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Quinnipiac Pollster Admits: ‘Probably Unlikely’ That Electorate Will Feature Massive Dem Skew
NewsBusters ^ | 9-26-2012 | Matthew Sheffield

Posted on 09/26/2012 12:18:38 PM PDT by smoothsailing

September 26, 2012

Quinnipiac Pollster Admits: ‘Probably Unlikely’ That Electorate Will Feature Massive Dem Skew

Matthew Sheffield

With no manufactured outrage to hammer Mitt Romney at the moment, liberal journalists are now eagerly touting a series of polls which appear to show President Obama pulling away from the GOP nominee in several key states.

Unfortunately, these polls are relying on sample sizes which are skewed tremendously leftward with far more Democrats than Republicans and as such, they are unlikely to be good predictors of actual Election Day turnout. Do the pollsters themselves actually believe in their own sample sizes though? At least one appears not to.

Interviewed last month by conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt, Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac polling operation was particularly squeamish about sampling under tough questioning from Hewitt about a poll which Quinnipiac had released showing Democrats with a 9 percentage point advantage in the state of Florida.

In the conversation, Brown defended Quinnipiac’s sampling techniques but admitted that he did not believe that Democrats would outnumber Republicans to that degree in Florida come November. Pressed by Hewitt, the pollster said he believed that was a “probably unlikely” scenario. Instead, Brown kept saying that he thought his poll was an accurate snapshot of reality at the time.

“What I believe is what we found,” he insisted while also touting his organization's record of polls closer to actual elections.

Unfortunately, this cavalier attitude toward accuracy is actually widespread throughout the entire polling industry. As NewsBusters noted in June, exit polls, which rely on far larger sample sizes than those conducted by Quinnipiac and others have long been known to oversample Democrats, sometimes even drastically. Sadly, the awful record that many pollsters have is something that most people barely know anything about. As such, it is one of the media’s “dirty little secrets” since Americans certainly won’t hear about it from the press.

Despite not believing that Democrats would have a 9-point advantage, Brown defended his organization, claiming that he and his colleagues were not intentionally trying to skew their sample size:

“We didn’t set out to oversample Democrats,” he protested. “We did our normal, random digit dial way of calling people. And there were, these are likely voters. They had to pass a screen.”

But what if that screen is simply not enough? The 2012 presidential election is unlikely to have an electorate which is similar to the ones before it. In the 2008 election, young and black voters turned out in record numbers and voted in even higher percentages for Obama. As specific surveys of these two voter groups have shown, however, both are dispirited this time around and are less likely to turn out for Democrats.

This point is particularly crucial given that the electorates in the years following 2008 have been much more Republican skewed. It could be argued that these were off-year elections and thus less likely to have blue-collar and college kid Democrats turn out to vote but ultimately no one knows today what the party breakdown will be November 6.

That’s why it’d be best for pollsters like Peter Brown to double-check their work the way that Scott Rasmussen does against a running party ID poll, especially considering by Brown’s own admission that Quinnipiac’s process for determining who will actually vote is “not a particularly heavy screen.”

A partial transcript of this highly illuminative interview is provided below courtesy of Hewitt show. Please see this link for the complete discussion. (Hat tip to Da Tech Guy who has more on the sampling controversy.)

HUGH HEWITT: Why would guys run a poll with nine percent more Democrats than Republicans when that percentage advantage, I mean, if you’re trying to tell people how the state is going to go, I don’t think this is particularly helpful, because you’ve oversampled Democrats, right?

PETER BROWN: But we didn’t set out to oversample Democrats. We did our normal, random digit dial way of calling people. And there were, these are likely voters. They had to pass a screen. Because it’s a presidential year, it’s not a particularly heavy screen.

HEWITT: And so if, in fact, you had gotten a hundred Democrats out of a hundred respondents that answered, would you think that poll was reliable?

BROWN: Probably not at 100 out of 100.

HEWITT: Okay, so if it was 75 out of 100…

BROWN: Well, I mean…

HEWITT: I mean, when does it become unreliable? You know you’ve just put your foot on the slope, so I’m going to push you down it. When does it become unreliable?

BROWN: Like the Supreme Court and pornography, you know it when you see it.

HEWITT: Well, a lot of us look at a nine point advantage in Florida, and we say we know that to be the polling equivalent of pornography. Why am I wrong?

BROWN: Because what we found when we made the actual calls is this kind of party ID.

HEWITT: Do you expect Democrats, this is a different question, do you, Peter Brown, expect Democrats to have a nine point registration advantage when the polls close on November 6th in Florida?

BROWN: Well, first, you don’t mean registration.

HEWITT: I mean, yeah, turnout.

BROWN: Do I think…I think it is probably unlikely.

HEWITT: And so what value is this poll if in fact it doesn’t weight for the turnout that’s going to be approximated?

BROWN: Well, you’ll have to judge that. I mean, you know, our record is very good. You know, we do independent polling. We use random digit dial. We use human beings to make our calls. We call cell phones as well as land lines. We follow the protocol that is the professional standard.

HEWITT: As we say, that might be the case, but I don’t know it’s responsive to my question. My question is, should we trust this as an accurate predictor of what will happen? You’ve already told me there…

BROWN: It’s an accurate predictor of what would happen is the election were today.

HEWITT: But that’s, again, I don’t believe that, because today, Democrats wouldn’t turn out by a nine point advantage. I don’t think anyone believes today, if you held the election today, do you think Democrats would turn out nine percentage points higher than Republicans?

BROWN: If the election were today, yeah. What we found is obviously a large Democratic advantage.

HEWITT: I mean, you really think that’s true? I mean, as a professional, you believe that Democrats have a nine point turnout advantage in Florida?

BROWN: Our record has been very good. You know, Hugh, I…

HEWITT: That’s not responsive. It’s just a question. Do you personally, Peter, believe that Democrats enjoy a nine point turnout advantage right now?

BROWN: What I believe is what we found.



TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012polls; cuespookymusic; icecreammandrake; lovemycrackpipe; morethorazineplease; offmymeds; poll; poll2012; preciousbodilyfluids; purityofessence; quinnipiac; rubberroom; sapandimpurify; spottheloony; tinfoilhatalert
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1 posted on 09/26/2012 12:18:41 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

“Quinnipiac Pollster Admits: ‘Probably Unlikely’ That Electorate Will Feature Massive Dem Skew”

That’s right, jackwagon. Start walking that cart back to reality-ville.


2 posted on 09/26/2012 12:23:26 PM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: smoothsailing

“polling equivalent of pornography” - LOL!

For a Cleveland Browns fan Hewitt can be funny at times.


3 posted on 09/26/2012 12:26:12 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: smoothsailing

Why is newsbusters putting this out now? That interview is pretty old, I remember hearing it a day or two after it happened.


4 posted on 09/26/2012 12:26:38 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: VanDeKoik
“That’s right, jackwagon. Start walking that cart back to reality-ville.”

Quinnipiac University BS'ing in their polls for years.

5 posted on 09/26/2012 12:31:24 PM PDT by Red Steel
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Hey, my husband is a Browns fan and he is funny ALL the time!...


6 posted on 09/26/2012 12:33:18 PM PDT by Anti-Hillary (Barry, Barry quite contrary, how does your government grow?...)
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To: smoothsailing
Quinnipiac Pollster Admits: ‘Probably Unlikely’ That Electorate Will Feature Massive Dem Skew,

Gee, ya think?

It's kind of funny, the defense the guy offers is actually a good defense of the honesty of the poll if he's telling the truth, but it would also mean that it's an honest poll that has no connection to reality at all. The pool you called had more Democrats? Well great, but unless 9% more Dems show up on Nov 6 than Republicans, your poll means squat.

7 posted on 09/26/2012 12:34:10 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Reagan @ only 39/Mondale +5/Dukakis +17/McCain +3...panic is unwarranted. So is complacency.)
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To: VanDeKoik
HEWITT seemed to be asking that the numbers derived with a straight forward random sample poll BE CHANGED!!!!!

When you do that it's not a random sample poll anymore.

Do you seriously believe the polls should be weighted and adjusted ~ .......... ~ isn't the background complaint that the Democrats are weighting and adjusting the polls so they no longer reflect the reality?

Do you think you can have it both ways ~ pure random selection polls that are not weighted and adjusted unless they are weighted and adjusted!?

Recognize that in 2008 the Democrats turned out 15% more Democrat voters than the Republicans turned out Republican voters. 15% is a huge difference and Hewitt is quibbling over 9% ~ is he the source of this utterly confusing and baseless debate over oversampling (as some call it)

8 posted on 09/26/2012 12:40:48 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: smoothsailing

Peter Brown is the guy at Qunnipiac who is responsible for the most recent set of distorted polls.

peter.brown@quinnipiac.edu

Here are the rest of the gang. A bunch of liberal hacks.

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/staff

peter.brown@quinnipiac.edu

mickey.carroll@quinnipiac.edu

schwartz@quinnipiac.edu

timothy.malloy@quinnipiac.edu

april.radocchio@quinnipiac.edu

Michael Blair, manager of polling information and technology, michael.blair@quinnipiac.edu

Carmen Carranza, assistant manager of interviewer operations, carmen.carranza@quinnipiac.edu

Dorothy Donarum, manager of interviewer operations, dorothy.donarum@quinnipiac.edu

Ralph Hansen, manager of data analysis, ralph.hansen@quinnipiac.edu

Terri Vitelli, polling institute assistant, theresa.vitelli@quinnipiac.edu

Jonathan Wigglesworth, manager of CATI operations, jonathan.wigglesworth@quinnipiac.edu


9 posted on 09/26/2012 12:41:24 PM PDT by jimbo123
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To: SoFloFreeper
Why is newsbusters putting this out now? That interview is pretty old, I remember hearing it a day or two after it happened.

It's pretty good timing on NewsBuster's part, IMO. Quinnipiac just came out with another one of their corrupt polls today.

This Morning’s Polls Project More Heavily Democratic Electorates Than in 2008

10 posted on 09/26/2012 12:43:55 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: muawiyah

You base your post on the assertion that what the pollster said about “that’s how he found it” is true. I don’t agree with that assertion.


11 posted on 09/26/2012 12:49:51 PM PDT by ez (When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

HEWITT: And so if, in fact, you had gotten a hundred Democrats out of a hundred respondents that answered, would you think that poll was reliable?

BROWN: Probably not at 100 out of 100.

PRICELESS!!!!! :o)


12 posted on 09/26/2012 12:50:12 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: jimbo123

The go to pollsters for CBS and the New York Times. The results are so predictable.


13 posted on 09/26/2012 12:54:20 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: ez
Still, you don't know, and his discovery that he took a poll and found 9% more Democrats getting polled than Republicans really isn't out of line.

Used to work with a very bright woman who was convinced that half the people in America were black and half were white, and there were just a handful of others.

A review of the Census was not enough to convince her otherwise ~ she wanted it half and half, and that was the end of that.

So, you do know there are, in general, more Democrats than Republicans, right?

14 posted on 09/26/2012 12:54:23 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Polls are weighted to generate a turnout model. There are biases (or outside forces) that determine which party is more likely to turn out. Only an idiot would believe that turnout is random. For example, if Obama suddenly declared that he has a preference for urinating on the Bible do you think this would impact turnout or would turnout still be ran-dumb?


15 posted on 09/26/2012 12:55:13 PM PDT by tatown ( FUMD, FUAC, and FUGB)
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To: smoothsailing
Ask yourself, what if he'd found 100% Republicans? How would you feel then ~ good, bad, indifferent ~ something running up your leg maybe?

That's a poll BTW.

16 posted on 09/26/2012 12:56:57 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Buckeye McFrog
Hewitt can be funny at times.

Rarely. He reminds me of Oriely. Flopping around in the middle so to keep as many listeners/readers as possible.

17 posted on 09/26/2012 12:57:32 PM PDT by showme_the_Glory (ILLEGAL: prohibited by law. ALIEN: Owing political allegiance to another country or government)
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To: muawiyah
Recognize that in 2008 the Democrats turned out 15% more Democrat voters than the Republicans turned out Republican voters.

In 2008, the advantage for Democrats was +8, nationwide

In Florida, it was +3 for the Democrats.

18 posted on 09/26/2012 1:00:59 PM PDT by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: smoothsailing

There is one silver lining to the skewed polls.

Eventually, the pollsters are going to slant more evenly for the sake of their own reputations. When they do, that will look like Romney is gaining and it will be hard for them to resist using the “momentum” word when discussing Romney’s rise in the polls. When voters here Romney is gaining momentum just before the election, they may be more inclined, not less inclined to think their vote matters enough to push him across the finish line.

It’s possible the Dem strategy is going to backfire on them. It may be helping them now but when Gallup, ARG and the rest want to protect their own credibility in November, they are going to have to start showing momentum for Romney.


19 posted on 09/26/2012 1:01:51 PM PDT by OrangeHoof (Our economy won't heal until one particular black man is unemployed.)
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To: muawiyah

Ask yourself why you ask such juvenile questions.


20 posted on 09/26/2012 1:01:54 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: Mr. Silverback
The pool you called had more Democrats? Well great, but unless 9% more Dems show up on Nov 6 than Republicans, your poll means squat.

The poll also could have called more Republicans, but they got weeded out as unlikely voters. Considering that the Democrat base adores Obama and he's their dream candidate, and Romney is more disliked by the base than any Republican nominee in living memory, the polls are not hard to believe. Even the establishment that handpicked Romney did it because they said he would appeal to "independents." He might, but they assumed the base would come out no matter what just to vote against Obama. But many of them are sick and tired of the battered wife syndrome with the GOP and won't do it.

21 posted on 09/26/2012 1:02:34 PM PDT by JediJones (KARL ROVE: "And remember, this year, no one is seriously talking about ending abortion.")
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To: tatown
AFter 40 years of working with the world's largest statistical sampling system I am at a total loss how you know which part to select such that you will get the answer you want.

You decide what your total univese is ~ in politics that'd be Americans who vote ~ and then you randomly sample among them.

If you have unlimited resources you can set up an elaborate sample in some sort of matrix, or stratification ~ virtually none of these polls we see dragged in front of us on FR derive from a stratified sample selection process ~ they're just small polls where random sampling was used.

No one has ever had to jigger the data to come up with more Democrats and that's because there are always more Democrats. More recently they've added Independents but that's just garbage because there are no independents ~ and if you dig deep enough you can categorize them as Rep or Dem based on their own reported prior voting history.

22 posted on 09/26/2012 1:02:42 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: smoothsailing

Massively skewed polls will help make massive Dem vote-fraud-influenced results more credible.


23 posted on 09/26/2012 1:02:56 PM PDT by luvbach1 (Stop the destruction in 2012 or continue the decline)
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To: OrangeHoof
When they do, that will look like Romney is gaining and it will be hard for them to resist using the “momentum” word when discussing Romney’s rise in the polls.

Yep, we can even tag Romney as the "Comeback Kid" - that would really make some liberal heads explode.

24 posted on 09/26/2012 1:04:59 PM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: OrangeHoof

I agree with you, in the end the pollsters will want to protect themselves. It will be entertaining to watch them try to explain it! LOL!


25 posted on 09/26/2012 1:05:59 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

The magic is gone. There’s no way in hell the demholes have the same enthusiasm and turnout they had in ‘08. In their wildest dreams the demholes know it wont be a 2008-like turnout for their side. Conversely, everything that produced the Tea Party / conservative / republican enthusiasim & turnout in 2010 is still there, with a foreign policy cluster-f*#% to boot. I’ve seen some opinions that a reliable poll would need to split the turnout model difference 1/2 way between 2004 and 2008. I’d argue that half way between ‘08 and 2010 would be a better way to go.


26 posted on 09/26/2012 1:06:56 PM PDT by wny
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To: smoothsailing

I would laugh, but lies that jeopardize the commie’s defeat aren’t really funny.


27 posted on 09/26/2012 1:07:09 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: muawiyah

“Recognize that in 2008 the Democrats turned out 15% more Democrat voters than the Republicans turned out Republican voters.”

Not even close. Where do you get your facts, Mother Jones?


28 posted on 09/26/2012 1:07:46 PM PDT by Flightdeck (If you hear me yell "Eject, Eject, Eject!" the last two will be echos...)
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To: muawiyah

You are wrong. Turnout is not random it’s as simple as that. Determining who will make up the voters (LV’s) each years is what separates good pollsters from bad ones.

Furthermore, according to some pollsters (ie Rasmussen) there are more self described Republicans than Democrats.


29 posted on 09/26/2012 1:10:55 PM PDT by tatown ( FUMD, FUAC, and FUGB)
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To: muawiyah

I had long suspected you were just a disruptor on here. This thread removes any doubt.

Your facts are not only completely incorrect, they are an exact replica of the Democrat talking points regarding the polls.

Nice work, Moby.


30 posted on 09/26/2012 1:12:07 PM PDT by comebacknewt (Newt (sigh) what could have been . . .)
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To: smoothsailing
dmitted that he did not believe that Democrats would outnumber Republicans to that degree in Florida come November.

You Think??? How about Ohio? or Pennsylvania??

why not try a poll with 1/3 D 1/3 R and 1/3 I??

31 posted on 09/26/2012 1:13:48 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (Yes, Obama, I had help with my business. MY CUSTOMERS!)
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To: tatown

Not true, at least according to Dick Morris. DM claims Ras has a +2.5% Dem skew.


32 posted on 09/26/2012 1:21:35 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: justlurking
Your math is wrong. Divide the difference in vote totals by the Democrat vote total ~ or, to knock your socks off, divide the difference in vote totals by the Republican vote total.

Simply dividing the difference in the two vote totals by the total number of votes don't tell you anything about the difference!

Either the Democrat vote was 14% larger than the Republican vote, or the Republican vote was 16% smaller than the Democrat vote.,P>Also, remember, the Democrat totals do not vary with the Republican totals. Most voters would prefer to NOT vote for the other brand every single time.

33 posted on 09/26/2012 1:22:48 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah; All

Here is what Rasmussen says are the current numbers and trends in party affilitation in the U.S.:

Republican 37.6 Democrat 33.3 Other 29.2 August 2012

Republican 37.0 Democrat 33.7 Other 29.3 November 2010

Republican 33.8 Democrat 41.4 Other 24.7 November 2008

I find it hard to believe that Democrats will have a higher turnout than Republicans six weeks from now.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/archive/mood_of_america_archive/partisan_trends/summary_of_party_affiliation


34 posted on 09/26/2012 1:24:33 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: smoothsailing

You missed the R in Skrewed.


35 posted on 09/26/2012 1:24:42 PM PDT by certrtwngnut (It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes. (Josef Stalin))
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To: muawiyah
When you do that it's not a random sample poll anymore.

True. However, depending on the random digits involved (just the last four numbers, or were prefixes involved in the randomness?), you might be able to randomly call people in an area with a demographic most likely to achieve the desired result. Harlem vs. Manhattan, for instance...

So much depends on the finer points of the technique, and we don't have those to analyze.

36 posted on 09/26/2012 1:25:56 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: wny
The magic is gone. There’s no way in hell the demholes have the same enthusiasm and turnout they had in ‘08

Absolutely correct.

Chicago voter registration down compared with 2008, election officials say

When Chicago registration is down from '08, that means it's Democrat registration that is down. When it's down in that bastion of Democrat voters, it strongly suggests a national trend.

I’d argue that half way between ‘08 and 2010 would be a better way to go

It makes sense, and is probably similar to the Rasmussen model.

37 posted on 09/26/2012 1:26:01 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: comebacknewt
Not going to engage in a name calling exercise with you but might i suggest you look up a couple of topics on the net ~ Statistical sampling and polling. Then get back to us.

You cannot sit down and randomly call just Democrats or just Republicans unless you have lists composed exclusively of such folks and all you want is a random sample of current Democrat or Republican thought.

38 posted on 09/26/2012 1:27:34 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: smoothsailing

Stop and think about this a moment. How is registration down in Chicago? They never remove anybody up there ~ so what happened?


39 posted on 09/26/2012 1:28:53 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Perdogg

He might use D+2 or D+2.5 for his LV turnout model but that isn’t what he has determine the true party ID percentages to be. The fact that he doesn’t use party ID as his only guidance for a LV model as some idiots argue supports my contention that is ISN’T random.

http://m.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/partisan_trends


40 posted on 09/26/2012 1:29:46 PM PDT by tatown ( FUMD, FUAC, and FUGB)
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To: certrtwngnut

LOL, you picked up on that! That was the subtle point I was trying to make. Glad you saw it! :)


41 posted on 09/26/2012 1:30:25 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: tatown

I am not sure I know what you mean.


42 posted on 09/26/2012 1:31:06 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: muawiyah

People who voted Democrat are not the same as Democrat voters in the polls being discussed.

I do not think that you are talking about the number of votes for Obama vs McCain, are you?

Certainly the overall vote was much higher for Obama, but that is not what the discussion is about.


43 posted on 09/26/2012 1:31:06 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: Smokin' Joe

If you call Manhattan only numbers ~ if such a thing is actually possible anymore ~ you have 1 in 10 who are Republicans. A poll taken there would look quite reasonable with 9 Dems for each 1 Rep. If there were a 50/50 split, that would be unreasonable.


44 posted on 09/26/2012 1:31:40 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: marktwain

Even in the bogus polls, The GOP is going more for Romney than the Dems are going for 0bamugabe


45 posted on 09/26/2012 1:33:33 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: Perdogg
Not true, at least according to Dick Morris. DM claims Ras has a +2.5% Dem skew.

I believe that's true too. Once a pollster sets his baselines for an election, they don't usually change their methodology.

46 posted on 09/26/2012 1:34:19 PM PDT by Red Steel
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To: marktwain
i find it difficult to believe that the Second Coming won't happen between now and then either ~ but it might not and then where are we eh!

Polls like the ones we are discussing are NOT PREDICTIVE ~ PRESCRIPTIVE PERHAPS ~ telling Romney NO MORE MR NICE GUY ~ OR ~ Start the campaign for gosh sakes.

47 posted on 09/26/2012 1:35:04 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Read the article, it will help you answer your questions.

Helpful hint: The answer is in the title.


48 posted on 09/26/2012 1:35:26 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: muawiyah
You cannot sit down and randomly call just Democrats or just Republicans unless you have lists composed exclusively of such folks and all you want is a random sample of current Democrat or Republican thought.

Lists of registered Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are readily available. Calling those lists randomly in predetermined percentages designed to show what you expect turnout to be, based on party affiliation, is easily done.

49 posted on 09/26/2012 1:36:34 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain
A discussion is whether or not it is rational for a pollster to accept as probably meaningful a poll where there are 9% more Democrat respondents than Republican respondents.

We have people who seem to believe THAT CAN'T BE but, of course, it's always true ~ because there are more Democrats.

50 posted on 09/26/2012 1:37:40 PM PDT by muawiyah
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