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Wall Street Journal Article Asks All the Right Questions

John Harwood has a front-page article in the Monday Wall Street Journal that does an excellent job of summarizing and discussing the debate that has been unfolding around the problems with recent polls. Of course, here on DonkeyRising I have discussed these problems in detail and defended the proposition that, once these problems are taken into account, the Presidential race is close to tied.
Or, as the article puts it:

If the CBS and Pew surveys are adjusted to reflect comparable numbers of Republicans and Democrats, their results would have been virtually identical.
Indeed that’s precisely what liberal polling analyst Ruy Teixeira did on his Web log, called Emerging Democratic Majority. As the New York Times report of the poll carried the headline “Bush Opens Lead,” Mr. Teixeira’s blog declared, “CBS News/New York Times poll has it close to even.”
…Mr. Teixeira argues that the Democratic edge Mr. Kohut [of the Pew Research Center] found is realistic, since exit polls from the 1996 and 2000 campaigns indicated that in both cases four percentage points more Democrats than Republicans showed up to vote. Slightly more self-described Democrats than Republicans voted in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 elections as well.

Nice to see some of the these very important arguments escaping the blogosphere ghetto and entering the mainstream press.

17 comments on “Wall Street Journal Article Asks All the Right Questions

  1. stodghie on

    I think it is hilarious that some of you wannabe trolls are picking on Ron Reagan. He inherited the best of his father in that he can put more than two words together and make sense. And hell, let’s face it, w is an idiot who can’t think or speak. DUH!

  2. Mike in MD on

    Well, the Wall Street Journal gets it right, and CBS falls flat on its face (in multiple ways.) Perhaps it’s time to rethink our assumptions about what media to trust.
    Traditionally, I have viewed Gallup as the most authoritative poll, based on tradition and its constant polling on many subjects (not just politics). But after reading about their LV projections, I don’t think I can do that anymore, at least for this election season, unless they change the formula. Guesswork is always unreliable, but the disproportionate overweighting of the GOP vote (or underweighting of the Democratic vote) means that their polls should be viewed as overstating the Republican vote by several points (maybe this explains Kerry’s Gallup non-bounce after the Dem convention.) And if the parties were reversed and Gallup (or anyone else) used an LV sample with considerably more Democrats than the general population, then that result should be discounted too, as much as many of us on here would like to believe otherwise.

  3. BJ Clinton on

    Read the article in the New Zealand newspaper, you’ll see where my criticism originates. As far as Ron Jr., this guy is such a loser that he trades on his good name but dishonors his fathers strongly held befiefs.
    Yeah, everyone can form their own opinions but it’s kind of sad to see a teenage rebellion from a guy that’s in his 40’s. My point about his looks, is that he sure didn’t get the MSNBC gig because of any qualifications most TV personalities must have. He has no background in news, he is not handsome in the traditional sense, and he obviously has an axe to grind (which NBC is all too happy to indulge).
    Jeez, you fat chicks are so sensitive!
    4 More Years!

  4. LD on

    I think it is time for everyone to completely ignore BJ. When he has to stoop to criticizing an opinion (Ron Reagan) based on that person’s looks, he obviously has nothing of substance to say. An added benefit of totally ignoring BJ is that it will infuriate him and perhaps drive him away.

  5. BJ Clinton on

    Oh bruhrabbit, don’t throw me in that briarpatch!
    You’re not far off with the; you get one, we get one analysis. But you’ll be surprised on election day. Coors in Colorado, for example. In an off year, he probalbly loses, but in a Bush landslide, he’s a down ticket winner. You’re going to be a sweating a lot of districts Nov 2nd.
    About the Bush/Reagan thing. It’s like Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman for a Cowboys fan. Both great in their own ways and both winners. Different teams and different eras, but the same intangible—leadership.
    Other than Chuck Hagel, Luger, and once in a while McCain (can you blame him) Republicans don’t need to be disciplined to the party line. We are all united behind Bush.
    4 More Years!

  6. bruhrabbit on

    I don’t know you, but here’s piece of advice. If you are going to make predictions, at least make realistic ones. I am not going to argue the presidential election b/c frankly I think it is pointless given what I have read to expect solid polling in a volatile election with two relatively weak candidates such as the Demo and Rep are fielding this time. I mean honestly do you really think George Bush is a Ronald Reagan. I certainly don’t think Kerry is a Bill Clinton. These two, Reagan in 84 and Clinton in 96 had their presidency in full force at this point in the game. The thing I find funny about leftist and rightist is what my ole govt affairs prof in graduate school used to say- when you listen to your partisan rhetoric, there is not much difference in its outlandishness. In your case, you are seeing landslides where they won’t be happen. Bush make indeed eck out a win, but it wont have any coattails. I mean you got Republicans acting like Dems today, and showing a lack of descpline in attacking their party leader during an election year (if they thought (and they are in a better place than you or I to decide this) that there would be any coattails or repercussions, they wouldn’t have been out there saying Iraq is going to crap in a hand basket). My prediction on the Congressional side is more status quo with not enough votes to do anything (ie, you pick off Daschle, we get Salazar, you pick off the seat in North Carolina we get of all places Oklahoma- I got to believe that even Oklahomans find sterilaztion w/o consent egregious unless they truly aren’t as concerned with their biblical teaching as they say they are). I am sleepy. So good night gracie.

  7. BJ Clinton on

    Best wishes to you as well.
    Poor Ron Jr., god bless him, with that receding chin and Nancy’ worst features. No I don’t agree with him, I pity the child.
    Hate won’t carry you guys to victory. I know from your posts that you are invested in Kerry’s success (more like Bush’s defeat) but you’re going to get your heart broke, brother. Three months from now, the conventional wisdom in your party will be that Kerry ran a bad campaign, Kerry didn’t fight back, Kerry was ill-advised.
    It’s worse than that, Bel. The GOP will pick up seats in both houses of congress. The big news story will be how long Bush’s coattails were. Kerry will be accorded the same standing as Dukakis. He’ll never speak at the Dem Convention again…Ever. Heck, you guys didn’t really like him before anyway.
    Don’t worry Bel, all will be well. Once the world sees that it’s Bush for another term, the press will get off this “everyone hates Bush” kick and start reporting the real deal (oh my, sounds like a slogan).
    Someday, you’ll even claim you voted for Bush.
    4 More Years!

  8. Bel on

    Tommy Pain.. its for the reasons outlined on your site that I cant quite grip how the media and others can take so much stock in these polls. To me, (I am no analyst) there seems to be so many gaping holes in the entire polling system.
    There seem to be so many methods and hence I cannot see how these guys expect to arrive at the same conclusions. Its all airy fairy to me. I discount them all and simply take my cue from people on the ground, people I talk to, crowds at the rallys and the things the candidates are saying (and from the frantic postings of GOPers on this site.. (BJ and crew.. lol..lol)), which is prob all wrong too.
    I dont take my cues from either the press or the polls. The only thing that interests me in the polls however, is that the results can influence how the undecideds and the loosely planted souls will vote. So that if the public is really rooting for Kerry but the polls say Bush is way ahead, such polls will and can influence the above mentioned crowd because they are more likely to believe the polls and follow the general opinion as stated in the stats.
    This is dangerous and hence I think the plan from here in, should be to call the media and the poll houses to account for the way they are handling their end of the business. Maybe that will work.. I dont know.

  9. gabby hayes on

    Ruy, you are getting recognition you deserve.
    If you think the trolls have been here lately, wait until they they get their panties in a bunch over the WSJ mention.

  10. Bel on

    BJ… you are way too funny about a serious subject.
    I note that you dont seem to like what Ron Reagan says in his NZ mag. but you dont refute what he says about the Bush clan. I suppose you know its all true what Ron says but you prefer to stay with bush because of the qualities which Ron outlines.
    So how are you BJ? I hope you are prepared to accept the news in Nov. I know you will be disappointed that bush loses but at least Kerry will have had your vote and thats all that matters.
    You and I agree with Ron Reagan and thats why you and I agree that we need a president in the white house who has some measure of integrity.
    Best Wishes BJ and may the better man win in Nov.

  11. Patriotforkerry on

    Nice to see the WSJ (that ultra-leftist screed!)highlighting the problems with Gallup’s (and others)polling methodology. Let’s face it, Gallup has become a joke and is increasingly unable to deal with the realities of tracking a presidential contest in this day and age. I wonder how long it will be before Gallup wakes up and admits it needs to revamp its approach to polling. Ah, its probalby easier for them to stick their head in the sand and continue to trade on their (declining) reputation.

  12. BJ Clinton on

    Yeah, Harwood has been kissing up to the Dems all year. I think he’s a graduate of the David Gergon school of “Getting a Job in Television”.
    Another alumni of that fine institution is Ron Reagan Jr. He’s written a screed in a New Zealand (New Zealand—what is that about?) paper titled “It’s time we stopped beating about the Bush. The Bush regime is a cabal of liars and fanatics.” Wow, that ought to guarantee Ron a gig at MSNBC for at least another two months.
    Hey, I’m not complaining, you guys can have Ron (I don’t have children, I have cats) Reagan. He’s rather an embarressment to us anyway. Tell you what, we’ll throw in Patty for good measure. We’ll take Zell Miller, Ed Koch, and Ron Silver anyday.
    Hell, some of you are welcome too.
    4 More Years!

  13. Bel on

    Thanks Again Ruy
    I am very happy to see that the main stream is taking a cue from this site. I think your analyses are excellent and can be very useful as a comparative tool, if made available to the public by the main stream media.

  14. K8T800Pro on

    It’s nice to see these important arguments escaping the “ghetto” too, but I think it says as much about the sloth of the professional journalist community as it does about the diligence of the bloggers!


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