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Author Topic: Polls  (Read 48236 times)
CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2004, 09:28:05 am »
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Several things I have seen in a number of polls (different organizations):

1. Bush support is firmer than Kerry's,

2. Bush support is primarily support FOR Bush while half or more of the Kerry support is merely ANTI-BUSH,

3. when the undecideds and leaners are asked to respond to a variety of issue questions they consistently score significantly closer to the core Bush supporters than they do to the core Kerry supporters (or more accurately anti=Bush people).
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The Vorlon
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« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2004, 11:14:04 am »
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Several things I have seen in a number of polls (different organizations):

1. Bush support is firmer than Kerry's,

2. Bush support is primarily support FOR Bush while half or more of the Kerry support is merely ANTI-BUSH,

3. when the undecideds and leaners are asked to respond to a variety of issue questions they consistently score significantly closer to the core Bush supporters than they do to the core Kerry supporters (or more accurately anti=Bush people).

Correct on #1
Correct on #2

Please provide examples and links on #3

Please & Thank-you Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2004, 11:18:15 am »
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The trick is to find undecided, likely voters rather than just undecided.  I would be surprised if many had very strong conservative or liberal beliefs.

I see Vorlon finally has a Nov 2nd prediction.  You have Kerry doing better in the Southwest than I do.
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« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2004, 11:21:44 am »
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I can't see the image of his Nov. 2 prediction...only te top half Sad
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« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2004, 11:22:35 am »
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It's like mine but Kerry picking up Nevada and New Mexico.
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« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2004, 11:26:29 am »
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OK, thanks
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« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2004, 11:28:44 am »
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Nevada and New Mexico well that's just gravy.  If Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia all go Kerry. The west coast might just go out and party.  I started a topic on how the media calling the states might affect votes on the west coast.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2004, 11:44:40 am by khirkhib »Logged
The Vorlon
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« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2004, 11:32:39 am »
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The trick is to find undecided, likely voters rather than just undecided.  I would be surprised if many had very strong conservative or liberal beliefs.

I see Vorlon finally has a Nov 2nd prediction.  You have Kerry doing better in the Southwest than I do.

There is (number varies widely depending on what you look at) "about" 8% of the population called the "Good Citizen" block.

They almost always vote because they are, well, good citizens who think you should vote, but are weakly (if at all) associated with any party or cause.

They are... an adventure... to try to poll properly.
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« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2004, 04:16:35 pm »
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Several things I have seen in a number of polls (different organizations):

1. Bush support is firmer than Kerry's,

2. Bush support is primarily support FOR Bush while half or more of the Kerry support is merely ANTI-BUSH,

3. when the undecideds and leaners are asked to respond to a variety of issue questions they consistently score significantly closer to the core Bush supporters than they do to the core Kerry supporters (or more accurately anti=Bush people).

Correct on #1
Correct on #2

Please provide examples and links on #3

Please & Thank-you Smiley

Unfortunately, the polls which have explicity differeniated between the beliefs of Kerry voters, Bush voters and undecided voters on the issues are not available for publication at this time.

The sources which have commissioned the surveys are more interested in used the data than in publishing it at this time.

The Kerry campaign is well aware of this which explains the waffling by Kerry.  His core supporters (actually mostly anti-Bush voters) agree with the stances he took on the issues during his Senate career.  He is backing off on those issues (attempting to obfuscate the issues) because his campaign is well aware of the fact that the undecided voters differ in their preferences from those earlier Kerry positions and prefer the position held by Bush.

I hope on of the reputable public pollsters (i.e. news media funded) will provide the data (they can easily correlate this).



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« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2004, 09:18:59 pm »
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Just saw a Mason - Dixon Poll taken May 20 - 25 which shows Bush up 47 - 41 in Ohio (registered voters).  I'm really confused now.  I look at the national polls and see Bush running slightly behind in some polls and wonder how this can be.  I guess I'm looking for these state polls to be totally reflective of the national data.  I guess it just doesn't work that way always.
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The Vorlon
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« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2004, 09:55:21 pm »
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Just saw a Mason - Dixon Poll taken May 20 - 25 which shows Bush up 47 - 41 in Ohio (registered voters).  I'm really confused now.  I look at the national polls and see Bush running slightly behind in some polls and wonder how this can be.  I guess I'm looking for these state polls to be totally reflective of the national data.  I guess it just doesn't work that way always.

link?
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« Reply #36 on: May 29, 2004, 10:01:01 pm »
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http:www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1144542/posts
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CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2004, 10:16:16 pm »
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Too many people are too trusting of survey results.

First, there is a sample size error, which on national polls for total results, typically runs from more than two to four per cent.

That is to say that a 50-50 tie for the total sample could easily be 52-48, or 48-52 (just considering size alone).

Second, virtually all surveys are telephone polls.  Since federal law prohibits calling a person who might be charged for receiving the call (which is the case with some cell phones), this skews the results.

Third, with systems such as Call Intercept, many landline potential respondents are removed from consideration.

Fourth, a large number of persons answering the phone refuse to participate in the surveys, or do not complete the survey.

Fifth, there is an open question as to how many respondents lie in their responses.

Sixth, the screening of the sample is very important, and problematical.  The better surveys use past voting behavior as more creditable that self-proclaimed intent to vote.

Seventh, the phrasing of the question can change the result.  All to often what is reported is the analysis of the results, rather than the exact wording of the question.

Eighth, the horserace question answers can be affected by other questions preceding the horserace questions.

Ninth, the responses can also vary as to what candidates are included.  Is Nader included?

Tenth, the date(s) the survey questions were posed can affect the result.  Some of the surveys showing Bush doing badly were taken during the period when the liberal media was playing a 24 hours wall to wall coverage of the prison scandal in Iraq.

These are just a few of the matters which affect survey results.  

In short, view all 'poll' results with a jaundiced eye.
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« Reply #38 on: May 29, 2004, 10:19:26 pm »
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Excellent points.  Your last point is particularly relevant.  What small variance that can be seen in the Rasmussen tracking poll seems to be a product of the news - the prison scandal is a prime example.
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The Vorlon
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« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2004, 11:06:40 pm »
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Too many people are too trusting of survey results.

First, there is a sample size error, which on national polls for total results, typically runs from more than two to four per cent.

That is to say that a 50-50 tie for the total sample could easily be 52-48, or 48-52 (just considering size alone).

Second, virtually all surveys are telephone polls.  Since federal law prohibits calling a person who might be charged for receiving the call (which is the case with some cell phones), this skews the results.

Third, with systems such as Call Intercept, many landline potential respondents are removed from consideration.

Fourth, a large number of persons answering the phone refuse to participate in the surveys, or do not complete the survey.

Fifth, there is an open question as to how many respondents lie in their responses.

Sixth, the screening of the sample is very important, and problematical.  The better surveys use past voting behavior as more creditable that self-proclaimed intent to vote.

Seventh, the phrasing of the question can change the result.  All to often what is reported is the analysis of the results, rather than the exact wording of the question.

Eighth, the horserace question answers can be affected by other questions preceding the horserace questions.

Ninth, the responses can also vary as to what candidates are included.  Is Nader included?

Tenth, the date(s) the survey questions were posed can affect the result.  Some of the surveys showing Bush doing badly were taken during the period when the liberal media was playing a 24 hours wall to wall coverage of the prison scandal in Iraq.

These are just a few of the matters which affect survey results.  

In short, view all 'poll' results with a jaundiced eye.


If you see 2 or 3 or 4 saying more or less the same thing, there is a "decent" chance its true, but one poll by its self is always a bit suspect.

The quality of the firms doing polls also varies hugely.  They range from really excellent to pretty dodgy.  Take a look at a firms last 100 polls compared to actual results, and consider the source.

A few kinda scary polling stats:

Even assuming a "perfect" poll with no methodological errors of any kind (ya... right....) where the only source or error is random chance.....

A sample size of 500 has a 50% of being with 3% of the "true" value (ie if it says X leads y by 5%, there is only a 50% chance the "true" lead is between 2% and 8%

A sample size of 600 has a 53% of being within 3% of the "true" value

A sample size of 800 has a 60% of being within 3% of the "true" value

A sample size of 1000 has a 66% of being within 3% of the "true" value

A sample size of 1500 has a 75% of being within 3% of the "true" value

<<Sixth, the screening of the sample is very important, and problematical.  The better surveys use past voting behavior as more creditable that self-proclaimed intent to vote>>

Yes, very very true.

Gallup uses a total of 13 questions (some of them with more than 1 part) to sort out "likely" votersas an example.  Thes little 2 and 3 question screens a lot of 2nd teir firms use are better than nothing, but barely....

If you simply ask people if the are "almost certain" or "very likely" to vote, you get a projected turnout of typically 85% or so... as compared to reality which is 50 something...

Your point re cell phones is very important.  Currently about 3% of people have ONLY a cell phone, so they are systemically excluded for polls.  

They tend to be young and typically have low voter turnout so it is not a huge issue yet, but it is a growing and real problem for pollsters.  

It is also a issue I cannot see a solution for that does not involve some fairly aggresive assumptions that I would be pretty uncomfortable building into a poll.

« Last Edit: May 30, 2004, 12:30:01 am by The Vorlon »Logged

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« Reply #40 on: May 29, 2004, 11:10:04 pm »
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The situation with the cell phones may well be resolved soon. A national cell phone book is in the works listing all cell phone numbers nationwide.
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« Reply #41 on: May 29, 2004, 11:16:46 pm »
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The situation with the cell phones may well be resolved soon. A national cell phone book is in the works listing all cell phone numbers nationwide.

The issue is not availability - it is legal.

It is ILLEGAL under federal law for a polling firm to make a call to a line that may be charged for the call (ie many cell phones) We just simply are no allowed to call cell phones under current law.

NAPOR (the professional association for pollsters) is trying to get the big cell companies to try to find a fix (ie have the polling firm pay for the call) but till then the issue is legal, not technical.
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« Reply #42 on: May 29, 2004, 11:18:42 pm »
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The situation with the cell phones may well be resolved soon. A national cell phone book is in the works listing all cell phone numbers nationwide.

The issue is not availability - it is legal.

It is ILLEGAL under federal law for a polling firm to make a call to a line that may be charged for the call (ie many cell phones) We just simply are no allowed to call cell phones under current law.

NAPOR (the professional association for pollsters) is trying to get the big cell companies to try to find a fix (ie have the polling firm pay for the call) but till then the issue is legal, not technical.

Get me called and polled! I'd love to do a poll sometime! JeffHokie@msn.com if you have any way to get me on.
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The Vorlon
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« Reply #43 on: May 29, 2004, 11:58:07 pm »
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Just saw a Mason - Dixon Poll taken May 20 - 25 which shows Bush up 47 - 41 in Ohio (registered voters).  I'm really confused now.  I look at the national polls and see Bush running slightly behind in some polls and wonder how this can be.  I guess I'm looking for these state polls to be totally reflective of the national data.  I guess it just doesn't work that way always.

A poll with a poorly sorted out screen for likely voters will show big, and not real, shifts in public opinion in reaction to events like the prison thing.

Remember that in a lot of these recent national registered voter polls, about 1/3rd of the people included will not be actual voters, and many of them when the "leaners" are pushed will just sway in the wind with the last news story they heard on the nightly news...

(The Mason Dixon is Likely voters BTW - MD's are NEVER registered)

The poll, conducted May 20-25 by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, is based on interviews with 1,500 registered voters who plan to vote in November. The poll, which has a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points, is the largest presidential poll taken in Ohio this year. [/i]

The typical "bounce" from the conventions is "about" 10% - after the first convention candidate X goes up 10%, then after the other convention candidate Y goes up 10%.

Is this swing of 10% "real"...?   of course not...

A bunch of folks who are not voting anyway are just swaying in the wind.

I a, not picking on Survey USA here, (just have a link handy) they are a loooong way from the worse firm out there, but their last Iowa poll talked to 879 people 794 of whom were deemed "likely" - I have no idea what Iowa turnout will be in 2004, but I happily bet you a reasonably fresh bag of donuts it will not be 794/879 = 90% !

1/4 to 1/3 of the people in that poll simply will not vote.  This makes the validity of the poll suspect.  And a lot of that 1/4 to 1/3 just sway in the wind based upon the last news story they saw.
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« Reply #44 on: May 30, 2004, 12:02:14 am »
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Just saw a Mason - Dixon Poll taken May 20 - 25 which shows Bush up 47 - 41 in Ohio (registered voters).  I'm really confused now.  I look at the national polls and see Bush running slightly behind in some polls and wonder how this can be.  I guess I'm looking for these state polls to be totally reflective of the national data.  I guess it just doesn't work that way always.

A poll with a poorly sorted out screen for likely voters will show big, and not real, shifts in public opinion in reaction to events like the prison thing.

Remember that in a lot of these registered voter polls, about 1/3rd of the people included will not be actual voters, and many of them when the "leaners" are pushed will just sway in the wind with the last news story they heard on the nightly news...

The typical "bounce" from the conventions is "about" 10% - after the first convention candidate X goes up 10%, then after the other convention candidate Y goes up 10%.

Is this swing of 10% "real"...?   of course not...

A bunch of folks who are not voting anyway are just swaying in the wind.

But he says its a Mason-Dixon poll.  You have a very high opinion of Mason-Dixon, I thought.
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« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2004, 12:12:01 am »
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But he says its a Mason-Dixon poll.  You have a very high opinion of Mason-Dixon, I thought.

Mason-Dixon - absolutely a VERY good firm.  At the state by state level easily[/b] the best firm out there.  Frankly, compared to a lot of the other firms, it's not even close.

MD is the only firm in the public domain I actually trust from here to September that does state polls. (Maybe Ipsos too actually)

I was talking "generically" in this post.

Mason Dixon's record speaks for it's self.  In 2002 they publically polled 23 races and got 22 right.  Their average candidate error was 1.8%.  (If you limit it to polls published in the last 7 days of the campaign they did even better) The other 70 or so private polls they did in 2002 had a comparable success rate.

The only firm with lower average candidate error was Gallup, and there is certainly no shame in coming in 2nd to Gallup.. Smiley

« Last Edit: May 30, 2004, 12:38:49 am by The Vorlon »Logged

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« Reply #46 on: May 30, 2004, 08:12:33 am »
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So does this particular Ohio poll seem to have any validity to you given the fact that it doesn't seem in sync with other Ohio polling?  Also given the fact that it seems to come at a time when Bush has hit bottom in job approval and given all the $$ Kerry has spent over the last 3 wks in television ads?
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« Reply #47 on: May 30, 2004, 08:19:50 am »
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Seems that Mason Dixon went all out on this poll given the size of this sample.  Isn't it bigger than the usual Mason - Dixon sample size?  Some of their Southern state senate race samples in 2002 were a little more than half that size if I remember correctly.
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« Reply #48 on: May 30, 2004, 08:31:00 am »
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So does this particular Ohio poll seem to have any validity to you given the fact that it doesn't seem in sync with other Ohio polling?  Also given the fact that it seems to come at a time when Bush has hit bottom in job approval and given all the $$ Kerry has spent over the last 3 wks in television ads?

One poll is, well, one poll.  My "map" had Bush up a couple as of yesterday, so this is not a shock to me at least.

I was serious when I said if a summer poll doesn't say Mason Dixon you should burn it.

Most 2nd teir (or worse) firms will underpoll the GOP in the summer which explains a few of the odd results if late. (See a few posts back re likely voters and turnout)

That being said, it basically agrees with two othe private polls showing Bush +3 and +4. so I wouldn't take it a the gospel truth, but I would not toss it either.

A Mason-Dixon with a 1500 sample size simply cannot be ignored Smiley

The sample size of 1500 was the choice of the newspaper that sponsored (ie paid for) the poll, not M/D.

If somebody want to pay the bill, M/D and any other firm would love a 10,000 sample size Smiley

Let's give the Post Dispatch a brownie point for stepping up with the big bucks to pay for both a good firm and a big sample.

I hope the way they rather proudly proclaimed the sample size will prompt other papers to step up to the plate and bump up their samples too..



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« Reply #49 on: May 30, 2004, 08:40:06 am »
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Ok, one more question if you don't mind and I'm really curious about this.  How much would a polling firm charge a client such as a newspaper?  I gather from your comments above that it depends on how much polling (size of sample of course).  Are we talking 5 figures here?  Now about a national poll such as Gallop CNN or any national poll commisioned by CBS or one of the news magazines?  Thanks.
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