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If Polls are off


vcczar
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20 minutes ago, ThePotatoWalrus said:

"Commentariat" lmaooo

I never realized how off the polls were in 2012 but the other direction. I guess my pessimism doesn’t allow me to consider that the polls might be shortchanging Biden, and he wins by an even larger margin. Wonder what @admin_270 thinks of the possibility of polls being off but in the direction people aren’t thinking about. 

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If the polls are off in favor of Biden tehy'll all treat it like that's exactly what they expected to happen, talk about how the Trump campaign was chronically mismanaged, etc. Anything to avoid giving credit to the Democratic party, I swear for some of these people it might as well be an article of faith that the dems are in disarray.

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19 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I never realized how off the polls were in 2012 but the other direction. I guess my pessimism doesn’t allow me to consider that the polls might be shortchanging Biden, and he wins by an even larger margin. Wonder what @admin_270 thinks of the possibility of polls being off but in the direction people aren’t thinking about. 

I don't think it's likely. There's no such thing as a "shy Biden supporter" when literally every celebrity, all major media, most big corporations (publically, internally they prob don't) and most of the population supports him. Basically it's socially beneficial to support Biden. There's no social benefit in saying you support Trump.

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2 minutes ago, ThePotatoWalrus said:

I don't think it's likely. There's no such thing as a "shy Biden supporter" when literally every celebrity, all major media, most big corporations (publically, internally they prob don't) and most of the population supports him. Basically it's socially beneficial to support Biden. There's no social benefit in saying you support Trump.

But what was the case in 2012 then? Shy Obama supporters?

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2012 I think is easily explained the same way. While Obama was the popular guy, Obamacare at the time was still a somewhat controversial piece of legislation that people weren't confident in being publicly vocal about. Also the main reason I think is that they were anticipating the same black turnout rate as 2008 and might have over polled areas with higher African American concentrations.

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16 minutes ago, ThePotatoWalrus said:

There's no such thing as a "shy Biden supporter"  when literally every celebrity, all major media, most big corporations (publicly, internally they prob don't) and most of the population supports him. Basically it's socially beneficial to support Biden. There's no social benefit in saying you support Trump.

So a Biden supporter living in a rural, Trump-loving town in the south where people fly confederate flags and can be openly racist wouldn't be shy about it because Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson supports him?

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11 minutes ago, superezione said:

So a Biden supporter living in a rural, Trump-loving town in the south where people fly confederate flags and can be openly racist wouldn't be shy about it because Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson supports him?

Sure, but that's a very small group of people. Being a Trump supporter is unpopular in very many more, and highly populous places than that which you described.

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From what I understand, there's no evidence of shy Biden or shy Trump voters.   Comparisons between scientific polls conducted via live calls, automated calls and online have shown no significant difference, as you would see if there was such a phenomena.

If the polls are significantly off some of the causes could be: the margin of error, or some problem in the design of the polling (eg, lack of weighting as there was in 2016 polling), undecideds all breaking for one candidate, incorrect turnout models or some late breaking October surprise that occurred too close to Election Day to be fully captured by the final polling.

But as the tweet points out, most people will only care if "who wins" is correctly predicted, when the issue is more "how far off" the polls are from the result (even if the winner is the same in both).

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3 minutes ago, Defiant said:

From what I understand, there's no evidence of shy Biden or shy Trump voters.   Comparisons between scientific polls conducted via live calls, automated calls and online have shown no significant difference, as you would see if there was such a phenomena.

If the polls are significantly off some of the causes could be: the margin of error, or some problem in the design of the polling (eg, lack of weighting as there was in 2016 polling), undecideds all breaking for one candidate, incorrect turnout models or some late breaking October surprise that occurred too close to Election Day to be fully captured by the final polling.

But as the tweet points out, most people will only care if "who wins" is correctly predicted, when the issue is more "how far off" the polls are from the result (even if the winner is the same in both).

This is beyond wrong. 

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54 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Wonder what @admin_270 thinks of the possibility of polls being off but in the direction people aren’t thinking about. 

That would be epic!¬†ūü§£

So why do I think it's more likely to be biased against Trump? Voting dynamics and polling problems from the 2016 election are our best guide to this election.

But sure - I don't have a problem with polls not being reliable. My prediction (and main reason for thinking polls are off) is because almost every major fundamental points towards a Trump win.

  • Primaries % for an incumbent -> Trump
  • People in each party who strongly support the candidate -> Trump
  • Economic indicators -> Trump
  • Better off than 4 years ago -> Trump
  • Change in party identification -> Trump

To that I add my assessment of each candidate's strengths and weaknesses.

I haven't looked carefully at 2012's statewide polling, but if what you're saying is correct, it buttresses the main point about polls, which is they often get things wrong.

Therefore, I say, it makes sense to look at fundamentals.

 

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9 minutes ago, Defiant said:

there's no evidence of shy Biden or shy Trump voters

I would disagree. There is common-sense, anecdotal, and survey results evidence (I've linked to both surveys before that I'm aware of, can dig up the links if you're interested) to suggest Trump voters are less likely to be honest to pollsters about their voting intentions.

There is a phenomenon known about in social science research called social desirability bias, which seems to me to be plausibly applicable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_desirability_bias

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12 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

That would be epic!¬†ūü§£

So why do I think it's more likely to be biased against Trump? Voting dynamics and polling problems from the 2016 election are our best guide to this election.

But sure - I don't have a problem with polls not being reliable. My prediction (and main reason for thinking polls are off) is because almost every major fundamental points towards a Trump win.

  • Primaries % for an incumbent -> Trump
  • People in each party who strongly support the candidate -> Trump
  • Economic indicators -> Trump
  • Better off than 4 years ago -> Trump
  • Change in party identification -> Trump

To that I add my assessment of each candidate's strengths and weaknesses.

I haven't looked carefully at 2012's statewide polling, but if what you're saying is correct, it buttresses the main point about polls, which is they often get things wrong.

Therefore, I say, it makes sense to look at fundamentals.

 

This is the absolute key for me. 

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Evidence that suggests that there aren't (or are very few) shy Trump supporters
 

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But perhaps surprisingly, registered Republicans were actually more likely than registered Democrats to respond to the Times/Siena survey. Over all, telephone calls to registered Republicans or those who participated in a recent Republican primary were about 12 percent likelier to yield a completed interview than calls to Democrats were. This seemingly noteworthy difference can be explained by well-known demographic biases in polling: Older, rural and white voters are likelier than young, urban and nonwhite voters to respond to surveys. After these factors were controlled for, Republicans were no likelier than Democrats to respond to the survey. And if Republicans are just as likely to respond to surveys as Democrats, there’s little reason to believe that they’re vastly underrepresented in political surveys.

 

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/29/upshot/polls-political-party-republicans.html

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An accepted polling practice to see if voters are afraid to give a certain answer they deem to be socially undesirable is to compare the results when a live interviewer is present and when one isn't.

Biden's national lead is still 8 points in polls that don't use live interviews at this point. That is a little lower than in polls that do use live interviewers and call cell phones, though that gap has only recently appeared and may just be a statistical artifact.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/09/politics/trump-voters-analysis/index.html

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As Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult‚Äôs chief research officer, summed it up for me, ‚ÄúWe ran a large sample study that does not find any shy Trump voters exist at the national level for the 2020 matchup.‚ÄĚ The firm also checked the results among respondents in battleground states, but there too found little sign of shy Trump voters.


 

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-supporters-arent-shy-but-polls-could-still-be-missing-some-of-them/

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45 minutes ago, Defiant said:

From what I understand, there's no evidence of shy Biden or shy Trump voters.   Comparisons between scientific polls conducted via live calls, automated calls and online have shown no significant difference, as you would see if there was such a phenomena.

If the polls are significantly off some of the causes could be: the margin of error, or some problem in the design of the polling (eg, lack of weighting as there was in 2016 polling), undecideds all breaking for one candidate, incorrect turnout models or some late breaking October surprise that occurred too close to Election Day to be fully captured by the final polling.

But as the tweet points out, most people will only care if "who wins" is correctly predicted, when the issue is more "how far off" the polls are from the result (even if the winner is the same in both).

This is wrong. Online polling is notoriously inaccurate with a strong left-wing bias, that's why every credible poll features live calls. Plus resentment from the MAGA hats towards the media and pollsters is high and I'd say I'm supporting Biden if they polled me just because I'd like to mess with them too.

Also I've decided I'm writing in Coolidge/Goldwater.

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12 hours ago, vcczar said:

 

This situation in 2012 only happened because Polls usually subestimate incumbent candidates. Obama, Bush son, Bush father, Reagan, Carter, only Clinton wasn/t, from the data that I seen.  But 1996 error was terrific, 7% less difference.
 

The survey showed Mr. Clinton with the backing of 43 percent of the probable electorate, Mr. Bush with 34 percent and Mr. Perot with 15 percent. A week ago, Mr. Clinton stood at 40 percent, Mr. Bush at 35 percent and Mr. Perot at 15 percent.



Poll results

But when many time left, Dems usually lead like in 1980 or 1988.

Fifty-five percent of the 948 registered voters interviewed in the poll said they preferred to see Mr. Dukakis win the 1988 Presidential election, while 38 percent said they preferred to see Mr. Bush win. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

EDIT - Sorry, Carter was in 1976 and not in 1980 reelection try.

 

For weeks before the presidential election, the gurus of public opinion polling were nearly unanimous in their findings. In survey after survey, they agreed that the coming choice between President Jimmy Carter and Challenger Ronald Reagan was ‚Äútoo close to call.‚ÄĚ A few points at most, they said, separated the two major contenders.

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11 hours ago, ThePotatoWalrus said:

literally every celebrity, all major media, most big corporations (publically, internally they prob don't) and most of the population supports him. Basically it's socially beneficial to support Biden.

Yep, very good analysis. 

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12 hours ago, ThePotatoWalrus said:

I don't think it's likely. There's no such thing as a "shy Biden supporter" when literally every celebrity, all major media, most big corporations (publically, internally they prob don't) and most of the population supports him. Basically it's socially beneficial to support Biden. There's no social benefit in saying you support Trump.

 

45 minutes ago, Conservative Elector 2 said:

Yep, very good analysis. 

This is a good point, but I think it is more than just socially beneficial for them, although that is absolutely true. Another factor might be this, people who are more inclined towards "fairness" and "compassion" tend to major in liberal arts degrees (I'll see if I can find the study). I assume most actors have liberal arts degrees. We do know that there is a much higher % of college-educated liberals than there are liberals in the population on average. Most psychological studies into political ideology and the brain report that people with "fairness" as a top priority politically and who report high levels of "compassion" even with people from other countries are generally liberal. I think an argument could be made that most of these people would probably be liberal even if they had given up acting after college. 

There are exceptions, Jon Voight, Kelsey Grammar, Scott Biao, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a few others, but they're usually at least more libertarian than Republican, and we know Schwarzenegger hates Trump. 

Yeah, certain professions do tend to lean one way or the other. 

@Conservative Elector 2 Question for you. If you had to guess what % of your universities professors would vote for Biden or Trump what would be your gut-instinct guess? At the University I teach at, I'd assume it's got to be at least 80% Biden and probably higher Never Trump, although I rarely talk to any of the other professors since I'm an adjunct. I've been on three committees, 100% were opposed to Trump. The departmental messages are very pro-BLM. The University emails from the president and other higher ups are definitely sympathetic to BLM, anti-bullying, COVID caution, and things that are associated to anti-Trumpism. There's definitely no neutrality, but since I see Never-Trumpism as both common sense, a moral and ethical cause, and the most patriotic thing an American citizen can be, it seems natural. If this was the case against Romney, McCain,---even Cruz...-- or about any other GOPer I'd probably be bothered by it. 

On a side note: I'm very politically neutral in the class. Unless cornered, I don't reveal my political ideology. I don't question anyone's political beliefs in my classes either. The most I say is, "Does anyone have a rebuttal to Conservative Elector?" or I might pose a situation as a follow up to see if their stance applies to that, but then I make no judgment. Some students assume I'm conservative because I'm from Texas and don't attack Trump in class, even if another student does.

I also try talk about history from the lens of its own time rather than through a 21st century lens. Basically, I'm an actor while teaching, hiding my true self. At some point we do discuss the past as it relates to today, but I try to get the students to argue what something that happened in 1865 means for 2020 and the space in between. 

I'm sure the oil industry, for example, makes it beneficial or crucial t support politicians and policies that favor that industry. A middle-manager probably wouldn't be able to get away being an open Biden supporter or Green New Deal activist. 

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21 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I think an argument could be made that most of these people would probably be liberal even if they had given up acting after college. 

Yeah, but I also think most celebrities can afford to care about problems which have no direct effect on the majority of the population. A Louisiana guy who struggles to feed his family because his boat renting business is not running well, won't vote for politicians who have as a top priority to join the Paris accord again.

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There are exceptions, Jon Voight, Kelsey Grammar, Scott Biao, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a few others, but they're usually at least more libertarian than Republican, and we know Schwarzenegger hates Trump. 

True. I am curious if you have heard about the group ''Friends of Abe'' led by Gary Sinise? It was a ''secret'' society of conservatives in Hollywood.

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@Conservative Elector 2 Question for you. If you had to guess what % of your universities professors would vote for Biden or Trump what would be your gut-instinct guess?  

I guess about 95% would vote for Biden. I can't imagine anyone being pro-Trump actually but I guess some people won't tell it of course. A professor saying to be a Trump supporter here would have a very tough time. Our far-left student council is so radical they'd appeal to the rector's office in order to get right-wing people fired. We have a history professor here who worked for both the People's and the Freedom Party in the past. I was never in one of his lectures but I saw the policemen myself who were needed pre-Covid so he could held his weekly lectures. About 40 officers had to protect the lecture because Antifa and black bloc people encouraged by the far-left student council kept coming into his lecture and were blocking him from giving a lecture. That story was also covered in Austrian newspapers. Of course the far-left student representatives want the professor to be fired but the college didn't follow suit so far. On the other hand we have a professor at the department of political studies who says he voted for the Austrian Communist Party but of course there is no public discussion on this.

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The departmental messages are very pro-BLM.

Yeah, that's not a big issue here but I guess most college staff is in favor of them as well.

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If this was the case against Romney, McCain,---even Cruz...-- or about any other GOPer I'd probably be bothered by it. 

That's good. I hate double standards the most. Prohibiting to wear a Trump 2020 shirt but allowing all other political signs is disgusting. If asked which American politicians I find admirable, I might name Mitt Romney, but probably most students forgot already who he was.

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I'm very politically neutral in the class. Unless cornered, I don't reveal my political ideology.

I agree. That's the best way to handle that.

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Does anyone have a rebuttal to Conservative Elector?"

Wait what, you are discussing my statements with your students? LOL

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Some students assume I'm conservative because I'm from Texas and don't attack Trump in class, even if another student does.

:D I'd remain neutral as well. However, in Austria the chance is very slim to meet any pro-Trump people in your class, but in nearly every class you'll find very vocal and radical feminists. Mostly their haircut reveals them already.

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Basically, I'm an actor while teaching, hiding my true self.

Just a handful of people know my political beliefs either. Especially young people aren't that understanding. I don't see a reason to discuss my beliefs in a meaningless class with students I don't know closer. I don't want to create any whispering on the floors. I mostly start to say I am more in line with a conservative economical policy, because social conservatism is received even worse of course. I have met many radical feminists and relentless pro-LGTB people and the main problem I see is, I'd be a monster for most of these people, when I in effect might even hold fond memories of some of them even though we disagree very much. My impression is left-wingers have a greater difficulty in differentiating a person from his political beliefs than right-wingers. Left-wingers are also more vocal about their ideology. I met people who told me at our second encounter that they are left-wing feminists. I didn't even ask. I am not that revealing in order to protect myself. Left-wingers don't need to think about that here, because that's the main stream ideology and received as cool or trendy.

On the other hand I hear often from friends that they have homosexual friends. I was never told by anyone that they are homosexual, so I don't know if it's a coincidence or if people think I'd not react positiviely despite not being a vocal right-winger.

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3 hours ago, Zenobiyl said:

What reason would anyone have to lie on a poll? Aren’t they usually anonymous?

Varying degrees of anonymity. They have your phone number, IP (you'd be a fool to think you're anonymous if someone has your IP), or what have you. Some have name, and various demographic data.

Also, it's not necessarily a 'lie'. The pollster is asking their intention, and they say what their 'intention' is. But intentions are different from how someone actually votes, and the latter is often driven by factors people aren't even aware of. For example, people often look around to justify what they really want to do, and this is called the 'false because'. In the meantime, they don't reveal their preference, often even to themselves. A lot of decision making operates on the unconscious (subconscious) level.

However, if you're looking for a conscious reason, one I have heard repeatedly is that they think it is funny - it is 'their little surprise' for the MSM, the intellectual elites, and so on. Of course, this is just anecdotal - no idea how widespread it is.

 

 

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