Skip to comments.Polls' Margin Of Error Really 22 Percent
Posted on 09/20/2012 9:48:23 AM PDT by CaroleL
For months we've seen hundreds polls on the upcoming presidential race from every organization imaginable. There have been polls showing bounces and anti-bounces, polls showing a slight lead for one candidate and then the other and, most often, polls showing the race is a dead heat within the margin of error. But instead of the usual four percent most polls claim as the margin of error, a new poll (yes, I see the irony) shows the real difference between the poll results and the election results could be much more.
According to a recent survey of registered voters by ABC News/Washington Post, more than one-fifth (22%) could still change their minds about their presidential pick before Election Day. These voters, called persuadables by pollsters, have doubts about their current choice and want more information from and about the candidates before casting their ballots.
So what can we expect in the approximately six weeks before Election Day to persuade those persuadables one way or the other?
Of course there will be an ad blitz from both sides as hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of commercials flood the airwaves. With Team Romney ahead in overall fundraising, Democrats are concerned that that advantage could make the difference.
In addition to advertising, outside groups from both sides will be working hard on door-knocking, phone-banking and other "ground game" operations designed to convince persuadable voters to choose their man.
Domestic economic indicators including October's Jobs report will provide a final snapshot of the American economy after four years of Mr. Obama's stewardship. As in 1980, voters' answer to the question 'Are you better off now than you were four years ago?' may be the determining fact in this election.
Probably the best opportunity for either candidate to convert some of their opponent's supporters will be the three presidential and one vice presidential debates. Conventional wisdom says President Obama's eloquence combined with mainstream media moderators friendly to his cause will give him the advantage in the presidential contests. Similarly, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) is expected to easily beat gaffe-prone Vice President Joe Biden. But high expectations can often be a handicap in these debates.
Then of course there are events that we can't expect but may happen anyway. Will there be an October surprise? Will international events between now and Election Day affect voters' confidence in our current Commander-in-Chief? Will the seemingly steady stream of misstatements from both sides make the difference?
With so many variables and 22% of voters still persuadable, the choice of the American voters remains uncertain no matter how hard the pollsters try to predict it.
“Will there be an October surprise?”
It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of how many.
Though the early release of the Romney tape has mucked up their schedule a little, we’ll see waves of negitive news about Romney in October. At least 3 and maybe more globs of muck will head in Romney’s direction way from the Obama Campaign or his PAC surrogates. Its the “Chicago Way.” Get your wadders on, its gonna be deep!
Of course you’re right. I’m guilty of taking a little poetic lisence here for dramatic effect. :)
Apologies - I haven’t been feeling especially “poetic” lately, what with the country in shambles and Obama’s approval rating still up around 50% - but it is interesting that 22% in this sample admit that they still might change their vote, which is about four times what most polls have been presenting as the undecideds - hopefully a lot of these are taking a second look at the familiar Obama and considering Romney as he becomes better known - an interesting sign.....
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