reply to post by grover
There is indeed talk of a Palin run but it is just all hot air . . no one takes a serious run at the White House by Palin as little more than a SNL
skit starring Tina Fay.
The question I am curious about is why people think that McCain is losing? Is it that Obama is such a commanding presence? Or is it because of McCain
himself? Or is it external factors such as the economy?
Through September, McCain was still a viable choice. You could find polls showing him ahead in several crucial states. Don’t forget that each side
can and will attempt to manipulate polls. See my note below.
But October has been a new player in the game! One disaster might have passed
unnoticed into the final mix. But not one disaster followed by TWO more even worse disasters! And the promise(?) or dread of even more disasters yet
to come. Lurking in the background but getting much less attention than the Dow Jones numbers, is the UNEMPLOYMENT rate. It is reaching towards 7%!
Sure, we know the Department of Labor will “jiggle” those numbers to help McCain but regardless, there are more and more people out of work. Many
of them will vote Democratic for no other reason.
Personally . . Obama does not [have] (Obama has slightly less experience than Lincoln did when he was elected),
Well, that’s a curious comparison. Lincoln
served in the Illinois lower house from 1832 to 1842. Ten years. In 1846, Lincoln was elected as a
WHIG and served one term in the US House of Representatives. Total 12 years.
(Whigs were the political descendants of the long moribund
Federalists of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. Whigs advocated a strong central government, which points that Lincoln would be a
Democrat if he was alive today). Further aside: Note that Lincoln was issued US Patent No. 6,469 and is the only American president to have ever
served 3 terms in the Illinois state senate. 1997 to 2004.* Six years. He was elected to the US Senate in 2004. That gives Obama 10 years
in holding elective office.
I hesitate to point out that Lincoln twice sought the Whig Party’s nomination for president but failed, and once in 1856, he unsuccessfully sought
the new Republican Party nomination. Lincoln required 4 tries at what Obama has done on his FIRST try!
Wow! How does that COUNT?
On polls. Mathematicians have shown that between 1,100 and 1,400 interviews will produce answers reliable to plus or minus 3%. (The number depends on
whether you are buying or selling). To get to 2% you’d need to poll 10,000. To get to 1% you’d need to poll 1,000,000. To get Dead On, you’d
need to poll 10 million. Economics dictate we accept 3% in national polls.
Many smaller polls - congressional districts for example - use about 500 interviews. This is reliable to between 7% and 10%. Obviously those polls are
more useful to show trends than to predict the outcome of the election if held the day of the poll.
There are TWO essential components to any poll. Randomness. And issue neutral questions. No bias. That is, the question must not suggest the answer.
Good polling depends on the selection of interviewees being random for the group to be polled. You can’t just open the phone book and call one name
off each page. Sounds “random” but it probably is not. So, half your money will be spent on preparing lists of random-qualified interviewees.
The other half of your money will be spent in preparing BIAS FREE questions. That is much harder to do than it may first appear to be. It’s a
problem similar to that faced by polygraph operators. The secret of that is in the questions, not the answers. Linguistics.
Finally, if the survey is long enough, you’d want to throw in one or two “TEST” questions. That is, one or two prepared questions based on the
subjects prior answers. If the interviewee answered “A” to a question, then you would ask question “1” to verify his or her consistency.
Truthfulness. OTOH if the interviewee had answered “B” then you countered with question “2.” And etc.
* Illinois Senate.
In order to avoid complete turnovers in Senate membership, under the Illinois Constitution of 1970, senators are divided into
three groups, each group having a two-year term at a different part of the decade between censuses, with the rest of the decade being taken up by two
[edit on 10/25/2008 by donwhite]