Skip to comments.Two Theories on the Polls
Posted on 11/05/2012 5:52:13 AM PST by Servant of the Cross
Among nearly all demographic groups, the shift from Obama to Romney is significant.
Last weekends polls could not be closer. The Real Clear Politics average shows President Obama and Governor Romney at virtually identical percentages, separated by only half a point. However, two respected polls emphatically diverge: As of October 28, the National Journal poll showed Obama ahead by five percentage points, and Gallup showed Romney up by five.
There are two theories about this, one a center-left theory, and the other a center-right theory.
Everyone agrees that polls tally no more than public opinion (influenced by mood on a particular day) on the day they are taken. But the only thing that counts on Election Day is the actual vote, not the opinions of yesterday or last week. And actually going to vote, or applying for an absentee ballot and sending it in, takes far more effort than merely having an opinion. This is where the two theories about the voting public come into play.
The center-left theory is that the composition of the vote (by age, race and ethnicity, religion, gender, political party, and even the relative proportions of each) this election will be very similar to the composition of the vote in 2008.
The center-right theory is that in 2012, the vote among whites, women, and other demographic groups especially Republicans and independents who actually come out to vote will be a couple of percentage points lower for Obama and a couple of points higher for the Republican than in the 2008 vote.
It is not clear on Sunday who will be correct on Tuesday. The tabulation of the vote on November 6 will tell us that. Then it will no longer be a matter of theory, but a fact.
Of course, there are bound to be disputes and contentions over certain ballots, and the final count could be delayed by some days. On Election Day, any ballots challenged by one side or the other will be set aside for later examination (as in Florida in the 2000 BushGore election).
For now, partisan passions sway each side, each claiming certain victory.
There are, I believe, powerfully credible reasons in favor of the center-right theorys coming closer to the actual final vote. The main reason is that among virtually every demographic group, support for Obama is lower in 2012 than in 2008, which the center-left pollsters are not picking up in their template for the composition of the electorate. They are counting on the same number of independents, women, the young, Catholics, and other blocs voting for Obama in 2012. Almost certainly not.
Well, theory is one thing. Actual results are another. Results will show who was correct all along.
Today and tomorrow, in the American tradition many prayers to Providence will be said. These will be prayers in the darkness, for Gods actual will is not known to us in advance of the event.
The polls are actually making for a more pronounced Romney victory I think, they used old data and models and instead of retarding the GOP voting it has accelerated the GOP turnout.
Also it has turned many Democrats into voting for Romney.
Vote tomorrow as if the lives of our Military Service Men and Women depended upon it - - - .
In Theory there is no difference between Theory and Practice. In Practice there is.
Wayne Allyn Root penned an interesting piece several weeks back in which he argued that Obama had not added to any of the groups that carried him in 2008 and, in fact, erosion of support was evident in most of those groups.
re: Vote tomorrow as if the lives of our Military Service Men and Women depended upon it - - - .
I think what you wrote should be a whole new thread. I think we could come up with a whole list of “vote tomorrow as ifs” with yours heading the list.
That reminds me of a joke.
A boy asks his dad, what is the difference between theory and practice?
The dad says, go ask your mom and sister if they would sleep with Brad Pitt for $1 Million.
The boy goes to mom and asks her if she would sleep with Brad Pitt for a $1 million and she says, “well I love your dad very much, but we could do so much for the family with $1 million, so yes I would sleep with Brad Pitt for $1 million.
Then the boy goes to his sister and asks her if she would sleep with Brad Pitt for a $1 million and she replies, “well I am not that kind of girl, but I could buy a car, finish college and move out on my own with $1 million, so yes I would sleep with Brad Pitt for $1 million.
The boy returns back to the father and the boy informs him that both his mom and sister would sleep with Brad Pitt for a $1 million.
The father responds and says that is the difference between theory and practice. In theory we live with two women, but in practice we live with two whores.
I got tired of polling in the Clinton era.
I see nothing scientific about them and I do not understand people that live by them.
But I do understand the propaganda effect they have on the information challenged.
And I do agree with the articles statement: “But the only thing that counts on Election Day is the actual vote”
Polls seem to be valuable in allocating resources for campaigns. .
For the mere voter they have absolutely no use.
As entertainment they are questionable.