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168 votes
Accepted

Why was the Economist model so sure Trump was going to lose compared to other models?

In comparison to the 538 model, the economist model uses less "fat tails". 538 uses a t-distribution to account for "black swan" events: things that, although they are unlikely, ...
James K's user avatar
  • 123k
81 votes

What is the purpose of polls published by the organization that they are asking about which have leading/confusing questions?

One purpose of the type of poll that you linked to is to develop a list of potential donors and campaign volunteers and supporters. The one-sided nature of the poll language serves to a) motivate the ...
jeffronicus's user avatar
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57 votes
Accepted

Was the November 2019 polling about the Democratic Party's lead over Trump trustworthy?

Fully-specified polls are perfectly trustworthy in terms of what polls actually indicate. Their topline results are not very reliable. Most people think of polls in various incorrect ways. The most ...
Upper_Case's user avatar
56 votes

Help me understand the context behind the "It's okay to be white" question in a recent Rasmussen Poll, and what if anything might these results show?

I am not sure how much "context" you want out of a poll question. This is the poll: 1* Do you agree or disagree with this statement: “It’s OK to be white.” 2* Do you agree or disagree ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
48 votes
Accepted

In the 538 Election Forecast, what is the difference between States that are: "the closest races" and "close to the tipping point"?

To demonstrate the difference, I'm going to use the result of the 2008 election as an example. A close race is a race where the difference between the two candidates is small. In 2008, Missouri was ...
Joe C's user avatar
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41 votes
Accepted

What's the point of US presidential polls that poll people in general rather than dividing them by state?

Initial Considerations why do so many polls simply aggregate the voters rather than segment into states? Is a generic population based poll that interesting? One reason to do a national poll is that ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
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37 votes

What is the purpose of polls published by the organization that they are asking about which have leading/confusing questions?

I tend to group polls into one of two types: scientific polls that intend to reflect accurately what the population or whichever subgroup it is interested in thinks/believes/desires/knows proof-of-...
Jan's user avatar
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34 votes
Accepted

Phenomenon where politically incorrect candidates do better in actual elections than in polls?

One term for this effect is "Social Desirability bias" Social desirability bias is a social science research term that describes the tendency of survey respondents to answer questions in a ...
user4012's user avatar
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32 votes
Accepted

Are there any US polls of whether Trump prosecution is considered politically motivated?

People poll about everything related to politics so of course there are polls about this. And it should also be noted that people can think that the charges are politically motivated and that he did ...
Joe W's user avatar
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30 votes

Was the November 2019 polling about the Democratic Party's lead over Trump trustworthy?

Don't mistake polled sentiments for election results. In all likelihood, the next presidential election in the US will be decided by a few swing states. It will not matter how much the Democrats win ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 112k
28 votes

Are opinion polls always representative of the extreme opinions?

The survey/poll participants not being all equally likely to answer is a well-known problem called participation bias aka non-response bias. A typical example: A study of nonrespondents from the ...
time takes its toll's user avatar
28 votes

In the 538 Election Forecast, what is the difference between States that are: "the closest races" and "close to the tipping point"?

There are some nuances particular to FiveThirtyEight's model. Their dashboard works by simulating a large number of elections, and then presents a sample of 100 of these simulations. The states with ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 108k
27 votes

Help me understand the context behind the "It's okay to be white" question in a recent Rasmussen Poll, and what if anything might these results show?

"Its Ok To Be White" is a white supremacist slogan It has been used as a racist saying going back more than 5 years. As citations: Campuses confront spread of 'It's OK to Be White' posters (...
Yakk's user avatar
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24 votes
Accepted

How can we estimate the real support of the war among Russian citizens?

The following isn't an answer telling us what Russian public opinion with regards to the "special military operation" is. It is listing some approaches that have been tried and info that ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
20 votes

What is the purpose of polls published by the organization that they are asking about which have leading/confusing questions?

Depending on how you became aware of the poll, this may be an example of a push poll. This is a poll where there is no intention of doing anything useful with the results, but where the true goal of ...
James_pic's user avatar
  • 467
19 votes

Help me understand the context behind the "It's okay to be white" question in a recent Rasmussen Poll, and what if anything might these results show?

The context is simple. Currently in the US, there is a political debate that is acting as a proxy for what some call culture war. Radical US conservatives have one particular world view that embodies ...
J D's user avatar
  • 373
19 votes

Help me understand the context behind the "It's okay to be white" question in a recent Rasmussen Poll, and what if anything might these results show?

The existence, not the result, of the poll is the message what if anything at all might these poll results show? It doesn't really matter what percentages were reported in the poll. Adams is ...
Karl Knechtel's user avatar
18 votes

Why are there no polls of Tom Steyer yet?

If you look at the date ranges on those "most recent polls" (at the time this question was asked) you will find that they almost all started before July 9th. The Hill/Harris X poll started July 12th. ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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18 votes

Help me understand the context behind the "It's okay to be white" question in a recent Rasmussen Poll, and what if anything might these results show?

Julian Sanchez recently described the context behind this situation in a thread on Twitter (I've reformatted it slightly into paragraphs and not tweets): It seems like a bunch of folks were ...
Zach Lipton's user avatar
  • 2,618
15 votes

Was the November 2019 polling about the Democratic Party's lead over Trump trustworthy?

In addition to the caveat about the Electoral College, polls can change pretty fast. Just on Oct 30, another predicted Trump would win the popular vote, against an unnamed Democratic nominee, by a ...
time takes its toll's user avatar
15 votes

How can poll results be verified?

The general solution is multiple, independent polling organizations. If the results of multiple polls are roughly consistent with each other, they can be considered as reliable as possible given the ...
Barmar's user avatar
  • 10.8k
15 votes

Why is polling data for Northern Ireland so differently displayed on national polling sites?

Northern Ireland politics is pretty much separate from the politics of Great Britain. Opinion polls are not synchronised, because you can't use the same poll questions for NI and GB, and the two sets ...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 10.5k
14 votes

Are there any US polls of whether Trump prosecution is considered politically motivated?

https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/trump-guilty-verdict-makes-minimal-impact-public-opinion However, almost half of Americans also believe that the charges were politically motivated, and perceptions of ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 45.4k
13 votes

How can we estimate the real support of the war among Russian citizens?

There's a clever method to do this, called list experiment. Here's the description: In the list experiment, respondents were asked whether they personally supported none, one, two, three, or four of ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 36k
12 votes
Accepted

Why are two trend-lines shown with Biden's poll results?

What's going on is that there are two weekly polls of the Democratic race, one by Politico/Morning Consult and one by Economist/YouGov. The Economist/YouGov poll shows consistently lower support for ...
TenthJustice's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

How can we estimate the real support of continued resistance among Ukrainian citizens?

The most recent poll results conducted by Gallup (a widely known, independent organization not based in Ukraine) are below. They indicate that the majority of Ukrainians want to fight to liberate all ...
Timur Shtatland's user avatar
11 votes

Are opinion polls always representative of the extreme opinions?

Defining an opinion poll as "an assessment of public opinion obtained by questioning a representative sample," the answer to your question is no. Opinion polls are not always overly representative of ...
Underminer's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Is the "no poll reporting till voting is done" law specific to the Brexit vote?

This applies to all UK elections. The Representation of the People Act 2002 inserted a section 66A into the initial 1983 of the same name and this read as follows. It is a criminal offence ‘to ...
kyrenia's user avatar
  • 1,134
9 votes
Accepted

How do US pollsters select people for their polls?

It really depends on the pollster. Generally, a random sample is taken of the population, using methods such as random telephone number generation, and this sample is then weighted to correct for ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 108k
9 votes

How can we estimate the real support of the war among Russian citizens?

Since you have expressed justified scepticism and distrust of the Russian poll data and pollsters, let's see what the other side thinks about it. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a ...
sfxedit's user avatar
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