The Best Pollster In Iowa Just Released Its Final Survey — How Accurate Has It Been?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by kyredneck, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    The final Des Moines Register poll was just released, showing Donald Trump leading the Republican field in Iowa with 28 percent, Ted Cruz with 23 percent and Marco Rubio with 15 percent. Hillary Clinton was ahead of Bernie Sanders, 45 percent to 42 percent, on the Democratic side. The political world — us included — was eagerly awaiting this survey, as Ann Selzer, who has conducted the Register’s polls since the 1988 caucuses, has a very good track record. But just how predictive of the final results have Selzer’s polls been? History suggests they’re a good indicator of what will happen in Monday’s Iowa caucuses, though there is room for a candidate or two to surprise.

    I’ve gathered Selzer’s final caucus polls1 for Republicans and Democrats since she started at the Register. For each race, I’ve calculated the difference between all candidates’ polled percentage of support and their final share of the vote.2

    Selzer’s final poll has correctly projected every single winner except for Republican Rick Santorum in 2012.

    How accurate has Ann Selzer’s final caucus poll been?

    How accurate has Ann Selzer’s final caucus poll been?
    YEAR PARTY WINNER CORRECTLY CALLED? AVERAGE ERROR BIGGEST ERROR
    1988 Democratic Dick Gephardt ✓ 4.3 8.4
    1988 Republican Bob Dole ✓ 3.6 10.4
    1996 Republican Bob Dole ✓ 4 9.7
    2000 Democratic Al Gore ✓ 2.2 2.5
    2000 Republican George W. Bush ✓ 4.3 7.7
    2004 Democratic John Kerry ✓ 4.3 10.1
    2008 Democratic Barack Obama ✓ 3 6.1
    2008 Republican Mike Huckabee ✓ 1.3 4
    2012 Republican Rick Santorum 2.6 8.5

    And the Register poll’s successes haven’t been limited to blowout races. She caught the late momentum for Democrat John Kerry in 2004 and famously called Barack Obama’s victory in 2008.

    Even when Selzer’s final poll missed the winner in 2012, it still indicated the potential for Santorum to win. The survey was conducted over four days, and in addition to the topline, aggregate numbers, Selzer released day-by-day results. The final day of her last 2012 caucus poll showed Santorum within a percentage point of Mitt Romney. In fact, the average error per candidate of the last day of her final 2012 caucus poll was just 1.9 percentage points.

    Indeed, what makes Selzer truly special isn’t just that she calls winners but that her error rates are fairly low across all candidates. Her average error per candidate per year has been just 3.3 percentage points. That means that what a candidate receives in her poll is probably going to be pretty close to what he or she gets from voters.

    That’s not to say the Des Moines Register poll is perfect. It sometimes misses on a candidate by a lot. Selzer’s final poll in 1988 missed Republican Pat Robertson’s eventual vote share by just more than 10 percentage points. Same thing with Kerry in 2004.3

    Who might benefit from that type of miss this time around? History suggests there are two types of candidates who tend to outperform their polls. The first is a candidate who does well among Christian conservatives. Selzer’s final polls on the Republican side in 1988, 1996 and 2012 all missed the candidate favored by Christian conservatives by at least 8.5 percentage points. That could be good news for Cruz. Secondly, candidates with late momentum, such as Kerry in 2004 and Santorum in 2012, also tend to beat their polls. That could be beneficial to Rubio, who seems to be gaining in some polls.

    Could there also be a big error on the Democratic side? It’s possible, but Selzer did particularly well in 2000, the last Democratic campaign with only a few candidates running. Fewer candidates means voters have an easier time settling on one candidate and reallocation of support becomes less of an issue.

    Of course, we won’t know how accurate Selzer’s final poll is this year until Monday or the day after. It’s worth remembering, however, that even the best pollsters — and Selzer is one of the best — aren’t perfect.
    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features...ter-iowa-poll-is-out-how-accurate-will-it-be/
     
  2. 777

    777
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    So she's predicting a Trump/Hillary win? Sounds about right, although you never know with a caucus. Her track record is pretty impressive and I saw another poll earlier that said Trump's support is not as "soft" as Cruz's, meaning a Cruz supporter would be more likely to switch a vote.

    Sanders was surging but the DNC backs Hillary. Same for Rubio, really I wouldn't be surprised if he comes in second, after Trump and before Cruz.
     
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  3. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    That's funny, Rubio is the one I've been thinking could be an upset. Evangelicals vs. ethanol in Iowa. Cruz, and to a lesser degree Rubio, both oppose the renewable fuel standard, so Rubio could end up being the better compromise for Iowa with evangelicals. Rubio also has Cruz beat as being the most pro-Israel candidate. Iowa evangelicals don't care much at all for Trump, and they may still yet deny Trump the victory in Iowa. It'll be interesting. I've actually got the Iowa caucus auto tuned on TV for tonight; that's a first for me.
     
  4. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy
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    If Trump wins in Iowa it will be because of the farm vote and may indicate that Trump will carry the Midwest. A Trump victory will indicate how dependent farmers are on the ethanol boondoggle and the need for reform of the agricultural programs first installed by FDR and still festering. An ethanol victory for Trump will also illustrate the corruption of the green energy notion. America may not be ready for reform.
     
  5. Rob_BW

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    So the tertiary candidates are finally falling to the wayside.
     
  6. InTheLight

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    No, it won't. Farming is huge in Iowa, yes, but there simply aren't enough numbers of them to sway the election.
     
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  7. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    Egad, how many livelihoods besides farmers do you imagine are derived from the ethanol industry in Iowa? Farmers are only the tip of the iceberg.
     
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  8. InTheLight

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    I understand that. How many conservatives think corn should not be distilled into ethanol and made into fuel? And therefore are ambivalent to the ethanol subsidy benefit?
     
  9. kyredneck

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    I couldn't tell.

    How many conservative's livelihoods and their children's livelihoods and their children's children's livelihoods are derived from the ethanol industry and therefore are NOT ambivalent to the ethanol subsidy benefit?
     
  10. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    I'm like 777, not ruling out Rubio.
     
  11. kyredneck

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    Iowa Gov. Branstad on Trump, Cruz and turnout

    "...Branstad is low-key, plain-spoken and proud of his long tenure in public office — in many ways, the antithesis of Trump.

    Was he shocked by Trump's boast in Sioux City a few days ago that he "could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters?"

    "It's hard to be shocked by anything that he says," Branstad replied mildly. "I think people are so sick and tired of political correctness that they kind of accept Donald Trump as somebody that tells it like it is and, obviously, they know there's a certain amount of hyperbole in some of the things that he says."

    Could a president who has never held any public office succeed?

    "Well, it certainly is unconventional," Branstad acknowledged, "But we're living in a very unconventional time. People are very dissatisfied with the leadership in D.C., in both parties. I think you see a very anti-establishment, anti-D.C., anti-Wall Street sentiment. And, consequently, when you have that kind of a feeling in the nation, it's not surprising that you would have candidates emerge, be it Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side or Donald Trump on the Republican side, that are non-traditional."

    The governor predicts "gigantic" turnout at the caucuses next week.

    "I think it's going to exceed any turnout we've ever had before," he said, reflecting the record number of candidates and Trump's appeal among some who haven't attended caucuses before. "The bigger the turnout, the better it probably is for him."

    While South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has dropped out of the Republican presidential race after failing to gain traction, Branstad said he had figured out the secret to success in the Hawkeye State. In a phone call last month, the South Carolina senator "said there are a couple of things I learned about Iowa: You've got to love Jesus and love ethanol." Branstad laughs.

    "I think that was a pretty humorous observation, but fairly accurate." "
     
  12. poncho

    poncho
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    Marco Rubio + Goldman Sachs + Microsoft + Paul Singer + Morgan Stanley + Larry Ellison = Open borders. In other words business as usual.

    I figure if you want to know what a person is going to do in office just look at who their owners are.
     
    #12 poncho, Feb 1, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  13. HankD

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    I Drove across the State of Iowa once and I thought I was driving through a several hundred mile cornfield.

    HankD
     
  14. carpro

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    Kudos to Cruz for standing his ground on the issue. His real views on ethanol are being widely misrepresented.
     
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  15. poncho

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    My views are being widely misrepresented to.

    I don't want all that much. Matter of fact I figure I can do with a whole lot less than what this government has been giving me. The only thing I'd like more of is freedom and privacy but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.
     
    #15 poncho, Feb 1, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  16. carpro

    carpro
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    It might cost you the election.
     
  17. poncho

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    At this point what difference does it make? I've already lost my republic.

    I don't think any one of them out of this current crop of yahoos are able to give it back to me.

    Our last best hope are the states and local government. And even that's a long shot now that the last generation of Americans that can remember what individualism, responsibility and self determination was all about is fading away.

    God help our kids and grand kids because we failed em in a big way.
     
    #17 poncho, Feb 1, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  18. carpro

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    So sayeth Hillary to excuse her incompetence that killed 4 Americans.

    Surely, that's not what you are doing?
     
  19. poncho

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    Incompetence huh? I don't buy that excuse at all. Stevens knew too much about how Hillary and her boss were aiding and abetting the enemy.

    The correct word is treason not incompetence.
     
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  20. carpro

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    You won't get any argument out of me on that one.
     

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