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Why Polling Fails - Republicans Couldnít Predict Eric Cantorís Loss
The New York Times ^ | JUNE 11, 2014 | FRANK LUNTZ

Posted on 06/12/2014 8:44:16 AM PDT by Kenny

ERIC CANTOR wasn’t the only person at a loss for words on Tuesday night.

His pollster, McLaughlin & Associates, found itself trying to explain the impossible — how a projected 34 percent lead for the House majority leader 12 days before the election could end up an 11-point loss on Election Day to David Brat of the Tea Party in the Virginia Republican primary.

We’ve all been there. There isn’t a pollster alive — me included — who hasn’t had to take the walk of shame, hat in hand, to explain to an angry client why a predicted outcome simply didn’t happen.

Make no mistake: This was a whopper for the ages. McLaughlin didn’t merely get it wrong; this was quantitative malpractice — a mind-blowing modern-day “Dewey Beats Truman” moment.

That said, polls can’t predict elections. They are essential tools, windows into the minds of a particular audience — but they cannot and should not be used as infallible crystal balls.

Trouble is, pollsters are under ever increasing pressure to feed a voracious media beast and provide the answer to that perennial question, “Who’s gonna win?” And therein lies the problem with polls, pollsters and consumers of both.

<snip>

What is worse, if it’s true, is the suggestion that the Cantor poll was leaked in order to sabotage the other side by suggesting that the majority leader’s lead was insurmountable. In this case, not only was the poll inaccurate, the tactic was inept. It may have created momentum for the other side rather than crushing it, and lends legitimacy to the public skepticism aimed at our craft of late.

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


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: brat; cantor; polling
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the Cantor poll was leaked in order to sabotage the other side by suggesting that the majority leader’s lead was insurmountable.

This is the money quote, what polls now do in elections.

1 posted on 06/12/2014 8:44:16 AM PDT by Kenny
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To: Kenny

you know, if everyone just lied to pollsters, the whole sham industry would collapse


2 posted on 06/12/2014 8:45:36 AM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: Kenny

Couldn’t the poll data also be explained by the fact that Democrats could also vote in this primary and did so to oust Cantor?


3 posted on 06/12/2014 8:46:08 AM PDT by Madam Theophilus (iI)
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To: Kenny
No one seems to understand America is becoming American rather than Republican or Democrat.

The coming war is between free men and the indentured sycophants

4 posted on 06/12/2014 8:46:40 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: Kenny

It was the bad weather. (Eyes rolling)


5 posted on 06/12/2014 8:47:21 AM PDT by subterfuge (Hey NSA snoop, get a real job you idiot!)
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To: bigbob
you know, if everyone just lied to pollsters, the whole sham industry would collapse

You don't want EVERYONE to lie to the pollsters.

Just half the folks should lie.

6 posted on 06/12/2014 8:52:10 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Kenny

Many of the late 2012 polls were also massively inaccurate.

Repubs were supposed to take the Senate. Instead, they actually lost seats.

Romney was supposed to trounce Obama. Instead, Michelle still gets to eat Kobe beef steaks and take expensive vacations to luxurious locations on the taxpayers’ tab.


7 posted on 06/12/2014 8:57:42 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Madam Theophilus
Couldn’t the poll data also be explained by the fact that Democrats could also vote in this primary and did so to oust Cantor?

it is not likely that there were enough Dem votes to turn the election... Brat did exceedingly well in all the staunchly conservative precincts... Eric Cantor received 8,000 fewer votes this election than his last election... those voters either stayed home or voted for Brat...

8 posted on 06/12/2014 9:01:07 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: Kenny

i think this polling firm, along with Cantor and his campaign staff, simply phoned it in... i think he/they knew he was not going to win by a large a margin as in the past, but i think he/they thought they could squeak this one out, and deal with growing their support later—once he was Speaker of the House... they were all on autopilot... cruise control...


9 posted on 06/12/2014 9:03:56 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: knarf

“No one seems to understand America is becoming American rather than Republican or Democrat.”

I sure hope you’re right, knarf. It’s high time too.


10 posted on 06/12/2014 9:05:54 AM PDT by Paulie (Buy local, bank local, exert your influence locally; the left will fold like a cheap suit.)
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To: Kenny

I wonder if the best tactic is to sneak up on these statist so they don’t have time to organize their election machine.


11 posted on 06/12/2014 9:09:53 AM PDT by FreeAtlanta (Liberty or Big Government - you can't have both.)
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To: subterfuge

It was the bad weather. (Eyes rolling)
*****************************************************************
Yes, to quote the quite befuddled, discombobulated Brit Hume as he spoke the night of the election while a member of Megyn Kelly’s panel of experts -— “...well, it rained yesterday”. So the obviously stunned and disappointed Hume tried to blame some rain on Monday for Cantor’s landslide loss on Tuesday.

Some of these folks just don’t have a clue. Despite Kelly’s attempts to guide some of them to the realities on the ground, they simply couldn’t shake their misconceptions that stem from their time, in the New York bubble, being isolated from the “country class”.


12 posted on 06/12/2014 9:12:10 AM PDT by House Atreides
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To: Kenny

I feel like most of the polls are biased and won’t respond to them. How many others won’t either and what is the impact on these polls?


13 posted on 06/12/2014 9:12:12 AM PDT by MulberryDraw (Repeal it.)
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To: latina4dubya

Why I was wondering was due to a map of the districts Brad won I saw on FOX indicating that Brad won the majority of urban precincts. The rural ones voted for Cantor. Obviously, the urban areas have the most population; but they are also the place where there would be a concentration of Democratic voters, too. If there is a true conservative backlash against the Republican establishment, why wouldn’t it show in the rural areas, too?


14 posted on 06/12/2014 9:12:56 AM PDT by Madam Theophilus (iI)
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To: Paulie

Just guessing about knarf, but if he is a libertarian, what he means is America is becoming libertarian (he hopes) instead of CONSERVATIVE Repub or Dem. libertarians are the hippies of the right, they are not conservatives.


15 posted on 06/12/2014 9:14:47 AM PDT by sasportas
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To: Kenny

“Now, as Republicans recover from the shock of his defeat and set about moving forward on a positive path,”

Interesting view. How did Republicans lose? A Republican won a primary against another Republican. (Of course, the Establishment Republicans may have lost.)


16 posted on 06/12/2014 9:16:39 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: House Atreides

Wasn’t overall participation up, by around 20%, from the 2012 primary?

Kinda hard to blame rain when there’s increased turnout.


17 posted on 06/12/2014 9:18:05 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: Kenny

Cantor was polling the country clubs. This district is not NVA.


18 posted on 06/12/2014 9:18:41 AM PDT by Phosgood (Send in the Clowns...but Wait, they're here!! >..<)
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To: Kenny

The polls failed because they failed to poll the RAT crossover voters!


19 posted on 06/12/2014 9:25:50 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Unions are an Affirmative Action program for Slackers! .)
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To: Madam Theophilus
Early in the evening as counts started coming in, Brat took the lead, but it appeared the reporting was from more deeply conservative parts of this wide district, many of them north of Richmond and more rural and suburban. Then Brat was up in Chesterfield county, in and around Richmond, and ended up winning it 56-44. Cantor's best bet might have been in the suburbs of Richmond, Henrico County, both vote-rich and potentially more moderate. It was not to be. He lost Henrico county as well by 54-46 percent, which signaled the end of his night.

Brat did really well across the board...

20 posted on 06/12/2014 9:26:18 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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