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Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:30 AM

Is Gallupís place atop poll world slipping?

Source: Omaha World Herald

By Matthew Hansen

On Oct. 21, Gallup released a national poll that dropped like a neutron bomb: Mitt Romney had a whopping 7-point lead over President Barack Obama, according to the much-respected polling company whose operational headquarters is in Omaha.

Sixteen days later ó on Election Night ó that presidential bombshell looked very much like a dud. Obama coasted to a second term and ended up winning by more than three percentage points.

Now Gallup is taking incoming fire from both independent experts and the Obama campaign for what they see as the companyís errant presidential polling. The criticism comes during a postelection reckoning inside Gallup, as its East Coast pollsters and Omaha statisticians grapple with a crucial question.

What, if anything, went wrong?

FULL story at link.


Read more: http://www.omaha.com/article/20121124/NEWS/711249922

40 replies, 5573 views

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is Gallupís place atop poll world slipping? (Original post)
Omaha Steve Nov 2012 OP
thucythucy Nov 2012 #1
Andy Stanton Nov 2012 #2
The Wizard Nov 2012 #3
PatrynXX Nov 2012 #20
Mass Nov 2012 #4
R. Daneel Olivaw Nov 2012 #23
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #33
Third Doctor Nov 2012 #5
Chemisse Nov 2012 #6
heaven05 Nov 2012 #7
Walk away Nov 2012 #8
Iliyah Nov 2012 #9
Dakota Flint Nov 2012 #10
movonne Nov 2012 #12
mrdmk Nov 2012 #13
aaaaaa5a Nov 2012 #19
Downtown Hound Nov 2012 #28
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #34
anokaflash Nov 2012 #11
melody Nov 2012 #14
BumRushDaShow Nov 2012 #15
aaaaaa5a Nov 2012 #16
Downtown Hound Nov 2012 #29
John2 Nov 2012 #31
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #35
Wolf Frankula Nov 2012 #17
Blanks Nov 2012 #18
unc70 Nov 2012 #21
closeupready Nov 2012 #22
Kahuna Nov 2012 #24
sarcasmo Nov 2012 #25
SCVDem Nov 2012 #26
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #27
Iggy Nov 2012 #30
Midwestern Democrat Nov 2012 #32
David__77 Nov 2012 #36
on point Nov 2012 #37
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #38
defacto7 Nov 2012 #39
tclambert Nov 2012 #40

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:33 AM

1. Well, what do the polls say

about this?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:37 AM

2. Unskewed polls?

Buying into the right wing fictionalized universe, no doubt. A strong majority of the poll responders couldn't possibly be self-identified Democrats could they? Time to "unskew" the results.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:44 AM

3. Polling is as reliable as

the language used in the questions asked.

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Response to The Wizard (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:36 PM

20. don't know ask Nate Silver

He's smarter than anyone on this site. I'm not someone who did well in math. I'd assume Pollsters would be good at math but looks like their margin of error is +- 20 points

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:47 AM

4. Gallup has had terrible results election after election for the last 10 years. Good to see the media

started to notice, but it is not new.

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Response to Mass (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:47 PM

23. What other numbers are the fudging to sway public opinion then?


If they could be so off on the Presidential election then what other races and topics could they be wrong about as well?

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Response to Mass (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:57 PM

33. +1 nt

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:50 AM

5. Gallup's representation is in the gutter and has been for a while.

I wondered why the news shows stubbornly kept using them. Money changed hands no doubt.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:01 AM

6. I hope Gallup loses credibility over this - and other pollsters will see if they play politics

with their polls, the same thing will happen to them.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:31 AM

7. slipping?

done slipped, badly. may they never enjoy the trust and prestige from the american populace, EVER, again! Rethug/tea party suckup poll, brown nosers ect ect ect I really enjoy the fact that a majority of americans did show that we are not as dumbed down as they thought we were. Fight the corporate, fascist world that is destroying our planet, MOTHER EARTH!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:36 AM

8. Gallop Poll... from now on reffered to as The Notoriously Unreliable Gallop Poll.

If a news agency uses Gallop's polling data in the future it should be with a caveat.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:42 AM

9. Pew was no better

I read the Pew poll when it came out with Mittens trouncing Obama and either tying with women or women surpassed themselves and was voting for Mittens, et al., What a total bullshit polling. Gallup was a joke and got crap poured all over them. Corporate media polling at its finest. But the kicker, Mittens and the gop establishment truly believed in their alternate reality really thought they were going to win. They ignored the minorities and was truly hoping the voter suppression, purging and trying to stop early voting would allow their idiot candidate to waltz in. I believe the goppers also had their secretary of states on notice of basically stealing the swing states if it were very close and thats why Pres O's campaign needed to win fairly high %.

It was a damn shame that these GOPpers always talk about patriotism, freedom and being American and they did the total opposite.

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:54 AM

10. Exactly

Great summary!

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:08 AM

12. Pew is a good name for them...

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:15 AM

13. Polling by Gallup is not their main business, bringing a new product to the market?

Gallup be your friend. They are a business leader in that field.

Just like the CDO's of Wall Street, how much B.S. is Gallup willing to fan to make American Business look good?

Now there collective creditability is in question! Too Bad, sucks to be them...

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:29 PM

19. If folks want an accurate account of what is going on... they should just come here.



Going to the Gallup and increasingly PEW site is a waste to time.

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:35 PM

28. Pew's final poll for the election had Obama winning by 3

Which was almost right on.

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Response to Iliyah (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:57 PM

34. +1000 nt

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:03 AM

11. SNL Comment

As said on Saturday Night Live, all the Gallup poll showed was Mitt had the Old White People with Landlines Demo all wrapped up! LOL

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:40 AM

14. The same thing that happened to Dennis Miller -- they sold out for a price

Sad, but true.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:58 AM

15. To Gallup: I hope you fail

That's what Gallup's buddy Rash Limpballs wished for regarding the President. Karma's a bitch.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:27 PM

16. Why is the media so late to the story.



I'm an average Joe. I along with many people on this board were touting how far off Gallup's tracking and approval ratings were back in May and June!

And no, not because we were Obama supporters, but because it was very apparent their demographics and crosstabs didn't add up. In fact many said their registered voter model was a far omore accurate than their ridiculous likely voter model. And like almost every other piece of analysis here and at DK, that turned out to be accurate too!


Why are some people on this board so much smarter than the folks who are suppose to be experts and who actually do this for a living?


Its actually scary that the "so called experts" are so bad at their jobs and can be routinely schooled by political internet forum nerds this often.


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Response to aaaaaa5a (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:37 PM

29. People were bashing Gallup as far back as 2004

Moveon actually ran a piece back then in I think The New York Times showing how Gallup consistently oversampled Republicans in their polls.

Once again, this is old news...to everybody except the lame brains in the corporate media.

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Response to aaaaaa5a (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:08 PM

31. Their

 

final registered model, actually showed Obama winning by 3 percentage points. The Rasmussen Poll shouldn't be left out either. When all the Polls changed to likely voter models, they were over doing white voters and older voters. A lot of these came from the South too, but if you look at population, the Northeast and West have higher populations.

The midterm elections are not a good parameter to base your model on either because they tend to be low turnouts. The model should have been the last general election which was 2008. Demographics were also very important, because it has changed since 2008. There was also a lot of new Pollsters, mostly Republican, popping up in this cycle, that were anti Obama. Remember the one Republican Pollster, that claimed North Carolina was a done deal for Romney. They claimed the same about Virginia and Florida. That was never the case. Pew was also pressured by the Republicans to alter their methods, more favorable to Romney.

I personally never thought it was close and also thought Obama had a chance to sweep all the swing states, including North Carolina. It is still a mystery to me though why he only got 2,178,000 votes out of 2,872,000 Democrats on North Carolina's rolls? I would like to know why so many didn't vote, just like 2008. If the Democrats could research that problem, they would have a much easier time winning the state. Some of those counties are not turning out or the registration numbers are way off.

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Response to John2 (Reply #31)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:58 PM

35. +1 nt

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:28 PM

17. I used to work in polling and market research

All polls and surveys, except for the simple A,B,C, preference poll are written to get a desired result. Every goddamn one, without exception. And even preference polls have a built in bias, the order of the options.

Also refusal and non-contact rates have soared. A lot of firms have gone out of business, because their traditional method is failing. A sizable number of people don't have land lines, use caller identification to screen out these type of calls, or are simply not available in the 3-9pm traditional calling time.

Wolf

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:29 PM

18. It used to tell the story of how Gallup came into being...

On their website. Every presidential election had been correctly predicted by a periodical (I forget it's name).

They predicted FDRs loss at one point and as a result of small representative sampling; Gallup was able to accurately predict the winner.

The same thing has happened to them now. Their sample is not a representative cross-section of all voters because so many have cell phones. If all you sample are land lines; in this day and age you won't get a representative sample.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:43 PM

21. This might be why polls were off

The "random" sample of telephone numbers for most polls come from a company with close ties to Romney and Bain.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021686160

I made this discovery myself before the election, but few people noticed. It needs a good DU investigation.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:46 PM

22. IMO, Gallup has been unreliable for quite a long time.

Obviously, right-wing journalists in their right-wing echo chamber were shocked to see their results proved to be so wrong.

People who live in the real world and work for a living, however, saw this as par for the course compared to other recent poll results published.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:11 PM

24. They tried to be too cute by half with their LV model. I always discounted that

in favor of their registered voter results which were more in line with other polling.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:26 PM

25. Nate Sliver made Gallup pointless.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:28 PM

26. Landlines?

Didn't they go away with Blockbuster?

Yeah, I watch South Park.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:30 PM

27. They have been knocked off their high horse years ago.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:37 PM

30. WHO Said They Are at the Top of the Heap?

 

n/t

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:23 PM

32. Gallup already has fallen off its throne - it's still the most famous name in polling but they've

reached a point where they're basically on probation - in the next election cycle nobody will believe their poll results without confirmation from another respected pollster.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:14 PM

36. There's sampling error even if the model is perfect.

You have a confidence interval at a given level of statistical significance, like +/-6% at a 90% level of confidence. Here, ten percent of the time, you will be further than 6% in error. Maybe they should obtain much larger samples to whittle away the sampling error. It can't be THAT expensive to do so. I think 10,000+ would be required in a country like ours.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:14 PM

37. When ideology overrules science you are drifting into delusion

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:10 PM

38. The greasy poll can't climb to the top.

Last edited Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:51 PM - Edit history (1)

n/t.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:56 PM

39. We need to watch carefully.

Everything that we've become accustomed to over the years, every sacred cow, the trusted services and institutions are coming down. Times are changing and we need to be watchful for reality. The Republicans have been wearing blinders for too long. We as left wingers have been lucky enough to be aware and didn't flinch when we were laughed at for keeping out eyes on reality, not to be swayed by the cloud of myth surrounding politics or world affairs.

Trust no institution beyond what can be verified. Trust no great power or figurehead that does not balance with reality or the will of the people. Question everything!!!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:26 PM

40. Well, let's see . . .

Is it an online poll? Do you poll using landline phones or cell phones or both? How do you find peoples' phone numbers? do you poll registered voters or only likely voters? How do you define likely voters? Do they identify themselves as one or the other? Do you multiply raw results by any factors to unskew the selection bias in your sample of respondents? And what about all those people (like me) who refuse to waste time talking to pollsters?

Man, it's a miracle they ever get close to the right results.

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