Sunday, November 05, 2006

I Might Be Wrong, But Downcast I Ain't

I've been depressed and discouraged before certain elections in the past. I don't feel either of those emotions in the slightest degree now, and I can't imagine why (at least on general principles) other members of the Republican base would. Sure, Republicans are barely capable of governing, and are far too cowardly, but the end of this campaign has brought the shear lunatic unsuitablility to rule of the leftist Dems and the MSM into sharp focus. It's simply a no-brainer. I'll take the cowards and morons of the GOP over the Baal-worshiping Dhimmicrats any day of the week. I think most of the base would, too, now that it has come time to put up or shut up. And the shear enjoyment of seeing the MSM utterly discredited is a gleeful motivator, as far as I can feel.

But not according to the polls.

Polls, schmolls, says this American Thinker piece (I've reworded a crude metaphor used in the text):

As a scientist with thirty years of experience working with data just like election polls, I think the Left is having its victory [dance] way too soon. The pollsters are using the same assumptions since the famous Truman upset election of 1948. They are now questionable or plain wrong. The biggest question is: How wrong are they?

The key to scientific polls is random sampling of target groups, in this case (a) actual voters (b) Democrats vs. Republicans. If you’re not properly sampling those groups your poll results are going to be wrong.

For fifty years or so, poll takers could find enough people in the the target groups to make reasonably good prediction.

What has changed today is a massive revulsion among conservatives and Republicans against the media and their handmaidens, the pollsters. The polls now have to guess at (a) and (b) among the conservatives. You can’t check on your sample if your target group won’t answer. Twenty years ago Black opinion would be consistently off, because Blacks were suspicious of White pollsters. Conservatives are the Blacks of today, as far as alienation from the media is concerned.

In technical sampling language, the drop-out rate or sample mortality is wildly different on the Left and Right. There are no statistical techniques that can make up for a lousy sample.

The Democrats are wildly overconfident about their coming revenge. Headlines here and in Europe are celebrating a bloody defeat for George W. Bush. Leftwingers are bubbling with eagerness to talk to pollsters.

On the Right, Republicans can’t stand the pollsters, who are blamed for their constant push-polls on behalf of the Left. Their predictable reaction is to avoid pollsters like the bird flu that never quite met the media hype. Today you would almost have to waterboard a lot of conservatives, one by one, to get them to talk to pollsters. You can’t get a random sample if one of your target groups won’t answer. So the data will be wildly skewed.

Sampling bias would be serious if the pollsters missed even ten percent of the actual GOP voters. My unscientific guess is that they are missing much more than ten percent of conservatives, maybe 20 or 30 percent.

Any scientific paper based on such wildly unlikely sampling assumptions would be rejected by journal editors, and never appear in print. The media just don’t have anything approaching scientific standards. They are run by “activists,” not scientists. They’re already partying all over the international Left. The Islamist world is probably celebrating right along.

My advice: Watch the premature election [victory dance] as it happens.

Then vote.

You might enjoy the vote count.

No comments: