30 October 2008
Pollsters give up the ghost:: White House race is anyone's to win
Probably one of the most prestigious polling outfits around is Gallup and the company's polls are taken seriously be everyone. When Gallup basically admits that it has no idea what is going on with an election then the rest of us should take note of that fact before we start jumping on bandwagons and calling the results.
Gallup has decided to produce not one but three models for the outcome of the American election. All show Barack Obama ahead of John McCain, but by differing amounts. The traditional likely voters model has the race at 49% to 47%, whereas the expanded version calls it at 51% to 44%. Finally, the registered voters model gives a 50% to 43% outcome.
Does that make any sense to you? It certainly doesn't to me. What it tends to confirm is something that this blog reported yesterday - people are no longer talking to the pollsters and an awful lot of guesswork is having to be done.
Secondly, that expanded Gallup poll is based on current voting intentions only - it does not take into account past voting activity as the standard model does. That is because the pollsters were talking to any number of teenagers who obviously did not vote four years ago. Many of them are committed Obama voters, but the majority are probably like young scrotes everywhere and not committed to very much at all. They will vote for Obama - if they vote - but maybe they will be too busy watching television or playing around on their computers that day?
Thirdly, that expanded poll also takes into account the replies of the Walmart Women, the very voters that Sarah Palin was brought on onside to appeal to. She is cheerfully writing her own script at the moment and all the talking heads are assuming that this is to prepare for a run in 2012. However, what if she is connecting to her people right now, and what if they turn out next week in large numbers to vote?
Finally, all the polls show that the race is tightening up with an average lead for Obama now at about 5%. However, those same polls show that the number of undecided voters is still at around the 7% mark. That does not ring true to me - I think that figure is the Bradley Effect writ large.
If we put everything together then what we have here is the possibility - let's not put it any higher than that - of a major upset when the votes are all tallied next week.