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News BACK FROM THE DEAD: Prominent Statisticians Refute 'Explaination' of 2004 Exit Poll

  1. Jan 31, 2005 #1
    BACK FROM THE DEAD: Prominent Statisticians Refute 'Explanation' of 2004 Exit Poll

    Uh oh, seems this one is not quite dead yet! Apparently some of those 'crazy liberal elitist' academicians have a problem with the discrepency during our last vote. Gee, why am I not surpised!:uhh:


    Here is a link to the report:
    http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_Mitofsky-Edison.pdf [Broken]

    BTW, have a look at some of the credentials from the list of participants:

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2005 #2
    A little googling determines several ( I only did 4 before I got bored) of the participants made leftist biased statements months, sometimes years before the study. Obviously the study was a designed to support their bias.
  4. Jan 31, 2005 #3
    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    When you get out of lineland maybe you'll see there is more at stake than 'liberal bias'. oh yeah. HINT: make an orthogonal turn to whatever directions you are capable of moving.
  5. Jan 31, 2005 #4
    So bassically, any Liberal who raises any concern about anything can be discounted, simply because they're left-leaning? Are Liberal Geologists to be dismissed when they tell us that Global Warming is real, and happening, because they are Liberal?
  6. Jan 31, 2005 #5
    US university faculties are biased to the left. The less technical the discipline, the more likely the instructor is to be left leaning. I’m going from memory now, but one study indicated less then 10% of poly-sci profs deemed themselves right leaning while those teaching statistics range 30-35%. Those who accept a political statistical study without doing a bio of the authors might as well read the Inquirer. The MIT study completely disemboweled the Berkeley exit poll study. You can satisfy your bias with the Berkeley garbage or educate yourself with the MIT filet mignon.

    Global warming is a political issue but fortunately there exists a great many studies wherein the author’s political bias is nowhere evident. I hope Al Gore’s book or the dogma of the Union of Concerned Scientists would not be cited as evidence in these forums. Global warming over the last 150 years is an accepted fact; the warming influence due to human activity is the issue. Is it possible that human endeavor (all countries) can reverse it without draconian measures is the problem. Are you willing to stop using your 300-1000watt PC to help the cause? Did the French stop flying the Concorde because it was bad for the environment or because it blew up?
  7. Feb 1, 2005 #6


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    There are a great many scientists who you would be hard-pressed to figure out which direction they lean. Why? Because they aren't activists. The people you should be worried about are the activists because their bias is strongest.

    Btw, those people are listed as "contributors and supporters" - it doesn't say anywhere that I can see, who actually wrote that paper.

    First impression (perhaps more later), it is more of the same allegations as the last paper, but substantially lower quality and higher bias.

    apropos: Why America Went Red
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2005
  8. Feb 1, 2005 #7


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    So apparently the answer to this:
    is to go on and on about how some of the authors contributed to liberal causes and in general the old wheeze about how university faculties are not sufficiently welcoming to libertarians and other conservatives and so on ad nauseam.

    Is all of this misdirection caused by the fact the right wingers really have no valid response to the situation I quoted?
  9. Feb 1, 2005 #8


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    Hey, polyb is the one who presented the Argument-From-Authority.

    The second part of the statement is the easiest to refute (since it doesn't really say anything to refute) -
    The basic problem with this statement is that it implies the exact opposite of what the paper wants it to imply. Yes, the poll data is the poorest accuracy - that fits with the fact that voting patterns and motivations were significantly different from any election in the past 20 years. Voter turnout was unusually high and this is the first election we've had in the middle of a war since Vietnam. These factors combined with a known democratic bias of the polls themselves (they always overstate the democrat vote) make the discrepancy this time around quite unsurprising.

    The first part, I'll get back to you on, but IIRC, the pollsters say specifically that the data does not support that assertion.
  10. Feb 1, 2005 #9
    No russ, I only said take a look at the credentials because I was impressed. Besides, I dont need an authority to back my opinion, I have already co-authored one paper(hey, that makes me an author-ity!:biggrin::rofl:). So to clarify for you, I AM OF THE OPINION THAT THE '04 VOTE WAS RIGGED! I am not alone in this opinion and this is one reason why only about half of the eligible voting public ever votes. They do not feel that the system is set up for them and in many respects they are right! :grumpy:

    Here is something that you overlooked from the article:

    You know russ, it seems odd to me that for someone who hates being lied to seems to have so much 'faith' in this particular administration. Especially considering the sheer magnitude of lies since 9/11. First off, all politicians lie, secondly the whole dichotomy you seem to propose and adhere to is a lie as well(you know, left/right, liberal/conservative, democrat/republican;divide and conquer works in politics too!). My concern is about what little semblence of integrity that exists in the system and when will it be time to teach the scumbags a lesson!:grumpy:
  11. Feb 1, 2005 #10


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    Okay, when you say the polls had the poorest accuracy in 20 years, you realize that's only 5 presidential elections, right? That's a pretty small sample. Does that mean 24 years ago the accuracy was as bad or worse than this year? Was there any reason to question it then? Out of 5 presidential elections, ONE of them has to have the worst polling accuracy.

    You'd also have to look at the voting patterns and timing of the polls in precincts that had apparent discrepancies. Are the Democratic university professors all voting in the morning because they don't have to worry about what time they get to work, while the Republican engineers had to wait until they got done with work at 5 PM to go out and vote, while the pollsters were out between 9 AM and 5 PM? With such a heated and close election, hearing early results and exit poll data on the news may have motivated Bush supporters to finally get off their butts and hit the polls later in the day when they realized it wasn't going to be the clear victory they thought it was going to be.

    The thing is, IT'S OVER! Not only have the votes been certified, he's already been inaugurated. Some people need to learn to get a life and move onward. Let's just work on getting some better candidates for 2008! Wouldn't it be nice to have a close election because we like BOTH candidates so much we can't decide rather than a close election because nobody likes either candidate enough to decide?
  12. Feb 2, 2005 #11


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    --- and, the exit polls picked up how much of the early vote, absentee ballots, mail-in ballots? --- and, these were how much of the total vote?
  13. Feb 2, 2005 #12


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    The credentials might be impressive if they had written the paper, but it doesn't say they did. And I say "might" because it would be surprising if they didn't have people with credentials like that read/write the paper.
    No clarification needed - I knew that.
    People choose not to vote because of apathy, not because they think votes are rigged. No, sorry, you're part of a very small fringe there.
    No, I didn't miss that - its another logical fallacy (of a great many) in that article. Lack of evidence for one theory does not constitute evidence for theirs. Sorry, Mr. Watson, you can't use Sherlock's process of elimination here, especially when your hypothesis is an extrordinary claim. edit: and even then, they really did provide evidence that the problem was sysemic, ie. that it wasn't specific to the presidential election, but was actually a data collection problem.
    You misunderstand: this administration had nothing to do with the carrying-out of the election.

    Ok, I guess I'm going to have to go through this article because though a few people now have picked up on some flaws, there's a lot that is just being taken with a knee-jerk 'hey, that sounds good!' when the reality is that this article was a terribly written propaganda piece. Its not a study.

    First off, speaking of being lied to, polyb, where can I find substantiation for this:
    The names are listed under "Contributors and Supporters" - you can bet that if they really were "co-authors" it would say so. The way I read that, none of those "academicians" had anything to do with writing the paper.

    Ok, now starting from the beginning (this may take multiple posts....):

    The first part is background. It starts by listing "irregularities" in the voting process. These problems have been highly publicised and are well-known. The question/implied thesis of the paper and the methodology follow:
    This is called "picture painting" - the "irregularities" are listed in order to paint a picture in the mind of the reader of a flawed voting process. And indeed, the question says that the purpose of the paper is to find out if these problems were significant. Now, the astute democrat would look at those "irregularities", start nodding his/her head, agree with the implied thesis (that the "irregularities" were significant) and then go looking for discussion of those "irregularities." But you won't find any. Why, with this direct evidence of "irregularities," do we need indirect evidence, such as exit polls, to acertain the integrity of the results? The answer is that those irregularities do not support the thesis. In fact, the election went relatively smoothly and those "irregularities" are isolated and did not affect the outcome of the election. The http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/science/july-dec04/election1_12-02.html [Broken] (I know you like credentials)
    Now, obviously, we could assume that there were more problems than were reported. But remember - you're alleging actual fraud: if there is actual fraud and these "irregularities" are the evidence, then these "irregularities" should be able to be linked together and stand on their own to prove it.

    Also, I know I shouldn't have to, but I'll reiterate from previous discussions: this study is misusing exit poll data. The approach quoted above is not something exit polls were designed to or are capable of supporting.

    With such massive flaws in the introduction, it was tough to read further. But I did [more later]...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  14. Feb 2, 2005 #13
    Speaking of activists, the first on the list is Josh Mitteldorf.

    From his home page-http://mathforum.org/~josh/

    “I'm a peace activist and an environmentalist…”

    It seems Josh may have authored the “The study, “Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report...

    Again from his page:

    “…USCountVotes.org has recently released my analysis of the Edison/Mitofsky pollsters' disavowal of their own exit poll."

    Amusingly it was “peer reviewed” by the organization that sponsored it. Again from his home page:

    “Also Peer Reviewed by USCountVotes’ core group of statisticians and independent reviewers.”

    The core group consists of two statisticians, one being Josh himself. :rolleyes:

  15. Feb 2, 2005 #14

    BUt the democrats are too stupid to ever think that people voting by economic status (something they assume so readily ) would mean that they would vote at similar times. I mean, imagine a group of people with similar schedules all voting at the same time in the afternoon. Egads!!!!!

    Population groups are not randomly distributed. Exit polls were coming out early in the afternoon. You cannot take a sample from only one part of the day and call it representative of the whole. It does not work that way, it is not a valid assumption. PERIOD. Get that through your heads.

    The exit polls are NOT meant to be independent verification of election results. Stop treating them like it.
  16. Feb 2, 2005 #15


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    Missed this before
    Actually, its women who are the problem (aren't they always? :wink: ) Women constitute a higher fraction of the overall voters than men and and even higher fraction during the daytime. One of the flaws in the exit poll (adjusted at 7:30 in the election evening) was that the total number of female voters estimated was 2 percentage points higher than it should have been.
  17. Feb 2, 2005 #16

    They must have lied about their genders when they voted!!! The exit poll has to be right!!!

  18. Feb 3, 2005 #17


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    Okay, I deserved that one after all the cracks about the Republican engineer this week. :rofl: Well, gosh, the exit polls might have been spot-on if there were only more househusbands voting. :rolleyes: It's probably not PC to acknowledge that, is it?
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