Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Can it really be election season again already?

Well, the market is buzzing that a Republican might win in Massachusetts (the election is trending that way, but this is Massachusetts, so be careful assuming to much. Boston's turnout tonight will probably swing the election one way or the other).

The old standard is that the market loves stalemates and eliminating the Democratic supermajority in the Senate is one way to ensure nothing gets done. The markets are also at a critical technical pivot point so if it breaks through here on Brown's election, it has room to run (however, I'll caution that EVERYONE expects this to occur which means the opposite has an equal chance of happening).

Separately, I noticed the local congressional battle is heating up again ALREADY. I'm not going to stoop to the level of talking politics but I do question the validity of the poll that was put out by one prospective candidate.

My issue is less of an issue with this one particular poll and more of an issue with all polling done today. Most people under 40 with a pulse don't bother answering polls and many don't even have home phone numbers. Thus, all of these phone polls tend really skew to the elderly.

Case in point - this Hoffman poll. If you scroll down to the last page you will see that it shows 37% of poll respondents - more than 1/3rd of all respondents - are over the age of 65. However, according to data compiled by census in 2000 - listed here - senior citizens only account for 15% of Jefferson County voters.

Also, consider that just 12% of poll respondents were under the age of 40, yet according to the census almost 65% of the voting population for Jefferson County is between the ages of 18-44.

I didn't look at the data for the other counties in NY-23 - maybe the rest of the district is older than Jefferson County - but the data is so far off it would cause me to question these results if I was one of the other candidates mentioned in the poll.

Again, in my opinion this is just a function of a cultural shift away from home phones that has made traditional polling data increasingly useless in recent years.

I don't do politics but when your data is screwy then it will get my attention.


1 comment:

Earthbob said...

The sample size is insufficient for the statistical frame ranges from Oswego to Plattsburgh.