Sunday, October 16, 2016

Branding Takes Over Polling

This weekend we saw several examples of how news and polling groups focus on their own polls and ignore the work of others.
Nate Silver of the 538 website can explain all the insider information on how polls work.
But a far simpler question is why would a an ABC News-Washington Post would report a poll that shows Clinton’s lead is only four percent. And in that same story the writers lead with Clinton’s 47-43 lead in a four-person race. It only mentioned later that in a two-person race she had 50 percent support.
Real Clear Politics, which averages polls it considers legitimate, had Clinton leading at 5.5.  But the Post-ABC poll ignored this.
Journalists are notorious for wanting attention focused on their work and not the stories of others but this undercuts their reliability.
The Huffington Post, whose own poll showed Clinton leading by 7.5, published the polls of others.
The other polls are readily available on the web. Readers should be aware that just because one site says it has a new poll doesn’t mean there are not other polls out there.
Nate Silver of 538 reports: “Hillary Clinton has a significant lead, although there’s some question about the margin. For instance, one major national poll released on Sunday morning, from ABC News and the Washington Post, had Clinton ahead by 4 percentage points. Another, from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, had Clinton up 11 points instead. Our forecast model falls in the middle and shows Clinton with a 6- or 7-point lead. That translates to an 86 percent chance for her to win the election according to our polls-only model, and an83 percent chance per our polls-plus model.”
Whatever is going to happen, Trump has pivoted to a campaign that claims the voting is rigged. He and his vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence, do not agree to be on the same page. There is wild talk of a revolution and sending monitors to polling places.
The liberal Daily Kos wrote: “Thank you, Donald Trump. For what? For a number of things. First and foremost, for finally and completely exposing today’s Republican Party—its highest-ranking leaders, its elected officials all over our country, and, yes, the broad mass of its voters. For all the vile things Republicans have said and done for years now,you broke the dam. You made exactly clear what Republicanism really stands for. Hell, these past 10 days you smashed through the dam like the very animal your party has chosen as its symbol.”

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