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2020 Presidential Election Polling Thread


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19 hours ago, Obie Wan said:
23 hours ago, Doug B said:

I'd consider Ohio going to Biden a pretty big upset. Georgia, as well. But if Biden starts taking states like those, PA's late count won't matter.

Kind of thinking WI and MI are in the bag for Biden.

oops

[drumsfingertipsondesk]

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Here's the 538 forecast

If you scroll down to the winding path to victory, you'll see that they got it almost completely right.  Assuming Biden ends up taking PA, which I think is likely at this point,  It looks like everything blue up to Florida was accurate. 

From there on, Florida was within 3 pts of being accurate, which is less than standard margin of error.  Same for the rest (and NC and GA are still possible to flip as well). 

Of all the blue states, only Wisconsin looks outside the claimed MOE (which is technically closer to 6%), but was at 4%. 

Overall, they still underestimated red votes consistently, but there was enough built in for it to be accurate. 

From a polling and statistical viewpoint, it doesn't look like much of a miss at all now that all the votes have been in.  I think a lot of the complaining about the polling was premature before all the votes were counted.

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50 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Overall, they still underestimated red votes consistently, but there was enough built in for it to be accurate. 

From a polling and statistical viewpoint, it doesn't look like much of a miss at all now that all the votes have been in.  I think a lot of the complaining about the polling was premature before all the votes were counted.

I'm waiting for actual analysis, but my inclination is it is as simple as they under estimated how many more rural vote would show up relative to 2016. When there isn't reliable historical data to reference forecasting models are more susceptible to a miss. 

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9 hours ago, Capella said:

The polls were clearly incorrect but I don’t know why people bash Silver. Guy is just aggregating the polls, not conducting them and he did leave a 10% window where Trump could win due to polling errors. A lot of hatred for that guy and it doesn’t make sense to me. 

People are bashing him because the science of election modeling clearly still has a long way to go and yet here is this guy still pretending he's an expert. His models are straight garbage with a pretty bow on top. 

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2 hours ago, gianmarco said:

Here's the 538 forecast

If you scroll down to the winding path to victory, you'll see that they got it almost completely right.  Assuming Biden ends up taking PA, which I think is likely at this point,  It looks like everything blue up to Florida was accurate. 

From there on, Florida was within 3 pts of being accurate, which is less than standard margin of error.  Same for the rest (and NC and GA are still possible to flip as well). 

Of all the blue states, only Wisconsin looks outside the claimed MOE (which is technically closer to 6%), but was at 4%. 

Overall, they still underestimated red votes consistently, but there was enough built in for it to be accurate. 

From a polling and statistical viewpoint, it doesn't look like much of a miss at all now that all the votes have been in.  I think a lot of the complaining about the polling was premature before all the votes were counted.

This isn’t a knock of 538 but the polling on Wisconsin was impossibly bad. PA seems really really off too. 

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25 minutes ago, TwinTurbo said:

People are bashing him because the science of election modeling clearly still has a long way to go and yet here is this guy still pretending he's an expert. His models are straight garbage with a pretty bow on top. 

Seems like he ended up getting every state right except Florida to me. Even had Biden winning Arizona 68/100

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Are there any examples in this election cycle of Republicans polling far ahead and the Dems winning and/or making it much closer then expected?  I think there are two issues here...bad polling and it all going in one direction...I would think it would be a lot easier to fix if it is across the board.

Edited by Boston
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23 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

Absolutely. 

I think many people, myself included, can fall in love with the all the smart stuff that is done to the material coming in and think it'll be ok. But if it's garbage in, nothing else matters. 

I agree...I made calls for Biden and also Amy McGrath...first time Ive been involved.  Geting people to admit they were voting  red was like pulling eye teeth.(my perception that they were voting red )  Geting them to admitt they were voting blue was less tough (probably because they knew I was on their side but STILL  had trouble getting much out of them too)    Seemed like to me pre Trump people actually wanted to make sure their side was  represented in these polls (again just my percepion)   The bad part about all this is faulty polls make these people allocate money and time where they probably shouldnt  and thus avoiding spending time and money in places that really matter.  We as the people can get overbad polls because in the end polls  mean nohing  when it comes to the final vote.  The vote is the vote.  But in general these polls being off doesnt reall serve our democracy well.  

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1 minute ago, da_budman said:

I agree...I made calls for Biden and also Amy McGrath...first time Ive been involved.  Geting people to admit they were voting  red was like pulling eye teeth.(my perception that they were voting red )  Geting them to admitt they were voting blue was less tough (probably because they knew I was on their side but STILL  had trouble getting much out of them too)    Seemed like to me pre Trump people actually wanted to make sure their side was  represented in these polls (again just my percepion)   The bad part about all this is faulty polls make these people allocate money and time where they probably shouldnt  and thus avoiding spending time and money in places that really matter.  We as the people can get overbad polls because in the end polls  mean nohing  when it comes to the final vote.  The vote is the vote.  But in general these polls being off doesnt reall serve our democracy well.  

:hifive:

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48 minutes ago, Boston said:

Are there any examples in this election cycle of Republicans polling far ahead and the Dems winning and/or making it much closer then expected?  I think there are two issues here...bad polling and it all going in one direction...I would think it would be a lot easier to fix if it is across the board.

On the radio I was listening to a pollster talking about the issues they have and what is skewing the numbers.  He said for telephone polls they get hung up on around 95% of the time.  The difficulty is in determining who is more likely to stay on the phone and take the poll.  It seems that grumpy old white guys 😉 do not take polls, while young college kids are more likely.  Now they have to try and figure all this data in with historicals and the like to figure things out.  Knowing that you are not getting a fair representation from one group and trying to be predictive of that group is difficult.

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1 hour ago, Chaz McNulty said:

On the radio I was listening to a pollster talking about the issues they have and what is skewing the numbers.  He said for telephone polls they get hung up on around 95% of the time.  The difficulty is in determining who is more likely to stay on the phone and take the poll.  It seems that grumpy old white guys 😉 do not take polls, while young college kids are more likely.  Now they have to try and figure all this data in with historicals and the like to figure things out.  Knowing that you are not getting a fair representation from one group and trying to be predictive of that group is difficult.

Makes sense...that being said these guys are basically scientists with data and if he can say that two days after the election then they knew about this well before and should have figured out a way to account for it...makes no sense to me to say you know that there is an issue but not address it especially after it arose in 2016.

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1 hour ago, Boston said:

Makes sense...that being said these guys are basically scientists with data and if he can say that two days after the election then they knew about this well before and should have figured out a way to account for it...makes no sense to me to say you know that there is an issue but not address it especially after it arose in 2016.

When I made calls I would be lucky to get an answer from a call 1out of 20 or so times so that makes sense.  My understanding is they DID adjust....  and yet it sill wasn even close.   The senaorial races were terrible.  Susan collins won big in a state where every single poll said she was a loser.  Jamie harrison running neck and neck.....and loses  not even close.  

 

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On 11/4/2020 at 11:35 AM, Capella said:

I don’t know if anybody is lying to posters. Most people are not very online like the people who said they would lie are. My dad is a major trumpie and he would never lie like that, in fact he’d be excited to tell a pollster who he was voting for. Most older people are the same imo. Twitter and Facebook where these wild conspiracy theories live are not real life. 
 

The problem with the polls is very clearly their sampling patterns and something with their methodology. 

Well all I can go on is personal experience for the last month or so.  Acually it is heir perogative to not sayy who they voted for but I had more than a few that I hink were probably lying  or at the very least not willing to overtly admit they were voting for Trump (which,is again , their right)  One anecdotal example:  Nice old lady....said she was undecided...  so I tell her am McGrath is for erm limits.  she then says what about Nac pelosi and all the other democras....  I said yes maam democrats too.  I thanked her for her time and moved along to he next call.  Again Im not sure if its trump supporters or a change of  the times....probably more a change of the times.  Who Knows.

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3 hours ago, Chaz McNulty said:

On the radio I was listening to a pollster talking about the issues they have and what is skewing the numbers.  He said for telephone polls they get hung up on around 95% of the time.  The difficulty is in determining who is more likely to stay on the phone and take the poll.  It seems that grumpy old white guys 😉 do not take polls, while young college kids are more likely.  Now they have to try and figure all this data in with historicals and the like to figure things out.  Knowing that you are not getting a fair representation from one group and trying to be predictive of that group is difficult.

I'm not a grumpy old guy, but I did get over 100 calls and texts leading up to the election and didn't answer or hung up every single time. It's mind boggling to me why anyone in the modern digital era would answer questions to a complete stranger about anything over the phone. It also demonstrates how your personal information is bought and sold and why you should use a disposable, virtual number where possible when ordering anything online. 

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3 hours ago, TwinTurbo said:

I'm not a grumpy old guy, but I did get over 100 calls and texts leading up to the election and didn't answer or hung up every single time. It's mind boggling to me why anyone in the modern digital era would answer questions to a complete stranger about anything over the phone. It also demonstrates how your personal information is bought and sold and why you should use a disposable, virtual number where possible when ordering anything online. 

x2

Political polls and Nielsen ratings have always seemed like black magic to me. The people that adamantly want their voices/opinions heard are kind of a self selecting group. It's amazing so many people care about either.

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So with land lines dwindling/ obsolete and most people not answering unknown numbers on their cells, does polling have any viability/credibility?..clearly the results say a big no.

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On 11/4/2020 at 6:46 PM, gianmarco said:

Here's the 538 forecast

If you scroll down to the winding path to victory, you'll see that they got it almost completely right.  Assuming Biden ends up taking PA, which I think is likely at this point,  It looks like everything blue up to Florida was accurate. 

From there on, Florida was within 3 pts of being accurate, which is less than standard margin of error.  Same for the rest (and NC and GA are still possible to flip as well). 

Of all the blue states, only Wisconsin looks outside the claimed MOE (which is technically closer to 6%), but was at 4%. 

Overall, they still underestimated red votes consistently, but there was enough built in for it to be accurate. 

From a polling and statistical viewpoint, it doesn't look like much of a miss at all now that all the votes have been in.  I think a lot of the complaining about the polling was premature before all the votes were counted.

If I read/hear one more "it was within the margin of error" argument, I'm going to scream.

The whole point of "margin of error" is for errors in sampling.  If you do 100 polls of equal size and execution, you should be off relatively equal in each direction, creating the bell curve with standard deviations.

That is NOT what is happening.  Every single error is in the same direction.  That has nothing to do with "margin of error".  There is a fundamental error and to not have made the proper adjustments after 2016 is at the least bad science.  In addition, with political election polling, it is misleading and invites questions of the polling agency's integrity.  Are people doing this on purpose?  Statistically, the Wisconsin call should have been impossible if they were doing a legit polling survey.

In this day and age of "fake news" accusations and nations tampering in other nation's elections, to be this poor at your job is either embarrassing or fraudulent.

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7 minutes ago, Jayrod said:

If I read/hear one more "it was within the margin of error" argument, I'm going to scream.

The whole point of "margin of error" is for errors in sampling.  If you do 100 polls of equal size and execution, you should be off relatively equal in each direction, creating the bell curve with standard deviations.

That is NOT what is happening.  Every single error is in the same direction.  That has nothing to do with "margin of error".  There is a fundamental error and to not have made the proper adjustments after 2016 is at the least bad science.  In addition, with political election polling, it is misleading and invites questions of the polling agency's integrity.  Are people doing this on purpose?  Statistically, the Wisconsin call should have been impossible if they were doing a legit polling survey.

In this day and age of "fake news" accusations and nations tampering in other nation's elections, to be this poor at your job is either embarrassing or fraudulent.

Agree. Imagine if these guys were oddsmakers at a sportsbook. They would not last long. 

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11 hours ago, Chaz McNulty said:

On the radio I was listening to a pollster talking about the issues they have and what is skewing the numbers.  He said for telephone polls they get hung up on around 95% of the time.  The difficulty is in determining who is more likely to stay on the phone and take the poll.  It seems that grumpy old white guys 😉 do not take polls, while young college kids are more likely.  Now they have to try and figure all this data in with historicals and the like to figure things out.  Knowing that you are not getting a fair representation from one group and trying to be predictive of that group is difficult.

It’s amazing that in the era of big data.....Google.....Twitter......Facebook.......etc.....that our political prognostications still involve phone calls that 95% of people hang up on.  Where are all the data scientists?  Wouldn’t it be easier to look at Google search results to determine likely voter support?  

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11 minutes ago, Capella said:

That's actually a good point -- Silver's 89% chance of Biden winning was not intended to indicate an Electoral College landslide. Just a win -- any win -- for Biden, whether by two electoral votes or by four-hundred and two.

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On 11/5/2020 at 10:25 PM, Alex P Keaton said:

It’s amazing that in the era of big data.....Google.....Twitter......Facebook.......etc.....that our political prognostications still involve phone calls that 95% of people hang up on.  Where are all the data scientists?  Wouldn’t it be easier to look at Google search results to determine likely voter support?  

There’s one forecaster (PluralVote) who uses both polls and media search trends, and they did fairly well this cycle. They got more states wrong than 538 / The Economist, but their median electoral vote outcome (309-229 Biden victory) was closer than any of the major forecasts’. They were the only ones to predict a net loss of seats for House Dems as well. It appears that they might be onto something, so it’ll be interesting to see if other forecasters kick the tires on a polls + search strategy as well.

Edited by caustic
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19 hours ago, caustic said:

There’s one forecaster (PluralVote) who uses both polls and media search trends, and they did fairly well this cycle. They got more states wrong than 538 / The Economist, but their median electoral vote outcome (309-229 Biden victory) was closer than any of the major forecasts’. They were the only ones to predict a net loss of seats for House Dems as well. It appears that they might be onto something, so it’ll be interesting to see if other forecasters kick the tires on a polls + search strategy as well.

I think that it's highly likely that there's good sources of data from search trends and social media stuff.  Just have to get some deep larnin' on it, and wha-la, better predictor.

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On 11/7/2020 at 3:02 PM, Greedo said:

I just came here to admit I really missed the mark on polling this cycle. I predicted a blowout in favor of Biden, when it obviously was not.

Just saw this posted on Twitter.

Quote

Biden is now up 34k votes in NV (2.6%) & 43k in PA; more blue votes to come. AZ/GA leads are insurmountable now with very little outstanding. Biden wins 306 EVs & leads popular vote by 4.8M, with 6M ballots still out from CA/NY/IL. this was not a close election.

https://twitter.com/JesseLehrich/status/1325610449203769346

No clue who that guy is but he appears to be left leaning based on a cursory glance.

My take - I guess it depends on what you consider a blowout.  I definitely don't think Trump in '16 or Biden in '20 had a blowout because of the percentage of votes that if you swapped them would have changed the outcome - with the context of the EC.  It's easy to say the total vote count is a blowout but until that means something I'm not sure it really matters except to maybe pressure politicians to revisit the EC.

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8 minutes ago, Drunken Cowboy said:

The popular vote margin is going to continue to grow. There is some chance NC flips. This election was not a blowout, but it was a convincing win.

HRC won the popular vote by 2.1% in 2016.

Biden's at 3.0% right now.

I only bring this up to remind people you'll have to speak in terms of percentages when comparing as there are so many more total votes in 2020 than in 2016.

Edited by Gr00vus
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31 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

HRC won the popular vote by 2.1% in 2016.

Biden's at 3.0% right now.

I only bring this up to remind people you'll have to speak in terms of percentages when comparing as there are so many more total votes in 2020 than in 2016.

I think it will go to close to 5%

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1 minute ago, sho nuff said:

Why would it be?  Especially when some appears to be due to people being untruthful to pollsters.

If all the polls indicate your candidate is down significantly you would be less motivated to vote...

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3 minutes ago, stlrams said:

If all the polls indicate your candidate is down significantly you would be less motivated to vote...

Or more motivated to vote thinking your candidate needs your vote.

You would also have to somehow show the polling was intentionally inaccurate. Which would be yet another baseless accusation to be made I guess.

Edited by sho nuff
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5 minutes ago, General Malaise said:

They were inaccurate in 2016 and Trump won.  Can you provide me with a link where you posted the idea of voter suppression back then? 

I didn’t because there was not a pattern of inaccuracies.  We now have more data or examples that polling is inaccurate.  

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8 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Or more motivated to vote thinking your candidate needs your vote.

You would also have to somehow show the polling was intentionally inaccurate. Which would be yet another baseless accusation to be made I guess.

I disagree.  People are less motivated when their candidate is behind/losing especially by large margin.   Everyone wants to be on the winning side.   It’s human nature.  

What organizations provide the most poll data?  

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3 minutes ago, stlrams said:

I disagree.  People are less motivated when their candidate is behind/losing especially by large margin.   Everyone wants to be on the winning side.   It’s human nature.  

What organizations provide the most poll data?  

All sorts of organizations provide polling data.

Do you any evidence they are intentionally inaccurate?

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3 minutes ago, Chaz McNulty said:

I honestly believe a lot of Dems stayed home in the battleground states in 2016 because it looked like a slam dunk from the polls.  

So you agree that polls suppress votes..

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3 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

All sorts of organizations provide polling data.

Do you any evidence they are intentionally inaccurate?

Who are the primary organizations that provide polling data?.  I never implied or said there were intentional inaccuracies so not sure why you go here.  But I have no proof. 

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