Fallacy of early polls

JG

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Lot of Dems including me have been optimistic about how bad the Midwest Polls look for Trump.

A cautionary tale...

On Friday EPIC-MIRA released a poll showing Biden leading Trump by 11 in Michigan.

Except the same group had Clinton by 10 in March 2016.

Dems need to focus on stuff at hand and not think like Hillary did that they have an advantage.
 

The_Major

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Lot of Dems including me have been optimistic about how bad the Midwest Polls look for Trump.

A cautionary tale...

On Friday EPIC-MIRA released a poll showing Biden leading Trump by 11 in Michigan.

Except the same group had Clinton by 10 in March 2016.

Dems need to focus on stuff at hand and not think like Hillary did that they have an advantage.
Polls are meaningless this early.
 

padrehorn11

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At this point in time, they are good for thinning out the field.
I'm not sure that's a completely good thing. It gives an inordinate value to early name recognition, and also a lot of power to 'Big Media'. And then people wonder why we get these lousy choices.

Joe Biden is a great example of early name recognition and Pete Buttgieg is curently an example of the power of a lot of positive promotion by 'Big Media'. Beto had some name recognition and a good deal of positive BIg Media promotion going for him, but thank goodness he was quickly exposed as an airhead.

I'm not sure what a good fix for those problems with culling by early polls would be though, or even if there is a better way. But both of those have become so dominantly important in our age. I suppose it beats the "smoke-filled rooms" but I'm not sure about that.

Maybe we should ask everyone in the country willing and legally qualified to be President to enter their name into an electronic random drawing. Early in the campaign cycle, before the regular 'debates', draw five names each week for a month. Give each 'contestant' a week or so notice to get their act together and get vetted a bit so we know they aren't registered sex offenders or something, and put that week's five on a TV stage. Give them three minutes to speak and then let each of the other four ask them two questions that can be answered in a minute or two each. "I don't know " would be an acceptable answer...better than the talking points we get from the pros, no matter what the question is. Then at the end give everyone another two minutes to sum up. Finally,after they finish, let them each take a couple of hours with an internet connection for research and write more complete answers. Publish those the next day (we'd know they could write their own stuff then anyway). Then, each week poll the country for the winner of that round. Then take the last four have a semifinals and let them actually debate head to head, then take the two winners and let them actually debate head to head. Sort of like a sports playoffs scenario.

Then finally throw the winner into the mix with the ones who get sorted in the way we do now. The media then gets to do their thing with the stupid 'debates' that aren't debates that we use now. It all might make some interesting TV (or not), and, along with some yucks, might get a few actual fresh ideas out there anyway.

Naaaah, someone I'd actually like to vote for might accidentally get elected, and then where would we be?
 

UTGrad91

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Polls are meaningful beginning around labor day of election year after both parties have had their conventions.
 

stevehorn

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I'm not sure that's a completely good thing. It gives an inordinate value to early name recognition, and also a lot of power to 'Big Media'. And then people wonder why we get these lousy choices.

Joe Biden is a great example of early name recognition and Pete Buttgieg is curently an example of the power of a lot of positive promotion by 'Big Media'. Beto had some name recognition and a good deal of positive BIg Media promotion going for him, but thank goodness he was quickly exposed as an airhead.

I'm not sure what a good fix for those problems with culling by early polls would be though, or even if there is a better way. But both of those have become so dominantly important in our age. I suppose it beats the "smoke-filled rooms" but I'm not sure about that.

Maybe we should ask everyone in the country willing and legally qualified to be President to enter their name into an electronic random drawing. Early in the campaign cycle, before the regular 'debates', draw five names each week for a month. Give each 'contestant' a week or so notice to get their act together and get vetted a bit so we know they aren't registered sex offenders or something, and put that week's five on a TV stage. Give them three minutes to speak and then let each of the other four ask them two questions that can be answered in a minute or two each. "I don't know " would be an acceptable answer...better than the talking points we get from the pros, no matter what the question is. Then at the end give everyone another two minutes to sum up. Finally,after they finish, let them each take a couple of hours with an internet connection for research and write more complete answers. Publish those the next day (we'd know they could write their own stuff then anyway). Then, each week poll the country for the winner of that round. Then take the last four have a semifinals and let them actually debate head to head, then take the two winners and let them actually debate head to head. Sort of like a sports playoffs scenario.

Then finally throw the winner into the mix with the ones who get sorted in the way we do now. The media then gets to do their thing with the stupid 'debates' that aren't debates that we use now. It all might make some interesting TV (or not), and, along with some yucks, might get a few actual fresh ideas out there anyway.

Naaaah, someone I'd actually like to vote for might accidentally get elected, and then where would we be?
Not trying to be an asshole, but your plan appears to be just as shallow as what you are complaining about. Realistically no way to somewhat fully vet candidates when 20 or 30 of them throw their proverbial hat in the ring. Polls seem to work as well as anything to convince some of them that they have no business calling themselves a candidate.

With the choices we've had in recent years, starting to think that a return to "smoke filled rooms" might be a good idea.
 
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padrehorn11

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Not trying to be an asshole, but your plan appears to be just as shallow as what you are complaining about. Realistically no way to somewhat fully vet candidates when 20 or 30 of them throw their proverbial hat in the ring. Polls seem to work as well as anything to convince some of them that they have no business calling themselves a candidate.

With the choices we've had in recent years, starting to think that a return to "smoke filled rooms" might be a good idea.
NO problemm. I wouldn't dignify that idea by calling it a plan. As I said I dunno if there is a good way. that was just some **** to throw at the wall, as it were. Truly the main thing I see that might make it interesting is the possiblity pof getting some funny entertainment, with the slight chance that someone might have an off the wall idea or two that, upon consideration, might make it into "hte connversation".
 

stevehorn

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NO problemm. I wouldn't dignify that idea by calling it a plan. As I said I dunno if there is a good way. that was just some **** to throw at the wall, as it were. Truly the main thing I see that might make it interesting is the possiblity pof getting some funny entertainment, with the slight chance that someone might have an off the wall idea or two that, upon consideration, might make it into "hte connversation".
What I think about is if a national primary election for the presidential candidates would improve the quality of candidates. Not sure it will, but I keep thinking it probably wouldn't be any worse than the current system.

The problem with off the wall ideas in recent times is that it's more likely that the bad ones make it into law than the good ones.
 
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padrehorn11

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The problem with off the wall ideas in recent times is that it's more likely that the bad ones make it into law than the good ones.
Hmmm, sadly, it seems that you're right about that.

The idea that the States can serve as testing grounds for different solutions to cetain problems sounds good in theory...but it seems like obvious failure at the State level often leads to "Well, it just neds to be NAtional in scope". Whereas successes are generally looked at like"Oh that will only work in special situations. Admittedly, sometimes, maybe often times, that's true, but it's probably used to condemn succeseses unfairly. I understand some problems must be addressed nationally, but I think there is a strong tendency nowadays to minimize the opportunities for the States to work out their individual solutions even to problems that might best be dealt with at the State level.
 

texvet16

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Lot of Dems including me have been optimistic about how bad the Midwest Polls look for Trump.

A cautionary tale...

On Friday EPIC-MIRA released a poll showing Biden leading Trump by 11 in Michigan.

Except the same group had Clinton by 10 in March 2016.

Dems need to focus on stuff at hand and not think like Hillary did that they have an advantage.
I think it was 2015 where one national poll had Hillary beating the field by 35 %, she was invincible! it's way to early for reliance on polls.
 

cctxfan

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I think it was 2015 where one national poll had Hillary beating the field by 35 %, she was invincible! it's way to early for reliance on polls.
Not only that, but it's just too early to even care about them. By the time Texas gets to vote in the primaries, at least 3/4 of the Dem candidates will be gone - probably more. I'll have my say then.
 
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JG

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Not only that, but it's just too early to even care about them. By the time Texas gets to vote in the primaries, at least 3/4 of the Dem candidates will be gone - probably more. I'll have my say then.
Not this year.

There are only four states that vote before us this year...NH, SC, Iowa, and I think Nevada.

We vote March 5 with a bunch of others. Pretty much could be decided on that day.
 

cctxfan

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Not this year.

There are only four states that vote before us this year...NH, SC, Iowa, and I think Nevada.

We vote March 5 with a bunch of others. Pretty much could be decided on that day.
OK, sure. And I will vote on March 5 and see what happens. Just not going to sweat it now.
 

JG

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OK, sure. And I will vote on March 5 and see what happens. Just not going to sweat it now.
Got it and agree.

I do think a lot of the extra hangers on will fall by the wayside on the way to March.
 

stevehorn

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Got it and agree.

I do think a lot of the extra hangers on will fall by the wayside on the way to March.
Eight months to go. A lot of the candidates will run out of money by them.
 
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40A

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I figured we'd all learn by now that polls are meaningless at just about any stage nowadays. They had Hillary in a landslide up until the day of the election.
 

JG

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I figured we'd all learn by now that polls are meaningless at just about any stage nowadays. They had Hillary in a landslide up until the day of the election.
Totally false.
 

stevehorn

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I figured we'd all learn by now that polls are meaningless at just about any stage nowadays. They had Hillary in a landslide up until the day of the election.
Not necessarily true. What the 2016 election did was forced the pollsters to acknowledge that they had not made adjustments to significant changes in modern America. Maybe the biggest change is that people are just more difficult to contact these days and people are more likely to not answer a phone call (from a pollster) than they were years ago. Also the steady growth of independents vs. people that identify as either Democrats or Republicans increases the chances of people changing their mind leading up to the election.

One thing that came out of the analysis of the polls in the 2016 election is that their margin of error was too low. That should have been adjusted upward due to their difficulty in getting a representative mix of respondents. If they had used a more accurate margin of error, the polls likely still wouldn't have predicted Trump victories in some of the states that he won narrowly, but would have been showing them as toss-ups.

The polls, with many of the needed changes implemented, did appear to be much better in the 2018 mid-terms.