Nov 02 2006

More On Bad Polls

Published by at 2:44 pm under 2006 Elections,All General Discussions

Jim Geraghty at TKS has more on how the pollsters are really just fumbling around this year, as their vaulted turn out models turn to mush and their sample pool becomes so biased and skewed they have no hope of knowing what is happening in the electorate right now. I am with Jim on where we are this year in political polling – what he calls option B

B) Pollsters are not geniuses, they know the behavior of the public and voters is changing and haven’t figured out how to adapt; they can’t cope with response rates of about 20 percent, cell-phone only voters, cranky respondents who tell them to go to hell, voters who are tired of their phone ringing during election season, and people who say they are certain to vote but who are not, and as a result they are going to be as far off as Zogby was in 2002 and 2004.

As I said before, pollsters would do well to give us three results: (a) high Dem turnout, (b) high Rep turn out and (c) nominal mix (nationally that would be one third Rep, Dem and Indie).

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “More On Bad Polls”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:


    A couple of months ago, I read an article in a financial paper that even consumer research agencies are about ready to throw in the towel. They are getting such low response rates, and dubious data results that companies are wondering if they are wasting their money on such low quality results. And these are those mail in response cards, store interviews, focus groups etc with sample sizes approaching 20,000 responders. Factors such as self selection bias and just plain junk answers are just making the data statistically garbage.

  2. Kaz-Man says:

    I wouldn’t want to answer any poll questions anyway. They would twist my answers from conservative to liberal.

  3. Carol_Herman says:

    I am so grateful to you, for a post you put up about a week ago, you have no idea!

    In that post you pointed out TREND LINES. (Instead of what pollsters do, which is fake their numbers one lie at a time.)

    You caught my attention with how the trend lines were going. Splitting (and, this is from memory), 64% conservative. 31% liberal.

    To tell you the truth I, myself, had been working with a faulty model.

    Mine? I kept screaming MAINSTREAM. But I had an idea that both the donks and the GOP were “outside” the mainstream.

    After reading your post, I got one of those epiphanies. There are ONLY TWO DOORS. Voters have to CHOOSE ONE.

    Opinions are a dime a dozen. But there are really only two big parties. (A lot of flaky stuff, true). But we’ve been seeing either democraps or republicans getting elected to the White House … Well? Since the Whigs bit the dust.

    We’re in a new century!

    And, the changes from the last one have already begun.

    I think on Tuesday, Congress will stay in the hands of the GOP. But I also believe that George Bush won’t get credit. Instead, it will still be a lof of pundits sniping as loud as they can; that Kerry blew their 40 seats lead.

    How? He went on the field and shot alll their horses?

    Poor guy. Has to go home to his wife. I can only imagine all the excuses that drive him, as he ducks and weaves. Now, what would you expect from a man driven to such unhappiness?

  4. Barbara says:

    Kerry deserves to lose his reputation and his prominence in public life. As we all know, he ruined the reputations of thousands of Viet Nam veterans. So we could call this payback time.