Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Freeman vs Mitofsky debate! Should be Fun! Any DUers going?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU
 
Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 07:27 PM
Original message
Freeman vs Mitofsky debate! Should be Fun! Any DUers going?
ASAP Newsletter
The Philadelphia Chapter of the
American Statistical Association
September, 2005


snip
It is time for our annual Fall Meeting, which will be held on Friday October 14th. We have a very
exciting and unusual program, jointly sponsored by the Organizational Dynamics Program and the
Political Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania. We are honored and pleased to present
two illustrious speakers expressing opposing views on the 2004 exit poll controversy: Steve Freeman
from UPenn Organizational Dynamics and Warren Mitofsky, President of Mitofsky International, the
research organization that conducted the exit polls.


Below are the links...


http://organizationaldynamics.sas.upenn.edu/center/nav....


http://www.amstatphilly.org /


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. Freeman abstract
Abstract: "Polling Bias or Electoral Fraud? An Examination of State-Level Discrepancies
Between the Official Count and Exit Poll Results in the 2004 US Presidential Election"

Exit poll data, based on 114,559 sampled voters at 1,460 precincts across the nation who were
asked in confidential questionnaires how they voted, suggest that John Kerry won the 2004 US
Presidential election. These survey data deviate 6.5 percentage points from the official counts in
those same precincts (Within Precinct Error or WPE), a discrepancy which extrapolates to eight
million votes nationwide.

The official explanation for the discrepancy that Kerry voters participated in the exit polls at a
higher rate than Bush voters is unsubstantiated by evidence. The very data presented to justify
the reluctant Bush respondent thesis seems to contradict it entirely. Unfortunately, the
National Election Pool has refused access to the precinct level data that could be used to
properly investigate claims of polling bias and electoral fraud.

In this presentation, I use publicly available, state-level data to investigate theories put forward
to explain the discrepancy. Statistical analyses indicate no support for the reluctant Bush
respondent thesis; rather, the data suggest that the exit polls slightly overstate support for the
President. Data do reveal, however, statistically significant correlations between WPE and
Republican gubernatorial control, state electoral importance, voting technology, and other
election administration variables. These relationships are inconsistent with theses of polling bias,
but consistent with theses of electoral fraud.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Mitofsky abstract
Abstract: 2004 Exit Polls: What Bloggers And Others Got Wrong
The 2004 exit polls were generally believed to have indicated a victory for John Kerry. Nothing
could have been further from the truth. This was compounded by the conspiracy theorists after
the election who mistakenly claimed the exit polls validated their claim. There was no evidence
in the exit polls to substantiate these claims. On election day the misinformation about the exit
polls was spread by inexperienced people trying to make sense of complex statistical data. After
the election the academics who yelled election fraud were no better. It is time to set the record
straight.

Melissa G comments...

Yeah, Right....Lotta meat here... :eyes:.... Wait! I need my fanciest
Tinfoil Hat :tinfoilhat:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Republican Gubernatorial Control?
Gee I wonder where he got that one from? ;)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. where is this reference BB ? n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. In your #1 post! nt
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 01:17 PM by Bill Bored
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Doh!! n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. But AFAIK, I was the first to look at that.
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 12:49 PM by Bill Bored
I hope it's been extended to include such things as actual election administration, i.e., is it outsourced, is it partisan a la Blackwell, etc. I think this was mentioned in the abstract as well.

But gubernatorial control was a good start if I do say so myself.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Would be nice if someone were to leak the Repub vote stealing
master cheat sheet...complete with KKKarl's fingerprints...
It would make all this reverse theft detective work so much easier!
'Fess up someone!!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. dupe delete
Edited on Tue Sep-27-05 08:28 PM by Melissa G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. I sent this link to Michael Moore and asked him to film this and
release it on DVD before November 2nd.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. It's the Thrilly in Philly! nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
10. No. Frickin'. Way.
Mitofsky is going to defend it in a live debate?

He's either dumber than I thought, or else they've threatened his family.

But then, these are the folks who send Guckert/Gannon and Brownie out to proudly defend themselves.

DeLay: poster boy for the persecuted. Practically a Christ figure.

Frist: his trust was so blind, he could see it.

But all this reality-testing is going to take a toll.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. wow, that's toasty!
Mitofsky's "either dumber than I thought, or else they've threatened his family."

You're saying what: that it is obvious to Mitofsky and to statisticians that the exit polls weren't biased?

You would have had a hard time proving that from the audience I watched Mitofsky talk to in August.

I have to admit that this degree of rhetorical vigor really troubles me. It's going to be hard for you to win a polling or statistical argument if you can't convince the pollsters and statisticians, isn't it?

Kudos to Freeman for doing the hard work to get himself there. Right or wrong, at least he is engaging actual arguments. And kudos to Mitofsky for joining the public debate.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. There is a third alternative
which that Mitofsky is perfectly happy to put his point of view.

From my limited exchanges with him, that would be my best guess.

He is certainly not dumb.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. To give Mitofsky his due, I'll assume that this is the case.
My own feeling has been that he has had no complicity beyond adjusting the exit polls with actual votes, and whatever part he's played in the withholding of the raw data.

I would like to hear his explanation of why there was systemic skewing of the results, and the clustering of the skew effect around states with the most electoral votes and eastern states.

Thanks for your observation.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:34 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Yes, it should be interesting
Regarding complicity, I will risk my neck here by supporting Mitofsky even on the two points on which you regard him as "complicit":

1) Whether or not people think that exit polls "should" not be adjusted to the count, there was no secrecy about it. The procedure was clearly explained on the E-M web-site in advance:

How are projections made?
Projections are based on models that use votes from three (3) different sources -- exit poll interviews with voters, vote returns as reported by election officials from the sample precincts, and tabulations of votes by county. The models make estimates from all these vote reports. The models also indicate the likely error in the estimates. The best model estimate may be used to make a projection if it passes a series of tests.


and is the way it has been done in previous years (give or take tweaks to the algorithm). The point is that the exit poll is not designed as an audit, or a parallel election - it is designed to allow the networks to "call" the state for one candidate or another before the count is complete. It therefore uses the best data available at any given time - the exit polls at first, then the vote returns from precinct and county as they come in. The prediction is thus continuously updated in line with current data. It's as if the odds on a horse race were continously updated during the race. It aims to predict the counted result, not to check the count is correct. However, it potentially does the latter as a by-product, as the early predictions ARE made solely on the basis of the responses, and in any case the raw data are always released (as they were, as usual, in January). Unusually, this year, E-M also issued an evaluation in which they gave their "3rd call" estimates, so no more captured screen shots are required. We know the data from the exit poll responses alone differed significantly from the the count.

2) which brings me to your second point: the raw data are released, as usual, complete with demographic details of each respondent. You can download them here:

ftp://ftp.icpsr.umich.edu/pub/FastTrack/General_Electio... /

What are not released are the precinct identifiers, and they never are. Also, the counted vote for each precinct is also not provided in what is released, as this would allow for precinct identification. The reason for this is very simple. The professional body that covers pollsters, like the professional body that covers my own profession, psychology, has strict ethical rules regarding confidentiality of data. No data may be released in such a way that repondents could be identified. Releasing precinct IDs would violate this.

Now, we know it is possible for "blurred" datasets to be prepared and released, as this was done with the ESI data in Ohio - precinct vote totals were slightly altered, randomly, to prevent precinct identification. It might be worth raising funds for futher datasets to be similarly prepared for further study. If the whole thing came to a legal challenge, presumably the precinct IDs could be subjected to subpoena.

But there is no reason to suppose that Mitofsky, or Joe Lenski for Edison, were "complicit" in "withholding" the "raw" data. The raw data is released. To release the precinct IDs would involve them in violating the ethical guidelines of their own professional body.

The sad thing, I think, is that a lot of the flak that has been fired at Mitofsky is a result of the peculiarities of your electoral system and the way the networks handle it. In the UK we have exit polls, and the "prediction" made by the polls is issued at 10pm when the polling stations close (of course we only have one time zone). A "swingometer" predicts the results based on the exit polls alone, and gives the pundits something to talk about before we get any results. But as soon as the first result comes in a couple of hours later, the swingometer starts to swing wildly, and is widely regarded as good entertainment value. As the night wears on it settles down, and eventually only twitches a bit with the arrival of each straggler. And by morning it's all done (and yes, we do have all hand-counted paper ballots, and yes, it is quick....)

So the exit poll prediction and the predictions made by exit poll plus count are never confused.

Whatever. It happened. And in the light of the Florida shenanigans of 2000, and the insecurity of the system, people were right to be suspicious.

It will certainly be interesting to hear what Mitofsky says.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Paddy Maynooth Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
12. Perfect opportunity to get both conservative and liberal media interested
Folks, please invite your local and state media - both conservative and progressive - to cover this important debate.

Journalists on both sides of the debate, and also the undecided, will see something to gain in attending this - in contrast to meetings where only one side of the debate is presented.

I'll be encouraging the US correspondents of some Irish media to be there.

Wish I could be there myself.

Best,
Paddy.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Paddy Maynooth Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. Posted to indymedia.ie
Mitofsky will debate exit poll discrepancies at Penn on 14 October
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=72291

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Excellent post Paddy!! Thanks for the link!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Apr 23rd 2019, 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC