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Worried Obama fans will be happy to read Nate Silver’s latest post about Gallup, the polling firm that has Mitt Romney with a shocking 7 point lead among likely voters.Silver’s post is broken down into two parts. The first is a technical discussion of how Gallup fits into his own model (which still gives Obama a 70 per cent chance of winning the election). The second part talks about Gallup’s reliability.
The basic gist is twofold. One, when Gallup is far apart form other polls, Gallup is usually wrong. The second is that Gallup’s history of Presidential tracking is very odd, and prone to huge swings that don’t show up in the results of other pollsters.
Here are a few examples he cites:
- In 2008, Gallup put Obama 11 points ahead of McCain on election eve. Other polls averaged an Obama lead of 7 points. The other polls were correct.
- In 2000, Gallup put George W. Bush a stunning 16 points ahead of Al Gore in August.
- Then later in 2000, in September, it put Al Gore up by 10 points.
- Then in October 2000, George W. Bush was back up by 13 points. No other pollster had swings remotely this wild.
- In 1996 at one point, Bill Clinton was up by 25 points over Bob Dole. And that was just 4 days apart from Clinton’s 9-point lead. A ridiculous swing.
Bottom line: Gallup swings wildly and it frequently has results not in line with other pollsters.
Watch the video below to see where each candidate stands in electoral votes and what their respective paths to victory are:
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