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Reply #46: hmm... [View All]

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-11-05 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #34
46. hmm...
I honestly don't know why you think that people's projections of 2004 turnout in the summer of 2003 -- or even immediately before the election -- are crucial to the debate. I mean, I read the words: you apparently think that Rove gambled the farm on a lackluster turnout and lost his bet. But I don't know why you believe them.

The underlying assumption seems to be that higher turnout inherently favors the Democrat. But surely that depends on who turns out. Can we really assume that 3-4 million evangelicals were the only unlikely or intermittent voters that Bush could possibly draw upon? I don't see why. Can we really assume that turnout is a predictor of Democratic vote share? I don't see why. Someone should actually make these arguments.

Folks can run through MysteryPollster's post on likely voter models and find all sorts of figures for likely voters, some of which are very hard to interpret. (Time said its target was "62-64% of the adult telephone household that we reach in our surveys" -- how does that translate to % of eligible voters? We know Gallup used 60% for their final survey; Newsweek apparently used 60% with some fudge that I will let the truly interested attempt to interpret. Probably the low figure is NBC in September, 71% of registered voters, which wasn't a target -- I think registration was about 81% of eligible, so that would be down around 56 -- but I have no idea where that figure was by the election.)

So, that won't support tritsofme's claim that pollsters "knew" turnout would be "at least 60%," but I don't think it matters much (especially if the crucial argument is what was expected in the summer of 2003).

Of course, there are mixed signals in this thread about whether we are supposed to be talking about the polls, or just the political logic -- maybe even just the political logic as of 2003. If we're talking about the polls, I still see no basis for your confidence that a 60% turnout would blow up all the LV models.

Another thing I see no basis for is your paraphrase of Blumenthal's conclusions. The quotation is accurate: "At the national level, the surveys that attempt to calibrate the percentage of likely voters to expected turnout have given George Bush wider leads than other polls released since Labor Day." You add, "By no less than 7 points."

Well, actually, Blumenthal reports that in September, Gallup gave Bush an average 10-point lead, all the surveys that used a cut-off without party weights gave Bush an average 7-point lead, the surveys that used party weights gave Bush an average 3-point lead, and the surveys that used neither a cut-off nor party weights gave Bush an average 5-point lead. Anyway you slice it, I don't think "no less than 7 points" holds up. (I would go with 7 minus 5 equals 2, myself.) Still less for the latest results he reports in that post, where the average margin is 3 points for cut-off, 1 point for party weights, and 2 points for neither.
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