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Reply #9: I agree to a great extent... [View All]

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Sancho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-14-07 07:05 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. I agree to a great extent...
I'm not a pollster, even though I've done lots of surveys and work in social science research. The continued attempt to say polls don't count is not credible. Surveys, like lots of other evidence, can help us reach a conclusion.

The big smoking gun here is pretty obvious to me. When I work in health science or school test scores or whatever, the agency or person wanting to hide something gives themselves away in most cases in two ways:

1.) they avoid producing the evidence when they anticipate what is happening if they have a reason to hide something
2.) they subdivide evidence instead of aggregating the best evidence and obscure the patterns instead of seeking an answer

From 2000 until now, there are been plenty of oportunities for pollsters to get samples of the size and generalizability that would be good evidence of fraud IF they had targeted the precinct level data and concentrated larger samples in depth at key states and races. The pollsters can argue all they want to that it's not their job, but they know good and well that they could do it. If they don't know how, then they are incompetent. Any pollsters who don't plan concentrated large samples in western Florida and urban Ohio for 2008 are avoiding the truth. Well designed surveys accurately predict everything from who will buy a new product to likely new cancer patients...etc., etc....

Lawyers prove things, not scientists. Denying evidence of "proof" in the context of convergent factors on a poll-by-poll or case-by-case basis when the balance of information continues to indicate more information every day that fraud or manipulation of elections occurred and is still occuring is getting silly.

I simply disagree with Febble on one thing. Exit surveys can be used as evidence to discover election manipulations. You can argue "scientific proof" and "p<.05" and other things, but scientists are very aware of statistical vs. practical findings and multiple sources of evidence. Some of the election results from precincts in Florida this last election were statistically "off the chart" in probability terms, and the direction of errors in some cases are so directional that random or systematic computer error are also pretty unlikely. This is not "legal" proof of who did the deed or how they accomplished the manipulation, but in 2008, exit pollsters could be designed to show up unpredictibly at concentrated precincts based on early annectdotal reports and could easily document the problems and send in the investigators to lock up the culprits before the day was over! Our current pollster system doesn't want to bite the hand that feeds it, so they won't change the process.

Instead of defending the pollsters, why not demand a more comprehensive process from the pollsters with as much vigor as the defense? An obvious example is this: IF asked to participate in a special "election check", could 100% of a few targeted polling stations be asked to repeat who they voted for 5 minutes after the vote? Clearly, caging would be discovered if 30% of those who thought that they had voted had their ballots discounted. Computer manipulations in Sarasota would be obvious before noon. I can absolutely tell you that the majority of sick and tired voters here in west Florida would be more than gald to participate. At most polling stations, the cooperation would be close to 100%. Try it and tell me it wouldn't work!


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