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Reply #102: "What is the point?" [View All]

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-18-05 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #81
102. "What is the point?"
The NES, the GSS, and other surveys in the United States and Britain (and probably elsewhere) routinely show a propensity for people to recall voting for the incumbent when they didn't. (Of course we can't know who voted for whom, but in panel studies we can actually see people changing their votes retrospectively, not all in the same direction, but collectively in favor of the incumbent.)

So, the 2004 exit poll's unweighted result that almost as many respondents reported voting for Gore as for Bush in 2000 actually suggests bias in the exit poll. The weighted result is more consistent with other surveys.

The exit poll could be unbiased, if turnout was substantially higher among Gore 2000 voters than Bush 2000 voters. But nothing requires us to believe that it was. Given the extreme partisan polarization of views about Bush, I imagine that turnout among Bush2K and Gore2K voters was fairly similar.

(Now I am bracing for a snark about my imagination, and how you stick to facts -- but no, you don't, because nobody has all the relevant facts. You certainly cannot say, accurately, that you have _proven_ that turnout was substantially higher among Gore 2000 voters.)

The NES and GSS are noteworthy in this respect because they are widely regarded as the best political surveys in the U.S., due to all the effort that goes into maximizing the response rate.

If you know as little about the NES as your questions imply, one might wonder how you have any business expressing opinions about survey research. Or you may know the answers to these questions, in which case one might wonder about your motives in asking them. You may wish to refer to http://www.umich.edu/~nes / Similarly, for more information on the GSS you might consult http://webapp.icpsr.umich.edu/GSS /

I don't need to change any of the facts you cite. I only have to attempt, over and over, to explain why they don't prove your case (even in a very weak sense of "prove"). Your case depends on assuming, implausibly, that marginal results from people who _say_ that they voted for Bush/Gore/nobody in 2000 can be mechanically applied to the numbers of people who _actually_ voted for Bush/Gore/nobody in 2000. That exercise may yield interesting results, but it cannot yield evidence of fraud.
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