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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 08:39 PM
Original message
My response to the latest Mystery Pollster (Jan. 8) blog
Edited on Mon Jan-10-05 09:17 PM by TruthIsAll
Just browsing his site. It seems that the "smoking gun" has left some tracks. I offer my 2c here, for all you DUers who have been reading my stuff these past 6 months.

I'm sure many of you have heard of Sandy Koufax, the great Dodger pitcher. For four years running (1963-1966) he was by far the best pitcher in baseball. Sandy came over the top, the same way, curve or fastball. His delivery was straight and true. Perfection. A true scientist on the mound. No tricks. Just a hard fast ball and a wicked curve. No one could touch him.

Sandy was to the science of pitching what Ted Williams was to the science of hitting. Both were true masters who continually refined their craft. Like Williams, Sandy had two supreme gifts: physical and mental. And he was committed to the truth in everything he ever did in life, before and after he quit baseball at the age of 30 in 1966.

I know. I saw them both play.

Having said that, congratulations to the Mystery Pollster. He has just won the Sandy Koufax Award.

http://www.mysterypollster.com /

snip


MP:
The point I wanted to make then was the exit polls were obviously wrong in some ways, not so wrong in others. Everyone, even Mitofsky, concedes that the just-before-poll closing exit polls had an average "error" (or, to some, a "discrepancy") of roughly 2% in Kerry's favor compared to the actual count.

Where the exit polls were right - or at least, not quite "wrong:" The errors were too small to achieve statistical significance in all but a handful of statewide polls. They were not large enough to give Kerry a lead beyond sampling error in any states that he ultimately lost, and not large enough to result in any wrong calls on election night.

TIA:
It does not matter where the discrepancies occurred. They added to Bushs popular vote, if not his electoral vote. But consider that Ohio and Florida were among the sixteen (16) states out of the forty-one (41) which deviated to Bush beyond the Margin of Error, based on exit polling sample size. Not one of the ten (10) states which deviated to Kerry fell beyond the MOE.

I say that is VERY SIGNIFICANT.


That is Very Significant. Im sure you are already familiar with the odds: It's 1 in 13.5 trillion that this occurence could have been be due to chance.

MP:
.

Where the exit polls were obviously wrong: As the Washington Post's Richard Morin put it in November, the errors were "just enough to create an entirely wrong impression about the direction of the race in a number of key states and nationally." And Kaus is right -- it wasn't just bloggers, but sophisticated journalists and political insiders who reached the wrong conclusion looking at those numbers on Election Night.

TIA:
The wrong conclusion? You mean the journalists should have believed the votes and not the exit polls? Why should they not believe their lying eyes?

MP:
Of course, supporting the official network projections is only one mission, and arguably the least important. The exit poll subscribers also pay to get (a) some early indication of the outcome on Election Day so they can plan their coverage and (b) data to support analytical stories written on Election Night that explain the outcome and characterize the race among demographic subgroups. Here the exit polls obviously failed. News organizations planned coverage on the assumption that Kerry would win. Some stories based on the early evening cross-tabs apparently had to be rewritten. As John Ellis -- a former analyst for both NBC and Fox News -- wrote on his blog shortly after the election:

The lost productivity at places like The New York Times and The Washington Post, where literally hundreds of reporters and editors spent the equivalent of an 8-hour work day writing and preparing fiction...all of the consumers of this content have to be asking themselves: "why in the world do we pay for this?"

TIA:
John Ellis is Bushs cousin. If you were not aware of that, you should be. He was the first to call Florida for Bush in 2000, after 16,022 votes were mysteriously dropped from Gores total in Volusia County and spread around to various third party candidates (the Socialist candidate got 10,000). Dan Rather called it a oomputer glich at the time. By the time the error was corrected:, it was too late; the media had already declared Bush the winner all because of a glich, thanks to your very own John Ellis.

MP:
So who is to blame for that wrong impression? That is the central argument between Mitofsky and Kaus and others. Was it Edison/Mitofsky for how it managed and disseminated the results? Should the networks have spent more to assure better interviewing and coverage? Were they both wrong to resist disclosure of basic methodological details that might have helped reporters and editors and even bloggers better understand the limits of exit polls? Should those editors, reporters, and bloggers have known better? I tend to exempt the consumers, but otherwise, I find it difficult to place all the blame in one place, especially given how little we really know about what went wrong and why.

TIA:
You ask who is to blame for giving the wrong impression. Since when do exit poll numbers give the wrong impression? Perhaps the unseemly early tabulation of votes for Bush in the East was giving the wrong impression and the exit polls were telling us the truth. You are being quite unscientific in your failure to consider that scenario.

MP:
I am willing to cut Mitofsky some slack -- at least until I know more -- about the nuts and bolts of why the exit polls were off. However, I tend to agree with his critics in one respect: The lack of transparency about basic methodology, the instinct to deny obvious problems and then blame the bloggers and his habit of lashing out in anger at criticism are at odds with someone of Mitofsky's well deserved reputation and stature.
TIA: At least you agree on that one.

January 04, 2005
THOSE LEAKED PDFS

About those newly leaked exit poll numbers. Early this morning, Mickey Kaus linked to my earlier post the recently leaked exit poll documents and declared them a "smoking gun." When I first scanned the documents yesterday, I did not see the same bombshell. I still don't but, let's take a closer look.

First, let me clarify the source: Scoop, a left-of-center website in New Zealand that has been following the various vote fraud conspiracy theories, somehow obtained copies of the pdf reports that NEP provided for its national and regional exit polls. Since Scoop provided no state level data, it is likely that their source was a newspaper subscriber, not one of the NEP network partners. By the way, the "scoop" on the scoop numbers came from on New Year's eve from the Blue Lemur, another "progressive" site.

TIA:
You say that SCOOP has been following the various fraud conspiracy theories. Well, MP, your bias is showing on that one. The statement speaks for itself. You call Lemur another progressive site, left-of-center site. What does this have to do with the data? The data does not have a political philosophy; it speaks for itself.
How should we label your site: Right-wing, conservative, or neo-conservative?

MP:
The documents do tend to confirm what had been reported elsewhere (links to documents are in the bullet points that follow; all times are presumed to be EST):

On Election Day, the "national" exit poll had Kerry ahead by three points (51% to 48%) at 3:59 PM and by the same margin (51% to 48%) at 7:33 PM when the polls were closing on the east coast. By 1:33 PM the following day, the completed, weighted-to-match-the-vote exit poll showed Bush leading (51% to 48%). These numbers had been previously reported by the Washington Post's Richard Morin and Steve Coll on November 3.

The early samples included too many women: The percentage female fell from 58% at 3:59 PM to 54% at 7:33 PM, but this change alone did not alter the overall candidate standings (as the Simon/Baiman paper argues). By the next day, the sample was still 54% female, but the results among men and women were very different - Bush was 4 percentage points higher among men, 3 points higher among women.


All of the three releases are marked as "weighted," but keep in mind: The first two releases were weighted only to bring their geographical distribution into line with hard counts of actual turnout. The last release would have been weighted so that it matched the official count (something I explained here).

TIA:
So we should believe that the last poll was weighted to match the official count? You mean manipulated, dont you?

MP:
Keep in mind that the 7:33 PM sample from election night was incomplete. It had 11,027 interviews, but the next day NEP reported 13,660. The missing 2,633 interviews, presumably coming mostly from states in the Midwest and West, amounted to 19% of the complete sample (The Simon/Baiman paper includes what appears to be a later and more complete national survey report - more on that tomorrow).
The margin of error provided by NEP for the national exit poll was +/-1%. Thus, Kerry's early lead and the overall differences between the 7:33 p.m. and 11/3 numbers were statistically significant. That the errors in the national poll were statistically significant, while similarly sized errors in state exit polls were not, owes to the much larger sample size of the national survey.

TIA:
Yes, the later survey report on the Washington Post web site was that of 13,047 RANDOMLY-SELECTED voters. That gives a 1.0% MOE. I guess you will finally stipulate that the MOE is 1.0%, at least for the National Poll. And that the Kerry numbers were statistically significant. Well, we are making priogress. But Im sure that you will not leave it at that.

MP:
So is there anything truly new in these documents?

Perhaps not. At least not to me, and hopefully not to MP's faithful daily readers. However, to political sophisticates like Kaus who do not share our odd er...enthusiasm for the exit poll controversy, the official documents have more power than a few lines buried in an online chat. The last time most political junkies checked in on this story, it was a few days after the election and the "blame the bloggers" meme was in full force. You remember: The problem was not the exit polls or the way they were handled by the networks, but the foolish bloggers who blabbed about "early numbers" they did not understand. Well, these documents confirm something loyal MP readers have long known - the just before poll-closing numbers had the same errors.

TIA:
Of course you won't leave it at that. You see nothing new or significant? Hmm I would think that it would raise some curious eyebrows. Foolish Bloggers? Is that how you would characterize Baiman or Freeman or Simon or others whose analyses are based on that WP 13,047 sample?

I seem to recall your argument that Exit Polls are not randomly-selected samples. And that the MOE is much higher than for pre-election polls due to cluster.

How do you explain the fact that Mitofsky-Edison say nothing about cluster in their notes on the WP/NEP 13,047 sample? And how do you explain the fact that they call the NEP a randomly-selected sample with a 1.0% Margin of Error?

MP:
Though my perspective is different, I am struck by how little guidance these cross-tabs provide about statistical significance. A newspaper subscriber like Richard Morin would have to do what I did above: Look up the sampling error provided by NEP in a separate table and apply it separately to each number. I cannot imagine that many editors or political writers went to that much trouble.
By comparison, I am told that NEP provided the network "decision desks" with printouts (or computer screens) that provided the exact confidence level for every vote estimate. That is, the estimate for each state included a percentage indicating the statistical certainty of the leading candidate winning the state. Networks would consider calling a state for a candidate only when that percentage went over 99.5% certainty. I had assumed the national poll reports provided to newspapers included similar reports of statistical significance. That they did not may explain why the newspapers that subscribed to the exit polls have been more willing to complain about the exit polls in public.

TIA:
It's NOT a question of calling the WINNER of a state. It IS a question of how the DEVIATIONS from the exit polls could be so dramatic and so far BEYOND the margin of error. THAT is the issue which you conveniently sidestep.

MP:
The continuing stonewall of secrecy that the networks have erected around the exit polls does not help. It is that secrecy, as much as anything else, that continues to fuel the more bizarre conspiracy theories floating around the blogosphere. I remain a skeptic of widespread fraud, but I cannot understand the continuing secrecy: Why did these documents have to be leaked by a left-wing web site in New Zealand? Why did NEP not release them in early November? Why did it take until late December for NEP to make the basic methodology statements the networks had on Election Day available online? And why so much reluctance to discuss, openly, what went wrong and why?

TIA:
You refer once again to "left-wing" web sites. How right-wing of you. And your choice of adjectives is very revealing: Bizarre. As if any questioning of the validity of the votes based on exit polls is a bizarre enterprise. Tell that to the Ukrainians.

MP:
A bit more transparency from news organizations that trumpet our "right to know" would certainly help.

TIA:
It sure would.

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RaulVB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. Great!
So we are sure now that Mistery Pollster is a right wing outlet.
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euler Donating Member (515 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. You are ?
As TIA mentions, MysteryPollster won the Koufax award. This award goes to liberal bloggers only.

http://wampum.wabanaki.net/archives/001502.html

So now we are sure that you like to make statements without checking facts.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Not "immortal", just "undead"...
:evilgrin:
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Karenca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. In nursing, there is an acronym for those patients who
are true PITAS.
They're called a 'BUNDY"

But Unfortunately Not Dead Yet.
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Karenca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. First of all, MP CLAIMS to have been 'NOMINATED".....
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 10:23 AM by Karenca
Secondly,
none of his respondents seem to ever agree with him.

Like we should believe ONE so called 'pollster",
and
dismiss all 18 others.

Maybe Repukes are stupid enough to do that, but we're not. :evilfrown:

And, now I am sure that YOU like to make statements before checking the facts.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. wow TIA, this guy is slippery isn't he? you did a superb job trying
to get him to look at your point about the lack of movement to Kerry

did you bring up at all the fact that where there were paper ballots the exit polls were right on? and that only when the electronic ballots were was there a severe divergence?
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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. He's not THAT slippery. Why should I write a book?
Why pile it on?
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JoMama49 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Your arguments carry a lot of weight, TIA, the mystery guy's
don't hold water.
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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #3
24. CORRECTION: MYSTERY POLLSTER HAS ONLY BEEN NOMINATED FOR THE KOUFAX AWARD
He hasn't won it yet.
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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. This was not a debate. I inserted my comments after
copying his latest blog into Word.

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txindy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
5. John Ellis is Junior's cousin, not his brother-in-law
Edited on Mon Jan-10-05 09:09 PM by txindy
That's why Jeb's legal name is John Ellis B*sh, resulting in JEB.

I do love the points you made here in this discussion.
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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks. Just fixed it. n/t
.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
7. Why did ALL the "errors" end up being in Bush's favor?
Edited on Mon Jan-10-05 09:18 PM by BrklynLiberal
Great analysis... Thanks.
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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #7
21. Why? Because that was what they were designed to do.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
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Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
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Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.

Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.

Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.
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Pressed Kerry. Turned up Bush.

Pressed Bush. Turned up Kerry.
Pressed Bush. Turned up Kerry.
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pauldp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:13 AM
Response to Original message
9. Did you send this to him? n/t
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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Not necessary. He'll see it soon enough. n/t
.
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mirrera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
13. Question for TIA
You seem the most informed on the exit polls and what they mean. I read all the charts, and I am completely baffled, but I get the gist that things don't smell right. I read The Collier brothers' book VoteScam in which they say the whole poll "business" is a scam. (Victoria Collier on her website http://VoteScam.com has the first 5 chapters on her site.) Lynn Landes read that book also and just wrote this article: Did Networks Fake Exit Polls, While AP "Accessed" 2,995 Mainframe Computers?
http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Jan05/Landes0106.htm

Anyway my question is, have you read this book? I am curious what you think this implies? Do we have any witnesses that have actually been polled anywhere? The Collier brothers were never able to find even one. I am very opened minded about the possibilities since reading the book. It showed me how long ago, the Networks were keeping their "methods" secret. What I don't get is why both sides of the aisle keep going along with it.
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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. I did skim Votescam years back. And some pollsters are better than others.
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 01:23 PM by TruthIsAll
I like Zogby, ARG, Harris, The Economist.

I believe that corporate pollsters have inflated Bush's numbers using bogus weights(Dem/Rep/Ind)and LV's (they knew that newly registered RV's were going for Kerry.

And they do the same with his approval ratings.
Average approval was 48.5%. Some had him at 44%, some at 52%. I think he was at 45%.

In the election, some corporate poollsters had Bush up by 10%. Ridiculous. We knew it. Everyone knew it. But, of course, we know why they do it. Make it appear to be a done deal early on. Then they make sure to get his lead down to 1-2% right before the election so their predictions won't look so bad in the history books.
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
16. Did Mystery Pollster win the Koufax? He lost according to the exit polls!
:evilgrin:
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davidgmills Donating Member (651 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. I'm suspicious of his win
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 07:55 PM by davidgmills
I think it was a rigged election.

I know I didn't vote for him because he never answered my questions either.

I would trust the exit polls on this one too.

What were the exit poll MOE's?

Were they clustered or not?

Maybe the exit polls were only accurate to 7 or 8 percent.

We was robbed.
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chorti Donating Member (104 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
18. great work TIA
Just wanted to plug my own study, which collaborates a lot of what you have written. I try to answer the question of how the final exit poll was manipulated - for blue states by altering the undecided voters to make it look like the last-minute voters were about 50-50 and for the red states by altering how far ahead * was before the first debate, to make it impossible for Kerry to come back from, say, 12 points down in Florida. It is simply BS that Kerry was 12 points down in Florida on Sept. 29 but that is what the exit polls say.

Here's my URL: <http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/01/1713046.php > and check out the graphs in the full report (pdf).
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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Chorti, remember that you and I agree on the probabilities...
************ 500 million to one *************

You did it by analyzing the number of votes and showed how there was no way Bush could have come close to getting 12 million more votes.

I did it by analyzing deviations from pre-election state and national polls and corresponding state and national exit polls.

Actually, my analysis of 16 state exit poll deviations beyond the MOE for Bush gives a probability of 13.5 trillion to one against this occurrence.

Analysis of the National exit poll of 13,047 respondents gives a probability of 547 million to one that Bush would exceed his weighted numbers by 3.0%.
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anaxarchos Donating Member (963 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #18
27. I read your analysis... thought it was great.

You might want to start a thread with your link as I think your angle is poorly known but important.

Try the following link as well which indirectly corroborates your idea that the opinion polls overstated Bush's lead. Lots of indicator details which are missing from some of the pre-election polls (particularly for Ohio):

http://www.latimes.com/media/acrobat/2004-10/14837171.p ...

BTW, I also agree with your previous post that many "so-called academics" are content to pick the nits off a carcass without once mentioning the dead body.
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davidgmills Donating Member (651 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
23. It was the Zell Miller award
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 08:04 PM by davidgmills
the voters were voting for. Computer glitch of some sort, I believe.
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davidgmills Donating Member (651 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:05 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. kick
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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. David, what about those 20 texts Mr ? asked you to read?
Edited on Wed Jan-12-05 04:23 PM by TruthIsAll
You know, my nemisis.

Did I ever ask you to read anything other than my analysis to make a point?

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davidgmills Donating Member (651 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. You did not
Thank you.
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davidgmills Donating Member (651 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. I also sent your nemisis my
Parable of a Rigged Game

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I love to send it to the non-believers. I don't know whether you saw it or not but since the game is mathematical, I would enjoy your input.

By the way, your nemisis has yet to respond.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
30. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
New Earth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. are you saying you're testing the moderators?
what is with the influx of exit poll 'debunkers'?
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anaxarchos Donating Member (963 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Mr. Brady is a well known right-wing evangelical...

He is just visiting....

They are importing them to screw with TIA these days.

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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #30
33. And here is my very polite response.
Edited on Thu Jan-13-05 01:18 AM by TruthIsAll
I am including your post intact with my responses, to avoid any confusion.
....................................................

Can you please explain something to me?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/122704W.shtml

There were three exit polls conducted in the Ukraine.

1. The Ukrainian Institute of Social Research and Social Monitoring Center poll sampled 13,500 voters at 360 polling stations.

2. The Razumkov Center of Political Studies and Kiev International Institute of Sociology interviewed 30,000 voters are 360 polling stations.

3. Frank Luntz and Douglas Schoen polled "about 10,000" voters, but the number polling stations is omitted from the article.

Please whip out your excel spreadsheet and calculate the confidence interval along with me...(assume 95% CL)

What did you get? I got:

n=13,500 / MoE=0.84%
n=30,000 / MoE=0.57%
n=10,000 / MoE=0.98%

Unfortunately, the story only reported the confidence intervals for two of these polls.

Why do you suppose that the confidence interval for both polls with sample sizes 13,500 and 10,000 was +/-2% when my handy dandy excell spreadsheet says it is MUCH lower? Are they lying to the public?

Inquiring minds want to know.


TIA:
First of all, 2% is not a confidence interval. Do you mean margin of error? If THAT is what they say it was, I suggest they speak to Edison/Mitofsky. They claim that the MOE for the NEP 13,047 randomly selected sample (which Kerry won 50.8-48.2) was 1.0%. Can you explain that? I cant. I calculated the MOE as 0.875%.
.........................................................

Now, another question.

Mitofsky has told me in an e-mail that the design effect for the national election poll varies by the average number of interviews per precinct. Remember. There were not 13,660 separate interviews on election day, in fact, there were more like 12,200 (see MP's latest on the quadruple count of phone interviews).

Consider now that the NEP methods statement (http://www.exit-poll.net/election-night/MethodsStatemen ... ) indicates that 250 precincts were sampled. This gives us 48.9 interviews per precinct. At 49 interviews per precinct, Mitofsky indicates that the square root of the design effect calculated for that poll was approximately 1.6. (For the moment, you don't have to buy the "clustering" factor...just follow).

Now take the sample size and calculate the confidence interval assuming no clustering. You get +/-0.89%. No problem. Now derive the standard error for this sample size s.e.=SQRT(0.25/n) and apply Mitofsky's design effect. Then calculate again for confidence interval. You get +/-1.42%. So - - - What do 0.89% and 1.42% have in common? They both round to +/-1%.

TIA:
So the 1% MOE was really 1.42%? But it was rounded off to the nearest 1%? I guess he didnt want to scare anyone with those decimal places. After all, whats the difference, a lousy 0.42%?
.........................................................


Basic math principle here: as n increases, the impact that the design effect square root (whatever it actually is) has on the standard error and confidence interval decreases.

Based on this principle, you can deduce that the US Exit polls were designed better than the Ukranian exit polls (i.e., the design effect for the national US exit poll had a smaller design effect than the two Ukranian exit polls). I posted on this comparison of the Ukrainian and US exits (http://stones-cry-out.blogspot.com/2004/12/ukrainian-v -... ")

TIA:
As I said, I have not studied the Ukraine exit polls. I only know that BushCo kept alluding to them but said nothing about the discrepancies right here.
.........................................................

BTW TIA, I'm encouraged that you saw my point re: the impact of the rounding issue on precise probability calcs. Apparently, Simon/Baiman still do not.


TIA:
So why dont the pollsters carry it out to at least 1 decimal place, like Zogby does? Could it be they need jiggle room? Or maybe they dont want us to be too accurate in our analysis? Or both.

Simon/Baiman were actually too conservative. I get the feeling they dont want to lay it on too heavy. For instance, in my calculations, the National Exit Poll deviation of 3.01% to Bush, based on the 1.0% MOE, gives odds of 547 million to 1. Of course, I am using the 3,01% deviation from 48.22% in the exit poll to 51.23% in the vote. The actual Bush percentage is probably slightly lower, as the late votes, which were strong for Kerry, have narrowed the gap.

In that regard, heres a table which shows the odds of the Bush 3.01% deviation for various MOEs.

MOE Probability Odds: 1 out of
3.00% 2.46184478% 41
2.50% 0.91413933% 109
2.00% 0.15899670% 629
1.50% 0.00419521% 23,837
1.00% 0.00000018% 547,044,797
0.87% 0.00000000% 166,787,631,560
.........................................................

JUST to stop everyone from freaking out. I am not arguing that the national exit polls were within the margin of error. They were obviously well outside the margin of error. MP doesn't even argue this point. Mitofsky doesn't even argue this point. My point is that the evidence I've presented in this post damns TIA's persistent denial of the design effect.

TIA:
I dont deny any design effect. Just like I hope you wont deny that the exit polls are according to Mitofsky: randomly-selected samples. And that the MOE, as published on the WP site, clearly read 1.0%. So maybe he already took the design effect into account. I have just calculated the MOE as 0.875%. Perhaps Mitofksy accounted for a 13% design effect and boosted the MOE up to 1.0%

.........................................................


TIA: If you provide a fair attempt at an answer to my questions, I will be more than happy to have a dialogue (so long as the kind moderators don't censor me for challenging one of their most adored contributors). I'll keep it polite; I promise. We are in search of truth -right?

TIA:
I appreciate your post and tone. I doubt that Ill be satisfied with any attempts to explain away the exit poll discrepancies when the official results are released. There were too many documented instances of machine glitches which turned Kerry votes to Bush votes, voter disenfranchisement, touch screens with no paper trail (thanks to Republican control of HAVA), spoiled punched cards, Blackwell shenanigans, historical precedent (FL 2000, 2002 senate), ridiculous vote totals which defied voter registration numbers in FL, OH, NM and other states and, of course, the exit polls - state and national. We know that since 1988 the exit polls have consistently given Democrats higher margins than the recorded vote tally. According Greg Palast, prior to the election, there were at least a million spoiled ballots in mostly minority precincts (where punched cards are used). It happens in every election. I guess well just have to live with it.
.



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