Wednesday, January 09, 2008

NH Polls

Matt Yglesias has a nice graph suggesting that the polls, at least when it comes to estimating Obama's numbers, weren't that far off.


Yglesias writes:

Just as Brian says, the difference between the Obama poll level and the Obama vote total level seems to just be your basic statistical variance. The pollsters underestimated Clinton's level of support. People who were undecided as of the last round of polling seem to have gone overwhelmingly in her direction.

[also note the relevance of this to Wilder/Bradley effect speculations]


The Wilder/Bradley effect is the factor that alluded to in an earlier post, where social pressures might overstate the support for black candidates. In particular, the effect seems to be that rather than declaring their opposition to a black candidate, voters will choose the more ambiguous category of undecided. Thus, the rule of thumb among some political professionals that when you have a black candidate running against a white candidate, take the undecideds and add them to white candidate's total. Wikipedia actually has a pretty good entry on the effect.

4 comments:

Stephen Medvic said...

It's plausible that the undecideds broke overwhelmingly for Hillary because of the Bradley effect. But that doesn't explain what happened in Iowa, where the polls underestimated Obama's performance (by about 7 points). Could the difference be attributed solely to the caucus?

Anonymous said...

Look at these posts for a political science perspective

http://www.themonkeycage.org/2008/01/dont_blame_secretly_prejudiced.html

http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/2008/01/what_was_going.html

Anonymous said...

What about the effect that women felt HRC was being "piled on" by Edwards, Obama, and the male pundits? More specifically, Edwards chose to go after her in the debate and his statement regarding her emotional moment, Obama's "your likable enough" comment, and all the pundits like Matthews, etc.

Chris D. said...

Did you see this excerpt from the latest issue of Larry Sabato's "Crystal Ball" newsletter?

"[In New Hampshire] Democratic voters in the exit poll were asked if Bill Clinton were a White House candidate in '08, would they have voted for him or their current candidate. By a margin of 58 percent to 27 percent, Hillary Clinton's voters preferred Bill, while all other Democrats kept most of their own voters. This is not a compliment to Hillary, but it's obvious that without Bill, she would not be in a position to win the party nomination."

I was floored. I can understand the dynamics of the Bill-Hillary brand, but this is pretty damning. Electing a President based on the strengths of her spouse is a shaky proposition at best.