Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Polling Highly Inaccurate in NY-23

Posted Nov 05, 2009 at 12:26 AM
Maurice Berger, Political Director, PollTrack

Polls in NY-23 were highly inaccurate, in the end, for three reasons: [1] congressional districts are very difficult to sample, with too small a population to get a readable and representative sample. [2] the race was highly volatile [3] one candidate dropped out, thus making it almost impossible to gauge where here supporters would ultimately wind up over such a short time period. The polling director of Public Policy Polling, which was way off in its numbers in the district, writes: ""I made a poor judgment call by not just killing it when Scozzafava dropped out and then endorsed Owens. Like any pollster we will make mistakes, we will just try not to make the same ones twice. Obviously the bizarre machinations in the race last weekend made it extremely volatile and if we ever a poll a race this strange again we will make better decisions (or maybe make the most prudent decision to just sit such a contest out!) But I apologize for putting bad information out there, it is very embarrassing."

How Accurate Are Public Opinion Polls?

Posted Oct 29, 2008 at 2:18 AM
PollTrack Election Watch

How Accurate Are Public Opinion Polls? In the last week of Election 2008, voters are left scratching their heads, not sure what to believe about polls. One survey shows Obama up by +15%, another taken over the same period, shows the race almost tied, at +2% Obama. Some pollsters now say it is almost certain that Obama's lead will hold' a few hold out the possibility of a squeaker. What gives? And are pollsters themselves worried that they might be getting it wrong, one way or the other? An article published this morning in the Washington Post tries to sort things out with the state of polling in Election 2008. For the full article click here.