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Wish My Team Were in the World Series "Outliers"

Topics: Outliers Feature

At TPMCafe discussion with David Moore, Scott Althaus looks at whether likely voter models captured the Bush "ground game" in 2004.

Gallup says 80% of Americans are aware of Colin Powell's endorsement, but only 12% are more likely to vote for Obama as a result.

Jon Cohen finds the Powell endorsement has a bigger impact with independents.

Gary Langer finds an Obama advantage in battleground states.

The UChannel shares a discussion on the reliability of state polling via YouTube.

Michael Barone considers the Bradley Effect and the problems of exit polls.

The Hill finds chatter about an "internal" Obama poll showing a closer race in Pennsylvania.

Politico finds Pennsylvania analysts and insiders who think the race is closer than the polls there suggest.

PPP profiles swing voters in North Carolina.

DJ Drummond finds that media pollsters have offices on the East Coast, concludes that all polls are therefore wrong (via Sullivan)

 

Comments

I experimented some more with Google Insights for Search's data regarding the the US presidential campaign. I took a 3-day time span's interest in the candidates and split it out by state and by a small number of top cities where Google-activity was the highest. Very interesting stuff! See it at my Word Face-Off blog.

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Jed:

Politico finds Pennsylvania analysts and insiders who think the race is closer than the polls there suggest.

Interesting. That article quotes various people as saying that polls taken even a few days before an election in Pennsylvania tend in general to be wildly inaccurate.

If that's true, it makes me curious: what about Pennsylvania and the polling there results in such big inaccuracies?

Or is the idea that the polls are accurate but Pennsylvanians tend to change their minds en masse at the very last minute?

...I'm not being sarcastic or snide here; I'm honestly curious about what might cause the effect described in the article (assuming it's real).

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THX1138:

Good HILL and POLITICO articles saying Pennsylvania is closer than all think - this is terrifying if true!

Pollster.com, what sayest thou??

You've got PA for Obama 52.8 to Mc 39.5 - 13.3 points!

And 538.com is calling PA with 98% odds for an Obama win.
Do you think it's closer than this??

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Blarghman:

"There’s a tendency in Pennsylvania for the polls to change dramatically in the final days"

But is there?
If we assume undecided's split 50-50 (a dangerous assumption), here are the RCP (I can't find any data on pollster for previous elections) averages for the three most recent high-profile Pennsylvania races, compared with the final margin.

2004 Presidential

Kerry
RCP: 50.47%
Result: 50.92 %
Diff: +0.45%

Bush
RCP: 49.53%
Result: 48.42%
Diff: -1.11%

2006 Governor
Rendell
RCP: 61.62%
Result: 60.35%
Diff: +1.27%

Swann
RCP: 38.38%
Result: 39.65%
Diff: +1.27%

2006 Senate
Casey
RCP: 56.18%
Result: 59.49%
Diff: +3.32%

Santorum
RCP: 43.82%
Result: 41.92%
Diff: -1.90%

These polls cover a period which is basically the next week, but looking at the RCP averages, I can't see any really large shifts leading into the final week, certainly none on a double-digit change level. There was some movement away from Kerry in the final days of Pennsylvania 2004, but this was Kerry +3 or +4 down to +1, not +13 down to +1 like McCain would need.

This sounds to me like an attempt by both sides to keep their people working, rather than a clear statistical trend. Any shift towards McCain in Pennsylvania would likely be matched with an uptick in the national numbers, in my mind.


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