Zogby Explains His Polling

By Big Tent Democrat

But but but:

About California: Some of you may have noticed our pre-election polling differed from the actual results. It appears that we underestimated Hispanic turnout and overestimated the importance of younger Hispanic voters. We also overestimated turnout among African-American voters. Those of you who have been following our work know that we have gotten 13 out of 17 races right this year, and so many others over the years. This does happen.

Yep, Zogby nailed Obama winning Illinois and Clinton winning New York. Thanks for the insight John. But what's missing an election by 23 points amongst us friends? We still love ya John.

< From The "Um, Ok" File | Obama Campaign Predicts Deadlocked Race >
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    By the way (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 04:36:49 PM EST
    Three cheers to you saying not to rely on Zogby. You were right. Kachiiing.

    "What Zogby meant" (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 04:43:03 PM EST

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 04:46:01 PM EST
    Zogby has a long history ... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 04:51:02 PM EST
    ...of "undersampling" and "overestimating" and being utterly unreliable. Being unreliable doesn't mean always being wrong. It means that your audience can never get a grip on when you're likely to be right or wrong.

    Ding ding ding (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 04:55:18 PM EST

    No one can make heads or tail of a pollster hwo makes it up as he goes along.



    Speaking of polls, Gallup says today . . . (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:01:17 PM EST
    "PRINCETON, NJ -- The increase in support for Hillary Clinton at the national level that Gallup saw in interviewing conducted Sunday and Monday continued in interviewing Tuesday night. Gallup Poll Daily tracking conducted Feb. 3-5 now includes three consecutive days in which Clinton has done well, giving her a 13-percentage point lead over Barack Obama, 52% to 39%. . . ."

    Wow.  He had been at 44% a few days before.

    can we all spell Peak :-) (none / 0) (#12)
    by athyrio on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:04:22 PM EST
    To be fair (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by Steve M on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:08:06 PM EST
    if you're going to peak, the day when half the country votes isn't a bad time for it.

    Graph shows Clinton pulling ahead, Obama sagging (none / 0) (#15)
    by cymro on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:09:20 PM EST
    Link to the graph

    Democratic preferences in Tuesday night's interviews -- mostly conducted before Super Tuesday election results were known -- were similar to Sunday and Monday night's interviews. Gallup Poll Daily tracking will not begin to reflect the impact of Tuesday's voting on national Democratic preferences until tomorrow.

    It will be interesting to see if that trend continues after voters see that she is still the leader in the overall delegate race.


    Clinton "Surge" (none / 0) (#20)
    by tek on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:27:48 PM EST

    Eh (none / 0) (#21)
    by BDB on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:28:02 PM EST
    I take tracking polls with a giant grain of salt.  

    The one good thing about this one is that it quiets down Obama's spin machine.  Kind of hard to spin these numbers.  So he doesn't get several days of breathless discussion about how he beat her on this one night, after undersampling women and latinos, and so he's surging to an insurmountable lead!


    Voters are unbelievably fickle (none / 0) (#24)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:41:31 PM EST
    It's kind of sick.

    What good reason would people have to change their opinion that way?

    Probably an outlier.

    And I'm a suspicious person....are they helping Barack with an expectations game of some sort? while Hillary is trying to establish herself as an underdog?

    I am becoming paranoid.


    SUSA polled a lot of races (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:05:14 PM EST
    and got more right. Relying on Zogby is like relying on Nancy Reagan's astrologer.

    Those Silly Kids (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by KevinMc on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:18:53 PM EST
    Maybe he could use this as an excuse:

    Obama Girl Doesn't Vote

    Chuckling. (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:26:50 PM EST
    donations... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Pat on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:29:44 PM EST
    Can you encourage people to contribute to te campaign? I just sent another fifty bucks....I'm afraid that too many people think she can snap her fingers and money appears...

    I support Obama (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:38:45 PM EST
    I assume you do not want me to encourage donations to him.

    But actually I will not encourage donations to either.


    Zogby's alter ego explains: (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by scribe on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 06:06:17 PM EST
    1.  I take a big format newspaper and spread a couple pages out.
    2.  I take a Magic Marker (TM) and draw a big circle on the paper.
    3.  I figure out who I'm going to back in this poll.
    4.  I split the circle up, into unequal sections, put my favorite in the bigger one, and assign number values to some of the sections.
    5.  Sometimes, I pull a rune or two, or flip some cards (doesn't matter what kind).
    6.  I pin the paper to the wall of the break room in my office, and throw darts at it.  Sometimes, to get a "Blind" survey, I'll wear a blindfold.  I don't do too many of those, because someone got in the way once and workers' comp said not to do that anymore.
    7.  I have the results typed up neatly and disseminated.

    Well... (none / 0) (#2)
    by mindfulmission on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 04:39:42 PM EST
    ... he also nailed Missouri, where others were way off.  

    how close was he? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 04:44:11 PM EST
    About as close as I am to my ex (none / 0) (#30)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 07:35:42 PM EST
    Read: MILES off.

    Well (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 04:45:33 PM EST
    Not exactly. But he was within 3 it is true.

    And SUSA. . . (none / 0) (#7)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 04:47:12 PM EST
    which got California on the button, was off by something like 12.

    These things do happen.

    Just, perhaps, somewhat more often with Zogby.


    Well (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 04:48:47 PM EST
    Zogby is a charlatan imo.

    As he basically admits, he makes up his turnout models.

    That is not polling.


    I don't know a lot about polling. . . (none / 0) (#31)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 08:04:13 PM EST
    and I don't have an opinion on Zogby -- you may well be right.

    Bear in mind, however, that the DMR was roundly criticized before Iowa for a radical and crazy turnout model -- and then turned out to be eerily accurate.  The women who does their polling is a polling hero, but she would have been a goat had they been wrong.

    It strikes me that fiddling with turnout models is actually a major part of contemporary polling.  I'm sure all the other pollsters would like to develop a  national reputation like the DMR now has for Iowa.  Not that Zogby has much of a chance in that race now.


    SUSA has past polls (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:44:39 PM EST
    on their web site for the 2004 and 2006 elections.  If others' polls exist they are also listed for comparative purposes.

    SUSA is the one most likely to be dead on, or very close.  Even the beloved "Field Poll" for California has never been as accurate in actual numbers.  Yes, the Field picks the winner, but often not by the right margins.


    Polls are supposed to be done (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by my opinion on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:55:37 PM EST
    using proven scientific and statistical procedures. Zogby takes questionable data and then adds opinion. His polls are about as accurate as asking someone on the street what their opinion is.

    Maybe he listed black dudes ... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ellie on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:14:17 PM EST
    ... as part of the chick vote and put southern white guys down as brothers ... [/crunching numbers]

    (I hear that femme is the new black!)

    delegates (none / 0) (#18)
    by tek on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 05:26:26 PM EST
    Obama is still claiming that he has more delegates. He's not smart enough to be president.

    Dean is catching Kerry! (none / 0) (#28)
    by CathyinLa on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 06:39:41 PM EST
    That's what Zogby "showed" in New Hampshire only to do the most transparent backtracking, he releases a poll the day of the election, with the benefit of exit polling interviews, to show that Kerry was closing on the day of the election.

    Do You Believe in Polls? ARG, Zogby? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Doc Rock on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 07:15:35 PM EST
    Do you believe?

    Arg wrong?

    Thanks, as always, to Big Tent Democrat.

    The election results can not be verified (none / 0) (#32)
    by Lora on Thu Feb 07, 2008 at 09:08:39 AM EST
    Unfortunately, everyone is using the actual election results to decide if the polls are right or wrong.

    We do NOT have verifiable elections in this country, for the most part.

    We are dangerously assuming that what we can't see won't hurt us.

    They may be right on the mark.  They may not be.  Unfortunately, given the current methods of how we elect and count and store/transport ballots and equipment and how we audit, we will not know.
    (By the way, this is NOT to mean that I'm saying Zogby's a great pollster.  I am not.  I don't know enough about him, but the more I learn, the more I tend to agree with BTD on him.)