Thursday, April 3, 2008

Yesterday at PPP

Our Pennsylvania poll yesterday generated 176,063 visitors to the blog and a call from 'Barack Obama.'

The call from Obama was probably the most bizarre incident of the day. It sounded like someone had created some sort of program where you could type words and it would come out in Obama's voice. So Obama, talking the slowest he's probably ever talked in his life, called to thank us for the poll.

We received many vitriolic e-mails and phone calls. That's par for the course but some people are stupid about it. Most people send them from yahoo or gmail accounts that are untraceable. But one person sent a particularly ugly message from his work email at a hospital in Massachusetts. So I looked up the head of the hospital and forwarded the email to him and asked what their policy was about employees using their work time and resources to send such nastiness was.

There is a gender imbalance in the preferred medium for these irate communications from Clinton supporters (and Obama supporters too when they were mad about our Texas poll.) Men call and leave the ugly voice mails. I've never received an unpleasant call from a woman, but I still hear from them. However, they stick to email.

The most frequent question I got from more level headed media folks yesterday was whether we were surprised at the results. Of course we were. Usually this far out from the election, we'll put out a poll based on one night of polling. But we were surprised when Obama led the poll on Monday so we did a second round on Tuesday. It showed the same results and we ran with it.

Several folks have suggested we shouldn't have released the poll because it was an outlier. Well our South Carolina and Wisconsin polls were outliers too, and at the time we released our final Texas poll it was an outlier too before several other polls showing Clinton ahead came out later in the day. Those polls all ended up being pretty good.

I'm very confident that this poll correctly gaged public opinion as it stood in Pennsylvania on Monday and Tuesday. We'll do it weekly from here on out.

Anyway, I'm sure we'll never have a post get 457 comments again. But who knows.

3 comments:

Pyronite said...

When you guys get more guff for your results, show them this:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/03/pollster-ratings-updated.html

They are pollster ratings over a long period of time. Out of ~20 national pollsters, PPP ranks second in overall accuracy.

Now, that obviously doesn't mean that every poll PPP releases is going to be accurate, but it is quite obvious that you are an institution with real integrity. Any suggestion otherwise is ignorant.

Anonymous said...

I love you, PPP! Yes we can.

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