Thursday, August 26, 2004

More on Polls

The problem with polls is that you don't know whose to believe. As reported below, the Economist/You Gov poll has Kerry with a comfortable lead. On the other hand, the very recent LA Times poll has Bush ahead by 3% (49 to 46 with 5% undecided). There appears to be no question that the Swift Boat Liars For Butthead has had an impact on the electorate. That of course is predictable but also lamentable. It is a subject, however, that I will refrain from addressing further, at least at this juncture.

Back on topic, what can we glean from the polls. Most polls, along with averages of polls still have Kerry in the lead, both in the popular vote and in electoral votes. (see, and see Electoral, Tis' Poll of Polls, Polly's Poll).

Other things on the plus side include Bush's decreasing approval rating (see Professor Polkatz Pool of Polls ).

On the minus side, most quantitative analytical models (see down the page) show Bush winning the election (though most of these are months old). Moreover, the Iowa Electronic Markets, a unique market where you "bet" real money on who will be the eventual winner, still has Bush with a small lead.

Lastly, if you are interested in bias in the polls, Polkatz has a good analysis on this. As you could guess, Fox News is clearly biased toward Bush. Zogby, on the other hand appears to be biased toward Kerry. His conclusion is that the rest are pretty much trustworthy. He had a great graph on potenial bias, but for some reason I can't find it now.

If you are really interested it is best to look at the polls done state-by-state and view how they have changed over the past 6 months. Real Clear Politics is a place to start for this type of analysis.

Good luck and good hunting.


Bush Approval Rating - 39%

I got this via Atrios where I get lots of the good stuff. He has his hand firmly on the beating heart of American politics to a much greater degree than most of the Editorial page editors in this country, including the NY Times, Washington Post, and Fox News.

Anyway, as reported on

this week's Economist/You Gov poll has just come out and it contains a lot of good news for John Kerry. The poll was conducted August 16-18, with 1799 respondents ("Registered to vote": 1549, "Will definitely vote": 1417), and the MoE is +/- 2%.

The kicker - Bush's approval rating is an abyssmal 39%. Moreover, Kerry is beating Bush 51 to 43.

Suppose the election for President were being held TODAY. Who would you vote for? George W. Bush, the Republican; John F Kerry, the Democrat; Ralph Nader, an independent candidate, or someone else?

Total; Def to vote (Last week)
George Bush 41% (43); 42% (45)
John Kerry 48% (48); 51% (49)
Ralph Nader 2% (1); 1% (1)
Someone else 2% 1%
Would not vote 1% 0%
Don't know 6% 4%

As of now, what do you think you are most likely to end up doing on November 2? (not allowing 'don't know')

(Total, Def to vote)
George W Bush 43% 44%
John F Kerry 51% 53%
Ralph Nader 2% 1%
Someone else 3% 2%
Not vote at all 2% 0%

In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time?

(Total, Def to vote)
Satisfied 35% 38%
Dissatisfied 61% 60%
Don't know 4% 2%

Do you approve or disapprove of the way President George W. Bush is handling his job as president?

(Total, Def to vote)
Approve 39% 41%
Disapprove 55% 56%
Don't know 6% 3%