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Reply #181: I wish he would get the facts right [View All]

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #180
181. I wish he would get the facts right
"...pollsters Zogby and Harris estimated that Kerry won 75% of the undecideds."

In ordinary English, this would mean that after the election, Zogby and Harris... well, estimated that Kerry won 75% of the undecideds. I would even venture that it does mean that. So, is that true?

Looking at TIA's own links to purported supporting evidence, see if you can find anything stronger than this:

From Zogby, 10/29/04:
The key reason why I still think that Kerry will win, perhaps, possibly (laughter) -- have I made myself clear here? Okay. That traditionally, the undecideds break for the challenger against the incumbent on the basis of the fact, simply, that the voters already know the incumbent, and it's a referendum on the incumbent. And if the incumbent is polling, generally, under 50 percent and leading by less than 10, historically, incumbents have lost 7 out of 10 times.

From Harris, 11/2/04:
In the past, presidential challengers tend to do better against an incumbent President among the undecided voters during the last three days of the elections, and that appears to be the case here. The reason: undecided voters are more often voters who dislike the President but do not know the challenger well enough to make a decision. When they decide, they frequently split 2:1 to 4:1 for the challenger.

Did Zogby and Harris estimate that Kerry won 75% of the undecideds? Or did TIA just make that up?

Setting aside TIA's potted facts, his argument is pretty poor as well. Even if we knew what proportion of people who called themselves "undecided" ended up voting for Kerry, we don't know how they answered the "when decided" question. In the exit poll, about 5% of respondents said they decided "today," 4% in the "last three days," and 2% "last week." So, if the proportion of "undecided" respondents fell from 11% a week before the election to 5% on election day, we at least might have a pretty good match between the two lines of evidence. Did that happen? not so much. Did anything remotely like that happen?

Hmm. I wonder why TIA hasn't answered that question already, as a first step in validating his analysis.

Weird "science."
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