Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Polls Off In PA: Biased? Incapable? Inept?

Three point four. It doesn't sound like much, but at this stage of the game, the polls should not have missed the Pennsylvania call by this much -- the high end of the margin of error.

The pollsters had all but eight states behind them going into PA , with a mountain of data on the candidates and the electorate, yet on average (the RCP average) had her at a 6 percent lead while the voters carried her across the line 9.4 points ahead of Barack Obama.

And it's not like there were a lot of surprises in the vote; it went pretty much as expected, as RCP's Horse Race Blog points out:
What we see, then, is what we have seen again and again in this contest. Clinton continues to do well with "downscale" whites. Obama does well with "upscale" whites and African Americans. What is intriguing about this result is not just that it is similar to Ohio - but also that it is similar after seven weeks and millions of dollars in campaign expenditures. Clearly, these voting groups are entrenched.
Check this out and see just how predictable PA was:

Obama carried the black-and-lib urban county and the elite-and-lib university town, and Hillary won everything else.

Granted, the RCP average was skewed by a horrific PPD poll that showed Obama up by 3 (can we say "push poll?"), but Rasmussen had Clinton by only 5 and Survey USA only by 6.

Are the pollsters biased toward Obama? Incapable? Inept?

All of the above?

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