Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Rove and "The Math"

Before elections, there's generally a lot of talk about the inaccuracy of polls (usually from those on the short end). After an election, we find out that, never mind the cell phones, polling is actually really pretty accurate. And so it was in '06:
Contrary to my own expectation, all of the poll averages of the Democratic share of the two-party vote come remarkably close to the overall average result regardless of the averaging method used [variances of .1% to .5%].... Why did the district level polls perform, on average, so much better than the "generic" vote on the national surveys? It is all about what pollsters call "measurement error," something that occurs when the question does not measure the thing we hope to measure.
Welcome to "the actual math," Karl.

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