Losing confidence in polls
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26-09-2016, 01:38 PM
Losing confidence in polls
I've always been a big fan of polls, but I'm starting to have my doubts. Twice this week, my landline at home rang and pollsters were on the other end. They said they were presidential pollsters and wanted to ask me questions. I said sure. The first caller asked me immediately if I worked in the media in any way and when I told them yes, they said "This concludes our poll, thanks."

The second call was from someone asking about the NRA. I told them I don't own a gun and they cut the poll short. They have no idea if I'm for or against guns.

So, what does this tell me. Well, in these cases, they were looking for very specific people to poll. And it's not like it was a category such as "likely voter" or "independent" etc. They asked if I was in the media or if I owned a gun. Both ended the poll there.

So, while I still have some confidence in polls, I'm a bit skeptical of the fluctuation in them from day to day. And if some are slanted, then even the weighing of them must be called into question.

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26-09-2016, 02:08 PM
RE: Losing confidence in polls
They've been calling our house for weeks now. Multiple times a day everyday.

I've stopped answering the phone -- recently tho, completely fed up....I told them for shits and giggles I was voting for Trump. Oddly since then, about a week now, my phone has been quiet.

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26-09-2016, 02:19 PM (This post was last modified: 26-09-2016 04:31 PM by yakherder.)
RE: Losing confidence in polls
If people like me have the potential to be included in the poll, don't trust the results. The second someone starts asking me questions my sole purpose in life becomes to make the interview as awkward as possible by providing whatever answer I feel is most likely to fuck with their head.

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26-09-2016, 02:40 PM
RE: Losing confidence in polls
(26-09-2016 02:19 PM)yakherder Wrote:  If people like me have the potential to be included in the poll, don't trust the results. The second someone starts asking me questions my sole purpose in life becomes to make the interview as awkward as possible by providing whatever answer I feel is most likely to fuck with their head?

I knew I couldn't be the only person who does this...


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And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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26-09-2016, 02:41 PM
RE: Losing confidence in polls
(26-09-2016 02:19 PM)yakherder Wrote:  If people like me have the potential to be included in the poll, don't trust the results. The second someone starts asking me questions my sole purpose in life becomes to make the interview as awkward as possible by providing whatever answer I feel is most likely to fuck with their head?

This. Exactly.

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26-09-2016, 03:43 PM
RE: Losing confidence in polls
Nate Silver knows all about these proclivities and has finely calibrated how much weight to give his hundreds of sources, such that, thus far, his prognostications match outcomes with considerable precision - so long as the outcome is more or less immediate. His current forecast models (three of them) reflect the still immense uncertainty this distant from the election, but being wise to mind-f**king telephone-answerers only sharpens his calibration.

I have to ask - I assume you're following the race with more than just casual attention, and are therefore hopeful that news accounts are more rather than less accurate - so why would you deliberately toss acid into the information machinery, thereby making the certainty you seek less certain? You're like a train passenger depending on the reliability of the railroad yet given the opportunity to yank a rail spike out of its tie you do so gleefully. Facepalm
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26-09-2016, 04:12 PM
RE: Losing confidence in polls
Anyone who calls my house, if I don't know them or they are "unavailable" on caller ID goes to voice mail.

Surprisingly few leave messages.

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26-09-2016, 04:13 PM
RE: Losing confidence in polls
(26-09-2016 03:43 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Nate Silver knows all about these proclivities and has finely calibrated how much weight to give his hundreds of sources, such that, thus far, his prognostications match outcomes with considerable precision - so long as the outcome is more or less immediate. His current forecast models (three of them) reflect the still immense uncertainty this distant from the election, but being wise to mind-f**king telephone-answerers only sharpens his calibration.

I have to ask - I assume you're following the race with more than just casual attention, and are therefore hopeful that news accounts are more rather than less accurate - so why would you deliberately toss acid into the information machinery, thereby making the certainty you seek less certain? You're like a train passenger depending on the reliability of the railroad yet given the opportunity to yank a rail spike out of its tie you do so gleefully. Facepalm

What gave you that impression from my post? I answered the pollsters honestly. I have missed your point.

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26-09-2016, 04:14 PM
RE: Losing confidence in polls
(26-09-2016 02:19 PM)yakherder Wrote:  If people like me have the potential to be included in the poll, don't trust the results. The second someone starts asking me questions my sole purpose in life becomes to make the interview as awkward as possible by providing whatever answer I feel is most likely to fuck with their head?

Me too I once sent back the census papers saying there were 33 illegal aliens living in our home!
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26-09-2016, 04:40 PM
RE: Losing confidence in polls
(26-09-2016 04:13 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  What gave you that impression from my post? I answered the pollsters honestly. I have missed your point.

Apologies WillHopp, that wasn't directed at you but the others who responded saying they monkeywrench their poll responses - should've clarified that. As to your experience of pollsters exercising prior restraint so to speak you can be sure that those types of pollsters figure very lightly (or not at all) in Nate Silver's modeling.
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