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Reply #183: I think that with 95% turnout, 16% Gore 2000->Bush 04 is close [View All]

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-05 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #161
183. I think that with 95% turnout, 16% Gore 2000->Bush 04 is close
I want to dood-- I mean, DO SOME SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS (grin) to see how things bounce around. (I assume that you meant "one out of 5 or 6 Gore voters," yes?)

I think that my own sleeper serve may have gotten by you. The national pre-election polls generally showed a close race with, on average, Bush slightly ahead. It was widely anticipated that Kerry would win among new voters (although we have to be careful here -- I think the main expectation was that he would win among first-time voters). And various surveys exemplifying false vote recall have been out there forever. (I think last time we went down this road, I used the online GSS interface to run crosstabs going back 30 years -- poor Mike Dukakis, by 1993, lost retrospectively by 41 points, but that was an extreme case. Some might think that Clinton would be struggling retrospectively against Bush in 1994, but nope, he was up 12 points, having won by less than 6. Other curious minds can roll their own at / .)

So I think we might have reasoned all along that Bush at least had a good shot at taking more Gore voters than Kerry took Bush'00 voters -- we could have made essentially the same argument, contemporaneously, from the pre-election polls that TIA is making from the exit poll weightings, except that he takes it as a reductio ad absurdum. And we should have anticipated that the retrospective crosstabs would confuse the hell out of us about the issue. We even might have expected that the exit polls would have a Democratic tilt, as they have in past years, although we wouldn't have guessed how large. I know some think it is contrived to say both that "exit polls favor Democrats" and "surveys retrospectively favor incumbents," and to apply both those generalizations (only generalizations, not laws) to the 2004 exit poll, but I don't see how one can not.

Now, I honestly don't know the answer to your questions. I don't know whether anyone ever bothered to work through the implications of false vote recall for retrospective crosstabs. But I imagine that this has happened rather often in U.S. history. Just as, rather often in U.S. and British history, the unweighted exit polls have diverged significantly from the official results -- something most of us hadn't noticed, so we didn't spontaneously laugh when some folks told us that they were uncannily accurate prior to 2004.

By no means do I think that this analysis rules out massive fraud. The 43/37 retrospective Bush2K/Gore2K split in the weighted 2004 exit poll seems plausible to me, and I don't think anyone could convince me that clearly it ought to be 40/40, but conceivably I might be convinced that it ought to be somewhere between. (I know that we are discussing Gore2K and Bush2K holds/steals, but again, my point is that false recall is gonna skew those figures.) I certainly don't see how anything in this line of analysis can be the "clincher."
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