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Reply #157: so you never read the FAQ either [View All]

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-24-07 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #155
157. so you never read the FAQ either
You can navigate my detailed response to TIA via the Table of Contents. If you intend to participate in informed debate, you might well spend a few minutes acquainting yourself with the arguments of people who disagree with you. Just a thought. Here's a summary response to the points you copied-and-pasted here:

1. Why not? (I've written a lot about exit poll accuracy, but there's no point in trying to respond to an argument that no one has made.)

2. Zogby's 5 pm calls weren't polls; Zogby's final vote projection showed Bush winning the popular vote (see link in 3). So, again, why not? And why would we cherry-pick one or two pollsters, anyway?

3. Harris's final phone poll also showed Bush winning the popular vote. (See here for final poll results.) TIA doesn't like that, so he uses Internet poll results instead. Most outfits, like PollingReport.com, didn't even report those results.

4. So what? There's a whole section of the FAQ on that. I can't make you read and think about it, but it's there. Anyway, in presidential races, the available evidence refutes this "rule."

5. That's the next section in the FAQ, and it simply isn't true. Ford and Reagan (in 1984) both did better than their final polling. As I say in the FAQ, TIA is welcome to argue that his rule is true except when it isn't, but then it isn't much of a rule.

6. That's the next next section in the FAQ. (Gee, what were the odds? Someone might get the impression that I've been rebutting TIA's arguments for years now!) If we have to predict vote shares from approval ratings, well, a best-fit line shows that an incumbent with an approval rating above 45 is likely to win. TIA's "50%" is a cherry-pick, since before W., we don't have any incumbents with ratings between 46 and 55.

7. Why? Palast could be right about that. Bush won in the official returns by 3 million votes.

8. Not a coincidence, misinformation. Measured by mean Within Precinct Error, the exit poll discrepancies were greater in precincts with lever machines (no paper trail, except that some may still print total votes) than in precincts using punch cards or optical scanners. See page 40 of the evaluation report. (If you want to talk about hand-count precincts, see here, pages 12-13.)

9. Again, why would someone have to believe that in order to believe that Bush won?

10. 99-1 odds according to whom?

11. Also an opponent who gained the benefits of incumbency and, at the time, roughly high-50s approval of his handling of terrorism (USA Today/Gallup had it at 60% just after the election, but the data are spotty; see here). If TIA has any evidence that Republican newspaper endorsements weigh more heavily than incumbency or national security, I'm happy to consider it.

12. This is basically a repetition, except even less defensible this time. TIA obviously hasn't supported the claim that "ALL professional pollsters agree that the undecided vote ALWAYS goes to the challenger." And the sources he does cite don't support it. This bizarre assertion alone should lead readers to doubt TIA's reliability as a source.

TIA and his acolytes are, as far as I know, the only people who assert that the national polls showed Kerry and Bush tied. It certainly doesn't look that way on PollingReport.com (see link in 3).

13. Actually, it doesn't matter whether you believe that or not. But Bush obviously didn't win Ohio by stealing votes on machines without paper trails, because relatively few voters used them. If TIA wants to present evidence that paperless DREs produced anomalous returns in 2004, by all means he should. Meanwhile, there is nothing to refute.
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