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Why Daily Tracking Polls Are BS

By: MayDaze Thursday October 2, 2008 10:25 am

A lot of folks here seem to take the daily tracking polls (Gallup, etc.) as gospel and track them religiously, seeing every rise and fall as some dramatic change in the Presidential race. For example, yesterday’s CBS News/New York Times survey. I bring up this particular poll because it included one detail normally not seen (at least by me):

About 1 in 4 voters remains uncommitted to either candidate – they are either undecided or favor one candidate but say they could change their mind.

This is probably quite accurate. 20-30% normally are uncommitted until just before the election. Hell, the percentage of those who don’t make up their minds until election day runs in the teens.

Which is the reason that the last week of the campaign is the best time to really saturate the TV with ads, especially the negative ones which can change minds in the short term.

How do they get all those undecided folks to declare who they favor? The pollsters really, really push hard for the respondents to say which candidate they would vote for if the vote was held today. It means nothing, however, as the undecideds could go the other way tomorrow. Tha’s why these


Draft of the latest Bailout Bill

By: MayDaze Sunday September 28, 2008 1:23 pm

The latest version of the Bailout Bill from CNN Money along with an article on same. (h/t Calculated Risk)

Update: Pach has provided access to an downloadable PDF here.