The holiday season is in full swing, and for many Americans that means just one thing: shopping. But in a difficult economy, can the public afford its annual spending spree?
We did no serious modeling with the raw data - only applying basic demographic weighting at the state level. These straightforward adjustments mean the results shed light on the important roles that scale (large numbers of interviews) and heterogeneity (diversity of respondents and sources) play in poll accuracy.
Despite the sticker shock, the public has consistently believed that college is worth the money -- though questions that mention actual dollar amounts tend to leave respondents somewhat more skeptical.
There is no doubt about the public mood. So why didn't the public vote when there was so much journalistic enthusiasm for the election; when an amazing amount of television time, especially on cable, was given to politics; and when radio goes at politics 24-7?
Inaccuracies and errors are part of the nature and essence of election polling, it will be off almost as much as it's on. But that said, we can do a better job reporting results and putting them into context.
Results from Latino Decisions' election eve poll are out. So are the media's national exit polls. And, of course, in almost every state and district we now have the final election returns.
The main story is that "immigration reform/Dream Act" surpassed "jobs/economy" as the most important issue motivating 2014 midterm cycle likely Latino voters.
Death with dignity is an issue with consistent majority support that somehow endures being described as "controversial." But a vocal minority has been given a disproportionately outsized platform.
The reason more states than Colorado matter is that from 2000 to 2012 the number of Latino registered voters at least doubled in 28 states plus the District of Columbia.
When you consider the drop-off voters, women, Latinos and cell-only houses, there are plenty of ways for public pollsters to miss these voters who are predominantly supporting Udall.
The challenges of polling Latino voters have received less attention in 2014, because there are fewer competitive states and districts this cycles where Latinos are positioned to be influential. A notable exception is Colorado.
Iowa remains ground zero for the fight for the Senate, and for early voting mobilization activities. As of Friday, 119,141 Iowans had voted in the 2014 general election, representing 10.5 percent of the total vote in 2010.
The second week of early voting has ended and 88,371 people have voted in all reporting states, with 31 days to go until Election Day on Nov. 4. Early vote should easily eclipse 2010 in absolute terms, and likely signals higher overall turnout.
Regardless of how they choose to, pollsters are going to be forced to innovate if they want to continue providing accurate advice to their candidates and campaigns.
Pollsters don't typically report their expected turnout, but any number of polls are showing Democratic candidates doing better among registered voters than likely voters. The higher the turnout, the more the electorate will look like profile of registered voters, which could be decisive for who wins Iowa and Senate control.
Despite the public's overall belief in the Constitution as an enduring document, the data indicate that Americans are quite willing to use the amendment process to make policy changes.