16 April 2012

. . . And We're Off

One week into the campaign and we've got announcements that Romney is ahead of Obama, including an "edge among the all-important independent voters" (NY Daily News). Following this news? An alert declaring that a slightly newer poll has Obama leading Romney, including "a 48%-43% margin over Romney among crucial independent voters" (CNN). In a timely article, Nate Silver posts some "Notes on Poll-Watching," a series of suggestions for fans of election polling. The key takeaway? Take a breath and use common sense before celebrating/sobbing about your candidate's ranking. Place the polls in context (news cycles, economy, etc.), expect instability, don't ignore outliers (but don't shout about their results), and don't place too much faith in prognosticators. Sound advice, all of which shall be ignored. I don't know about you, but I'm not particularly excited about the upcoming election cycle and its associated media hysteria.

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