October 30, 2004


There are more than enough conspiracy theories and paranoid ravings floating around out there, but we have gotten to the point where it's hard not to see something nefarious in the way the Washington Post tracking poll expanded from using the results of three nights to four nights this week, which just happened to allow them to include Senator Kerry's weekend numbers in the results until today. Weekend polls notoriously tend to favor Democrats, so showed a Kerry rise and even a lead at one point--what was most noticable in their sample was that terrorism declined in importance--but with only weekdays included the President is back to 50% and a three point lead. Gotta go now, the aluminum foil skull cap is so tight my vision is blurring.


Okay, now I know I've gone nuts. Here's the description of their methodology that accompanies today's poll:

This tracking poll is based on a rolling three-day sample.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 30, 2004 5:48 PM

The test will, of course, come this weekend....

Will they drop back to three days? A four day average bridges the weekend and damps out variations...

Posted by: Earl Sutherland at October 29, 2004 11:29 PM

The Monday polls are the ones the major polling firms are going to have to stake their reputations on. Whether or not they would be willing to tweak that sample for their clients by adjusting the dates used, location of those polls, political preference ratios, etc., remains to be seen, but even if that does happen a little bit, I think those companies still want to at least be within the final magrin of error.

Posted by: John at October 30, 2004 1:04 AM

John -- That's my position, too. There is also the question of whether 2002 was the beginning of a permanent turn-out tilt towards the Republicans or a one-off. Most pollsters are assuming that turn-out will look like 2000 in terms of the ratio of Reps to Dems.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 30, 2004 8:00 AM

>>Most pollsters are assuming that turn-out will look like 2000 in terms of the ratio of Reps to Dems.

I see generals aren't the only ones who plan for the previous war.

Posted by: Joe at October 30, 2004 8:14 AM

A 4-day poll published Tuesday morning includes the Fri-Sat-Sun measurements that favor Kerry. Presumably they're planning ahead.

Posted by: pj at October 30, 2004 10:11 AM
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