Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Correcting the Margin of Error

August 20th, 2004, 12:00pm by Sam Wang

For margin of error junkies: Rachel Findley pointed out this comparison of polls to election outcomes, which finds that only 84% of election outcomes fall within the reported 95% confidence interval. This discrepancy allows a way to estimate polling errors that go beyond sampling error. If the additional error is normally distributed, an appropriate correction would be to increase the reported margin of error by a factor of 1.4.

However, this correction does not apply to my calculation because instead of relying on reported MoE, I use inter-poll data to make an independent estimate of variance.

Tags: 2004 Election

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