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Reply #231: darling! [View All]

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-21-05 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #197
231. darling!
Following one of your links on pre-election polls, I find Bush ahead in 10 "final trial heats" and Kerry ahead in 3, with one tied.

http://www.pollingreport.com/2004.htm

One can also follow the electoral-vote.com link, download the database of state polls, and do some tinkering to again show Bush ahead in the popular vote (weighted state results).

You are entitled, I guess, to alter the assumptions of (e.g.) the final Pew Research Group poll and conclude that it "actually" shows Kerry up by one (registered voters), even though the people who conducted the poll concluded that it showed Bush up by three (likely voters). That said, your pre-election "Recent National Poll Trend" graphic probably violates AAPOR professional standards. It's OK to jigger people's numbers based on your own assumptions, but it at least should be crystal clear how you are jiggering, and it isn't. Pew reports, "Slight Bush Margin in Final Days of Campaign" (http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=2... ). How hard would a reader of that site have to work in order to figure out that you were betting _against_ Pew's likely voter model while claiming their data as support for your own assumptions?

And it's not just Pew -- this is inded the basic move by which you change a Bush lead into a Kerry lead. Some folks agreed with you at the time, others (obviously including the designers of the likely voter models) disagreed, and some didn't know what to think. I would say that we still have no way to know for sure, and that is why we need election reform. But you seem to think that you do know for sure, and I regard that as surreal.

Yeah, I suggested that Bush may have gotten 17% of Gore voters, but I am backing off that now. I think it is more likely that Kerry got 6% (not 10%) of Bush2K voters and Bush got 12-13%, or so, of Gore2K voters (some of whom retrospectively defected to Bush in 2000 also). That fits the panel data better -- but maybe too well.

I am inclined to say that the one thing that is clear to people who actually look at the innards of the survey data is how unclear this entire issue is. That just might be why you rarely look at the innards of survey data. Your way is faster, and apparently confers a greater sense of certainty, to those who can believe it.
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