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  2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls (Moderators: AndrewTX, Likely Voter)
  AK-Lake Research (D): Trump +1 (search mode)
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Author Topic: AK-Lake Research (D): Trump +1  (Read 2894 times)
Gustaf
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« on: October 18, 2016, 02:06:53 am »

Did we really enter an internal into the database?

mds32 likes to enter every single poll into the database, but I mean you literally added the MN-Breitbart/Gravis poll,so...

Which wasn't an internal...

Roll Eyes

I'm with him on this.  There are some bad polls out there, and polls with house effects, but the internals we get are so damn cherry-picked that there's almost no way to adjust for the way they skew averages.  Also, there's the nasty problem of credibly determining which public polls should be excluded.  Short of fraud, I say throw them all in and let things average out.  If they appear to skew one way, adjust for the house effect.  If they're crappy, consider them less the next time around.  But otherwise we get into subjective territory where crazy people start discounting CNN polls because THE MEDIA!11, etc.  Gravis is a pretty bad poll historically, and seems to have a GOP-leaning house effect, and I think it's better to adjust for that than throw them out selectively.

I think the argument might rather be that a poll conducted for Breitbart is basically an internal for the Trump campaign. Which isn't totally unreasonable.
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Gustaf
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*****
Posts: 29,357


Political Matrix
E: 0.39, S: -0.70

P P

« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2016, 04:04:19 am »

Did we really enter an internal into the database?

mds32 likes to enter every single poll into the database, but I mean you literally added the MN-Breitbart/Gravis poll,so...

Which wasn't an internal...

Roll Eyes

I'm with him on this.  There are some bad polls out there, and polls with house effects, but the internals we get are so damn cherry-picked that there's almost no way to adjust for the way they skew averages.  Also, there's the nasty problem of credibly determining which public polls should be excluded.  Short of fraud, I say throw them all in and let things average out.  If they appear to skew one way, adjust for the house effect.  If they're crappy, consider them less the next time around.  But otherwise we get into subjective territory where crazy people start discounting CNN polls because THE MEDIA!11, etc.  Gravis is a pretty bad poll historically, and seems to have a GOP-leaning house effect, and I think it's better to adjust for that than throw them out selectively.

I think the argument might rather be that a poll conducted for Breitbart is basically an internal for the Trump campaign. Which isn't totally unreasonable.

exactamundo.

I know that's the argument, but I'm saying that the biggest problem with internal polls is not their bias, but rather that they are not always released (so you can't just adjust for a known house effect -- they cherrypick certain results to release) or are basically engineered to generate a specific result (so they can't be compared apples-to-apples).  Even for crappy, skewed polls like Gravis, those things aren't generally a problem.

You could argue that Gravis is doing one of those things -- presumably the latter -- and thus it's not sufficient to merely adjust for house effect, because they're actually changing their methodology from poll-to-poll in a way that defeats that adjustment.  But there isn't direct evidence of that.  And, in absence of direct evidence, you get to a place where you start having to make subjective calls based on the existence of conflicts of interest, etc.  That gets you into territory where you're having to explain why you do that with Gravis/Breitbart polls, but not CNN polls or Fox News polls.

Do I think it's relatively likely that Gravis/Breitbart polls are dubiously manipulated?  Yes.  Do I have any direct evidence they are?  Beyond a Republican house effect -- which happens with plenty of honest pollsters -- no...they mostly just seem crappy.  Can I say with high certainty that they probably are manipulated?  No.

And, in light of that, I'd rather throw them on the data poll (adjusting for R house effect, and down-weighting because Gravis sucks) than opening up Pandora's box.

That said, Gravis literally sends me spam emails I never opted into, so I'm not 100% convinced they're even a legitimate business enterprise, so...I feel ya on some level.

I feel like we're talking past each other. The poll is conducted for Breitbart. The founder of Breitbart is Trump's campaign manager. So one could argue that a poll conducted for Breitbart is a poll conducted for the Trump campaign and is an internal. Then all the arguments you brought would apply.
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