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Author Topic: Rasmussen Tracking Poll [Obama vs McCain]  (Read 253050 times)
CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #125 on: June 18, 2008, 10:18:47 pm »
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It's not extrapolation; I was using the wrong phrase.  It's using sub-samples to calculate other samples.

CARL, this is essentially what I did.  Here's an example:

Male (51%): Obama 51%, McCain 48%
Female (49%): Obama 54%, McCain 45%

Now, 51% of the sample is male and 49% is female.

Thus, the Obama sample is (0.51*0.51)+(0.49*0.54) = 0.5247 = 52% Obama

And the McCain sample is (0.51*0.48)+(0.49*0.45) = 47% McCain

I realize this introduces some rounding error, but when the sub-sample is from the same poll, it does give you a very close approximation of the results -- unless you screw up the math by forgetting Undecideds, which I did.  This should work in any instance where you have samples that constitute the entirety of the poll, and then results for what you're trying to determine for those samples.

You can feel free to tell me where I'm wrong on the math, but I do not believe I am.  Smiley  And I haven't ever deleted a post and claimed I didn't make it, so you're really just archiving your inability to use the QUOTE tag.

Alcon,

First, extrapolation for "undecideds" according to the proportion of "decideds" is very, very wrong!

It assumes that the "undecideds" are reflective of the decideds (generally false).  The undecideds are generally those with lower SES than the decideds.  Also, the undecideds several months prior to an election are not only different from the decideds at that time, but they also differ from the undecideds in the closing days prior to an election.

It also runs counter to experience.  You may have heard that the general rule is that when there is an incumbent involved in a race that is essentially even among the decideds, the undecideds will generally support the challenger.

Further, what you are attempting to do is statistically invalid.  While the MoE for a total poll may be x.  If you try to extrapolate based on subsamples, you drastically increase your MoE.
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« Reply #126 on: June 18, 2008, 10:27:16 pm »
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Alcon,

First, extrapolation for "undecideds" according to the proportion of "decideds" is very, very wrong!

It assumes that the "undecideds" are reflective of the decideds (generally false).  The undecideds are generally those with lower SES than the decideds.  Also, the undecideds several months prior to an election are not only different from the decideds at that time, but they also differ from the undecideds in the closing days prior to an election.

It also runs counter to experience.  You may have heard that the general rule is that when there is an incumbent involved in a race that is essentially even among the decideds, the undecideds will generally support the challenger.

No, man, I didn't do that.  You're misunderstanding.  I accidentally ignored the break-out of Undecideds.

Here's what I did, with fake numbers.  I took the Begich/Stevens break-down and who they voted for (with fake numbers):

Stevens (50%): McCain 83%, Obama 17%
Begich (45%): Obama 88%, McCain 12%

With that, I got the example total of:

McCain: (0.50*0.83)+(0.45*0.12) = 46.9%
Obama: (0.50*0.17)+(0.45*0.88) = 48.1%

As I said, there's rounding error involved here, since the Obama/McCain breakdown among Begich and Stevens supporters was presented in whole percentages.  However, my big mistake was forgetting the Undecided sample, which I'll arbitrarily say was 62% McCain, 38% Obama.  That adds:

McCain: 0.469+(0.05*0.62) = 50.0%
Obama: 0.481+(0.05*0.38) = 50.0%

The concept was fine, I just messed up the execution.  I introduced extra error from discluding undecideds to the trivial errors related to rounding.

Further, what you are attempting to do is statistically invalid.  While the MoE for a total poll may be x.  If you try to extrapolate based on subsamples, you drastically increase your MoE.

No, again, you don't understand.

The MoE for male+female in a poll (and Stevens+Begich+Undecided) is the same as the poll itself.  It contains the same number of respondents, unless I underestimate the number of eunuchs in Alaska.  Therefore, the MoE is identical.  The only source of error is rounding (as long as the sub-samples add to 100% of the sample)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2008, 10:29:34 pm by Alcon »Logged

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« Reply #127 on: June 18, 2008, 11:41:43 pm »
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Where do you get the idea that a subsample of a survey has the same MoE as the total sample?

This is why some polls interested in a particular group use an oversample so that they can get some statistically valid data from the subsample.

You really need to take a course in survey research.
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« Reply #128 on: June 18, 2008, 11:44:07 pm »
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Where do you get the idea that a subsample of a survey has the same MoE as the total sample?

This is why some polls interested in a particular group use an oversample so that they can get some statistically valid data from the subsample.

You really need to take a course in survey research.

You really should only be glib when you're not full of it.  The subsamples do have larger MoEs.  When you add them together, they do not.  They're no longer subsamples -- they're the entire sample, just combined after having been separated.

Male + Female = 700 respondents
Whole survey = The same 700 respondents

Unless there are:

1) Fewer responses
2) Different responses

...it's the same MoE (same respondent count and respondents), and valid..

In this case, it's neither, so it's a valid calculation.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2008, 11:45:46 pm by Alcon »Logged

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« Reply #129 on: June 19, 2008, 06:55:42 am »
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Using fake numbers and arbitrary assumptions, Alcon gets the results he wants.

While doing your abracadra routine, you still have NOT dealt with the problem of allocating the undecideds.

You are merely assuming that they will vote the same way that the decideds are voting, weighted for one demographic!

If you delve into (admittedly delayed) information from the University of Michigan Survey Research Center (they've been at it for sixty years), you will find that undecideds are a completely different type than the decideds.

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« Reply #130 on: June 19, 2008, 08:35:00 am »
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Using fake numbers and arbitrary assumptions, Alcon gets the results he wants.

While doing your abracadra routine, you still have NOT dealt with the problem of allocating the undecideds.

You are merely assuming that they will vote the same way that the decideds are voting, weighted for one demographic!

If you delve into (admittedly delayed) information from the University of Michigan Survey Research Center (they've been at it for sixty years), you will find that undecideds are a completely different type than the decideds.



Carl,

since you misunderstood what Alcon said you could still save some face by acknowledging that. The undecideds in this case are not undecideds in the presidential race but undecideds in the senatorial race. Those undecideds may have a preference in the presidential race. Alcon forgot to include those in his calculation. The term extrapolation was a mistake on his part (as he noted) since that is not what he did. He merely used the subsamples presented by Rasmussen Reports (which add up to the total sample) to calculate the result for the whole sample. This is commonly done by most of us whenever a poll releases results from a set of subsamples that add up to the whole sample before they release the topline numbers. There is nothing statistically unsound here, since there are no new assumptions introduced.
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« Reply #131 on: June 19, 2008, 08:57:47 am »
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Thursday June 19, 2008

General: Head-to-Head

Obama: 45% / 48%, including leaners (nc, nc)
McCain: 42% / 45%, including leaners (+1, nc)

Voters are evenly divided as to which candidate they trust most on economic issues but favor McCain by a wide margin on national security topics.

Obama’s modest bounce since capturing the Democratic Presidential Nomination is now being reflected in a number of state polls. As a result, the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator shows five states shifting in the Democrat’s direction today. Most notable are Colorado and New Hampshire which move from Toss-Up to Leans Democratic. New Jersey moves from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic, Maine from Likely Democratic to Safely Democratic, and Tennessee from Safely Republican to Likely Republican. Polling released late yesterday shows that Ohio is still too close to call.

When all the changes are made, Obama now leads in states with 200 Electoral College votes while McCain leads in states with 174 votes. When leaners are included, it’s Obama 273, McCain 240. New polling data on the Obama-McCain match-up in Colorado will be released at 5:00 p.m. Eastern today. Data on the state’s Senate race will be released at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

While McCain is struggling with Obama’s bounce, his call for offshore oil drilling may be helping. A new poll shows that Florida voters agree with the GOP candidate that offshore drilling will bring down gas prices. When survey respondents are told that McCain favors offshore drilling and Obama opposes, support for McCain increases a bit. Data released earlier this week showed that 67% of voters believe drilling should be allowed off the coasts of California, Florida and other states. New national survey data on the topic of energy will be released at noon Eastern today including questions about offshore oil drilling, nuclear power plants, and research for alternative energy sources.

Other recent survey data shows that 56% say that the North American Free Trade Agreement needs to be renegotiated and that Congressional ratings have fallen to an all-time low. Thirty percent (30%) believe that most members of Congress are corrupt. Most voters believe that Supreme Court Justices have their own political agendas to advance and just 53% are opposed to bans on “hate speech.”

McCain leads among voters who earn $40,000 to $75,000 a year. Obama leads among those who earn less than $40,000 annually and those whose income tops $75,000.


Favorability

McCain: 55% favorable; 43% unfavorable (nc, nc)
Obama: 54% favorable; 42% unfavorable (-1, -1)
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« Reply #132 on: June 19, 2008, 09:16:34 am »
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Using fake numbers and arbitrary assumptions, Alcon gets the results he wants.

While doing your abracadra routine, you still have NOT dealt with the problem of allocating the undecideds.

You are merely assuming that they will vote the same way that the decideds are voting, weighted for one demographic!

If you delve into (admittedly delayed) information from the University of Michigan Survey Research Center (they've been at it for sixty years), you will find that undecideds are a completely different type than the decideds.



Carl,

since you misunderstood what Alcon said you could still save some face by acknowledging that. The undecideds in this case are not undecideds in the presidential race but undecideds in the senatorial race. Those undecideds may have a preference in the presidential race. Alcon forgot to include those in his calculation. The term extrapolation was a mistake on his part (as he noted) since that is not what he did. He merely used the subsamples presented by Rasmussen Reports (which add up to the total sample) to calculate the result for the whole sample. This is commonly done by most of us whenever a poll releases results from a set of subsamples that add up to the whole sample before they release the topline numbers. There is nothing statistically unsound here, since there are no new assumptions introduced.

First, I realize that you and Alcon does some funny things with numbers to get the results you want, but that does not make such practices valid or sound.

What Alcon did was to assume that if adjusted for one demographic factor (gender) he could project the undecided vote based on the decided vote.

Now, let me give you an example of how practicing this voodoo analysis results in weird results.

In 2004 there was a site online (can't remember the name) which sought to project the results in the states based on the national demographic preferences for the candidates.

Given this method, it had Minnesota supporting Bush and Mississippi supporting Kerry!!!  After all, a clear majority of whites nationwide preferred Bush, and an overwhelming majority of Blacks nationwide favored Kerry, and needless to say the percentage of the black vote in Minnesota is very small, and in Mississippi, far larger than the national average.

If we were to have a large enough sample (of the undecideds and the decideds) I believe you will find that while the gender distribution will be only slightly different (due to central tendency), the SES, particularly educational attainment and income will be dramatically different.  I also suspect that in this (2004 Presidential) election, the age distribution will be significantly different.

So, merely adjusting for one demographic does NOT adjust for others!!!

Second, there are other problems as well.

Undecideds have a different outlook on politics than decideds.  Again, check UM SRC data.  They tend to vote more against, than for (which explains why incumbents do so bad with them).

In conclusion, just assuming that based on one demographic componet, undecideds can be allocated in a particular fashion is foolish as well as unsound and invalid.

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« Reply #133 on: June 19, 2008, 12:05:42 pm »
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Using fake numbers and arbitrary assumptions, Alcon gets the results he wants.

While doing your abracadra routine, you still have NOT dealt with the problem of allocating the undecideds.

You are merely assuming that they will vote the same way that the decideds are voting, weighted for one demographic!

If you delve into (admittedly delayed) information from the University of Michigan Survey Research Center (they've been at it for sixty years), you will find that undecideds are a completely different type than the decideds.



Carl,

since you misunderstood what Alcon said you could still save some face by acknowledging that. The undecideds in this case are not undecideds in the presidential race but undecideds in the senatorial race. Those undecideds may have a preference in the presidential race. Alcon forgot to include those in his calculation. The term extrapolation was a mistake on his part (as he noted) since that is not what he did. He merely used the subsamples presented by Rasmussen Reports (which add up to the total sample) to calculate the result for the whole sample. This is commonly done by most of us whenever a poll releases results from a set of subsamples that add up to the whole sample before they release the topline numbers. There is nothing statistically unsound here, since there are no new assumptions introduced.

First, I realize that you and Alcon does some funny things with numbers to get the results you want, but that does not make such practices valid or sound.

What Alcon did was to assume that if adjusted for one demographic factor (gender) he could project the undecided vote based on the decided vote.


No, that was not what Alcon did. I have bolded the part in my post where I explain what he did. Let's say you have a poll which says how Texas whites are going to vote and how Texas blacks are going to vote and how Texas Hispanics are going to vote. If we assume that there are no other ethnic groups in Texas we could then calculate the overall standing between the two candidates based on their standings within these subsamples. If one did this but forgot to include Hispanics, looking only at blacks and whites, the result would however be wrong. And that is what Alcon did in this case.

Now, I would like to remind you that I have never used name-calling or gone out of my way to attack you and I would prefer that you didn't insinuate things such as me doing "funny things" with numbers. I don't and neither did Alcon in this case.
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« Reply #134 on: June 19, 2008, 02:58:52 pm »
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Gustaf explained what I did correctly.  I was not making any assumptions about undecideds or extrapolating data.  I was doing simple percentage addition.  Here is one last attempt at explaining it to you, CARL:

52% of a sample is men.  40% like carrots, 60% do not.

48% of a sample is women.  62% like carrots, 38% do not.

100% of the sample is either male or female.  Thus, the sample size is identical to the overall sample and has the same Margin of Error.

What I did is calculate the number of people who like carrots.  Now, 52% of the overall sample is male and 40% of them like carrots.  So, approximately 20.8% (40% of 52%) of the overall sample is men who like carrots.  For women who like carrots, that comes out to 30.0% (60% of 48%).  That means that about 50.8% (with rounding error) of the sample is ether men or women who like carrots.  Since there are no other categories than men or women, we know that 50.8% of respondents in the poll liked carrots.

My error was not including a third group--people who were undecided in the Senate race--in my numbers.  Again:  the "Undecideds" were undecided in the Senate, not Presidential race.  I was not allocating Presidential undecideds to one candidate or another.  Do you understand, now?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2008, 03:00:23 pm by Alcon »Logged

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« Reply #135 on: June 20, 2008, 08:40:30 am »
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Friday June 20, 2008

General: Head-to-Head

Obama: 45% / 48%, including leaners (nc, nc)
McCain: 41% / 44%, including leaners (-1, -1)

Obama’s decision to opt out of public funding is likely to have little impact on his standing with voters. Only 30% support public financing of the campaigns and just 16% say the issue is Very Important to their vote.

Polling released yesterday shows Colorado is once again too close to call in the Presidential race although the prospects for a Democratic Senate pick-up in the state are improving.

With this new data, Colorado is moving from “Leans Democratic” to “Toss-Up” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator. At the same time, however, Ohio is moving from “Toss-Up” to “Leans Democratic.” The latest Rasmussen Reports polling shows Ohio remains close but Rasmussen Markets data and an average of all recent polls have created a shift. With these changes, Obama now leads in states with 200 Electoral College votes while McCain leads in states with 174 votes. When leaners are included, it’s Obama 284, McCain 240.

New polling data on the Obama-McCain match-up in Nevada and New Hampshire will be released at Noon Eastern today.


Favorability

McCain: 54% favorable; 43% unfavorable (-1, nc)
Obama: 53% favorable; 44% unfavorable (-1, +2)
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« Reply #136 on: June 20, 2008, 12:02:23 pm »
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Using fake numbers and arbitrary assumptions, Alcon gets the results he wants.

While doing your abracadra routine, you still have NOT dealt with the problem of allocating the undecideds.

You are merely assuming that they will vote the same way that the decideds are voting, weighted for one demographic!

If you delve into (admittedly delayed) information from the University of Michigan Survey Research Center (they've been at it for sixty years), you will find that undecideds are a completely different type than the decideds.



Carl,

since you misunderstood what Alcon said you could still save some face by acknowledging that. The undecideds in this case are not undecideds in the presidential race but undecideds in the senatorial race. Those undecideds may have a preference in the presidential race. Alcon forgot to include those in his calculation. The term extrapolation was a mistake on his part (as he noted) since that is not what he did. He merely used the subsamples presented by Rasmussen Reports (which add up to the total sample) to calculate the result for the whole sample. This is commonly done by most of us whenever a poll releases results from a set of subsamples that add up to the whole sample before they release the topline numbers. There is nothing statistically unsound here, since there are no new assumptions introduced.

First, I realize that you and Alcon does some funny things with numbers to get the results you want, but that does not make such practices valid or sound.

What Alcon did was to assume that if adjusted for one demographic factor (gender) he could project the undecided vote based on the decided vote.


No, that was not what Alcon did. I have bolded the part in my post where I explain what he did. Let's say you have a poll which says how Texas whites are going to vote and how Texas blacks are going to vote and how Texas Hispanics are going to vote. If we assume that there are no other ethnic groups in Texas we could then calculate the overall standing between the two candidates based on their standings within these subsamples. If one did this but forgot to include Hispanics, looking only at blacks and whites, the result would however be wrong. And that is what Alcon did in this case.

Now, I would like to remind you that I have never used name-calling or gone out of my way to attack you and I would prefer that you didn't insinuate things such as me doing "funny things" with numbers. I don't and neither did Alcon in this case.

First, I never mentioned Texas in this thread, that's just another allegation you made up.

Second, the point of this thread (which you appear to have missed) is that you cannot appropriately allocate undecideds.

Alcon attempted (improperly) to allocate the undecideds.
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« Reply #137 on: June 20, 2008, 02:04:16 pm »
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Alcon attempted (improperly) to allocate the undecideds.

How many times do I have to explain that I didn't allocate Presidential undecideds?  Here, let me try one more time:

I didn't allocate Presidential undecideds.

I allocated people who were undecided in the Senate race, but were decided in the Presidential race.  I allocated decided voters who were undecided in another race BUT decided in the presidential.  You can't possibly be this slow in understanding.  Read this time.

Here is one last example.  Again, theoretical numbers.  On the left is the respondent's opinion in the Senate race; on the right, Presidential.

Stevens (50%): McCain 85%, Obama 11%, Undecided 4%
Begich (45%): Obama 86%, McCain 9%, Undecided 5%
Undecided (5%): Obama 40%, McCain 36%, Undecided 24%

Here's a graphical representation:



So, 5% of voters are undecided in the Senate race.  We can't allocate those for the Senate race, but we can allocate those who are decided in the Presidential.

- 40% of Senate undecideds are decided for Obama.  40% of 5% means 2.0% of the overall sample are "undecided Senate voters decided for Obama."

- 36% of Senate undecideds are decided for McCain.  35% of 5% means 1.8% of the overall sample are "undecided Senate voters decided for McCain."

- 24% of Senate undecideds are undecided Presidentially, too.  24% of 5% means 1.2% of the overall sample are "undecided Senate voters undecided in the Presidential race."

You can see the contribution of Undecided Senate voters to the Presidential options Decided McCain, Decided Obama, and Undecided, below:



You can also see the results of performing the same operation with Decided Stevens and Decided Begich, and then adding to estimate the percentage for the Presidential response (with rounding error) for the overall sample.

So, tell us where I am attributing voters who are Undecided in any race as being Decided in that race, as you claim I am.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2008, 02:25:04 pm by Alcon »Logged

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« Reply #138 on: June 21, 2008, 08:42:08 am »
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I, Aizen, shall take the reins today. Apologies Dave



Friday June 20, 2008

General: Head-to-Head

Obama: 46% / 48%, including leaners (+1, nc)
McCain: 40% / 43%, including leaners (-1, -1)

New data released today shows that Democrats are trusted more than Republicans on all ten key issues tracked regularly by Rasmussen Reports.

Data released yesterday showed Obama opening a big lead in New Hampshire while Nevada remains very competitive.

Obama’s decision to opt out of public funding is likely to have little impact on his standing with voters. Only 30% support public financing of the campaigns and just 16% say the issue is Very Important to their vote. Yesterday, McCain gave a speech extolling the virtues of free trade at a time when most Americans believe the North American Free Trade Agreement needs to be renegotiated. This position is far less popular among voters than the Republican candidate’s recent call for drilling in offshore oil wells.
 


Favorability

McCain: 54% favorable; 43% unfavorable (nc, nc)
Obama: 55% favorable; 42% unfavorable (+2, -2)
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 08:43:53 am by Aizen »Logged
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« Reply #139 on: June 21, 2008, 10:45:35 am »
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Alcon attempted (improperly) to allocate the undecideds.

How many times do I have to explain that I didn't allocate Presidential undecideds?  Here, let me try one more time:

I didn't allocate Presidential undecideds.

I allocated people who were undecided in the Senate race, but were decided in the Presidential race.  I allocated decided voters who were undecided in another race BUT decided in the presidential.  You can't possibly be this slow in understanding.  Read this time.

Here is one last example.  Again, theoretical numbers.  On the left is the respondent's opinion in the Senate race; on the right, Presidential.

Stevens (50%): McCain 85%, Obama 11%, Undecided 4%
Begich (45%): Obama 86%, McCain 9%, Undecided 5%
Undecided (5%): Obama 40%, McCain 36%, Undecided 24%

Here's a graphical representation:



So, 5% of voters are undecided in the Senate race.  We can't allocate those for the Senate race, but we can allocate those who are decided in the Presidential.

- 40% of Senate undecideds are decided for Obama.  40% of 5% means 2.0% of the overall sample are "undecided Senate voters decided for Obama."

- 36% of Senate undecideds are decided for McCain.  35% of 5% means 1.8% of the overall sample are "undecided Senate voters decided for McCain."

- 24% of Senate undecideds are undecided Presidentially, too.  24% of 5% means 1.2% of the overall sample are "undecided Senate voters undecided in the Presidential race."

You can see the contribution of Undecided Senate voters to the Presidential options Decided McCain, Decided Obama, and Undecided, below:



You can also see the results of performing the same operation with Decided Stevens and Decided Begich, and then adding to estimate the percentage for the Presidential response (with rounding error) for the overall sample.

So, tell us where I am attributing voters who are Undecided in any race as being Decided in that race, as you claim I am.

Well, now that we're no longer dealing with "fake" numbers, lets look at your "assumptions."

You assume that seventy six per cent of the persons listed as undecided in the Presidential preference question were in fact lying, and that by projecting from results from demographics of the Senate questions onto the Presidential question you can get the results you want.

It doesn't work that way!!!

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« Reply #140 on: June 21, 2008, 12:00:29 pm »
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Favorability

McCain: 54% favorable; 43% unfavorable (nc, nc)
Obama: 55% favorable; 42% unfavorable (+2, -2)
McCain: 54% favorable; 42% unfavorable (nc, nc)


Correction Wink
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« Reply #141 on: June 21, 2008, 02:06:45 pm »
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Well, now that we're no longer dealing with "fake" numbers

Actually, no, this is the same concept that I've been trying to explain the entire time that you seem incapable of understanding.  The fact that you think this is a new concept shows that you have been confused this entire time but hurling accusations anyway.

You assume that seventy six per cent of the persons listed as undecided in the Presidential preference question were in fact lying, and that by projecting from results from demographics of the Senate questions onto the Presidential question you can get the results you want.

It doesn't work that way!!!

No.  In those theoretical numbers, 76% of Senate undecideds were decided in the Presidential race, and I allocated those to the Presidential race.  They were NOT undecided voters in the Presidential race.

There's nothing that stops someone from being undecided in the Senate race and decided in the Presidential.  If 25% of voters are undecided in the Senate race, but none of those undecided Senate voters are undecided in the Presidential, you're arguing that 25% would still be undecided in the Presidential.  Obviously, that makes no sense and a few seconds of thought should have told you that.

Seriously though, if you are having this much trouble understanding a relatively simple concept, please do contact the Vorlon.  Maybe he can make you understand.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 02:11:01 pm by Alcon »Logged

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« Reply #142 on: June 21, 2008, 06:40:53 pm »
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Well, now that we're no longer dealing with "fake" numbers

Actually, no, this is the same concept that I've been trying to explain the entire time that you seem incapable of understanding.  The fact that you think this is a new concept shows that you have been confused this entire time but hurling accusations anyway.

You assume that seventy six per cent of the persons listed as undecided in the Presidential preference question were in fact lying, and that by projecting from results from demographics of the Senate questions onto the Presidential question you can get the results you want.

It doesn't work that way!!!

No.  In those theoretical numbers, 76% of Senate undecideds were decided in the Presidential race, and I allocated those to the Presidential race.  They were NOT undecided voters in the Presidential race.

There's nothing that stops someone from being undecided in the Senate race and decided in the Presidential.  If 25% of voters are undecided in the Senate race, but none of those undecided Senate voters are undecided in the Presidential, you're arguing that 25% would still be undecided in the Presidential.  Obviously, that makes no sense and a few seconds of thought should have told you that.

Seriously though, if you are having this much trouble understanding a relatively simple concept, please do contact the Vorlon.  Maybe he can make you understand.

I don't think you are incapable of understanding, but simply that you do NOT want to understand.

First, NOTHING you have done validly indicates the breakdown of the undecided voters in the Presidential contest.

You seem to have obliquely acknowledged that extrapolation is invalid (which was your initial contention).

Are you still contending that on ONE demographic factor you can project the breakout of the undecideds in the Presidential race?

Finally, are you contending that the breakout in a poll (not results) in another race by party of candidate has a clear correlation to the breakout of the results in a Presidential poll?

Or are you now simply acknowledging what I said from the beginning, that there is currently no valid way of determining the eventual vote of the undecideds in a Presidential race?
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« Reply #143 on: June 21, 2008, 10:46:35 pm »
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First, NOTHING you have done validly indicates the breakdown of the undecided voters in the Presidential contest.

...

Are you still contending that on ONE demographic factor you can project the breakout of the undecideds in the Presidential race?

I'm not allocating undecideds in the Presidential vote, just decideds who are undecided in another race.

Indicating the preferences of undecided voters in the race they're undecided on, is impossible because they are undecided in that race.  Any such extrapolation is arbitrary.  That's what you're (incorrectly) complaining that I'm doing.  I'm not doing that.

Finally, are you contending that the breakout in a poll (not results) in another race by party of candidate has a clear correlation to the breakout of the results in a Presidential poll?

CARL, again, in the simplest way possible, you have the following results:

Male (50%): McCain 60%, Obama 40%
Female (50%): McCain 50%, Obama 50%

The McCain sample is (60% of 50%) plus (50% of 50%), which adds together "males for McCain" and "females for McCain," which gives you "males and females for McCain," which is the same as "voters for McCain."

I did this same operation for the Senate race, except with "Begich voters for McCain," "Stevens voters for McCain," and "undecided Senate voters for McCain."  Together, these represent "voters for Begich, Stevens, or undecided [in the Senate race only], for McCain."  This is the same as "voters for McCain," since it is the entire sample.  These voters were undecided in the Senate, but decided in the Presidential.

What about this operation was logically unsound?  The answer is, "nothing."

Or are you now simply acknowledging what I said from the beginning, that there is currently no valid way of determining the eventual vote of the undecideds in a Presidential race?

You're not wrong that allocating undecided Presidential voters to either McCain or Obama is incorrect.  You were correct about that.  I have never contested this.

You're wrong in that I have done that at any point, which I haven't.  You continue to assert that I have, but have failed to show where for as many posts.  Considering how simple this concept is mathematically, maybe you shouldn't be throwing around "take a statistics class!" snark so much.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2008, 12:46:33 pm by Alcon »Logged

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« Reply #144 on: June 22, 2008, 08:37:19 am »
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Sunday June 22, 2008

General: Head-to-Head

Obama: 47% / 49%, including leaners (+1, +1)
McCain: 40% / 42%, including leaners (nc, -1)

Favorability

Obama: 56% favorable; 41% unfavorable (+1, -1)
McCain: 54% favorable; 43% unfavorable (-1, nc)
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« Reply #145 on: June 22, 2008, 08:57:30 am »
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Sunday June 22, 2008

General: Head-to-Head

Obama: 47% / 49%, including leaners (+1, +1)
McCain: 40% / 42%, including leaners (nc, -1)

Favorability

Obama: 56% favorable; 41% unfavorable (+1, -1)
McCain: 54% favorable; 43% unfavorable (-1, nc)

The question now is: Will John McCain ever take the lead again in the RCP-average ? When will that be the case ? Obama has been ahead or tied since Mid-April now and I don´t think the convention bounce will be bigger than Obama's. Nor do I think that picking a vice-president earlier than Obama will lead to a bounce. I think it would really take a major scandal or gaffe and then a poor debate performance or (god forbid!) terror attack to see McCain overtaking Obama once again ...
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« Reply #146 on: June 23, 2008, 08:51:13 am »
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Monday June 23, 2008

General: Head-to-Head

Obama: 47% / 49%, including leaners (nc, nc)
McCain: 40% / 43%, including leaners (nc, +1)

Currently, Obama and McCain are essentially even among men while the Democrat leads by twelve among women. McCain leads 49% to 42% among White Voters but trails 93% to 3% among African-American voters. Among voters who see economic issues as most important this year, Obama leads 59% to 32%. As for those who view national security issues as most important, McCain leads 59% to 37%.

Favorability

Obama: 56% favorable; 42% unfavorable (nc, +1)
McCain: 54% favorable; 43% unfavorable (nc, nc)
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 06:07:17 pm by Democratic 'Hawk' »Logged

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« Reply #147 on: June 23, 2008, 01:11:37 pm »
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Hawk - it's 49-43, not 49-42.
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« Reply #148 on: June 23, 2008, 06:08:02 pm »
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Hawk - it's 49-43, not 49-42.

Corrected Wink
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« Reply #149 on: June 23, 2008, 08:24:04 pm »
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Scattered across this thread is an ongoing discussion about an effort Alcon made to project the poll results in Alaska from a national poll.

In post #115 on this thread, Alcon opined “Alaska is going to be within a few points (e at most, 1 at least)

In post #118, Mark Warner corrected him by noting that the actual margin was “4 to be correct.”

So farm Alcon’s opining was merely wrong, but it got worse. 

In post #119 stated “I though the extrapolation of 43-41.”

In post #120, I advised Alcon that “extrapolating on survey results is strongly frowned upon in the survey research industry.”

Now, Alcon gets really dishonest.

In post #121 he asserts that “Extrapolating cross-tabs from the same survey is not frowned upon.”

Remember, in his post #119, Alcon stated, when being advised by Mark Warner of the actual results stated “Where are you seeing that?  Is the poll out?”

So, he was NOT “extrapolating cross-tabs from the same survey”!  At the time Alcon made his guesstimate, he was unaware of the Alaska survey!

Finally, in post #124, Alcon states: “Its not extrapolation.  I was using the wrong phrase.”

Further, in Post #124 Alcon states that what he was taking the preferences by one demographic (gender) in one poll (the national Rasmussen) and projecting it (my term) onto Alaska, while making the minimal adjustment for the slightly greater male component in the Alaska electorate than in the national electorate.

However, in post #132, I tried to advise Alcon (and the thoroughly confused Gustaf) that you cannot validly project a state result from a national result using just one demographic component)!

In post #126 Alcon further notes that “I accidently ignored the break-out of the Undecids.”

However, in the examples which he provided, using “fake” numbers (his term) and arbitrary “assumptions.” (post 126).did allocate undecideds!

Now, there were three basic concepts that were argued in the discussion:

First, the invalidity of “extrapolation,” which Alcon subsequently seems to have acknowledged was invalid.

Second, there is no valid way to allocate undecideds.  Alcon seems to have acknowledged this point.

Third, one cannot validly project from one poll to another the results based on one demographic component.  Anyone who thinks Alcon’s approach is valid should try projecting national results on the District of Columbia using gender, as Alcon did for Alaska!  LOL

The rest of Alcon’s diatribe was mere smoke-screen to try to obscure these points
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