Polls have come to dominate the media's horse race coverage of political campaigns. Pundits and reporters constantly use them to tell us who's hot and who's not -- but skip over the fact that plummeting response rates and variables like undecided voters and margins of error often render these polls useless as anything other than lightweight diversions on par with horoscopes and political betting lines. Below you'll find a slew of polling, astrological, and betting information that will hopefully help the polling junkies in the media keep polls in the proper perspective.
We've also updated HuffPollstrology to bring you regular takes from astrologers on the state of the presidential race. And we've included a section that digs deeper into how polls are conducted. And to make sure we're really investigating, we're going to add various blogs and articles that cast a skeptical eye on polling. Read on for lots of HuffPollstrology:
ASTROLOGER PHILIP SEDGWICK LOOKS AT THE CANDIDATES - **NEW POST 9/8**:
No, is not the offering at the Wasilla Dairy Freeze; it's rock star buzz. Neptune, is so strong in Palin's chart. It refers to rock stars and meteoric rises to fame and embellishes her with celebrity. Anytime Sarah speaks, I can't write about her that day. The collective buzz and giddiness feels like champagne intoxication. Then, come post ecstatic let down and the realization that people listen to her foppish outpouring of shallow insults. Her smug, righteous superiority comes off as adolescent. Saturn, known for fatherly guidance, is in Virgo. Virgo demands for each criticism you render, you are obliged to submit three viable solutions.
This week ahead Jupiter and Saturn seek a solid, material compact with one another as the balancing act of Mars in Libra juggles the manic responses of voters. Those who get it's about money, make hay. Those who miss this point, become an unfound needle in a haystack of polling.
POLLING METHODOLOGY: New Polls Added 9/9
HuffPost is delving into the gray area of how polls are conducted. Below is an analysis of how pollsters come up with the numbers through response rates. The definition of a response rate is taken from Arianna's 1998 column "Investigating The Pollsters."
The key to polling's accuracy is the principle of "equal probability of selection." But if larger and larger numbers among those randomly selected refuse to participate, this principle no longer applies.
We asked polling companies to please give us the response and refusal rates for their polls listed below.
Results: McCain 50%, McCain 46%
Method: 2,312 likely voters polled over two days.
"Can you please give us the response and refusal rates for your most recent national poll?": A Zogby representative said, "12% of the people who received an invitation completed the Sept. 5-6 Zogby Interactive survey."
Results: McCain 49%, Obama 44%
Method: 2,733 registered voters polled over three days.
"Can you please give us the response and refusal rates for your most recent national poll?": 14% response rate, 26% refusal rate. This is an average rate for this particular series of polls, technically defined as the CASRO rate which is similar to the AAPOR-III response rate (these definitions can be found here).
Results: Obama 48%, McCain 48%
Method: Sample of 3,000 likely voters over three days.
"Can you please give us the response and refusal rates for your most recent national poll?": A representative for Rasmussen told us, "We don't give out that information".
Results: McCain 46%, Obama 44% Method: 655 registered voters polled over three days. "Can you please give us the response and refusal rates for your most recent national poll?": A representative for CBS told us, "This CBS News Poll was a re-interview of registered voters we originally talked with August 15-19. We reached and interviewed 75% of the 8/15-19 sample."
|Mccain vs obama in the General election|
VIRGO August 29, 1936
Not only could you find a bargain today, you could also attract the kind of task/job that's just your style. The only snag in all this is that enthusiasm could lead you to wanting to do more than is really feasible. Much might depend on the flexibility of a contract - which is something that might not have been considered and is fazing someone who's not used to this kind of creative thinking and negotiation.
LEO August 4, 1961
True, you could feel overwhelmed by how much information there is for you to absorb. If on holiday it might be easy to deal with the onslaught of things you need to know. At work though you may need to accept a deadline now so as to have time free later. All this could be put to you by a Libra friend who, for once anyway, seems to be applying common sense: perhaps they sense that you can only cope with so much presently and that you'll soon be better able to cope.
Thunderstorms in the morning, then skies turning partly cloudy late. High 69F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
Variable clouds with thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon. Humid. High 83F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Rain along with a thunderstorm or two in the morning, then partly cloudy late. High 67F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
Santa Barbara, CA
Areas of dense morning fog. Morning clouds will give way to sunshine for the afternoon. High 71F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
General Election Poll: Rasmussen Daily Tracking
Like all polling firms, Rasmussen Reports weights its data to reflect the population at large. Among other targets, Rasmussen Reports weights data by political party affiliation using a dynamic weighting process. Our baseline targets are established based upon survey interviews with a sample of adults nationwide completed during the preceding three months (a total of 45,000 interviews). For the month of August, the targets are 40.6% Democrat, 31.6% Republican, and 27.8% unaffiliated. For July, the targets were 41.4% Democrat, 31.5% Republican, and 27.1% unaffiliated (see party trends and analysis).
Betting Lines: Intrade Prediction Markets
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