Thursday, October 19, 2006

Polling "Results"

Scott Ellison at Election Projections and C.H. Truth at Coldheartedtruth have independently come to similiar conclusions. Some of the polling this cycle seems to have a Zogbyish odor.

I'd love to use only polls that I "feel comfortable" with but I know that doing so means being unwilling to face unpleasant truths (bye, bye Rick and Mike and Lincoln and maybe Conrad - I'll miss you, Rick). Nevertheless, Scott Ellison did a great job in calling races in '04 and if he is offended by the odor of Constituent Dynamics (shows as RT Strategies/CD at Real Clear Politics) then I'll be looking at their polling with a higher degree of suspicion.

I wonder if Zogby will get a little of their reputation back with this cycle? In order to so they are going to have to be scrupulously fair in their next round - this one appears to be loaded on the Rep side.

I have a question concerning sample size - the '02 turnout rate was 40% of the Voting Age Population. If you are searching for 500 people to survey who are truly likely to vote, how large should your initial random sample group be? It seems like the answer should be 1200 but no one uses a VAP group that large to begin with according to crosstabs. How do you get 450-500 LVs out of a sample of 800 VAP? Magic sauce?

UPDATE: Rasmussen has Tester closing to down 3 compared to down 6,7 and 9 in previous polls. Anomaly? Or perhaps some of the Republican electorate don't cotton to the sound of "Majority Leader Reid". That's a song that Republicans in Missouri and Tennessee will soon be learning to sing. It creates an interesting dynamic.


loner said...

Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.

So what do we do?


Strangely enough, it all turns out well.


I don't know. It's a mystery.

It wasn't Saving Private Ryan, but it was pure joy.

Strangely enough it does seem like about two years since I looked in on Scott Elliot's oh-so-familiar (in bygone times) excercise in crunching numbers and coloring maps. That tidbit about Ruffini sending him an e-mail is the proverbial cherry.

My only comment on polling is that it's what we have to work with and like everything that television (media) touches it's been reduced to the common rubble of banality. Public polling on House races? What will they think of next.

truepeers said...

You can be sure everyone is trying to manipulate the polls, right down to the people answering the questions. The only answer is to get out the vote. Put everything else aside, and help get out the vote.

loner said...


Naturally, I forgot to mention in the midst of quoting movies that the link to both Election Projections and C.H. Truth points to


Rick Ballard said...

Thanks. Fixed.

When have politics ever been less banal? It's always been 'find the LCD and first to the bottom wins' as far as I can tell. How would it be otherwise given universal suffrage?

Luther said...

Interesting comment at 7:02 Rick. I know there is irony and humor there, more than I get I'm sure, but I see an interesting post should you expound.

Unknown said...

Yes banal is the word isn't it?

What exactly is a Zogbyish odor?

Rick Ballard said...

Think mutton gone bad.

Unknown said...


loner said...


Once upon a time, a time which most of those who hang out here and haven't only recently become politically aware can remember, the major party conventions were about many things besides how the party looked and sounded on television. It's that type of reduction to banality to which I refer. The public polls are mostly garbage, but they do provide the increasingly dominant component of campaign discussion—the state of the horse race.


Syl said...

I watched Cook last night on CSPan, speaking to AEI with Daschle (remember him? Actually I much prefer Daschle to Reid.)on CSPAN.

Cook says the polls in general skew towards Dems by about 5 points and when you subtract that out, it's still--at this point in time--good for the Dems. And then he went on to show how the polling has gone throughout the year and why if the election were held today, the Dems could pick up 20-35 seats.

It was interesting. Lots of questions from eager, young, dem activists.

It really is going to be a matter of who gets more to the polls. I hope.

BTW, one kid said she'd heard rumors that the voting machines were already fixed in several states. LOL Cook told her that's just sore loser stuff. America is not rife with voter corruption, though both parties accuse the other of it consistently.

Rick Ballard said...

"BTW, one kid said she'd heard rumors that the voting machines were already fixed in several states."

What a vicious lie. "Two" is not "a few" and neither is "more than ten". What calumny.