Posted by: vwbusguy | October 18, 2008

Problems with Political Polling

Right now, we are getting many polls thrown at us daily.  Usually I get annoyed because I’ve never been called, but this year, my wife did. There are two big problems I have with the polling system.

The first is that a lot of the polls right now target likely voters based on the last election cycle.  This is a fallacy as we have a record number of new voters registered and very often, eligible youth do not get polled.  Right now, with democrats registering at a higher rate than republicans, and with the youth mostly pulling for Obama, both of these would lean toward Obama, by demographics.

The second thing is that these polls aren’t scientific.  They usually have high margins of error, and only target people that have a dial tone phone, or that will answer the phone when an unrecognized number at that.  This means it hurts both the internal and external validity of these polls.  This is not good or bad for either candidate other than the ‘momentum’ factor, which probably doesn’t really do anything but give news stations something to talk about.

We are three weeks away from election day and no debates left.  The race isn’t over, and it’s probably going to get a lot more dirtier along the way.


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