Saturday, September 13, 2008

Here's a new (to me) political poll blog that you might find interesting (I did).  I'll put it on my blog list for everyone's convenience.

Today's Polls, 9/12

Another fairly strong polling day for John McCain:
The University of Cincinnati's highly-rated Ohio Poll has John McCain leading by 4 points in the Buckeye State. There are no particular demographic quirks in these results; Barack Obama is simply a little behind where he needs to be across the board. The U. of C. (no, not the real U. of C.) had surveyed Ohio once before in February, at that point showing Obama with a 1-point lead, but that was a poll of registered rather than likely voters so the results are not directly comparable.

There's More...

Here's the rational behind the name, and some additional information 
What is the significance of the number 538? 538 is the number of electors in the electoral college.
What is the mission of this website? Most broadly, to accumulate and analyze polling and political data in way that is informed, accurate and attractive. Most narrowly, to give you the best possible objective assessment of the likely outcome of upcoming elections.

How is this site different from other compilations of polls like Real Clear Politics? There are several principal ways that the FiveThityEight methodology differs from other poll compilations:

Firstly, we assign each poll a weighting based on that pollster's historical track record, the poll's sample size, and the recentness of the poll. More reliable polls are weighted more heavily in our averages.
Secondly, we include a regression estimate based on the demographics in each state among our 'polls', which helps to account for outlier polls and to keep the polling in its proper context.
Thirdly, we use an inferential process to compute a rolling trendline that allows us to adjust results in states that have not been polled recently and make them ‘current’.
Fourthly, we simulate the election 10,000 times for each site update in order to provide a probabilistic assessment of electoral outcomes based on a historical analysis of polling data since 1952. The simulation further accounts for the fact that similar states are likely to move together, e.g. future polling movement in states like Michigan and Ohio, or North and South Carolina, is likely to be in the same direction.


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