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A Validation and Further Issues

November 3rd, 2004, 7:45pm by Sam Wang

A few items of business. First, note that without my optimistic assumptions, I nailed the Electoral College tally. This, even in the face of single-state probabilities that give a different map and EV total. Poll margins are also quite close: see these validations of the method (still under modification but viewable). Now there’s a testament to meta-analysis (and an indictment of the mindless mainstream horserace coverage of polls this season). Note, however, the large margin of error on my decided-voter estimate. A one-percent swing in Ohio or Wisconsin would have changed the total EV count – in the case of Ohio, to great effect.

This site. I am considering what to do. It is highly disorganized because I started off HTML-coding by hand. If readership continues, I may transfer to regular blogging software. However, this requires time or help. Another question is what topic(s) to cover. Let’s first see if traffic continues. Your letters of support are heartening. I can’t reply to all, but please continue to write. If your comments are for general consumption, here is a public thread.

Exit polls. Much of my mail today concerns exit polls, with calls for analysis to check for widespread fraud. Think about the lessons you have learned here. A more plausible possibility is that exit polls themselves are biased, for instance by the identity of the questioner or the temperament of the respondent. See my analysis of exit polls.

The incumbent rule. After some thought, I realize that we simply don’t know what factors drove the result yesterday. The problem is that all the factors sum to give final voting, and are therefore hard to distinguish. In the New Republic is a suggestion that turnout was either symmetric or went against my assumption.

Fraud in Florida? This is an interesting question, and my evidence suggests that further investigation is warranted. Of all the battleground states, Florida was one of the most surprising in terms of deviating from the outcome expected from polls (and to a lesser extent, exit polls). The deviation favored Bush. It’s too bad about this year’s exit poll problems, because they would have provided an independent test. My analysis of this is in the validation of 2004 results.

Tags: 2004 Election

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