Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Turning the corner

Finally some good news in the Canadian federal election. After weeks of decline in the polls, the Liberals are on the uptick again, and support for the Conservatives has declined. (Globe & Mail article) As I mentioned in a previous post, there are good reasons to fear what a Conservative government would do, so any news that their fortunes are in decline is welcome. If only we had analogous good news here in the States: the latest Zogby poll shows Bush taking over the lead in electoral votes.


Blogger Eric said...

First, I'm not sure I trust pollsters to be unbiased and massage the results. Second, even if I knew they were completely honest, I'm not sure I'd trust them to have a good enough understanding of statistics to interpret the results correctly. Third, even if someone running the poll did interpret the results correctly, I really doubt that they would present it to the public in a way which allowed me to make meaningful conclusions. For example, notice how little mention of uncertainties is mentioned in the Zobgy poll page. With a highly non-linear scoring system, understanding these would be critical to forming an informed opinion.

Another interesting thing to look at to is the Iowa Electronic Market's presidental vote share futures. Here's a chart of the recent prices. That market is slightly favoring the republican candidate. Although, I think it's interesting that the bid-ask spread is much greater for the democrat than for the republican.

6/22/2004 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Vincent said...

I do trust some of the larger, more reputable polling firms, who would have a lot to lose by manipulating results. It would be very surprising if they didn't have the knowledge and capability to conduct an accurate survey. However, reporting about polls by third parties (newspapers, television, this blog, etc.) is prone to inherent bias, misunderstanding the results, etc. Also, people don't always vote as they say they'll vote.

In case anyone is interested how the seat distribution would work out, Ipsos-Reid predicts 110-114 for the Conservatives, 107-111 for the Liberals, 19-23 for the NDP, and 64-68 for the Bloc. A majority requires 155 seats, so a minority government is likely. I'd feel better if the Liberal and NDP numbers added to at least 155, but I wouldn't be too concerned if the Bloc ended up as the kingmakers.

I leave it to Jacob to decide whether to write the poll results up on the main New Canada white board.

6/23/2004 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger acg said...

And 93% of statistics are made up? :)-

6/23/2004 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Qian said...

Being in a battle-ground state I'm being continuously blasted with campaign adds already. I'm seeing about 1.5 to 2 Bush adds per Kerry ad with the Bush ads being about 80% attack ads. I've also heard some Bush radio ads but none from Kerry yet. I'm somewhat encouraged that Bush is not leading Kerry by much considering the spending discrepency and the historical effectiveness of political attack ads. Also, Bush seemed to have gotten a recent bounce from Reagan, and we will probably see a Kerry bounce when the convention rolls around along with a VP nominee. I just hope the Florid'uh people can cast their votes right this time.

6/23/2004 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Vincent said...

It would also be a big plus if Florida wasn't overenthusiastic in purging voting rolls this time around. If they hadn't disenfranchised legitimate voters last time around, the country would never have heard of "hanging chads".

6/23/2004 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I don't think we know what a beanie toss would represent either. But I'm not into the superstious thing, so that doesn't bother me. Well, I'll put in a good word for a thesis toss.

Hmm, we did flip through a few bridal magazines at a bookstore one evening, mostly looking at ideas for dresses, cake designs. And we have googled for answers to several specific questions. But that's been the extent of our consultation with the powers of equitette past. But, I doubt our wedding will be too startling. We have mothers and aunts who are helping a lot and they ocassionally put in a suggestion for what I presume is tradditional.

I never heard of smooshing a cake in someone's face at a wedding. I thought that was for clowns. I think we'll feed each other a bite of cake (instead?).

6/23/2004 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Vincent: While I hope you're right that they know what they're doing, based on the output I see from such organizations, I have no basis for having confidence in their abilities. I suppose it's possible that the groups being paid by a campaign (where there's money to be made or lost) are doing a very good job, but just not disclosing their results fully or even entirely honestly to the public (want to keep information to themselves so as not to help competition or disclose something that might negatively affect the candidate's chances). But if that's the case, how would I know it? And there's a possiblely greater chance that the groups being paid by a campaign bias the results.

Being in California, the only campaign ads I've seen/heard are on website like Yahoo! and CNN. Or maybe that has something to do with not watching television and only listening to NPR.

6/23/2004 04:54:00 PM  

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