Friday, October 31, 2008


On the first round of calls for our Montana poll something happened I've never seen before: the candidates were literally dead even on the raw counts.

In most states that would mean the Democrat is well ahead, because we usually have to weight our samples to bring up the black population. But I don't think that's an issue in Montana!

So basically that means the leader, at least based on this first round of calls, would hinge on what's bigger: the gender gap between the candidates or the age gap. We almost always have to weight our polls to make them more male: women are just more likely to answer the phone. That weighting benefits Republicans. But we usually also have to adjust our samples to make them younger, bringing up the 30 and under crowd and decreasing the share of senior citizens. That helps Democrats.

We'll be making callbacks throughout the weekend but the bottom line is that the state is really close.


Matt said...

How much Ron Paul support are you seeing, Tom?

Anonymous said...

Didn't you say in your FAQ that weighing samples only moves the results 0-2% at most?

Also, I know that you weigh for gender and race. But what do you do for age? How do you determine the breakdown of the polls?

Oh, and will you weigh for Native Americans in MT? They usually lean pretty Democratic, and make up 7-8% of the population, per Wikipedia. And its likely that they wouldn't answer polls as much (especially since many of them are on phoneless reservations.)

Anonymous said...

(Same Anonymous as above.)

Also, I think you've said that Obama tends to pick up a lot of support on callbacks. So would you say that the fact that your sample is effectively a tie right now is good news for him?

Anonymous said...


Are you guys polling Virginia? There've been a couple of close Virginia polls lately.

Anonymous said...

I know your schedule is busy and election day is so close, but is there a possibility of polling North Dakota? From the very few polls available, it seems to be a closer race than MT. You also don't have to be registered to vote -- just show up at the polling place and sign a paper claiming that you meet voter eligibility requirements... not sure how that would affect turnout.

Thanks for keeping us so up to date on everything! :)

Anonymous said...

If Montana is in play then so is the Dakotas and yes Arizona (heck McCain is campaigning in Arizona on Monday).

Anonymous said...


NC ballots cast is now at 2.355 million. Are you still sticking with the 4.1 million total turnout prediction or will this have any effect on your weighting? (AA is still at 26.3)

Anonymous said...

Any hints as to how your PA polling is going? I'm pulling for McCain/Palin but I'm curious as to what your polling (waiting for SurveyUSA's final PA poll as well) is going to show. I think it's tigheting (as it should given the amount of time Palin has spent in the state) but I think he'll come up a little short and lose by the Kerry-Bush margin in that state. Rasmussen, Mason-Dixon, and your partisan counterpart Strategic Vision now show a 4-5 point race with the PA tracking poll tightening.

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