An Interesting Polling Factoid

I’ve been looking at various polls, and if they are accurate, it seems that more people have a favorable opinion of Joe Xiden (e.g., 40 % approval in Rasmussen) than believe the country is headed in the right direction (e.g., 32 % in Rasmussen).

Does this mean that as significant number of Xiden’s supports approve of his leading the country in the wrong direction?



In the last days before an election, a well-run campaign will put its resources into holding on to votes where it has a weak lead and/or securing additional votes where it can best be competitive.

Joe Biden is campaigning in Minnesota tomorrow.

Is Minnesota in play? Really? The RCP Tracking shows Biden with 4.7 % lead in that state.



Gallup reports that American’s satisfaction with the way things are going has declined since the election. It was running around the historical average at 37% during the week before and has dropped to 27% afterward.

A sharp decline in satisfaction among Democrats explains most of the drop. Before the election, 62% of Democrats were satisfied; now, 34% are. Widespread forecasts that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would win gave Democrats’ outlook a boost in the week before the election. The increase among Democrats from 49% in October to 62% in the days leading up to the election was more than erased after Clinton lost.

Ya’ think?

Republicans’ attitudes were much less volatile over the past two months. The satisfaction rate rose slightly from 8% in October to 14% just before the election, and then climbed a few more points to 17% after Republican Donald Trump’s victory.

Read the whole thing.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Statistics are like a sewer pipe. The output is dependent on the input. Or as Nate Silver has recently discovered (H/T, TOM),

Nov. 2: For Romney to Win, State Polls Must Be Statistically Biased

Well, duh.

Polls are susceptible to all sorts of bias caused by poor design. Sometimes the error is an honest mistake. Liberty magazine predicted that FDR would lose in 1936 based on the results of a telephone poll. Their sample was skewed because a significant percentage of voters couldn’t afford a phone. Other polls aren’t really honest but are designed to show momentum for a candidate.

The polls this year simply don’t appear to reflect the real world sentiments one hears around the office coffee pot or in the checkout line at WalMart.

I suspect that Mr. Silver’s model is a bit buggy. We will see how well it does on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I expect that I’ll be able to say:

You smell that? That charred smell? That’s Nate Silver, son. I love the smell burnt out Nate Silver in the morning. It’s the smell … of victory.