Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wishful thinking on poll bias

Conservatives, perhaps hoping to keep the base involved despite polls showing a growing Obama lead, are claiming that polls are systematically biased in how they choose their samples.  They say the pollsters are counting too many Democratic voters, so of course their numbers will show an Obama lead.  Party identification numbers which differ from similar numbers last time around are the source of the erzatz margin.  A site called removes the supposed bias by assuming a return to '08 party identification proportions.

This is not at all standard practice for polling.  While they correct for things like age, gender and ethnicity, they make no effort to correct for party identification, allowing the interviewees themselves to determine the mix.  Nate Silver at takes a look at the performance of polls in past elections and finds that this practice has historically resulted in predictions without partisan bias.

1 comment:

TableTopJoe said...

The thing about modern "conservatives" is that they live in their own little bubble. To modern "conservatives", cutting taxes increases government revenue, evolution is just a theory, rampant pollution does not have any negative effects on the environment, etc.

To them, Obama is the absolute worst president this nation has ever seen. In fact, he's so bad that most people would likely welcome a violent coup. To them, freedom means the ability to die young. But hey, at least your taxes are low.

To conservatives, Obama was illegitimate from day one because, somehow, America voted for something other than him when voting for "Obama" on election day.

When they lose in November, it will be because (take your pick)
1. Media Bias
2. Voter Fraud
3. Failure to properly "vet" him
4. Romney was insufficiently "conservative"
5. Obama "bought off" 1/2 of the country with free stuff
6. People feel too much white guilt to vote for Romney (see George Will today in WaPo)

Please note that I put the word "conservative" in quotes, as the modern Republican Party/FoxNews Inc. has nothing to do with classic conservatism. They are merely a mouthpiece for selfishness and denial.