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Old December 30th, 2016, 11:26 AM   #1
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Whats in a title?

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State pollsters, pummeled by 2016, analyze what went wrong
That is the title of a story from the Washington Post that was on MSN. Before I post the content of the story, lets just all read what that title says. Pollsters, analyze what went wrong. What? This is a classic example of elitism blaming someone else for their own actions. What could have went wrong? Oh my, surely it was not us who was wrong! What hath those peasants done! Why they voted for someone who we said they can not vote for! Shame on them! So, let us analyze why they did that! Because if they accepted the truth that they were just fucking wrong..oh the agony. How could they ever survive. Anyway, here is the story
Quote:
On Nov. 2, six days before the general election, the political world paused to watch a live stream from the campus of Marquette Law School in Milwaukee. Charles Franklin, director of the school's election poll, talked through the release of its final numbers. After days of awful headlines about the FBI probe of her email server, Hillary Clinton had held onto her lead, and enjoyed a 44-37 percent advantage over Donald Trump.
“Concern about Clinton’s use of a private email system does not appear to have shifted much in the wake of the FBI news,” Franklin said.
That, it seemed, was that. The poll was the “gold standard” for Wisconsin, having nailed the results of the 2012 and 2014 elections. A planned Trump rally in Wisconsin was canceled; the candidate stumped in Minnesota instead. On Election Day, FiveThirtyEight's poll-based review of Wisconsin gave Trump only a 16.5 percent chance of winning the state.
When Trump did win it, Franklin was not in Wisconsin. He was in New York, aiding ABC News on its election decision desk, and watched the entire Midwest swing toward Donald Trump by a greater margin than any poll had suggested. In most of Wisconsin, Trump was outperforming the poll by six points; in the Milwaukee suburbs, where he was supposed to be unusually weak, he ran ahead of the poll by 10 points.
“No one will ever say the Marquette poll is 'never wrong' ever again,” Franklin said in an interview this week. “We've now been wrong. It's that simple.”
The 2016 election, which rewarded the media's love*of hyperbole, made fools of almost every prognosticator. Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight, which had given Hillary Clinton a 71.4 percent chance of victory, came out better than most; Sam Wang, director of the Princeton Election Consortium, blew it so badly that he made good on a promise to eat a bug live on TV. (He pronounced it “nutty.")
But when the national popular vote was certified, the major national pollsters were nearly redeemed. The final Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll put Clinton three points ahead of Trump. She won the popular vote by 2.1 percentage points, about the same as Jimmy Carter's 1976 margin over Gerald Ford. No national pollster was as badly burned by 2016 as by 2012, when those projecting an Obama-Romney tie had to explain a clear Obama majority.
It was a different story in the states, where a half-dozen pollsters, seen as rock-solid for their command of the local numbers, saw a Clinton win that never materialized. In Ohio,*which seemed to have slipped away from Clinton in the summer, the Columbus Dispatch's unique mail poll — praised by Silver as the country's most accurate — seemed to find late movement her way. Its final numbers, released on the Sunday before the election, found Clinton and Trump deadlocked. Two days later, Trump triumphed in Ohio by eight points, the biggest Republican victory in the state since 1988.
“I realized that our poll, which showed Clinton leading by one point the weekend before the election, was going to be 'wrong' as I was monitoring results from across Ohio showing her underperforming in urban counties and Trump rolling up extraordinary margins in more rural areas,” said Darrell Rowland, the Dispatch reporter who runs the poll. “Our presidential poll has never been that far off in my memory nor that of my predecessor, who started at the Dispatch in the early 1970s.”
In Michigan, which went red for the first time in 28 years, the final EPIC/MRA poll found Clinton clinging to a four-point lead over Trump. Unlike in Wisconsin, neither Trump's nor Clinton's campaign responded like the state was deadlocked. Nonetheless, that poll — and all but one Michigan poll conducted in 2016 — pointed to a Clinton victory that never happened.
Like Marquette Law's poll, the EPIC/MRA survey had concluded after a few bad Clinton news cycles but before the campaign's final days. “We had an 11-point lead after the debates, it dropped down to seven after WikiLeaks, then after the [FBI Director James B.] Comey*letter it dropped down to four points,” said Bernie Porn, the poll's director. “The only thing I wish we'd done is take one more poll the week before the weekend before the election. I assumed, based on the numbers we found, that Clinton would win unless she wasn't able to turn out enough blacks in Detroit and Flint. And that was what happened.”
In Pennsylvania, two reliable state pollsters — Susquehanna and Morning Call/Muhlenberg College — released final numbers that suggested Clinton was going to repeat recent Democratic history, with a narrow win. The latter poll, which suggested Clinton was ahead by six points — outside the margin of error — also surmised a seven-point Democratic registration advantage. On Election Day, said pollster Chris Borick, the advantage was only three points.
“Our methodology seemed to work well in traditional races but not this race,” he said. “The idea of the 'silent Trump voter' seemed to fit well with this. But who is that voter, and will he or she be back? I’m worried about an overreaction, that we try something vastly different than what worked in the past, and by adjusting too much.”
Jim Lee, the owner of the Susquehanna poll, noted that its final numbers — a two-point Clinton lead — fit within the margin of error. But he also suggested it was too early to tell whether the old model of Pennsylvania elections had been bent for Trump, or totally shattered by Trump.
“We've always told Pennsylvania Republicans that you can't win statewide if you're badly losing in the southeast and Philadelphia,” he said. “This year, even Chester County went for Clinton. She came out of the suburbs with exactly the margin that Democrats usually need to win. And she didn't, because of losses everywhere else. That's a huge transformation.”
Both polls had, indeed, found Trump underperforming in the Philadelphia suburbs and overperforming in rural areas and Appalachia. What belatedly occurred to Lee was that the polling that relied on robo-calling, instead of live interviewers, found people more willing to admit they were backing Trump. “Half of the surveys were done by live interviewers and that group found*Clinton winning by eight,” he said. “The automated interviews had Trump winning by two.”
Still, in conversations with state pollsters, none suggested that the playbook needed to be shredded. The media, they said, played two roles in leaving the impression that Clinton was wrapping up the election along the “blue wall.” First, across the industry, each poll's top-line number was reported as definitive. A pollster could explain why a two-point Clinton lead with a three-point margin of error allowed for a Trump win. But that was rarely, if ever, how the horse race was reported.
Second, the cutbacks that have affected newsrooms around the country affected pollsters, too. There were fewer surveys of swing states in general, and almost no budget for polls in the final days before the election, when exit polls found Trump eking out a winning margin.
“We have conducted as many as seven [polls] in a year that included primaries,” said the Columbus Dispatch's Rowland. “This year we were down to one, published the*Sunday*before Election Day. I had to personally assume numerous additional tasks because so many people had been let go by our company.”
Each pollster agreed that more timely polling would have helped portray what was really happening — a very close election tipping toward the Republican nominee. But no one had a solution for the problem of responses. After all, neither robo-calling or live interviews, on their own, had nailed the numbers. The Dispatch's mail poll, which had been so accurate in the past, nailed the results of the state's Senate race — a walkover for Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). But Trump supporters simply didn't respond to the poll in representative numbers.
“While the 1,100-plus we got back this time is far better than the samples of 500 used in some surveys, our return rate has gotten smaller over time,” said Rowland. “It's not just the 'younger generation' that is turning away from snail mail these days. All of this — not the results of a single poll — will go into our consideration of whether to continue conducting the Dispatch Poll.”
For other pollsters, 2018 represented a fresh start, without a Democratic candidate whose post-State Department unpopularity and negative story lines scrambled the electorate.
“Were it not for hacking, WikiLeaks, and the Comey letter, she would have won,” said EPIC-MRA's Bernie Porn. “If she had stuck to the economic message instead the of all-attack-ad approach, based on Trump's comments, she might have won. And if the Democrats had nominated anyone else, they probably would have won. Joe Biden would have won. Bernie would have won.”
State pollsters, pummeled by 2016, analyze what went wrong
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Old December 30th, 2016, 12:09 PM   #2
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Were it not for hacking, WikiLeaks, and the Comey letter, she would have won,” said EPIC-MRA's Bernie Porn. “If she had stuck to the economic message instead the of all-attack-ad approach, based on Trump's comments, she might have won. And if the Democrats had nominated anyone else, they probably would have won. Joe Biden would have won. Bernie would have won.”

Or maybe they shouldn't have proclaimed a landslide victory, simultaneously alienating a large part of the population by calling them bigots, racists and misogynists. Huh, who would have ever predicted that game plan would back fire?
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Old December 30th, 2016, 12:24 PM   #3
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There are lots of pollsters. Some try to be objective and others have an agenda. Some failed this time by a modest degree and some failed by a ridiculously gigantic degree. The ones that failed by a ridiculously gigantic degree had agendas. They wanted to shape the election more than they wanted to reflect the election. They now need to be laughed at when they attempt to be pollsters in the future.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 05:15 PM   #4
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As I mentioned in another thread, Trump got a few more votes than Romney did did in 2012. Unfortunately for Hillary, even though she got 2.8 million more votes than Trump, more than 2 million democratic voters simply stayed home. She received 2 million less votes than Obama did in 2012.

It's easy to understand how the pollsters got it so wrong. While they were polling "likely" Democratic voters, naturally the first question is "WHO would you vote for if the election was today ??" But if the follow up question wasn't "DO YOU plan to actually vote ??" Then their numbers were screwed from the beginning. They never anticipated the level of apathy many Democrat voters held towards Clinton. If they didn't ask the question, they couldn't have predicted so many would simply not vote.

I bet the questions asked in future polls will include whether or not the voter intends to actually vote.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 05:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by coke View Post
That is the title of a story from the Washington Post that was on MSN. Before I post the content of the story, lets just all read what that title says. Pollsters, analyze what went wrong. What? This is a classic example of elitism blaming someone else for their own actions. What could have went wrong? Oh my, surely it was not us who was wrong! What hath those peasants done! Why they voted for someone who we said they can not vote for! Shame on them! So, let us analyze why they did that! Because if they accepted the truth that they were just fucking wrong..oh the agony. How could they ever survive. Anyway, here is the story

State pollsters, pummeled by 2016, analyze what went wrong
This one really smacks of paranoia, Coke. Of course the polsters and other serious prediction makers want to know what went wrong. In a case like this they want to analyse whether it was an error in methodology, and error in the models they use and so on so they can do better.

Virtually all of them depend on other surveys, much so in the marketing area and for a herd of government purposes, and their past accuracy to a large extent establishes how much in demand they will be and how much the can get away with charging.

This isn't excuse making, this is trying to improve their product.
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Old December 31st, 2016, 04:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNG View Post
This one really smacks of paranoia, Coke. Of course the polsters and other serious prediction makers want to know what went wrong. In a case like this they want to analyse whether it was an error in methodology, and error in the models they use and so on so they can do better.

Virtually all of them depend on other surveys, much so in the marketing area and for a herd of government purposes, and their past accuracy to a large extent establishes how much in demand they will be and how much the can get away with charging.

This isn't excuse making, this is trying to improve their product.


The really strange part of ALL this is that the RIGHT is still trying to figure out what happened. LOL
Example: Coke's post. The Right is telling the Left to MOVE FORWARD, and yet, the Right is not moving forward. They're still posting guess work...apparently because they are so surprised THEY WON.
I agree with you, RNG. Just imagine 2020 or leading up to 2020. The pollsters have lost ALL credibility. No one is going to believe them. So they MUST shore up their model--convince Americans that they've found the devil in the details.
Good luck with that!
AND if you remember we debated it over and over for a year. Every time a new poll came out we talked about the number of voters polled, cell phones v landlines, questions, likely voters, sections of the country, and how ONE poll could be so different from another--days apart. The polling industry KNEW there was a ginormous problem. I still don't think they know what happened.
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