View Full Version : Democrats thought media fixed polls-- 2004

09-30-2012, 04:20 PM
This shows a couple of things. One is that the Democrats also complained, and bitterly, about media bias and/or polling bias (a lot of the polls were commissioned by media companies, although it was thought true of just polling companies as well).

Fair enough. It mainly depends upon whose ox is being Gored (haha!), and the Dems had their share of <s>whining</s> principled objections, I meant, of course! Pure analysis, they claimed at the time.

The other thing it shows is that the so-called liberal mainstream media was NOT, in 2004, favoring the Democrats with skewed voter id numbers, and perhaps (or perhaps not) actually doing the opposite. LWW claimed they WERE skewing toward Democratic party id at that time, and that appears wholly wrong.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">WASHINGTON -- Eight years ago this week, I launched a new blog on political polling with a post on party identification. At the time, many Democrats were up in arms over survey samples that seemed too Republican and were contending that if pollsters would adjust for the "apparent overrepresentation" of Republicans in their samples, Sen. John Kerry would be running a closer race against President George W. Bush.

Two presidential elections later, the argument over the partisan makeup of poll samples continues, only this time the roles are reversed. Now it's Republicans and conservative pundits railing against allegedly "skewed polls." This year's controversy has one new dimension: a website devoted to recalculating poll results to match a partisan composition more favorable to the Republicans (as well as the inevitable parody Twitter feed).

This year's critics would do well to revisit the lessons of 2004.

Then as now, an incumbent president saw a boost in his poll numbers following the party conventions, which coincided with a shift in party identification as measured by most national polls. On the same day I launched my blog, the Pew Research Center published a roundup of the changes in party identification on five major polls, all of which showed a net shift in the Republican direction. </div></div>

Here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-blumenthal/unskewed-polls_b_1924293.html?utm_hp_ref=@pollster)

Backing up what the guy above says, here's the influential among Democrats Ruy Teixeira making that case at the time:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">September 17, 2004

CBS News/New York Times Poll Has It Close to Even!

Well, that is if you weight their data to conform to the 4 point Democratic party ID lead which we have good reason to believe is the underlying distribution in the voting electorate. As many have already heard, the new CBS News/New York Times poll, conducted September 12-16, gives Bush an 8 point lead (50-42) among RVs--but also gives the Republicans a 4 point edge on party ID. Reweight their data to conform to an underlying Democratic 4 point edge (using the 39D/35R/26I distribution from the 2000 exit poll) and you get a nearly even race, 47 Bush/46 Kerry.

Nearly even. That goes along with the the 46-46 tie in the Pew Research Center poll (which gave the Democrats a 4 point edge on party ID without weighting) and the 48-48 tie in the Gallup poll (once weighted to reflect an underlying Democratic 4 point edge). Not to mention the two other recent national polls (Harris, Democracy Corps) that show the race within one point.

Perhaps all this is just a coincidence, but the pattern seems striking. Once you adjust for the apparent overrepresentation of Republican identifiers in some samples, the polls all seem to be saying the same thing: the race is a tie or very close to it.

Note: this entry has been revised from the original to correct the CBS reweighted horse race from 46-46 (original) to 47-46 (corrected).
Posted by Ruy Teixeira at 10:34 PM | link | Comments (161)

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation and
the Center for American Progress [and the author of the blog, The Emerging Democratic Majority, my addition]