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Rasmussen Polls Were Biased and Inaccurate; Quinnipiac, SurveyUSA Performed Strongly
New York Times ^ | 11/05/2010 | Nate Silver

Posted on 11/05/2010 10:45:22 AM PDT by WebFocus

Every election cycle has its winners and losers: not just the among the candidates, but also the pollsters.

On Tuesday, polls conducted by the firm Rasmussen Reports — which released more than 100 surveys in the final three weeks of the campaign, including some commissioned under a subsidiary on behalf of Fox News — badly missed the margin in many states, and also exhibited a considerable bias toward Republican candidates.

Other polling firms, like SurveyUSA and Quinnipiac University, produced more reliable results in Senate and gubernatorial races. A firm that conducts surveys by Internet, YouGov, also performed relatively well.

What follows is a preliminary analysis of polls released to the public in the final 21 days of the campaign. Our process here is quite simple: we’ve taken all such polls in our database, and assessed how accurate they were, on average, in predicting the margin separating the two leading candidates in each race. For instance, a poll that had the Democrat winning by 2 percentage points in a race where the Republican actually won by 4 would have an error of 6 points.

We’ve also assessed whether a company’s polls consistently missed in either a Democratic or Republican direction — that is, whether they were biased. The hypothetical poll I just described would have had a 6 point Democratic bias, for instance.

The analysis covers all polls issued by firms in the final three weeks of the campaign, even if a company surveyed a particular state multiple times. In our view, this provides for a more comprehensive analysis than focusing solely on a firm’s final poll in each state, since polling has a tendency to converge in the final days of the campaign, perhaps because some firms fear that their results are an outlier and adjust them accordingly.

(Excerpt) Read more at fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: polls; quinnipiac; rasmussen; surveyusa
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1 posted on 11/05/2010 10:45:25 AM PDT by WebFocus
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To: WebFocus

2 posted on 11/05/2010 10:46:11 AM PDT by WebFocus
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To: WebFocus

Yet if the drivebys like the New York Times were to be believed from their pre-election ‘reporting’, the Republicans just won 100 seats in the House.

I find it absolutely stunning that this article implies a Republican bias in polling.


3 posted on 11/05/2010 10:49:36 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg ("I'd rather lose fighting for the right cause than win fighting for the wrong cause." - Jim DeMint)
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To: WebFocus

How do you accurately poll vote fraud?


4 posted on 11/05/2010 10:50:32 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (Good riddance to bad trash-Patrick Murphy is gone!)
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To: WebFocus

Nothing more than a hit piece of Rasmussen and Fox News. Nothing to see here. Move along.


5 posted on 11/05/2010 10:50:44 AM PDT by Road Warrior 04 (I miss President Bush greatly! Palin in 2012! 2012 - The End Of An Error! (Oathkeeper))
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To: WebFocus

One cannot factor fraud!!


6 posted on 11/05/2010 10:51:11 AM PDT by sodpoodle (Despair; man's surrender. Laughter; God's redemption.)
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To: WebFocus

Yeah, they had such a good rep too.

And the Gallup enthusiasm gap was way, way off.


7 posted on 11/05/2010 10:51:31 AM PDT by mrsmith
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To: Colonel_Flagg

Then-it looks like- they give you a graphic showing the opposite


8 posted on 11/05/2010 10:51:34 AM PDT by SMARTY ("..discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you")
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To: WebFocus

This is just more reinforcement of the old saying that “figures don’t lie but liars sure can figure”!


9 posted on 11/05/2010 10:53:15 AM PDT by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: Colonel_Flagg

Knowing the way some of those devious bastards work. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pad the Republican numbers, just to give them a false sense of security so the wouldn’t vote.


10 posted on 11/05/2010 10:54:31 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: WebFocus

Would also be interesting to see how accurate the polls taken across the course of the campaign season proved to be. Sometimes pollsters know they are oversampling one party or the other, but correct it at the last minute so that studies like this one don’t expose them.


11 posted on 11/05/2010 10:55:32 AM PDT by babble-on
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To: WebFocus

lol....a rat wing hit piece on Rasmussen by the NYSlimes...

nowhere in the article or their calculations does it seem they take into account if the pollster correctly called the winner of the election- just the moe...

if PPP called the ohio govenor race for Strickland by +2 they come away with a score for this table of -4...

if Rassmussen called the race for Kasich by +7 he comes away from with a score of -5....

Kasich won by +2


12 posted on 11/05/2010 10:55:50 AM PDT by God luvs America (When the silent majority speaks the earth trembles!)
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie

The only poll that counts was the final vote results.


13 posted on 11/05/2010 10:56:34 AM PDT by Mouton
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To: WebFocus
rasmussen cost me A LOT of money this election.

I lost tons on the senate races and associated bets. I still can't believe we managed to lose wash, Nevada, west virgina, AND Colorado!

you'd think we would of won at least ONE of those based on Ras pre-election polling.

14 posted on 11/05/2010 11:00:28 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama = Epic Fail)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Did you look into the INTRADE website, where people bet on the elections with REAL MONEY?


15 posted on 11/05/2010 11:03:12 AM PDT by WebFocus
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To: WebFocus

I don’t think people in glass houses should be throwing stones, as Nate Silver is here. His predictions were pretty off. He had a 2.9% bias in favor of House Democrats in his predictions.


16 posted on 11/05/2010 11:04:26 AM PDT by Chet 99
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To: WebFocus

The Times is always biased and inaccurate, what of it?


17 posted on 11/05/2010 11:05:32 AM PDT by edge10 (Obama lied, babies died!)
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To: God luvs America

Overstating a candidate’s numbers, even if the outcome is called correctly, is still biased polling. In 1996, the pollsters correctly predicted Clinton would win — but many were wildly off (in Clinton’s favor) on his margin.


18 posted on 11/05/2010 11:06:59 AM PDT by Chet 99
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To: WebFocus
Did you look into the INTRADE website, where people bet on the elections with REAL MONEY?

People who look to Intrade for insight are idiotic.

19 posted on 11/05/2010 11:07:11 AM PDT by Crichton
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To: TexasFreeper2009
rasmussen cost me A LOT of money this election.

Not trying to be a smartass, but did Rasmussen cost you a lot of money, or did you cost you a lot of money? Granted, it's possible that Scott Rasmussen held a gun to your head and forced you gamble. Just saying.

20 posted on 11/05/2010 11:08:17 AM PDT by GOPyouth ("We're buying shrimp, guys. Come on." - Dear Leader)
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