The (hoped-for) Silent Non-Pollable Majority
November 4, 2012 6 Comments
Let’s forget Nate Silver and statistical modeling, and just look at poll numbers. These are all the polls I see of Ohio in the past two weeks (via electoral-vote.com):
No poll in evidence whatsoever shows Romney in the lead. Only two even show him tied (Rasmussen the alleged conservative-biased pollster, and one other from two weeks ago). To one digit anyway.
Now everyone says that if Romney wins, it’s likely to be via winning Ohio. But to think Romney will win Ohio, or is even all that close (the average gap above is ~3points), you have to think virtually ALL of these pollsters have (intentionally or inadvertently) a (D) bias. It is just astronomically-unlikely to get a set of results like above from 18 different pollsters (using whatever different methods) from a genuinely Romney-leaning state without there being something systematically wrong with virtually all of the pollsters.
(Another explanation of course is that Ohio isn’t actually a Romney-leaning state, it’s a state that’s gonna vote for Obama by ~3pts on Tuesday.)
In other words, if Romney wins on Tuesday, via Ohio, we basically have to blow up the industry of polling entirely and go back to the drawing-board. Now, is that possible? Sure. It’s possible. But just so you know, if you’re hoping Romney wins a state like Ohio, that’s the kind of thing you have to hope for.
In the process, the media would have to do a lot of soul-searching and try to explain the curious phenomenon of the Silent, Non-Pollable Majority that lots of people, myself included, are hoping are out there.