Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Kerry would appear to have an insurmountable lead if this poll is to be taken as reliably predictive of the November election. (568 "most likely" voters. No breakdown of Democrats and Republicans of these 568 although there were 426 Democrats or leaning Dems within the larger sample.)

While there are plenty of reasons to explain why Kerry is doing well (Roscharch to your heart's content), I'm more interested in poll results that differ in terms of the undecided (operational defintion of "undecided" is other/do not know.)

The above linked USAToday/CNNNn/Gallup poll has a 2% undecided. A Rasmussen poll has 9% undecided (with Bush up 48/43 among 1500 "likely" voters).

A University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!) has 9% undecided but it only queried registered voters. (Kerry 46/45, 1012 registered voters))

The question is what does the USAToday/CNNNn/Gallup poll do to get their "likely" voters to choose. How much cajoling, if any? (An example of "likely" voter would be a pollee who is registered to vote and has voted in the last election. This is only an example not the actual criteria used by any poll.)

While all three polls could be wrong (and the statistics used by any of them says that 1 out of every 20 polls done by each pollster will be outside the margin of error, the magnitude of this error could be very great or very narrow,), I'm going on the assumption they are not (although the Gallup one differs greatly from the other two and from the one it conducted the prior week which agrees with the Rasmussen/UCONN results. Enough parentheticals for you?)

The fact that Rassmussen and UCONN have an undecided rates 450% higher than the Gallup rate would lead me to believe somebody is pushing the pollee too much or too little. (Sufficiently ambiguous, I hope.)

And I know that many of you may have been asleep after the first parathetical. Stats can do that.

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