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Nate Silver Says Democrats Might Not Lose 1,000 Seats

The Democrats will “win” today, because of cellphones:

A lot of American adults (now about one-quarter of them) have ditched landlines and rely exclusively on mobile phones, and a lot of pollsters don’t call mobile phones. Cellphone-only voters tend to be younger, more urban, and less white — all Democratic demographics — and a study by Pew Research suggests that the failure to include them might bias the polls by about 4 points against Democrats, even after demographic weighting is applied.

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Riley is an "internet blogger." He has written for such internet websites as True/Slant and the terrible Brangelina gossip emporium "The Huffington Post." Riley lives in northeast DC, near H Street. Maybe you do too and want to hang out?

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51 comments

  1. Monsieur_Grumpe

    I can think of nothing worse than Boehner having control of the house. The gloating orange walking cancer must be denied! Get out and vote people. Hell yes we can.

  2. Steverino247

    As a Hybrid-American (I even drive one!), I like having a cell phone and a land line in my house. Now, if only a pollster would call…

    Seriously, I have no confidence in Gallup polling. They called me once to poll me about Blockbuster vs. Hollywood Video. The questions were designed to get me to say Blockbuster. I wondered if it was really a poll or some evil plan to stick that fucking word in my head for the next month.

    1. JMPEsq

      I only answered a poll once, actually back was I was in college (and cell phones were just a toy for rich people); it was about normalizing relations with Vietnam, and every statement was qualified with "a communist country" and "that we were at war with for years" so it was obvious what they were trying to get me to go for.

      1. Lascauxcaveman

        The only pollster I never hung up on was one anti-gay push poll that was done a few years back when my state had a gay rights initiative on the ballot.

        Being a libtard, I naturally answered all their questions "wrong" (in favor of gay rights) and as the list of questions went on it got more and more absurd.

        "Would you support federal tax dollars funding homosexuals to come and burn down your house while forcibly raping your children and household pets?"

        "Yes."

    2. bagofmice

      Seriously, they asked you which obsolete dinosaur you prefer? Seems somewhat pointless, if you ask me over the video chat on my iPhone or xbox.

    3. natoslug

      I answer polls every time. Most pollers don't appreciate "Go fuck yourself" as the answer to every one of their questions, however.

    4. Trinket

      I was five questions into the only phone poll I ever got, many years ago, before my sister overheard me saying things like "Stiletto," "Slingback," and "Flats," realized I was talking to a shoe fetishist crank caller, and took the phone away from me and hung it up.

  3. PsycWench

    I have been thinking that the polls are inaccurate for a different reason…I suspect that the people who actually answer the phone when a pollster is calling are older and more often retired and thus more conservative. In races where one candidate is 10 points ahead, this doesn't matter but in those close calls, it probably does…remember Jim Webb.

    1. V572625694

      As a bona fide Old, I refudiate your assertion that Olds are uniformly conservative. Of course you didn't assert that, but I need a new battery in my hearing aid.

      1. Lascauxcaveman

        Sample size:

        18-24 …………11
        25-34 ………..37
        35-54 ………..80
        55-75 ……….124
        75 plus ….. 4772

  4. Bezoar

    It stands to reason that whoever is paying for the poll has an enhanced likelihood of getting the results they prefer.

  5. JMPEsq

    Even younger people with land lines understand how that caller ID thing works and aren't desperate for even fake human contact and so are unlikely to answer polls.

    1. Bezoar

      My young son explained to me that surprisingly few trick-or-treaters came to the door in our working-class neighborhood because the Republicans had told them that Halloween was Monday. Pretty good joke for a 13 year old.

        1. Lascauxcaveman

          They really are our greatest resource. If we can tear them away from their Xboxes long enough to accomplish something.

      1. petehammer

        Your son, clearly smarter than the leading candidate, could obviously be elected to the Senate in Nevada. I guess that's kinda a backhanded compliment.

  6. kenlayisalive

    You know if there is a problem with the polls then all we'll hear for the next two years will be ACORN this and SEIU that.

    But we'll be hearing it from not-speaker-of-the-house John Boehner so hooray!

  7. GuyClinch

    Given how many of us are hiding from collection agencies these days (I mean, you know, um, NOT ME, obviously, that's perfectly ridiculous), any phone call coming in that is not identified as MOM or DRUG DEALER is summarily ignored.

  8. richardcharnin

    http://richardcharnin.com/2010ElectionForecastMod

    1/01 Final 2010 Midterms Forecast: RV/LV Polls and Election Fraud

    Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll)

    Pollsters claim that LV polls are good predictors – and it’s partly true. Since the 2000 selection, LV polls have matched to the fraudulent recorded vote quite well.
    But RV polls more closely matched the True Vote – before the miscounts.

    The 2010 House and Senate Forecast Models are based on a comprehensive analysis of Registered Voter (RV) and Likely Voter (LV) polls.

    The LV Model predicts a 234-201 GOP House and a 50-48 Democratic Senate. Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball predicts a 233-202 GOP House and a 49-49 Senate. Electoral-vote.com has a 51-48-1 Democratic Senate and a 217-200 GOP House with 18 ties. But the registered voter (RV) projections tell a different story.

    The Democrats lead the weighted average of 18 Senate RV polls by 8.5%. They lead the corresponding LV sub-samples by 0.9%.

    The RV projections indicate a 53-45 Democratic Senate.

    The GOP leads the latest 30 House Generic LV polls by 6.8%. They lead the latest 19 RV polls by just 0.7%.

    The RV projections indicate a 221-214 Republican House.

    The Democrats lead in the following Generic Ballot RV polls: Pew, ABC/WaPo, CBS/NYT, McClatchy/Marist, Newsweek, NBC

    Both House and Senate models assume an even UVA split of the undecided 10%.

    Pre-election (RV) polls interview registered voters. Likely voters are a sub-sample based on the Likely Voter Cutoff Model (LVCM). Media pundits and political sites such as realclearpolitics.com focus on LV polls during the final weeks of every election cycle while RV polls are phased out a month before the election.

  9. Winnie_Cooper

    Oh, Secret Boyfriend Nate, you're just saying that so that I don't fly into a Republican-win-induced rage and fail to put out tonight. But I would never refuse you, so you needn't continue with this "the Dems aren't as screwed as you think" sweet talk. I can deal with reality.

  10. Bluestatelibel

    God, I'd love it if we had a "Dewey Beats Truman" situation tomorrow. It could actually happen kiddies.

    1. the_onceler

      oh, how I wish you were right. It just doesn't feel like that's what's gonna happen. Yeah, a feeling is very scientific.

  11. SayItWithWookies

    On the one hand, I would love to see the Democrats keep both houses — the screaming and yelling from the right would be lovely to behold. Not to mention that we wouldn't have to deal with the likes of John Boehner and Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell setting the freaking legislative (and lobbyist of course) agenda. Oh, and no government shutdown just for fun, and no compulsory flag-waving and prayer at every turn, no cutting taxes as the answer to everything, no bitching about how there aren't enough wars going on, no eviscerating every aspect of government that helps middle and lower class people instead of the rich. I was gonna say "on the other hand…" but nevermind — Republican heaven sucks, so screw the other hand.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Main headline: "Democrat Midterm Losses Minimal"

      Sub head: "Republicans Call For Voter Fraud Investigation"

      (Or is the other way around?)

      1. SexySmurf

        main headline: "Black Panther felons steal election from Real Americans"

        Sub head: "This is good news for John McCain".

      2. glamourdammerung

        "Democrats keep both House and Senate. Another failure of Obama?"

        With two pages of how this is good for McCain.

  12. Dr_Zoidberg

    I will take any good news I can get. Someone, anyone, reassure me that the Republicanstans won't slither back into power.

  13. EatsBabyDingos

    These Narco-commie "news" articles always remind me of the time I farted during a bubble bath, and the little bubbles would come to the top looking like all the other little bubbles, but if you popped one, they stunk. So I got a lighter from the drug cabinet, the one with the little Dixie flag, for the NASCAR crack pipe, and started trying to the light the bubbles on fire, which worked pretty good, so I put the Dixie flag crack pipe lighter underwater, pressed the button, and got really big bubbles to form, which I lit on fire, and the biggest one really popped when it lit, and it singed my eyebrows.

    I learned two life lesson from this horrific event: Vote Republican and don't use fake fart bubbles unless you are a pro.

    1. PsycWench

      Can I just say that I know no women who would even think of this, but I can imagine plenty of men who would think of it and then act on it? Does that make me sexist?

  14. imissopus

    Might have been nice if Nate had told us this oh, SIX MONTHS AGO, and kept saying it, and maybe if enough people had picked up on it we wouldn't have had this Republican-tidal-wave-is-inevitable storyline the media has been pushing and it wouldn't have turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thanks a lot, nerd.

  15. OCKerouac

    When your entire livelyhood is tied to correctly predicting the outcomes of elections, I can't imagine why you'd want to do some last minute hedging of your bets…

  16. BeWoot

    I worked Get Out the Vote phone banks a couple times this election cycle and, bad news: cell phones aren't on those lists, either.

  17. richardcharnin

    /01 Final 2010 Midterms Forecast: RV/LV Polls and Election Fraud
    http://richardcharnin.com/2010ElectionForecastMod

    Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll)

    The 2010 House and Senate Forecast Models are based on a comprehensive analysis of Registered Voter (RV) and Likely Voter (LV) polls.

    Pollsters claim that LV polls are good predictors – and it’s partly true. Since the 2000 selection, LV polls have matched to the fraudulent recorded vote quite well.

    But RV polls more closely matched the True Vote – before the miscounts.

    The LV Model predicts a 234-201 GOP House and a 50-48 Democratic Senate. But the registered voter (RV) projections tell a different story.

    The Democrats lead the weighted average of 18 Senate RV polls by 8.5%. They lead the corresponding LV sub-samples by 0.9%.The RV projections indicate a 53-45 Democratic Senate.

    The GOP leads the latest 30 House Generic LV polls by 6.8%. They lead the latest 19 RV polls by just 0.7%.The RV projections indicate a 221-214 Republican House.

    The Democrats lead in the following Generic Ballot RV polls: Pew, ABC/WaPo, CBS/NYT, McClatchy/Marist, Newsweek, NBC

    Both House and Senate models assume an even UVA split of the undecided 10%.

    Pre-election (RV) polls interview registered voters. Likely voters are a sub-sample based on the Likely Voter Cutoff Model (LVCM). Media pundits focus on LV polls during the final weeks of every election cycle while RV polls are phased out.

  18. the_onceler

    as a survey researcher, one that actually manages the people doing the calling, I can tell you that the olds are so easy to give answers that we are literally begging anyone under 40 to do a survey. I have no idea if this will be reflected in the results since it is the under 40s that are also less likely to vote.

    I would also add that even if we included cell phones in our surveys, we'd actually have no statistically valid way of including them in the survey results. It's a guess at best.

Comments are closed.