Mark Shields wrote a great article about polling in an incumbent/challenger presidential race.  Basically, the point spread doesn't matter:

"History shows that the percentage of the vote that an incumbent president gets in the major polls before Election Day is an accurate predictor of the percentage of the vote the incumbent will win on Election Day. Thus, in Molyneux's judgment, the 'incumbent who fails to poll above 50 percent is in grave danger of losing his job.'...

The numbers of the challengers -- a list that includes third party candidate Ross Perot twice -- run better on Election Day than they do in the pre-election measures of public opinion. The average increase on Election Day in the actual vote for a challenger to a president is 4 percentage points."

So, inspired by Shields, I went to a wonderful site called the Polling Report and looked at the 14 most recent polls.  I found Bush's arithmetic mean score (leaving out the highest and lowest poll result), and then found Kerry's.

Bush: 47.833333
Kerry: 46.25

That's the bottom line: this race is Kerry's to lose.  Also, take the poll on the MLB playoffs!

Originally posted to dan s on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 01:01 PM PDT.


Who Will Win the ALCS?

30%35 votes
36%42 votes
8%10 votes
1%2 votes
5%6 votes
11%13 votes
3%4 votes
3%4 votes

| 116 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.