It’s a Myth, Y’all

Except for that fact that, you know, it’s not.

For those who don’t want to follow the link, CNN poll conducted 10/11-10/14 shows McCain leading Obama among likely voters by 51-45 with Bob Barr getting 4% of the vote. I am also told that in 2004, approximately 50,000 Georgians submitted voter registrations on the last day to register and that this year it may have been closer to 70,000. Additionally, registration compared to 2004 began surpassing the prior level in early August and maintained a significant advantage throughout September when compared to the similar period four years earlier. But hey, it’s a myth, y’all.

43 comments

  1. Game Fan says:

    There’s such a conflagration of rules, Federal laws, and Judicial precedents, it’s ridiculous. Can someone please tell me for example when the cutoff date is for registering to vote by state? This should be relatively simple.

  2. rugby fan says:

    You got a link Bill?

    How about this in the meantime: you tell me what factors suggest to you that Obama won’t win in a landslide. I’ll let you start with the biggest GOP cheerleader Erick Erickson already conceding defeat.

    Go!

  3. Bill Simon says:

    Rugby,

    It’s hard to link a verbal comment made on a program.

    But, I know…ye of the “new generation” thinks things exist only if they are online.

  4. Doug Deal says:

    Bill,

    Do you mean that the percentage of Democrats in the poll is 10 units higher than the percentage of Republicans (in which case you are right)?

    Here is a quick article trgarding balance which juve with your numbers.

    http://www.pollster.com/blogs/partisan_variation_in_2007_pol.php

    As someone who was educated in math, science in engineering, “balancing” polls is a whole lot of bunk in my opinion. Anything that interjects the “scientist’s gut feeling” is worthless nonsense.

    Think of it this way. I want to do a poll of people and ask them who should get paid more, men or women. I make the incorrect asumption (based on my own gut feeling) that women are 75 percent of the population, so I tailor the poll so that the results of women are weighted to 75%, and men at 25%. Suddenly, I am shocked that 75% of the population thinks women should have larger pay checks.

    It is the same for “partisan balance”. The fact that you vote Republican makes you a Republican, and the same is true for Democrats. In modern presidential races, people vote Republican much more then Democrat, yet the number of Democrats have been reported to be about 8-12 percent higher in that time. This assumption requires that Republicans win nearly all Independents year in and year out, or that people calling themselves Democrats are regularly voting Republican. If they vote Republican regularly, they were never Democrats in the first place.

    In any event, polls are notoriously inaccurate for close races and only seem to work because there are so many of them, people can always find one that was close so they can ignore the tens of failures that were way off.

    With a MOE at around 3-4 percent, thats a 6-8% window to hit (3-4 on either side of the midpoint), when there is really only about a 20 percent window that an election can turn out to be (60-40 to 40-60).

    That means that I can simply say the race will be 50-50 and claim my poll is correct when it goes 54-46 one way ot 46-54 the other. Both “landslides” in opposite directions.

  5. kcordell says:

    GF: the date here in Hall County was Monday Oct. 06. I don’t know if that’s a state law or local.

  6. Bill Simon says:

    Doug,

    Yes, that is exactly what I meant. Some pollster actually admitted that he deliberately chose a 60-40 split of most likely Dems to most likely Repubs to draw his sample (as opposed to a 50-50 sample).

    He stated his reasoning was that he “thought” the Dems would be “more likely to turnout than the GOP” so he chose a sub-sample of the population in which to run the poll consisting of a larger percentage of most likely Dems than most likely Repubs.

    Thank you for clarifying, and illuminating the issue.

  7. rugby fan says:

    So Bill what you are saying is you have no proof for your particular claim.

    I ask for a link because I have no particular inclination to go to library to research a claim made in the comments section of a blog. So, if you could at least provide some context to your claim such as who said it and where, I would be appreciative.

    Unfortunately Doug, regarding this particular poll, the partisanship of those polled is irrelevant as (if I understand the methodology) CNN was only trying out to find the opinion of registered voters. Now, if we suppose that there is a +10% Dem advantage in this poll, you are suggesting that Barack Obama is going to do worse than John Kerry in Georgia, even though the latter never even lifted a finger in this state. If that gibes with your common sense then fine, but I think most would agree that is not likely to happen.

  8. Bill Simon says:

    Rugby,

    “So Bill what you are saying is you have no proof for your particular claim.”

    I don’t have a habit of making up sh*t in debates.

    Go fu*ck yourself. No..scratch that…go consume 4 ounces of Clorox bleach. Make sure you swallow it all, Rugby.

  9. Doug Deal says:

    rugby,

    I make no claim about how any final results will go in any state anywhere or at any time. I simply explained why polls are a joke.

    They might be able to tell you who is going to win in a blowout, but anything truly close and you might as well toss a coin.

    Daily variences due to weather, the lead story on the morning news in your area or the effect of heavy traffic during your commute probably has a greater varience in the polls from day to day than the polls margin of error.

  10. Bill Simon says:

    Doug,

    AND…additionally, the slanting of polls CAN be used to push public opinion in and of themselves.

    That is entirely possible. At least, it is a possibility to those of us who do not live with our heads firmly inserted in the rear-end of a donkey.

  11. rugby fan says:

    Bill you could establish credibility or not. You chose not to.

    Doug:

    What are you saying about polls and close races is less indicative of the weakness of polls and the nature of close races. Namely that they are coin tosses anyway.

    However, they are scientific at the end of the day and used because they do provide a certain amount of accuracy in predicting elections and they do accurately reflect current opinion on issues.

  12. Doug Deal says:

    rugby,

    My problem with polls is not that they cannot predict an outcome, it is just that the precision (a more technical term for what I mean than “accuracy”) of the polls is way overstated.

    People don’t realize that the margin of error applies to the individual results, not the spread. So, a poll is only outside the margin of error when the spread between the candidates is more than double the MOE.

    So, at 53-47 and a 4 point MOE, the following would all be correct:

    57-43 (+14), 49-51 (-2) and everything in between. Thats a 16 point difference in outcomes of the spread.

    Plus, the MOE is calculated as 19/20th (95% or two standard deviations) of the results will be inside the margin of error. That means in 20 polls one will be outside that margin of error.

  13. Jane says:

    In a stable community, polling can be very accurate. BUT, it is impossible to weight this years election correctly. McCain will win Georgia, but not by as much as Bush did. Saxby, I hope gets into a run-off so he can learn his lesson. I am voting for Buckley and Saxby in the Run-off.

    I thought Buckley died in the Megalomart explosion, but I guess I was wrong.

  14. Bill Simon says:

    Doug,

    But what about if you take the 1st Derivative of the Integral of MOE with the boundary limits of zero to infinity? Will that change the outcome at all? 😉

  15. Doug Deal says:

    Bill,

    Then you have a Sigma inversion where the transverse function intersects with negative space. Changing the polarity of the phase coupling and routing power through the deflector array should eliminate this plot device.

  16. Doug Deal says:

    Here is an interesting chart about the accuracy of the very last Gallop poll at predicting the outcome of the Presidential Election.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/9442/Election-Polls-Accuracy-Record-Presidential-Elections.aspx

    Keep in mind this is the very-very last poll, not three weeks out, and to account for the “deviation” add the two numbers for the R’s and D’s together. (To add them, remove the negative sign first).

    Except for 84, in recent elections, the Democrat has over performed expectations against the predicted spread by at least 2.5% and really at least 4% as an average.

    If you take Obama’s 2 point lead in the “traditional” tracking poll, that amounts to a 0.5 to 2%+ loss for Obama. If you take the 6% lead in the expanded (more favorable turnout assumptions for Obama) it becomes a 2% win.

    This is hardly “blowout” and “election over” type of numbers. It is, however, more evidence to my point that polls are useless when anything is close.

  17. rugby fan says:

    “If you take Obama’s 2 point lead in the “traditional” tracking poll, that amounts to a 0.5 to 2%+ loss for Obama. If you take the 6% lead in the expanded (more favorable turnout assumptions for Obama) it becomes a 2% win.

    This is hardly “blowout” and “election over” type of numbers. It is, however, more evidence to my point that polls are useless when anything is close.”

    Do you genuinely think this race is close anymore?

  18. Doug Deal says:

    I still give McCain close, (but not quite) even odds. If I haven’t been spending all my cash buying up falling stocks, I would try to get in on some Intrade action, which has McCain at $14 to win $100.

    I definitely do not think this is currently a blowout, although my prediction was that it would be a blowout one way or the other. With 2.5 weeks left, there is still too much that can happen, and the margin of error, even in a perfectly run poll, is high enough for me to say no one knows what will happen.

    As I showed earlier. Even two candidates with even support in the polls can end up in a landslide for either candidate and still be inside the margin of error. Add in uncertainty about voter turnout, weather, the top news stories on election day, and who knows how much further things can be wrong.

    My advice is that if you care about the outcome of this election, vote as if your vote will break a tie. If not, then stay home.

  19. rugby fan says:

    “even in a perfectly run poll, is high enough for me to say no one knows what will happen.”

    No one knows? Have you not paid attention to the disdain people view the GOP with? There are few, if any signs of down ballot success for the Republicans. Obama is doing exceedingly well in “Red States”. More people have registered as Democrats than Republicans. Top Republicans are admitting defeat.

    No one knows? Come on Doug, tell me you don’t really believe that.

  20. Bill Simon says:

    Rugby,

    Unfortunately for you and ACORN…it really doesn’t matter what the polls say.

    If the majority of Obama supporters are in blue states, then it doesn’t matter how many times over those people vote…Obama can only win a state once.

    So, if 20 gazillion Obama voters are in California, that really doesn’t affect us here in Georgia.

    So, try to talk it all down if you want to, Rugby…but…2 weeks is still a nice lonnnnng stretch in a presidential race.

    It ain’t over until you commie-bastards stuff the ballots where you can and your commie-pinko mainstream media broadcasters (See Blitzer, Wolf) declare the winner.

  21. bowersville says:

    Have you paid any attention to how much people disdain the lack of chivalry by a male Obama not saying a tee shirt with “Sarah Palin is a cunt” is bigotry?

    Have you paid attention to how many voters have a disdain for Obama/Biden running for the highest office in the land personally attacking a hard working American like Joe the plumber because Joe doesn’t support Obama’s spreading around the wealth plan?

    Obama in addressing Fox News coverage in the NY Times, “If I were watching Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me…Because the way I’m portrayed 24/7 is a freak! I am the latte sipping, NY York Times reading, Volvo driving, non gun owning effete, politically correct arrogant liberal. Who wants some one like that?”

    I agree with your self description Senator Obama and you are correct again, who would want someone like that?

    No, it’s not over because if it was, Obama wouldn’t have been in New Hampshire today.

  22. Doug Deal says:

    rugby,

    You are off your meds today. Most congressional seats are hopelessly uncompetetive, so the outcome is as close to certain as it gets for most races. At what point did I say that I was talking about Congressional races?

    However, if there was a Congressional race as close as 5 points, 3 weeks out the winner is unknowable.

  23. rugby fan says:

    The down ballot races are showing how difficult its going to be for the GOP this year. The NRSC basically conceded Louisiana earlier this week. They’ve pulled out of the open NM race. The NRCC is now only protecting incumbents.

    But I’ll tell you what, polls are not precise. So do you genuinely believe the GOP has a shot at taking back congress or retaining the White House this year? I seem to remember you saying earlier that they would.

  24. Doug Deal says:

    I have never claimed that. Do a search, and if I did, let me know so I can criticize myself as well.

    The Republicans could possible not lose any more House seats if everything over the last 3 weeks goes their way.

    Earlier this year, I said that the Republicans could limit the Democrats to around 53 seats as an upward bound and if I remember correctly thought they could win as many as 57. things have changed since then since the Republicans thought it was a good idea to sign on to a 700 Billion bailout.

    In any event, unless something remarkably drastic happens, the Democrats will have a 55+ seat majority in the Senate with a ceiling of 59 seats. And in the House, the Democrats will have at least 240 seats, with a top end somewhere around 255.

    I think it is useless to make predictions, however, as being right is nothinng more than luck.

  25. Bill Simon says:

    Rugby,

    Based on your writings, I doubt you could recognize a Communist if one was running for office. Which makes you more dangerous as a voter than an actual Communist.

  26. rugby fan says:

    But I don’t believe in abolishing private property or nationalizing means of production of government setting wages for everyone…you know, what Communism actually stands for.

    Oh wait, you are using it as a 60 year old invective. Ouch, that left a boo-boo Bill.

  27. rugby fan says:

    “The Republicans could possible not lose any more House seats if everything over the last 3 weeks goes their way. ”

    You mean if the market continues to tank and McCain continues to fail at convincing to get people to vote for him? Interesting theory Doug.

    Now as for looking up your comment, not only no but hell no. There are thousands of comments here.

    I distinctly remember you going off into the partisan deep end when you said that, because that was when I proposed we make our bet (which I agreed to) that the GOP would lose ground in in congress as well as losing the White House. And you said fine.

  28. Doug Deal says:

    rugby,

    I only proposed betting on McCain winning, and the offer was made when McCain was way down. Perhaps it is that faulty memory of yours which allows you to support the Democrats (and Free Shoes University) so vehemently?

  29. rugby fan says:

    No I remember you didn’t accept the bet (I never forget what I wager. Ever.) but you did say the Republicans would win Congress as well as the White House.

    Didn’t FSU look amazing last night? They annihilated the ranked powerhouse of NC State!

    ‘Noles are going all the way this year!

    Let’s talk about what really matters here Doug, college, f*cking, football!

  30. Doug Deal says:

    rugby,

    I looked myself for the post, and I have to be honest, I can’t find it either.

    Searching as many pages as I did, one thing is clear, the two of us need other hobbies than posting diatribes on PP. A search for Peach Pundit, Rugby and Doug turn up pretty much every page Peach Pundit has ever posted.

  31. My advice is that if you care about the outcome of this election, vote as if your vote will break a tie. If not, then stay home.

    No thanks. I’m going to vote as if my vote counted, and vote for the person I most agree with, and think would make the best president (or whatever office I’m voting on). I hope he wins, but that’s out of my hands. I’m voting my conscience, not some pragmatic BS (no offense).

Comments are closed.