sat: Daily Kos Univ.
      Sun: Godel Escher Bach
      and the occasional Morning Feature and random diary

      by plf515 on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 11:45:56 AM PDT

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      •  I think it's a mistake not to reveal methodology (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515

        because numbers mean nothing if the methods are flawed.  I know how these polls work, and there is a lot of projection based on demographic profile.  If they don't know who is actually coming out to vote, then they can't make accurate projections.  I think this thing is anyone's game at this point and it will change the way polling is done in Virginia for a long time to come.

        "The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth." B Obama

        by patgdc on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 02:33:14 PM PDT

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        •  They don't post the methods (0+ / 0-)

          because they like to think that that is where their "value added" is.

          Weds: What are you reading?
          Sat: Daily Kos Univ.
          Sun: Godel Escher Bach
          and the occasional Morning Feature and random diary

          by plf515 on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 03:36:25 PM PDT

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          •  Gee. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            plf515

            I missed my calling.  I have to write 5 pages of methods for every report- and I don't get paid extra.  If I write "I don't reveal my methods" do you think I could get the added value of a high profile publication?

            "The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth." B Obama

            by patgdc on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 05:54:41 PM PDT

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            •  Me too! (0+ / 0-)

              Well, maybe not 5 pages, but, yeah, when I write an article it's gotta have a methods section.  But I think the pollsters' view their methods more the way a software company views its algorithms.

              Weds: What are you reading?
              Sat: Daily Kos Univ.
              Sun: Godel Escher Bach
              and the occasional Morning Feature and random diary

              by plf515 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:31:00 AM PDT

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