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Newsday Coverage; Dropping out the Undecideds

October 25th, 2004, 6:30pm by Sam Wang

First, I apologize for the relative lack of updates and commentary! I face logistical hurdles, including my professional society’s annual meeting (where I am), intermittent Internet access, and university mail system failures.

This site is mentioned in an article on polls in today’s Newsday. However, there is one error – my margin of Bush over Kerry counts decided voters only, and does not include undecided voters.

I no longer list the overall probability of a Kerry win with undecideds allocated. This is because the uncertainty of how undecideds will break is accounted for state by state, but the compound probability calculation assumes independence among states, which is unlikely. The true probability is, roughly speaking, approximately equal to the probability that the undecided advantage (which I assume is 2.5 ± 2.0% for Kerry) and the Meta-margin (currently 0.5% for Bush) sum to a positive value for Kerry. Today this probability is around 75%. To take away the stat-speak, restated in English what I mean is that given the history of what undecided voters do, today I give Kerry 3-1 odds over Bush. The median EV count with undecideds assigned is still OK.

Regarding the Hawaii question, it’s possible that this state is competitive but right now there are not enough data to say. Stay tuned.

Tags: 2004 Election

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