Saturday, November 1, 2008

Polls: Accurate or Lies

The talk of the blogs is the polls. Most polls show Obama is winning this election handily. Yet there is a persistent background claim that the polls are wrong. Many folks believe to things: 1. The polls over poll the Democrats and 2. The polls are designed to suppress the Republican vote. The reality is that the polls are ineffective this year. No one knows how to poll the election. There are factors that simply can not be factored in with any type of accuracy.

First the pollsters are using a mix of 2006 election results, 2008 primary results, and voter registration. There is a problem with this philosophy. First, this is 2008 not 2006. Republicans and Democrats alike were against a failing war in Iraq in 2006. The Iraq war has very little if any influence on this election. Iraq has turned a corner and is on the path of of a positive. 2006 was also a year of Republican scandals. 2008 is turning into a year of Democratic scandals. We still have Jefferson indicted on bribery charges, Mahoney on charges of sexual improprieties, Rangel not paying taxes, Murtha calling his constituents racist, and other scandals. Second, the only race in the primaries that was competitive was on the Democratic side. Many people registered as Democrats just to be able to vote in the Democratic primary. Many of these people were lifelong Republicans that desired a say in who the Democratic nominee was going to be in 2008. Many of these primary voters will return home. Voter registration did have more democrats. The problem is that the new people signed up are historically not likely to show up on election day. This race has dragged on and many of the enthusiastic new voters have now turned the Tv's off and have tired of the campaign.

There is also no way of really calculating the Bradley effect. Many believe the Bradley effect is a myth. Most pundits say it is racist motivations and we are post racial as a country. This may or not be a myth. However, it is not racial in nature. People do not wish to be labeled a racist so they will not tell their true intentions. It is my belief that many people will tell the pollsters what they believe the pollsters want them to say. Obama has been pushed as a media darling. Race baiting has been a campaign tactic for Obama. Many people do not want to be labeled racist so they will say they are voting for Obama when in reality they will vote for McCain.

The effect of PUMA's will also play a significant role in this election. Many PUMA's have been instructed o say they are voting for Obama even though they will not be voting him on election day. Hillary supporters have been vocal but silenced by the media. Some pollsters are saying Obama gains 90% of the Democratic vote. Yet internals say 20% or more of Hillary supporters refuse to tow the party line. This says that Obama is probably gaining 85% of Democrat support at most. Yet it could in reality be less than 80% of Democratic support. The PUMA vote could yet turn this election.

The bottom line is that the Polls are in all likelihood not accurate. There are too many unknowns. The polls are designed to suppress Republican vote. The GOP internals show a much different story. Obama has invested heavily in Pennsylvania yet polls show him up double digits. Obama campaigned just yesterday in Iowa yet polls show him up double digits. Obama has been on the air in New Jersey heavily yet McCain barely stepped foot in the State. McCain has invested heavily in Ohio but very little in other Red States. Virginia supposedly is leaning Obama. Obama has been in this state all Fall yet McCain has barely been there. Obama has been in Florida almost extensively. Yet McCain has dedicated very little time to this all important state. Obama has been all over North Carolina while McCain camped out in Pennsylvania. This should tell people one of two things is happening.

Either McCain does not want to win or Obama is in trouble. McCain could have lost Iowa and New Mexico and still won the election. If McCain was in some trouble in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia, he would have been through there more and campaigned there more just to ensure he held those all important States. McCain does not require turning any of the Kerry States. Obama needs turn turn at least three unless he turns on of the big states. The polls tell me it may be a long night for McCain but the campaigns tell me it may be a long night for Obama.

1 comment:

Kibby said...

Bottom line -

Watch what they do - not what they say. I've believed all along that McCain was winning this thing based mostly on what Obama is doing.

Who spends 4 million dollars on a prime time infomercial on 3 major networks when they are "winning"?