Now, when the media report that this election contest between John McCain and Barack Obama is going to be very close, I tend to be somewhat dismissive. My own feeling is that the media, which largely functions as a for-profit enterprise, has a vested interest in making us believe, up to the last minute, that we will see a razor-thin victory for one of the candidates. I have my own prediction, which has no basis in any scientific methodology, but as this short report below explains, my prediction might be just as good or better than all of the vaunted polls combined!
David Moore, a former Gallup Poll senior editor, argues in his book, The Opinion Makers, that professional polling data is deeply flawed. For example,
- Polls don't reveal opinion differences between those who hold strong opinions and those who are answering off the top of their heads at the moment.
- Polls don't include the opinions of people who only use cell phones, rather than a traditional land-line.
What do you think of the criticisms of polls in above radio piece? What are your predictions for the 2008 election? It might be fun for the class to come back to this post in November to see which of our peers predicted correctly!