January 10, 2008

The polls were wrong too and no one knows why

Filed under: politics, Polls — ubikcan @ 3:11 pm

That’s the message out of New Hampshire. Everyone’s got an idea or theory, from nobbled Diebold machines, to the “tear factor” (ok, no actual tears were shed, but since when does that matter to the traditional press?).

Is all this enough to exonerate the futures markets?

I don’t think so. When the polls are wrong is exactly the moment when the true value of futures trading should be most apparent. They should be pulling from a deep consensus of opinion (especially as real money is involved), otherwise they are just the tools of the polls.

Now I’m not saying the crowdsourcing at futures markets (or Intrade anyway) is not useful even now. We don’t know.

But we could know. If we had access to the right kind of data. What would the betting look like if we only looked at those bets from New Hampshire?

That’s right, what we need is a map of betting. Would it show the true sentiment in New Hampshire? Would we see that the futures markets were geographically different from one part of the country to another in the lead up to primaries?

This would be very valuable data, but as far as I know there is no such data available publicly and that’s a shame.

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  1. Not only were the polls wrong but according to some emails I have received the vote count wasn’t all that accurate either. some are saying Obama and Ron Paul got a lot more votes than people know about. Have gone to the website of some of Pauls supporters and they are listing the offical results, according to them, and there is a difference.

    Comment by loopyloo350 — January 10, 2008 @ 3:22 pm

  2. Maybe, except this has already been checked out:

    But there aren’t any serious irregularities in the results of Tuesday’s Democratic primary. Clinton won with the same kind of voters that Kerry won with in 2004, in she did it by running strongly in the same exact areas of the state. Diebold machines don’t count the votes cast in many of the towns of New Hampshire, and all votes are cast on a paper ballot. The 2004 recount showed no problems with the tabulation. New Hampshire has an excellent reputation for running clean elections. Election administration is done on a town-by-town basis, so rigging the election would require not just a few well-placed individuals, but a vast conspiracy involving hundreds of people, probably more. And if there were strange voting patterns, that showed up in discrepancies between towns that tabulated by hand vs those that tabulated the paper ballots with scanners, the rival campaigns would certainly have noticed it and would be protesting the results.

    Hillary Clinton won on Tuesday. She led just about every poll every taken for 360 of the 365 days leading up to the election. And even when she won, it was only by three percentage points. This election wasn’t rigged. So please, ignore the “Diebold stole the election” garbage.

    Comment by ubikcan — January 10, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

  3. Oh, sorry didn’t make myself totally clear. I’m glad she won and I don’t think the vote was rigged, just repeating some of the emails I received. The ballots they were talking about were hand counted and one of the towns admitted that someone made a mistake in the counting and let out some. I don’t personally believe it was rigged, but some people out there really do.

    Comment by loopyloo350 — January 10, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

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