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Author Topic: Question about the polls-Is this right?
Rob8305
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posted 23 October 2004 01:51 AM      Profile for Rob8305     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've looked at the latest polls today

TIME-Bush 51/Kerry 46
ABC- Bush 50/Kerry 46
TIPP-Bush 47-Kerry 46
Rasmussen-Bush-49/Kerry 46
Zogby-Bush 47/Kerry 45

OK. Now, let's fast forward to next weekend. Even doomed challengers always rally in the final days (except Mondale) so am I right that all Kerry needs to do to close the gap is gain 2, just 2 percentage points and this race will be even again? Shouldn't that be relatively easy to do?

And, when you factor in the undecideds, Kerry being behind by only 5 points might be good news for him right because the lead is so small that his late surge will erase Bush's lead.

Does my logic make sense? Also, does a candiate always have a final surge. As far as I can recall, Bush 41, Gore, Dukasis and Reagan all did.

Your thoughts? Basically, another thing I'm asking is being behind 5 points isn't really that bad is it? Or is that actually a big lead? To me all it means is that a 2 percentage point swing turns things around. Is there a flaw there?


From: Montrose | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 23 October 2004 02:04 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
First of all you forgot two other polls just out

Ipsos Reid - Kerry 49% Bush 46%
Democracy Corps - Kerry 49% Bush 47%

In 2000, 43 polls came out in the final week of the campaign and 39 of them had Bush ahead. Gore ended up winning the popular vote by half a percent. Here in Canada we all remember how much the Conservatives underperformed on E-day. In the US, people who make up their minds on Election Day consistently tend to go towards challengers. We don't seem to have that pattern in canada though.

Kerry is gaining ground in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, so I rate the whole thing as a tossup.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Albireo
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posted 23 October 2004 02:25 AM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You do have to look state by state.

Like here.

Or here.

Or here.

In recent U.S. electoral history, undecideds tend to break for the challenger by a 2-1 margin over the incumbent. With that in mind, you get a final result like this. Currently, that is a Kerry win, but not by a big enough margin to nullify something like, say, cheating in Florida.

But there is still room for hope that the worst President in U.S. history will be replaced by somebody at least somewhat less bad.


From: --> . <-- | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
fuslim
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posted 23 October 2004 03:11 AM      Profile for fuslim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Polling has always been an art, not a science.

These days it is probably even more difficult than it has been in the past.

People are 'poll smart' now, by which I mean they tend to gauge their response to a question based on a variety of factors.

Also should be noted that the best pollsters always say there is a margin of error of x percentage, x times out of y.

I believe these poll results are within the margin of error.

The other unknown is how many people will actually vote.

It's one thing for someone to say they will vote, and say they will vote a particular way.

It's another thing to actually get them to the voting booth.

You can bet both parties are gonna be spending an enormous amount of effort identifying their supporters and getting them to the polls.

In the end, the result may be determined by who does that best.


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 23 October 2004 09:00 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's hard to say. Some believe that Democractic turnout efforts, undersampling in the likely voter pool, and cell phone users is worth 2% or more. Throw in the undecided who usually break in the neighborhood of 2-1 against the challenger, and you probably get another two percent. I'm not sure. All I know is that, like last time, the race is close in enough states that it's impossible to predict with any confidence at this point. Kerry appears to be doing better in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, but he's doing worse in Iowa, and states like Nevada and Colorado appear to be joining Missouri and West Virginia as falling out of reach. And, of course, Florida is as close as ever.

And for anyone wanting to follow the state-by-state polls, I highly recommend one of the links posted by Albiero:

http://2.004k.com/latest/

[ 23 October 2004: Message edited by: josh ]


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Left Turn
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posted 24 October 2004 02:40 AM      Profile for Left Turn        Edit/Delete Post
This race is going to come down to 10 "swing" states that are still in play. In these 10 states there's only a 1 point difference between Bush and Kerry. The other 42 states are either solidly Reublican or Solidly Democrat. The ability of Bush and Kerry to appeal to voters in these "swing" states will dtermine the outcome of the election.

It is unlikely that further polls will see support in these swing states go one way or the other. In all of the 10 swing states the percentage of undecided voters is higher than the difference in support between Bush and Kerry. There is speculation that these undecided voters that have not made up their mind by now will not make up their mind befor voting day. Thus it is probable that the polls have told us everything they are going to.

Election night is going to be a real nail-biter.


From: BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 24 October 2004 02:54 AM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I suspect Kerry can pull this off. Many of the polls are flawed, in that they fail to fully take into account the phenomena of voters with cellphones, and some (such as Gallup) have skewed their likely voters in favour of Republicans.
From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
fuslim
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posted 24 October 2004 04:25 AM      Profile for fuslim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The other thing they could do is just give each American a coin to flip.

Result would probably be the same.


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 24 October 2004 09:34 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Easy for someone who doesn't live here to say that.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 24 October 2004 09:36 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
josh, we're just as worried as you are. Seriously.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 24 October 2004 09:50 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh, I know that most are. But there are some here who subscribe to either "the worse the better" school of thought, or the "flip a coin" school of thought. While I understand, although don't agree, the argument that they don't differ all the much on foregin policy, when it comes to domestic policy it would be almost like saying that there's no difference between Layton and Harper.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 24 October 2004 09:58 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh, I think they differ on foreign policy. I don't belong to the blase school who think, eg, that there is anyone in the world equivalent to Dick Cheney.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jimmy Brogan
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posted 24 October 2004 10:33 AM      Profile for Jimmy Brogan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
LIke so many WP articles, the lead in this story is buried:

quote:
One Republican official described the mood at the top of the campaign as apprehensive. " 'Grim' is too strong," the official said. "If we feel this way a week from now, that will be grim."

quote:
GOP officials who talked to Bush-Cheney campaign leaders said the leaders have grown more worried about Ohio, Florida and other key states where Bush lacks a lead with just 10 days until the election. A poll by Ohio University's Scripps Survey Research Center, completed Thursday night, found Kerry leading 49 percent to 43 percent among registered voters, with a margin of error of five percentage points.

From: The right choice - Iggy Thumbscrews for Liberal leader | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 24 October 2004 10:43 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And, of course, the latest poll out of Florida has it, surprise!, tied, at 46-46:

http://www.sptimes.com/2004/10/24/Decision2004/Down_the_stretch__a_d.shtml


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 24 October 2004 11:49 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My American friend who lives here is predicting that the election result will not be officially announced on e-day, and that we will be going into litigation after that.

Another American friend who lives in DC is planning to buy a French flag and a UN flag and parade with them, whoever wins, at the Whitehouse the day after the election.

It would be fun to give out French flags and lead people in rousing renditions of La Marsellaise on Nov. 2. If I were rich, I would hire a full military band, followed by a frenzied, French-flag waving crowd, and have them play around the city, at King and Bay, and various other key spots, culminating in three consecutive full renditions in front of the US consulate.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 24 October 2004 12:39 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm game.

You organize; I'll show up. And I sing. You won't like it, but I sing.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 24 October 2004 01:45 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Dammit, where's Serge Gainsbourg when you need him.

(OK, I know the actual answer to that - but still)


From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged

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