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Dog Days "Outliers"


Justin Wolfers (subs. only) trusts political markets more than polls, Bob Erikson bets he's wrong, John Sides has all the links.

Jon Cohen sees a gap between high interest in the election and low information about the candidates.

Frank Newport finds that more "important" religion is to the voter, the more likely they are to favor McCain

Kathy Frankovic warns against putting too much faith in "early and incomplete" exit poll results.

Nate Silver sees a very strong correlation between the national popular vote and his electoral college projections.

Julie Rehmeyer of ScienceNews profiles Nate Silver.

Ronald Hansen, of the Arizona Republic, reviews the challenges facing pollsters.

A pollster friendly anti-"push poll" bill passes the Louisiana House and Senate.

Inside Higher Ed looks at the perils of private polls conducted by academic survey centers.

Jon Chait notices that 1% of Americans in the Pew poll think Barack Obama is Jewish (via Smith, Sullivan).

And finally, a little off-topic, kiwitobes posts an amazing video map depicting the growth of Walmart since 1962 (via FlowingData).

 

Comments
richard pollara:

Although I think the underlying assumptions of polling are fatally flawed arguments can be made that they are predictive. What are the arguments for political markets such as In-trade? At their essence they are a group of people (bettors) trying to predict what other people will do. In order to make their predictions they rely on polling, the media and their sense of trends to make bets. They get taken more seriously because, unlike other prognosticators, they have put their money where their mouth is. But does this really mean anything? Did the 12 point spread in this years Super Bowl assure the Patriots a win?

Just before the Texas Primary, In-Trade had Obama an almost 4-1 favorite. I wrote on Pollster that it was the bet of the Century. Where else could you get 4-1 odds for a toss-up? Bettors are subject to the same forces as everyone else. See a long line and get in it. So despite what Chris Mathews has said about the "smart money" the only smart bets are the ones not placed.

As to who you trust more the pollsters or the bettors, it is like choosing between the Palm Reader and the Horoscope. I like the Palm Reader. It seems more personal.

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