Unlikely Voter

Conservative views on polls, science, technology, and policy

Daily Kos and Research 2000 settle

Last June the big shock in the polling world was when Daily Kos dropped Research 2000 as its pollster, and then convincingly demonstrated that Research 2000’s polls were faked. So it’s not surprising that in a settlement now reached, Research 2000 is paying Daily Kos cash installments, despite admitting no wrongdoing.


Read More | May 27, 2011
Polling methodologies still need adapted to new technologies

It’s not really news, but people who write often on polls in the offseason do need to find things to write about. So that’s why we have the hubbub about a recent CNN/Time poll which did not grapple with the issue of polling cellular phones. Due to federal law, polling cellular phones requires that either phones be manually dialed, or that surveys be manually conducted. Entirely automated systems of calling cellular phones are illegal.

Pollsters that don’t adapt, will fail.


Read More | May 11, 2011
Daily Kos poll suggests Union movement no match for TEA Party

By request, I took a look at this poll by PPP for Daily Kos and SEIU. Markos Moulitsas himself is hyping the poll as showing an enthusiasm gap, which of course was one big indicator of the electoral wipeout we saw in 2010.

I think that he’s right, to a degree. However I read the figures as having two conclusions: First, the TEA party effect is still there, and Republicans are slightly more engaged than Democrats at this early point in the cycle. Second, the Union activism of this year is not having the same engagement effect with Democrats, that the TEA party, the ARRA, and the PPACA had with Republicans.


Read More | April 26, 2011
Wording Matters: Why I don’t trust Issue Polling

Since Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Senate had a big uproar over unions of government employees, and that uproar has spread to states like Ohio, there’s been a great deal of issue polling on unions and collective bargaining. I tend to ignore all of it, just as I ignore most issue polling. I’ve gotten comments that this is a failure of the site in fact, that I don’t hit these things more.

I have a standard answer for why I tend to ignore issue polling, though: the results are volatile and easily manipulated, either accidentally or intentionally.


Read More | March 23, 2011
Muhlenberg College does the Kessel Run

Look, I get that we’re way out from the 2012 elections. The dearth of commentary and analysis here at UnlikelyVoter.com is not entirely due to weeks lost to a horrible cold I picked up in our nation’s capital. But hey, Muhlenberg College and Morning Call: If you’re going to do a poll of the 2012 elections, at least try?


Read More | March 7, 2011
Swingometer 2 on iOS is out!

Once Swingometer was updated on the website, it was inevitable that the new version of Swingometer on iOS would come! This new version has the same updates as the website (2010 House returns and 2010 Census), but also includes updates for the Retina display on iPhone 4, as well as support for the iPad’s larger […] 

Read More | January 20, 2011
Swingometers Updated

We all knew it was coming, and finally it’s here. The Swingometers have been updated. The House Swingometer includes the 2010 results as a new baseline, and the Electoral College Swingometer includes the 2010 Census-based reapportionment.


Read More | January 18, 2011
2010 House Swings are posted

I have a few announcements this weekend after staying up late on Friday. The first is that I have a new chart: Here are the actual swings in the 2010 election from the 2008 election, district by district. It’s a live generated SVG document, so your browser should let you zoom in as far as […] 

Read More | January 15, 2011
Ah, Statistics

I’m really having to pull out my old textbooks and refresh myself on how to evaluate some of the new numbers I’m coming up with, with respect to the errors in the 2010 polling. Bear with me please as I continue to prepare my new analysis. 

Read More | January 8, 2011
The new Census figures are out

When I get confirmed numbers on reapportionment I will prepare an update of the Electoral College Swingometer with the new Electoral College. It is likely I will also take the opportunity to update Swingometer on iOS to look nicer on higher resolution displays such as those on the iPhone 4 and the iPad. 

Read More | December 21, 2010
Why no, the site isn’t dead at all

I know I went quiet here, and I apologize to any who were disappointed when my survey of the pollsters went dead. To be honest I think I burned out a bit in the runup to the election, and so subconsciously I gradually forced myself into a vacation. So, an announcement: Some schedule of content […] 

Read More | December 19, 2010
Public Policy Polling: 2010 Scorecard

I didn’t intend the second stage of my pollster grading series to come eleven days after my first stage, but then again I didn’t expect to suffer my worst cold in a long time, either.

So with my apologies for the unavoidable delay, we continue after a lost week by checking in on Public Policy Polling.


Read More | November 22, 2010
Rasmussen Reports: 2010 Scorecard

Like everyone else, Rasmussen Reports got two key Senate races wrong, making them big surprises on election night: Colorado and Nevada. Rasmussen also underestimated Barbara Boxer’s lead in California.

My mission since election day has been to find out why everyone got these three states in particular so wrong, while others were accurate. In the process, I’ve taken a good look at Rasmussen’s accuracy this year.


Read More | November 11, 2010