A Candid Pollster: ‘We Suck’
We all know pollsters get it wrong from time to time, but you have to hand it to Public Policy Polling for refreshing candor. After the results were in, the only major polling group to predict an Obama victory in Pennsylvania posted on its blog: ” … please do not call us or e-mail us and tell us we suck! We are well aware, and it does not feel good.”
The rest of the post offers some insight into how pollsters arrive at the numbers they publish. Apparently the problem wasn’t that PPP got bad information, but that it overestimated the turnout among two categories of voters.
WAIT, BEFORE YOU GO…
Public Policy Polling:
First off, please do not call us or e-mail us and tell us we suck! We are well aware, and it does not feel good.
It’s pretty easy, based on the exit polls, to see where we went wrong. We had the black vote at 18% when it turned out to be 14-15%, and we had the under 45 vote at 41% when it turned out to be 31%.
I reweighted the results from our final Pennsylvania poll to those figures for race and age, and the result of our poll was flipped- Hillary leading 49-46. Assume she pulled 60% of the undecideds and that gives her the 52-48 lead that the extrapolation from the original exit polls does.
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.