Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Rumor: Kerry +9 in Florida?

October 28th, 2004, 3:00pm by Sam Wang


Edward Witten writes, “On mydd.com, I read yesterday a rumor that a NYT poll of Florida showing Kerry ahead by +9 percent was buried as being implausible. I don’t know if the rumor is true, and if it is I am sure the poll was flawed, as Kerry is surely not leading Florida by that amount. But to me it illustrates the fragility of trying to predict the election from the available state polls. Including or excluding a single, undoubtedly flawed, poll showing a +9 percent lead in Florida for Kerry (or Bush) would probably have a significant impact on your overall assessment of the outcome of the election.” To some extent he has a point. If such a poll exists then the decided-voters moves K up to K 271 B 267, win probability 51%. The use of median rather than mean circumvents this problem a bit, which I will do soon. In any event, the confidence interval is +/-36 EV. Therefore neither result is statistically significant. Any way you slice it, the election is a toss-up and will depend on turnout and undecideds.

Tags: 2004 Election

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