Horserace Blog gives the scoop on polls


Jay Cost's Horserace Blog has a fascinating review of the major polling companies and what each says publicly about the methodology used to select a sample and weight results.

Another issue that has come to my attention is the problem of methodological publicity. As a person involved in academia, I cannot tell you how important it is for academics to make their methods available to the public at large. Most academic articles go to great lengths to explain their method before they actually provide you their results. The reason for this is that method matters. Unfortunately, a surprising number of polling firms do not make their methods available.

In addition to my own snooping on the internet, this evening I found an article written by incredible DJ Drummond that gives a superb summary of the methods and openness of each of the major polling firms in this election. I have relied on him for much of this piece. I believe many of these results will surprise you.

Cost summarizes Drummond's findings (click that link for Drummond's detailed and link-rich discussion of the major polling firms) and adds his own perspective. He considers Time, Battleground, and Gallup to be the only reliable polls -- the others weight too heavily toward Democrats or use questionable methodology.

Of course, polls can't tell you who really will turn out on election day, and in a close race it comes down to which side does a better job of getting their voters to the polls. That's why your involvement in Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts are crucial. In the Tulsa area, you can stop by Coburn for Senate HQ at 61st and Memorial (between Jason's Deli and Atlantic Sea Grill), the Republican election office at 52nd and Harvard (in front of Mardel's), at the Republican County Headquarters at 15th and Denver, and at 2191 E. Kenosha in Broken Arrow (on 71st west of 193rd East Ave aka County Line Road). They'll be calling through this evening and tomorrow, and tomorrow at 9, they'll be sending out precinct walkers from the 52nd and Harvard location. There will be more going on Monday and Tuesday until the polls close.

It will take a lot of volunteers to counteract all the paid workers the Democrats are using. This is a crucial election, especially for U. S. Senate and state legislature, so jettison your plans and make yourself available to help. It matters.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 29, 2004 5:22 PM.

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