At some point, there isn’t any more data to collect before an election—it just needs to happen.
Estimating election results is a complicated business—as you can probably tell if you’ve watched the pundits squirm and speculate over the past few weeks. They throw around terms like “margin of error” and “dynamic weighting” and disagree with each other vehemently. But at the end of the day, there is one a right answer.
Unfortunately, there’s no simple, clear-cut, agreed upon formula to get to that one right answer. And we’re the new kids on the block at this polling game.
First, a few disclaimers about what might bias an online poll of election results…
VIRTUAL REALITY: People might be giving different answers on an online survey than they do on the phone, or, more importantly than they do in the polls! This might be because they aren’t taking the online survey seriously, or simply because it makes people respond differently than they would otherwise.
SEEING THE FUTURE: Our survey asks people to predict their future attitudes (Who do you want to vote for?) and behaviors (Will you actually vote?), things that psychological research has shown people to be notoriously bad at.
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