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Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:22 PM

Gallup is Very Upset at Nate Silver

http://www.salon.com/2012/11/13/gallup_is_very_upset_at_nate_silver/



Did Gallup just blame Nate Silver for ruining the art and science of polling?

You donít have to read too far between the lines of a statement from Gallupís editor in chief, Frank Newport, published on Friday, to get that impression.

Newport first attempts the formidable task of defending Gallupís polling accuracy during the 2012 campaign. Perhaps he was anticipating Silverís Saturday column, which labeled Gallup the most inaccurate pollster of all the firms that measured voter sentiment this year. But Silver was hardly alone in wondering why Gallup regularly reported numbers much more favorable to Romney than anyone else in 2012. We deserve an explanation a little less lame than Newportís: whatís the big fuss? Gallup wasnít really off by that much.

But then it gets interesting:
"But some of this will result from a variant of the venerable ďlaw of the commons.Ē Individual farmers can each made a perfectly rational decision to graze their cows on the town commons. But all of these rational decisions together mean that the commons became overgrazed and, in the end, there is no grass left for any cow to graze. Many individual rational decisions can end up in a collective mess.

We have a reverse law of the commons with polls. Itís not easy nor cheap to conduct traditional random sample polls. Itís much easier, cheaper, and mostly less risky to focus on aggregating and analyzing othersí polls. Organizations that traditionally go to the expense and effort to conduct individual polls could, in theory, decide to put their efforts into aggregation and statistical analyses of other peopleís polls in the next election cycle and cut out their own polling. If many organizations make this seemingly rational decision, we could quickly be in a situation in which there are fewer and fewer polls left to aggregate and put into statistical models. Many individual rational decisions could result in a loss for the collective interest of those interested in public opinion.

This will develop into a significant issue for the industry going forward".





Priceless.

31 replies, 2926 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Gallup is Very Upset at Nate Silver (Original post)
octoberlib Nov 2012 OP
durablend Nov 2012 #1
PsychProfessor Nov 2012 #2
UCmeNdc Nov 2012 #3
octoberlib Nov 2012 #7
UCmeNdc Nov 2012 #15
alcibiades_mystery Nov 2012 #4
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #21
courseofhistory Nov 2012 #5
democrattotheend Nov 2012 #6
Hutzpa Nov 2012 #9
octoberlib Nov 2012 #11
geek tragedy Nov 2012 #13
unblock Nov 2012 #8
Hutzpa Nov 2012 #10
Cha Nov 2012 #12
LisaL Nov 2012 #14
Iggo Nov 2012 #28
avebury Nov 2012 #16
fugop Nov 2012 #17
octoberlib Nov 2012 #18
DemocratSinceBirth Nov 2012 #19
Third Doctor Nov 2012 #20
ItsTheMediaStupid Nov 2012 #27
NHDEMFORLIFE Nov 2012 #22
Awsi Dooger Nov 2012 #23
sarcasmo Nov 2012 #24
WeekendWarrior Nov 2012 #25
Jennicut Nov 2012 #26
Incitatus Nov 2012 #29
SimplyMarie Nov 2012 #30
Quantess Nov 2012 #31

Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:25 PM

1. Translation...

"Romney could've WON if it weren't for you MEDDLING KIDS!!!!!"

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:26 PM

2. I saw Newport once in person and met him.

At the time he was aglow with how wonderful GWB was. Seriously. I was not impressed and remain unimpressed. If you can't stand the heat....

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:28 PM

3. Gallup needs to get their LV model more in line with the actual LV that vote

Is that too much to ask for?

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Response to UCmeNdc (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:36 PM

7. Since the RV model is always more accurate , I think they should dump the LV entirely nt

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Response to octoberlib (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:58 PM

15. You are right

Gallup RV was not that far off. It was their LV that seemed to poll the outer space zone.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:32 PM

4. I vote for Gallup to stop conducting polls!

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:29 PM

21. That's 100% in favor...until we unskew that poll, of course!

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:33 PM

5. Boo hoos! Get out of the business, Gallup! n/t

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:36 PM

6. In principle, I don't completely disagree

Regardless of Gallup's mistake in using too tight of a likely voter screen, their methodology for conducting the poll is pretty sound, and I don't want to see polls like that become obsolete in favor of cheaper robopolls or online polls. I still think there is value in having a reputable pollster who uses live calling, including cell phones, and uses a large sample. I hope this cycle doesn't render live polls like Gallup's obsolete.

I don't see his point in attacking Nate Silver, but he is right that Nate would be out of a job if polling organizations stopped making the investment in conducting polls. But I don't see it as an either/or - both polling and aggregation/analysis of polls are useful.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:43 PM

9. In that case they need to change their method of sampling

start producing facts instead of made up lies.

Try sampling every region and ethnicity with exact numbers as oppose to rounding up numbers and lastly, fuck Gallup for being biased toward republicans try and be neutral.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:44 PM

11. Well , aren't most polls conducted by marketing firms?

Most poll aggregators are political scientists or in Nate's case , statistical analysts. I can't see Gallup quitting polling.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:56 PM

13. The problem is that Gallup isn't taking accountability for an obviously broken LV model

that has produced absurd results for the past few election cycles.

They're sitting there and pretending that 50-49 Romney when in fact it was 51-48 Obama was a pure sampling error problem--when in fact their RV results called the race perfectly.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:41 PM

8. translation: we're gonna start charging people like silver (or the nytimes) a fee.

and we'll sue if we have to. we'll figure out a way to legally enforce it.

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Response to unblock (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:43 PM

10. Ain't gonna happen. nt

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:53 PM

12. Of course, gallup would take no responsibility for ruining

Themselves!

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 04:57 PM

14. Not off by that much means Gallup projected the wrong candidate to win.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:38 PM

28. Yeah, so...

...of the two candidates with a chance to win, they were only off by one.

Heckuva job there, Gallup.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:18 PM

16. Well isn't that just too bad! If Gallop can't change

with the times they need to just go away.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:22 PM

17. Bigger problem that Gallup SHOULD complain about

The media. Gallup has a right to conduct polls. They even have a right to their take on who likely voters will be. The problem was that the media constantly pimped the Gallup poll's likely voter model without explaining what it was. It misled viewers constantly into believing, "The president is losing! Romney has all the mo!" Had the lazyass media reported both numbers (RV and LV) and explained to voters the disparity, it wouldn't have been so incredibly dishonest.

But I don't excuse whining Gallup because he knew damn well that the press would breathlessly obsess over the LV numbers and ignore all else. So he can suck it now.

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Response to fugop (Reply #17)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:27 PM

18. I totally agree.

Time after time I saw the media cherry picking the polls that were favorable to Romney or showed the race tied.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:44 PM

19. FOX Democrat & Clown ,Bob Beckel ,Said The Election Was Over When O Was Down 52-45 the Gallup Poll

When we all knew it was garbage.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:54 PM

20. Nate made them look like idiots

and they are pissed about it. It's their own fault as usual.

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Response to Third Doctor (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:21 PM

27. Their own LV model made them look like idiots

Nate just saw a outlier, called it an outlier and discounted it appropriately in his model.

Nate was like a professor I had once. He laid out the criteria he used and how he calculated the grades. Then he said we make the grade based on our work. He just kept score.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:38 PM

22. What a bunch of double talk

If Newport actually believes in the gibberish quoted here, Gallup is going to be going belly-up before the 2014 mid-terms. And I mean its entire operation, not just that which clings to archaic methods of measuring political activity. I can't believe any potential new clients are going to give Gallup the time of day after its awful performance this year.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:55 PM

23. These graphs are devastating to Gallup

Check the trend graphs at this link, the long demonstrated shift of the electorate as opposed to where Gallup pretended it would be in 2012:

http://themonkeycage.org/blog/2012/11/07/galluping-away-from-the-herd/

As I posted a few days ago, Frank Newport is a jackass. That's been demonstrated every time his polling comes under scrutiny.

Frankly, Gallup and others were spared for a long time. The marvel of sophisticated aggregation is not that it's happening now, but that it took so long to take hold. I started betting politics in the early '90s and had great success even though I knew my Excel models were not overly sophisticated. They were a hobby between sports betting. I'd devote a few hours per week. The betting odds at that point were based on guesswork and punditry. An oddsmaker would decide -160 favoritism sounded good so he'd throw it up there. I knew I had a huge edge based on superior knowledge of a few key demographics, plus the partisan tendencies of each state. Nate and others like him have ruined the value aspect of political betting but it's a joy to watch others howl in protest as he earns more praise and mystique than they could threaten to manage.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:56 PM

24. One more reason to love Nate Silver.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:56 PM

25. Dear Gallop: Fuck. Off.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:18 PM

26. Gallup screwed up by overestimating the amount of the white vote. That is why their polls sucked.

And will continue to suck. Dear President of Gallup: Demos. Look them up sometime. Look at the electorate every year. % of White voters going down. Thank you.

Idiots.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:39 PM

29. Sorry the election wasn't stolen, Gallup.

Then you wouldn't look bad.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:42 PM

30. Really?

That's a pretty funny statement coming from the organization that rated the worst in the accuracy of their polling during this election cycle.

Nate Silver is a genius...and hopefully we all learned a lesson when it comes to trusting the validity of polls.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 05:17 AM

31. Sour grapes!

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