Thursday, October 21, 2004


I report, you decide

Have you noticed that I’m always a step ahead of the curve in writing about the polls?

I first blogged about how presidential polls are fundamentally uninformative on September 19. Next day, articles on the same subject appeared in USA Today (“Why Voter Surveys Don’t Agree”) and the Wall Street Journal (“Divergent Opinion Polls Reflect New Challenges to Tracking Vote”).

I posted again on this uninformative quality of the polls this past Monday, October 18. Next day, October 19, front page of the New York Times: “Bush? Kerry? Why Pollsters Cannot Agree.” Don’t blame me, I’m just the prophet.

My Chicago correspondent T.M. showed me an illuminating analysis of polls appearing in The Guardian, which concludes that if you look carefully at the polls compared to their 2000 predictions-versus-results, the election will be close and that Kerry will win. I think that there will be such substantial new-voter participation favoring Kerry that he will win, and – absent large scale voter-suppression efforts by the Republicans – it won’t be a photo finish. But Republicans may well be demanding recounts and litigating in every state that was close.

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