When surveys are conducted, the people who are interviewed are randomly selected registered (in a good poll) likely voters who are willing to respond. But that just begins the process. Those responses must then be "weighted" or allocated based on some projected model of past or future voter turnout strength. In other...
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Here is how I do the polling for my own gut feelings. Look around you to the people you have known for several years. This is not a scientific poll. Obviously the people you know don't well represent the national composition, no individual locality does. But on the other hand such a poor cross-section of people do often reflect shifts in political moods. In my region it is definitely a shift against Obama. No one is enthusiastic about Romney, but a lot of people that wanted to give Obama a chance in 2008 don't want him for another presidency. I'm in the reddest of states, Obama didn't carry a county in my state. But the shift is what matters and that seems significant in 2012.
As one who polled the 2008 presidential race extensively, it dawned on me, looking at the various "swing state" surveys taken recently, that many pollsters might be making a significant error that results in President Barack Obama with a lead, when perhaps the lead in reality belongs to Mitt Romney.
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