Monday, September 22, 2008

Uh, No.

Really, the media should try and pay some attention to what they write. From US News: Barack Obama Could Lose Six Percentage Points on Election Day for Being Black

Uh, no. See, the thing is, we only do the election thing once. Barack Obama (or anyone else for that matter) is got "given" a "normal vote" which he can either win or lose.

Now, if you want to say the polling may be more inaccurate as a predictor as some people are inflating Obama's numbers because they are afraid of being thought a "racist" if they say they support someone else...well then you may have something. But Obama has no moral claim to a percentage of the vote based upon polling data.

Now, the notion that is somehow "racist" to support McCain has been a prominently consistent theme of both the Obama campaign and the media so they really have only themselves to blame if people are lying to pollsters.

2 comments:

g. stelzer said...

Regarding skewing/inflation of pre-election polling, I've heard an extension of this thinking to exit poll data.

Those choosing Obama are connecting to him because of persona and public image and are in essence making a choice to be part of a public movement, bigger than themselves.

On the other hand, the non-Obama voters are making their choice based on an evaluation of what this candidate would or would not do to/for him. That's a much more personal choice.

When it comes to election day, the Obama supporters are much more likely to wear their choice on their sleeve, and thus more comfortable sharing their voting choice with an exit pollster. Non-Obama voters would/will be disinclined to expose their private personal choice, brushing off the request for how they voted.

Thus the exit polls are self-selecting to Obama and will skew the results in the O's direction.

As a consequence, once more, the Republicans will "steal" the election; how could all the polls possibly be wrong? Damn repugnantcan cheaters.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

Yeah, I can hear the whinging already.

You also have to factor in that they usually hire a bunch of college kids to do those exit polls, and it wont matter how hard you try to train them...they will not do it correctly. Sheesh, I cannot get them to use APSA citation properly, and its damn near idiot proof.

On the other side, however, the exit polls conducted by guys will probably be an infallible guide to the "cute young woman vote."

Highly prized that is.