Demystifying the polls


Karol calls attention to The Horserace Blog, a great blog focusing on polls, and analyzing what they really mean, with a lot of information about how the different polling organizations do their work and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Jay Cost, the author of the site, is looking for about 45 people to watch and help analyze county-by-county results in battleground states as they come in. He points to the Florida situation in 2000 as an example:

In 2000, I attended an election party at my alma mater. My friend -- who, at our conservative newspaper, went by the name "Hawk" -- and I (and a few others) were keeping tabs on the vote totals in Florida. I gave up on this after the MSM called the state for Gore. But Hawk tenaciously kept his eyes on the county-by-county returns. While I was busy formulating a contingency strategy for Dubya to get to 270 ("if he wins IA, WV, TN, AR and WI..."), Hawk kept telling me, in his wonderfully understated southern drawl, "I don't know, Cost. I think they called Florida wrong!" I told him he was crazy, but sure enough...they called it back. Hawk was ahead of the curve by about 2 hours because he kept his eyes on the vote totals and knew what to expect in every county.

He lists a number of requirements to make this effort work. It looks pretty interesting, and I think his site will be worth watching on election night.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 28, 2004 12:38 AM.

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