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Are Today's Polls Clueless?

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the let's-ask-some-chinchillas-to-find-out dept.

United States 206

Frisky070802 writes "As noted on electoral-vote, Jimmy Breslin has an interesting article in Newsday on why polls are broken. This is because they poll only landline phones, and a substantial fraction of younger people have only cell phones -- so they hit a biased demographic. If a majority of younger voters tend Democratic, the polls could be giving Kerry a raw deal. Hmm, could this be why two polls released this week vary so widely?"

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206 comments

What they lack (4, Funny)

the darn (624240) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280033)

Most polls lack the all-important CowboyNeil option.

Re:What they lack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280058)

or the CoboyNeal option, even...

Re:What they lack (3, Insightful)

missing000 (602285) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280308)

While that is funny, there are some more critical problems with polls in my opinion. Another problem with the polls we saw during the Republican convention is that the poll was conducted while a disproportionate number of republicans were at home. Two of the major polls did nothing to adjust for this and the difference in their results verses the other polls was several points. The other problem I'm aware of is the fact that these polls typically only count "likely voters", usually defined as a person who voted in the last presidential election. There is a massive increase in many states in voter registration, so these people are not counted either. My impression is that they are predominantly non-republican.

Re:What they lack (1)

ageoffri (723674) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280727)

Maybe in your state it is predominantly non-republican, but not in Colorado. I voted rather late in the evening in our primary and the ladies running the show were talking about the number of new voters. They said almost everyone who registered that day was Republican, now granted it has a lot to do with getting Coors elected.

Re:What they lack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280858)

Fuck Pete Coors. Seriously, fuck him. Fuck that environment-raping reactionary homophobic bastard. I graduated from the same fraternity (Psi U) as him and he's a major dick, in person even more than in politics.

Sorry, just had to vent.

Most of the people I know (1)

davidmcn (606752) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280047)

Don't have landlines. I don't, most of my friends don't. The people overseas don't. I think Breslin makes some really good points in his article. What it comes down to is that polls just don't seem to add up.

Re:Most of the people I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280277)

i remember reading an editorial letter in my local paper a few weeks back that basically summed up 4 years ago: [paraphrased] Some candidate mostly led the polls the entire summer and most of the fall. But it was the nation's official "poll" in November became the only one that mattered.

More cellphones in large cities (5, Insightful)

ratsnapple tea (686697) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280057)

Based on my experience as a college graduate of this year, I can say pollsters are definitely missing a huge segment of the 18-25 population. NONE of my friends (yeah, I have friends, thank you very much) have a landline to their apartment, and instead rely on cell phones, as do I. Of course, this is in NYC--which raises the question, do rural and suburban areas (read: swing states) also have large populations ditching their landlines for mobiles? If not, it wouldn't seem to affect polls in those areas as much.

Re:More cellphones in large cities (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280177)

Based on my experience as a college graduate of this year, I can say pollsters are definitely missing a huge segment of the 18-25 population. NONE of my friends have a landline to their apartment.

Sure, but do they vote? It doesn't matter if they miss people who don't vote. I started voting at 18, but in the last few years, 95% of the undergraduates I've asked say they don't vote and didn't care if I thought they should.

Re:More cellphones in large cities (2, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280418)

I live in a relatively rural town of 40k, in the middle of no-where.. (80 miles from another city over 20k), and many, many people I know have only cell phones.. Most people in this town hate Qwest with a passion... its really disturbing to see how many ranchers out here have Cell phones, laptops, wireless access, etc..

Re:More cellphones in large cities (1)

ratsnapple tea (686697) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280783)

Cool. Just out of curiosity--and not to stereotype anyone, but do you think these folks tend Democratic or Republican? Breslin (the columnist) assumes cellphone users are largely young and Democratic, but it seems to me this might not be the case in rural areas, such as where you live.

Re:More cellphones in large cities (1)

Idylwyld (324288) | more than 8 years ago | (#10281043)

The other point to make is to differentiate between cell phones per person and cell phones per square mile. Obviously per mile^2 is going to show huge skew towards urban areas. I don't think there's a whole lot of local (non-economic linkable) variance in per person distribution of cell phones.

Re:More cellphones in large cities (1)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280741)

Depends on the area. A lot of rural areas have poor cell coverage if any at all.

Also consumer (and voter) tastes are going to be different in NYC than most of the country, simply because the environment is so different.

Re:More cellphones in large cities (1)

Idylwyld (324288) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280994)

Actually there are very few populated areas left, even in the great plains, that don't have at least analog cell phone service (shitty though it may be). I've been in places in northeast Wyoming that had service (albeit only on hilltops) even when I was up to 35 miles from civilization (Thunder Basin National Grassland). I have to assume that most people, even out there, see the economic implication pretty clearly. Why have two phones with one that can't leave my house when I can have one that goes everywhere?

have you tried using a cellphone in the country... (1)

sevinkey (448480) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280993)

back at my parents' house, out in the land where they still haven't wired cable and the phone lines are only good enough to get 28.8k, cell phones are next to worthless. My other family members have them just in case they are going into a city sometime and need to call home.

Biased. (4, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280081)

The people who say they want to vote for Bush are generally in the older age brackets, and they don't have as much trouble with the lies told by Bush and his people.

Biased anyone?

Re:Biased. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280264)

Yup. Biased against old people. There's a whole bunch of stupid age related bias in this article.

It's well documented that Bush lied. The only question is, are they good lies or bad lies. I can't think of a single president who hasn't been caught telling a lie (even Washington is documented to have told lies).

If you can't admit to yourself that Bush told lies, you'll never be able to make an adult decision about his actions.

Re:Biased. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280470)

When someone tells a lie, they knowingly deceive someone. Where exactly has it been proven that Bush knew there were no weapons of mass destruction and still said that there were?

In fact, based on the 9/11 report, I would say that Bush reported the information that he had to the American people quite truthfully. It turned out to be incorrect but that doesn't make it a lie.

Can you prove that he knew what he was saying was not correct?

Re:Biased. (0, Troll)

JohnTheFisherman (225485) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280664)

The other funny thing is that the last several elections have offered polls which tended CONSISTENTLY several points to the left of reality. I'm talking off by 5-10 points just before the election - and always to the left.

Clearly, there is an issue with the polling methodology, but it isn't ignoring all the 'younger, hipper, quicker, and smarter' cell phone devotees.

I wonder what makes them automatically overlook Kerry's lies?

Re:Biased. (4, Funny)

scrod (136965) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280969)

Yes, it is biased. There's no reason to believe that older people would necessarily be more inclined to believe the Bush admin's lies than younger people would.

Cell phone people are different (4, Insightful)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280087)

The key thing to remember is that people who carry cell phones tend to be younger and more liberal than people with land lines. As such, polls that ignore cell phones tend to have fairly skewed results.

Going door-to-door is probably the best alternative at this point, though there are flaws with that as well.

Re:Cell phone people are different (2, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280108)

Of course it has flaws, you miss the homeless! :)

Homeless voting (4, Insightful)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280182)

While I understand your comment is tongue-in-cheek, there's actually a number of states that make it quite difficult for homeless to vote [projectvote.org].

There's been attempts to get them voting, but it's quite a challenge. In Oregon, for example, ballots are all sent in the mail. Now, you can use the election clerk's office as a mailing address, but that means physically picking it up. I suspect most homeless people are more interested in little things like shelter and food than going through the hassle it takes to vote.

Re:Homeless voting (1)

Holi (250190) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280285)

Interesting site. If these laws and policy's stop one person from voting who is eligible (ie not felon) and who wants to they could probably be overturned if one were willing to make a legal battle out of it.

I was pretty sure we got rid of that property owner requirement for voting awhile back.

Re:Homeless voting (1)

angst_ridden_hipster (23104) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280398)

if one were willing to make a legal battle out of it

Yes.

But, of course, by disenfranchising those who can't afford housing, much less laywers, there's not much chance of that.

Re:Cell phone people are different (1)

ratsnapple tea (686697) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280187)

The article mentions that pollster John Zogby is "making a segue into Internet polling [using] screened e-mails of hundreds of thousands. Every household has some chance of being polled. How can you not do it that way?"

Seems like a good idea to me, as long as he doesn't just rely on email. Between email and landline telephones, I don't see why you couldn't get a representative sample of the population, as long as you used statistical sampling to compensate for over- and underrepresentation as appropriate.

Re:Cell phone people are different (2, Interesting)

Tye_Informer (412478) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280232)

Can you site some source for this assertion. I would contend that people who carry cell phones only tend to be more intelligent, hence more conservative. Those that meet both criteria, having only a cell phone and likely to vote, also tend to have jobs and want to keep more of their own money, making them more conservative.

Source: My own survey of friends.

Basis: Those of my friends that only have a cell phone have made the decision to cancel their land-line and spend the additional money on additional minutes. They are successful business types and tend to be more conservative than the general population. Other friends have both a land-line and cell, but only use the cell on nights/weekends for free long-distance. On average, these users tend to be more liberal.

Now of course, none of this has much bearing on polling because liberal/conservative is not an absolute indicator of a Bush/Kerry vote. My most liberal friends are voting for Bush because Kerry's group is keeping Nader off the ballot in so many places. They said they would've vote for Kerry, but they don't like the strong-arm tactics.

Re:Cell phone people are different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280266)

Sorry to break it to you, but it turns out your friends aren't so "smart" after all.

Re:Cell phone people are different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280406)

Did he ever say his friends were smart?

Re:Cell phone people are different (1)

unteins (778119) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280417)

Tell your friends that voting because they are emotionally wounded by a candidates actions is the reason why liberals can't manage to get it together enough to win an election. And if they point at Clinton remind them that he was actually a moderate as opposed to a liberal and some could even argue he was a conservative moderate at that.

Younger voters leaning towards democrats (2, Informative)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280548)

This article [washingtonpost.com] may help support my comment. To be fair, that age group tends to be pretty volatile. Earlier this year, I think they were fairly evenly tied. In recent months, the war on Iraq is making a greater difference in that age group, probably due to worries about a potential draft.

Re:Cell phone people are different (2, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#10281082)

I would contend that people who carry cell phones only tend to be more intelligent, hence more conservative.

I think I'm just going to let that sentence sit there all by itself for a while, in all its lonely glory.

but what percentage don't have landlines? (5, Informative)

rritterson (588983) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280094)

The devil is in the details here. First, of the 168 million cell phones, how many of those are owned by people who have no landline? And of those, how many are likely to vote?

Using my unscientific survey (i.e. my life as a college student) about 40% of 18-22 year olds don't have a cell phone. I would estimate that segment of the population to own maybe ~35% of the cell phones. In the last election we voted at about 36%. Thus, .4*.35*.36*168 million is about 8 million votes that aren't included in the poll. Of those (at the very most). I bet it's 60/40 Kerry/Bush. I don't think it's really large enough to cause a dramatic turnaround in the election, but it is big enough to increase the margin of error in the polls.

On a side note: does anyone know if they survey all of the likely voters in a household, or just the person who answers? (I've never been polled)

Re:but what percentage don't have landlines? (1)

LennyDotCom (26658) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280141)

On a side note: does anyone know if they survey all of the likely voters in a household, or just the person who answers?
They are supposed to ask for a specific person that they have in thier sample but in reality they talk to anyone they can get to answer the questions.

Re:but what percentage don't have landlines? (1)

ratsnapple tea (686697) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280160)

But where did you go to college? My guess, based on nothing but speculation, is the percentage of people with only cell phones (and no landlines) is greater in cities than in rural areas. Thus, I'd expect polls to be less skewed (if still skewed) in swing states, where the polls really matter, just because a greater fraction of the electorate still has landlines there.

And they only survey one person in a household. They go after a particular individual, not just whoever happens to pick up the phone. At least, that's been my experience with the pollsters.

My pollers just talked to the first voter (2, Informative)

waynegoode (758645) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280185)

I've been polled twice. They wanted to talk to a regsitered voter. I suspect they just talk to the first one, or in one case play recorded messages and record touchtones of the first one.

Re:but what percentage don't have landlines? (1)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280222)

I don't think it's really large enough to cause a dramatic turnaround in the election, but it is big enough to increase the margin of error in the polls.
(Officially) Less than 600 votes in the state of Florida separated Bush and Gore in 2000. Those votes do matter.

I'll get bold and predict that with a Kerry landslide, telephone polling will all but die.

Re:but what percentage don't have landlines? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280271)

I'll get bold and predict that with a Kerry landslide, telephone polling will all but die.
Agreed, because America will be rulled by a mullah within a few years of Kerry taking office and we won't have elections any more.

Re:but what percentage don't have landlines? (5, Insightful)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280374)

Agreed, because America will be rulled by a mullah within a few years of Kerry taking office and we won't have elections any more.
Dick Cheney I didn't know that you read slashdot! You forgot to mention that cream would sour and matches would burn blue.

Seriously, the amount of FUD that's comming from the (so called) right is amazing.

Re:but what percentage don't have landlines? (2, Informative)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280689)

The actual data is available from the phone company web pages. While there has been a big stir about lines being swapped from land line to cellular, it hasn't been that big a factor. The bells have about 130 million lines (VZ doesn't disclose second lines from primaries, but that includes business and second lines. There are also almost 20 million lines under things like the MCI neighborhood plan and other CLECs (I don't have data on if those are primary or secondary lines but I'd suspect they are almost all primary lines as CLECs are in dense areas and offer DSL). If you back business losses, UNE-P (CLEC) losses, and the few VoIP losses to date, all of which can be polled or do not represent actual households you are left a fairly constant number of lines over the past two years. Household growth in the US is generally in the 1-2% range so it is unlikely that there are more than 3% of households with wireless and no land line. Also the swing states are generally not the areas that would be as likely to have wireless only users (who would be more likely to be in dense urban areas such as NY or CA) Even if that group split 60-40 for Kerry, I doubt it would throw the election off enough to account for any electoral votes.
Btw, there are about 150 million subscribers or roughly half the population with cellular phones now. In some European countries the penetration rate is north of 80% which is pretty impressive. In several, Mediteranian countries it is north of 100% which is bizarre.

As someone who has been in thepolling biz for 3 yr (3, Informative)

LennyDotCom (26658) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280102)

I have seen a lot of sloppy polling. You have the big problem of the callers cheating, faking data and all kinds of crap you wouldn't belive. when they say + or - whatever % don't belive it for a minute

The problem is not young people with cellphones (2, Informative)

waynegoode (758645) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280121)

...a substantial fraction of younger people have only cell phones--so they hit a biased demographic.

I don't think this is the problem. Demographics like gender, race and political party, preference, etc., are usually corrected for, although I don't know about these polls specifically. They will either adjust the group they poll so that they are half men and half women, for instance, or adjust the weighting of the answers so they are effectively half men and half women. Unless people with cell phones hold different opinions that those with land lines--that is not accounted for by gender, race or political party, etc.--this will not be a problem.

I think the difference is just the inherent inaccuracy in conducting a political poll.

I Was Agreeing With Him, Up Till... (3, Insightful)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280122)

The people who say they want to vote for Bush are generally in the older age brackets, and they don't have as much trouble with the lies told by Bush and his people.

Now, while I agree that Bush has told some whoppers in the White House, pointing out this non-sequitur in an article that's supposed to be about bad polling methods really undermines his message. If he hopes to get better youth representation in future polls, the writer has best not look like a partisan shill while he's trying to influence the pollsters into changing their methods. He may as well have just wrote down a Dean-esque "YEARGH!" in print... his advice is going to be ignored as if he did so.

Re:I Was Agreeing With Him, Up Till... (2, Interesting)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280361)

Yeah, the first thing that lept to my mind at that point is "No, young people simply prefer the lies of Kerry over Bush."

(Of course, this is using the latest re-definition of "lie" to mean "anything opposed to the truth" (and we'll just leave "truth" up in the air), as opposed to the rather more reasonable definition of "knowingly telling a falsehood". Under that definition, I don't think either candidate is lying much, although both have lied about their past to one degree or another and both have lied about their positions depending on what people want to hear (though I have to give credit to Kerry here for lying this way much more often; his problem here is that he has to in order to both be nominated and win the election and it is still up in the air whether he can manage it). The problem is that they are wrong, each in their own various ways. It is beyond me to give a full listing, as I am not perfect either.)

Re:I Was Agreeing With Him, Up Till... (2, Insightful)

foooo (634898) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280662)

They are quicker, and probably smarter at this time, and almost doubtlessly more in favor of Kerry than Bush.


Older people complain about Kerry's performance as a candidate. Younger people don't want to get shot at in a war that most believe, and firmly, never should have started because it was started with a president lying.


Good grief!

For the record... I'm quick, I'm smart, I fit into the 18-25 age bracket *and* I have only a cell phone.

I just happen to be using my quickness and smarts to make money. Enough money for me to be irritated by high taxes. (Enough money for me to be conservative I guess...)

Perhaps the fact that poor people are more likely to have land lines only and are also more likely to vote Democrat pushes the polls in favor of Kerry??

I'm all for better methods of gathering statistics... web surveys... mail surveys... mind reading... but bitching about a potential bias and then revealing your own undermines your point.

Heck! Nielson is starting to use TiVo statistics as part of ratings! This might favor cool shows like Farscape and Firefly. (yay!)


foooo

It's partisan to say Bush lies? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280868)

It's really pathetic that we live in a political culture where it's somehow partisan to point out when a politician isn't telling the truth. If a politician says something that he/she knew to be untrue, saying they lied isn't a partisan opinion -- it's a fact!

Given that Bush has been caught in a stream of lies [msn.com]; outright lies [factcheck.org] and lies of omission [snopes.com] (as well as blatent attempts to mislead the American voters [factcheck.org] and vast distortions [factcheck.org]), it's not "partisan" to say he's a liar. It's a statement of fact.

While we're stereotyping.... (0)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280135)

If younger people typically don't have landlines, and thus are missed by the polls, and younger people stereotypically don't vote in anywhere near the percentages of older people, wouldn't this be making the polls more accurate?

Small price to pay. Makes me happy. (1)

cryptor3 (572787) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280156)

Thank goodness they don't poll people with cell phones. I'm perfectly happy not getting solicitation calls on my cell phone.

Find some other way to handle this demographic.

Who cares? (2, Insightful)

isaac (2852) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280168)

The 18-25 demographic doesn't vote.

See http://www.fec.gov/pages/agedemog.htm

Year after year, Americans under age 25 fail to do their civic duty. Why do you think the drinking age is 21?

Young adults might support Kerry over Bush... if they bothered to *vote*.

-Isaac

Re:Who cares? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280295)

i got one way for Kerry to snag the 18-25'ers quickly (and their parents) - Pell Grant Reform

Re:Who cares? (3, Interesting)

Jordy (440) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280351)

I've always wondered why the age groups were so biased against young people. I mean look at them:

18-20 (3 years worth of people representing 10.7 million)
21-24 (4 years representing 13.8 million)
25-44 (20 years representing 83.3 million!)
45-64 (20 years representing 53.7 million)
65+ (avg age of ~80 = ~16 years representing 31.8 milion)

Graphing it would have been better. Yes, young people vote less, but is 24 really much worse than 25 or is there a spike at 30 or 35 that brings everyne in the age bracket up?

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

PurpleFloyd (149812) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280400)

First of all, I'm a college student, and I vote. Every election, local or national. I look through the voter's pamphlet, visit candidates' websites, and generally try to make an informed choice. By doing that, I'm doing my "civic duty" better than many middle-aged adults.

Second, I think the youth vote will be far more of a factor in this election than it has been in the past. An example: Among my circle of friends, I'm known as someone who is very politically active, and thus has been the go-to guy to get registered to vote. I have helped register many friends (and friends of friends, and so on), including several who have never shown any political inclination before. As might be expected, these people are planning to vote Kerry in droves. Quite simply, they think Bush is a reckless cowboy, and feel that he is selling out their futures with reckless defecit spending. While the 18-25 turnout may be lower than the national average, I think that it will turn out to be one of the decisive groups in this election.

Zogby, anyone? (3, Informative)

Asprin (545477) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280171)


HA-HA!

What comes around goes around, I guess.

About 10 or 15 years ago, some dude named John Zogby surmised that the standard political telephone polls we skewed toward the left because their methodologies involved making the calls during the day, when older Americans -- who tended to be more conservative -- were more likely to be preoccupied with activities like working, shopping and running errands. He started company [zogby.com] to prove he was right. Here's his bio. [zogby.com]

Re:Zogby, anyone? (1)

LennyDotCom (26658) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280199)

Thats why all the polling is done after 4 pm It's a total money drain trying to get surveys before 4 because nobody is home and you have a room full of callers calling empty houses and old folks

Re:Zogby, anyone? (-1, Flamebait)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280309)

And layabouts soaking up welfare who always vote Democratic. ;-)

Re:Zogby, anyone? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280735)

And layabouts soaking up welfare who always vote Democratic. ;-)

Shut up, bitch.

other methods (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280172)

Door to Door might work better- but nobody wants to pay for that anymore. Calling phone numbers truly at random might work- but you've got more than just the United States in that list (Canada is also tied into the 10 digit dialing system, as are a few other places like the US Virgin Islands). I think that one guy has the best idea- move forward to internet polling of truly large samples.

What a horrible article (3, Informative)

Skeezix (14602) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280188)

Any credible argument or salient points are pretty much wiped out by statements such as:

The people who say they want to vote for Bush are generally in the older age brackets, and they don't have as much trouble with the lies told by Bush and his people.

Yeah, because we all know that older people don't mind when a president and "his people" lie to the nation. And clearly everyone knows the president has lied to all of us. It's just that older people don't mind. Huh?

The young people on cell phones appear not to be listening and they hear every syllable. They punch out a number without looking. They are quicker, and probably smarter at this time, and almost doubtlessly more in favor of Kerry than Bush.

Yeah, and we all know that the younger people who are also smarter will doubtless vote for Kerry (probably a direct consequence of their increased intelligence). Only the old, stupid, slow people would not mind Bush's lies and vote for him and "his people."

Older people complain about Kerry's performance as a candidate. Younger people don't want to get shot at in a war that most believe, and firmly, never should have started because it was started with a president lying.

And obviously the older generation will be more concerned with trivial details such as the candidate's "political record" and "performance" while the younger, smarter people don't want to die and therefore don't want to vote for a liar who sends people to their death for a pointless cause.

Re:What a horrible article (0, Offtopic)

syrinx (106469) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280283)

Yes, everyone knows only stupid or evil people vote for Republicans! It's a fact -- not only did Michael Moore tell me so, but I read it in the Village Voice, too.

Re:What a horrible article (2, Insightful)

Jherico (39763) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280700)

Yes, everyone knows only stupid or evil people vote for Republicans!

If you're willing to substitute 'ignorant and possibly apathetic' for stupid, and 'Bush administration' for republicans, then pretty much yeah.

There are republican leaders I respect. There are democratic leaders I despise. But I haven't heard a single good reason (and even a reason I disagree with can be good) to vote for the Bush administration.

Re:What a horrible article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280887)

It's possible for thoughtful, intelligent and well-informed people of good faith to vote for republicans.

It is significantly less likely, however, that any of these people would vote for George W. Bush. Nobody who considers themselves a conservative should ever consider pulling a level next to that man's name...

Re:What a horrible article (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280651)

And obviously the older generation will be more concerned with trivial details such as the candidate's "political record" and "performance" while the younger, smarter people don't want to die and therefore don't want to vote for a liar who sends people to their death for a pointless cause.

Many in the older generation seem to be primarily concerned with stealing money from future generations: They want the Bush tax cuts even though Bush is running the federal government into the red to the tune of over $400 billion per year. That deficit spending is resulting in a massive debt that future generations will have to shoulder to decades. Maybe younger voters who understand math aren't too happy about electing a President who is actively trading away their future standard of living to buy votes today.

Re:What a horrible article (5, Insightful)

lynx_user_abroad (323975) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280810)

Yeah, because we all know that older people don't mind when a president and "his people" lie to the nation. And clearly everyone knows the president has lied to all of us. It's just that older people don't mind. Huh?

I think I'm old enough to qualify as one of them "older people", even if I don't tend to agree with my peers, so I'll try to relate things from the "Boomer" point -of-view. It might help others (you don't seem to need it) understand just what a mess we're in.

The baby boom generation represents a demographic abnormality which may not be apparent to you, but is clearly apparent to them.

First, they are by far the largest single demographic of American society today. Which means, in terms of raw numbers, they have the votes.

Second, every generation tends to become more active as voters as they reach their senior years, and that's what the Boomers are becomming right now.

And finally, the Boomers (generally, people born between the end of WWII (1945) and the middle of the 60's (1965)) were raised during the Industrialization Bubble on the mid 20th century, where the Corporation was King, standardization and mass production were the buzzwords. They have been raised in a society which rewards Group-Think, and rewards it well.

Because educating our children was deemed a priority then, most Boomers attended schools in buildings less than 10 years old. Because educating our children now is just a lip-service issue, most of the Boomer's children (and a lot of their grandchildren) attend school in those very same buildings.

The Boomers have generally reached senior points in their careers, and are past child-breaing years. That means they aren't generally nearly as interested in questions like "How can I afford the mortgage payment" and "how can I pay for my children's education" as their younger counterparts because, for many of them, the paychecks are bigger, the mortgage is paid-off, and the Kids are already through college. Instead, the issues of interest to Boomers, generally, revolve around staying healthy as long as possible, and preparing for the day they're no longer around. This also explains, to some extent, the surge of religious dedication often attributed to the Religious Right.

In a strange twist, the oldest Boomers who saved hard for retirement are finding an unusual and unexpected expense: instead of treating their grandchildren to a toy train at Christmas and a winter vacation in Florida are instead breaking the budget for such things as braces and winter coats for grandchildren who's parents are unable to get the health care or proper winter clothing for them. Instead of a retirement spent growing roses, it's unofficial daycare duty for their own childern, who can't afford to take a day off work.

It makes perfect sense, therefore, for the Boomer generation to favor policies which emphasize health care for seniors to be paid for by a huge budget deficits. The cost will be paid after they're dead and buried. They are only acting rationally, in their own interest. The don't just want tax breaks skewed toward their higher incomes, they need them in order to reach their retirement goals.

And the politicians they support, who also must act in their own best interest, are also acting rationally when they pander to (as they must) this voting block. It's no secret that many Kerry supporters are only luke-warm in their support, voting for Kerry primarily because doing so is a vote against Bush. The Bush campaign has picked up on this, too, citing Kerry's seeming tendency to flip-flop on issues, which (my opinion here) is a manifestation of Kerry's realization that he has no way to run this country any better than Bush without reversing a slew of Bush's policies, but if he were to admit before the election that he has plans to reverse Bush's policies, he wouldn't stand a snowballs' chance in hell of getting the Boomer votes he needs to get elected in the first place.

And it explains why the current mass-marketing of drugs in the mass media is the expected progression following the "Just Say No" war on drugs of the 70's and 80's, which followed the promiscious drug-use era of the 60's, which followed the tobacco-decade of the 50's, (which saw the first promotion of tobacco to women).

The truly scary part is that it's only just begun. We have about 25 years of Boomers to survive before their voting block begins to, quite literally, die off. If you think it's bad now, it's only going to get worse for the forseeable future. Assuming we survive that long.

So, if you're under 40, you really have only two choices:

  • live like a pauper, saving like hell, in hopes you can scrape by the next 20 years, or
  • organize, discuss, and vote in hopes of becomming an unusually lucrative voting block.

Of course, you could do both On a positive note, the percentage of people who actually bother to vote, overall, is near an all-time low. This means it won't be as hard as it might otherwise be, to arrange a large enough flash-mob at the polling station on November 2nd.

Re:What a horrible article (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280930)

MOD PARENT UP MAJOR TIME.

Best discussion I've ever seen as to why Boomers now vote Republican. As for me:
live like a pauper, saving like hell, in hopes you can scrape by the next 20 years,
Already doing this one, but am failing at it (partially because I failed to see the trend early enough and am around $200,000 in debt for trying to live like my parents did- and they weren't rich people to begin with)
or organize, discuss, and vote in hopes of becomming an unusually lucrative voting block.

I'm working on the 2nd by attempting to form a new political party that addresses the fears of younger people and older people on the same time. Socialized Food, Clothing, Shelter, and Medical Care is a huge plank- as is economic self-sufficiency for the United States.

Re:What a horrible article (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280884)

Yeah, and we all know that the younger people who are also smarter will doubtless vote for Kerry (probably a direct consequence of their increased intelligence). Only the old, stupid, slow people would not mind Bush's lies and vote for him and "his people."

Do you think perhaps it's because smarter actually value intelligent conversation- and Bush often comes up appearing like a rich frat boy whose father paid for every good grade he ever got?

Re:What a horrible article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10281005)

...smarter people don't want to die and therefore don't want to vote for a liar who sends people to their death for a pointless cause

Exactly.

Only certain polls matter... (1)

checkyoulater (246565) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280223)

Does any politician really care what young people think? The only votes that truly matter are the middle-aged middle-class votes. Period. All middle-aged, middle-class people have land lines. Wait 20 years when all the youngsters are middle-aged and then the polling methods will change.

Re:Only certain polls matter... (2, Funny)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280389)

The only votes that truly matter are the middle-aged middle-class votes. Period.

There is an easy workaround for this, next time you are voting. See that box labelled "middle-aged, middle-class"? Check it, even if it isn't true. They can't verify it, after all.

Once you do that, you'll find your vote counted along with all the rest of our votes.

Now that Bush is winning in the polls (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280227)

Let's question them! Because obviously they're not accurate!

For now... I honestly think it works out (1)

Your_Mom (94238) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280244)

A lot of younger people have cell phones, true.
But, a lot of younger people, quite frankly, "can't be bothered" to vote. (Idiots)

I think it evens out, yes they are missing some voters, but I think that the amount they are missing is quite negligible. I'm sure they have thought of this dilemma.

When the 60+ crowd (who are the 'best' voters) get cell phones, I'll start thinking we may need a better system, but until then I think we'll be ok.

another "bias" (2, Insightful)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280251)

they only get to ask those people who dont hangup on them.

it would be interesting to see a poll that showed the response rate. A lot of people hang up on pollster calls, thinking they're telemarketers or something, often before the questions even get asked. Therefore, if Gallup or USAToday or Quinnipeac (sp?) phoned 20000 numbers, show how many or what percentage of them took time to actually answer the pollster's questions.

the other thing I would like to see on these public opinion polls are how the questions are presented to the pollee. E.g, phrasing of the questions, multiple choice or open ended, etc.

Re:another "bias" (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280357)

Yes, if the questions are half as biased in that nutty article, the polls will be skewed all over the place.

Re:another "bias" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280931)

World Poll: More people want Kerry for President. Betcha didn't hear: More people also want a weak U.S. President.

I love living in a time where a man who volunteers for two tours of duty in a warzone, then signs up for one of the most hazardous duty in his branch of service, then wins medals for two seperate acts of heroism (one of which probably saves his boat and the other indisputibly saved a fellow soldier's life), then went home and sat in front of the Senate to make himself heard about the evils of the war can be called "weak" next to a man who used his father's influence to dodge the draft and then went on to become an alcoholic drug-addicted business failure.

Just like any other sample... (1)

El (94934) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280384)

their sample is biased towards people that don't have anything better to do with their time! That eliminates most working people or people with children. Personally, I consider my time to be worth at least $60/hour, so if you want me to spend 10 minutes answering questions, you'd better pay me $10 -- otherwise I'll use that time to play with my 3-year old kid instead!

Re:another "bias" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10280816)

i got the solution!

They need to do a poll of these people who dont respond to figure out they're leanings, and then that result can be .. . oh wait .. if they respond to that poll then it means they're no longer non-respondents. shoot. back to the drawing board......

effect of Caller ID? (2, Interesting)

nekoniku (183821) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280291)

Anytime I see a caller I don't recognize on Caller ID, I don't answer the phone and let the answering machine deal with it. Such calls have increased in frequency over the last few months; I wonder how many of those calls I don't answer are pollsters or campaign fundraisers?

I wonder if Caller ID has a neutral or skewing effect on the accuracy of polling today?

Re:effect of Caller ID? (1)

checkyoulater (246565) | more than 8 years ago | (#10281059)

I wonder if Caller ID has a neutral or skewing effect on the accuracy of polling today?

Not sure about your location, but here in Toronto I get called by Pollara [pollara.ca] once in a while. It actually shows up as Pollara on call display. Even telemarketers (mainly the Toronto Star for some reason) show up as Call Centre or something like that. The only numbers here that I don't get a name on are either cell numbers or a caller that has deliberately blocked it. Even those show up as Private Caller on call display.

News Polls (2, Interesting)

Jinsaku (729938) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280337)

This is a tad unrelated, but I've got a big problem with polls on newspaper sites. For instance, CNN may run an article on how the war in Iraq was a bad thing (a viewpoint article), then, have a poll attached to it with the Q: "Do you think the war in Iraq was bad?" Yes/No ... of course, someone who just read an opinion article about how bad it was will probably vote the way the article did.

Just irritating. Anyone else seen stuff like this and wish to add to it?

And you know this how? (1)

KilobyteKnight (91023) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280375)

This is because they poll only landline phones, and a substantial fraction of younger people have only cell phones -- so they hit a biased demographic.


I wonder how that information was gathered... Maybe some sort of sampling method like a poll? Maybe a hunch? Totally made up, perhaps?

Nah, I'm sure it's totally reliable and accurate information from a completely unbiased unquestionably authoratative source.

good thing the youngsters don't vote (-1, Flamebait)

kerrin (168492) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280401)

they tend to be the most uninformed voters. and who wants uninformed voters voting?.... John Flip Flop Kerry!

Re:good thing the youngsters don't vote (5, Informative)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280721)

they tend to be the most uninformed voters. and who wants uninformed voters voting?

George Bush does. He wants voters who believe that Iraq was behind 9/11. He wants voters who don't understand what "deficit spending" is. He wants voters who don't know anything about how he got into the National Guard while others were being sent to Vietnam. He wants voters who don't know how "nuclear" is pronounced.

John Flip Flop Kerry!

Bush is the king of Flip-Flops:

1. Social Security Surplus

BUSH PLEDGES NOT TO TOUCH SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS... "We're going to keep the promise of Social Security and keep the government from raiding the Social Security surplus." [President Bush, 3/3/01] ...BUSH SPENDS SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS The New York Times reported that "the president's new budget uses Social Security surpluses to pay for other programs every year through 2013, ultimately diverting more than $1.4 trillion in Social Security funds to other purposes." [The New York Times, 2/6/02]

2. Patient's Right to Sue

GOVERNOR BUSH VETOES PATIENTS' RIGHT TO SUE... "Despite his campaign rhetoric in favor of a patients' bill of rights, Bush fought such a bill tooth and nail as Texas governor, vetoing a bill coauthored by Republican state Rep. John Smithee in 1995. He... constantly opposed a patient's right to sue an HMO over coverage denied that resulted in adverse health effects." [Salon, 2/7/01] ...CANDIDATE BUSH PRAISES TEXAS PATIENTS' RIGHT TO SUE... "We're one of the first states that said you can sue an HMO for denying you proper coverage... It's time for our nation to come together and do what's right for the people. And I think this is right for the people. You know, I support a national patients' bill of rights, Mr. Vice President. And I want all people covered. I don't want the law to supersede good law like we've got in Texas." [Governor Bush, 10/17/00] ...PRESIDENT BUSH'S ADMINISTRATION ARGUES AGAINST RIGHT TO SUE "To let two Texas consumers, Juan Davila and Ruby R. Calad, sue their managed-care companies for wrongful denials of medical benefits 'would be to completely undermine' federal law regulating employee benefits, Assistant Solicitor General James A. Feldman said at oral argument March 23. Moreover, the administration's brief attacked the policy rationale for Texas's law, which is similar to statutes on the books in nine other states." [Washington Post, 4/5/04]

3. Tobacco Buyout

BUSH SUPPORTS CURRENT TOBACCO FARMERS' QUOTA SYSTEM... "They've got the quota system in place -- the allotment system -- and I don't think that needs to be changed." [President Bush, 5/04] ...BUSH ADMINISTRATION WILL SUPPORT FEDERAL BUYOUT OF TOBACCO QUOTAS "The administration is open to a buyout." [White House spokeswoman Jeanie Mamo, 6/18/04]

4. North Korea

BUSH WILL NOT OFFER NUCLEAR NORTH KOREA INCENTIVES TO DISARM... "We developed a bold approach under which, if the North addressed our long-standing concerns, the United States was prepared to take important steps that would have significantly improved the lives of the North Korean people. Now that North Korea's covert nuclear weapons program has come to light, we are unable to pursue this approach." [President's Statement, 11/15/02] ...BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFERS NORTH KOREA INCENTIVES TO DISARM"Well, we will work to take steps to ease their political and economic isolation. So there would be -- what you would see would be some provisional or temporary proposals that would only lead to lasting benefit after North Korea dismantles its nuclear programs. So there would be some provisional or temporary efforts of that nature." [White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, 6/23/04]

5. Abortion

BUSH SUPPORTS A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE... "Bush said he...favors leaving up to a woman and her doctor the abortion question." [The Nation, 6/15/00, quoting the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 5/78] ...BUSH OPPOSES A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE "I am pro-life." [Governor Bush, 10/3/00]

6. OPEC

BUSH PROMISES TO FORCE OPEC TO LOWER PRICES... "What I think the president ought to do [when gas prices spike] is he ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say we expect you to open your spigots...And the president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the price." [President Bush, 1/26/00] ...BUSH REFUSES TO LOBBY OPEC LEADERS With gas prices soaring in the United States at the beginning of 2004, the Miami Herald reported the president refused to "personally lobby oil cartel leaders to change their minds." [Miami Herald, 4/1/04]

7. Iraq Funding

BUSH SPOKESMAN DENIES NEED FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR THE REST OF 2004... "We do not anticipate requesting supplemental funding for '04" [White House Budget Director Joshua Bolton, 2/2/04] ...BUSH REQUESTS ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR IRAQ FOR 2004 "I am requesting that Congress establish a $25 billion contingency reserve fund for the coming fiscal year to meet all commitments to our troops." [President Bush, Statement by President, 5/5/04]

8. Condoleeza Rice Testimony

BUSH SPOKESMAN SAYS RICE WON'T TESTIFY AS 'A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE'... "Again, this is not her personal preference; this goes back to a matter of principle. There is a separation of powers issue involved here. Historically, White House staffers do not testify before legislative bodies. So it's a matter of principle, not a matter of preference." [White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, 3/9/04] ...BUSH ORDERS RICE TO TESTIFY: "Today I have informed the Commission on Terrorist Attacks Against the United States that my National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, will provide public testimony." [President Bush, 3/30/04]

9. Science

BUSH PLEDGES TO ISSUE REGULATIONS BASED ON SCIENCE..."I think we ought to have high standards set by agencies that rely upon science, not by what may feel good or what sounds good." [then-Governor George W. Bush, 1/15/00] ...BUSH ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS IGNORE SCIENCE "60 leading scientists--including Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors and university chairs and presidents--issued a statement calling for regulatory and legislative action to restore scientific integrity to federal policymaking. According to the scientists, the Bush administration has, among other abuses, suppressed and distorted scientific analysis from federal agencies, and taken actions that have undermined the quality of scientific advisory panels." [Union of Concerned Scientists, 2/18/04]

10. Ahmed Chalabi

BUSH INVITES CHALABI TO STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS...President Bush also met with Chalabi during his brief trip to Iraq last Thanksgiving [White House Documents 1/20/04, 11/27/03] ...BUSH MILITARY ASSISTS IN RAID OF CHALABI'S HOUSE "U.S. soldiers raided the home of America's one-time ally Ahmad Chalabi on Thursday and seized documents and computers." [Washington Post, 5/20/04]

11. Department of Homeland Security

BUSH OPPOSES THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY..."So, creating a Cabinet office doesn't solve the problem. You still will have agencies within the federal government that have to be coordinated. So the answer is that creating a Cabinet post doesn't solve anything." [White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, 3/19/02] ...BUSH SUPPORTS THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY "So tonight, I ask the Congress to join me in creating a single, permanent department with an overriding and urgent mission: securing the homeland of America and protecting the American people." [President Bush, Address to the Nation, 6/6/02]

12. Weapons of Mass Destruction

BUSH SAYS WE FOUND THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION..."We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories...for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." [President Bush, Interview in Poland, 5/29/03] ...BUSH SAYS WE HAVEN'T FOUND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION "David Kay has found the capacity to produce weapons.And when David Kay goes in and says we haven't found stockpiles yet, and there's theories as to where the weapons went. They could have been destroyed during the war. Saddam and his henchmen could have destroyed them as we entered into Iraq. They could be hidden. They could have been transported to another country, and we'll find out." [President Bush, Meet the Press, 2/7/04]

13. Free Trade

BUSH SUPPORTS FREE TRADE... "I believe strongly that if we promote trade, and when we promote trade, it will help workers on both sides of this issue." [President Bush in Peru, 3/23/02] ...BUSH SUPPORTS RESTRICTIONS ON TRADE "In a decision largely driven by his political advisers, President Bush set aside his free-trade principles last year and imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel to help out struggling mills in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, two states crucial for his reelection." [Washington Post, 9/19/03]

14. Osama Bin Laden

BUSH WANTS OSAMA DEAD OR ALIVE... "I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, I recall, that says, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.'" [President Bush, on Osama Bin Laden, 09/17/01] ...BUSH DOESN'T CARE ABOUT OSAMA "I don't know where he is.You know, I just don't spend that much time on him... I truly am not that concerned about him."[President Bush, Press Conference, 3/13/02]

15. The Environment

BUSH SUPPORTS MANDATORY CAPS ON CARBON DIOXIDE... "[If elected], Governor Bush will work to...establish mandatory reduction targets for emissions of four main pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon dioxide." [Bush Environmental Plan, 9/29/00] ...BUSH OPPOSES MANDATORY CAPS ON CARBON DIOXIDE "I do not believe, however, that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide, which is not a 'pollutant' under the Clean Air Act." [President Bush, Letter to Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), 3/13/03]

16. WMD Commission

BUSH RESISTS AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION ON WMD INTELLIGENCE FAILURE... "The White House immediately turned aside the calls from Kay and many Democrats for an immediate outside investigation, seeking to head off any new wide-ranging election-year inquiry that might go beyond reports already being assembled by congressional committees and the Central Intelligence Agency." [NY Times, 1/29/04] ...BUSH SUPPORTS AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION ON WMD INTELLIGENCE FAILURE "Today, by executive order, I am creating an independent commission, chaired by Governor and former Senator Chuck Robb, Judge Laurence Silberman, to look at American intelligence capabilities, especially our intelligence about weapons of mass destruction." [President Bush, 2/6/04]

17. Creation of the 9/11 Commission

BUSH OPPOSES CREATION OF INDEPENDENT 9/11 COMMISSION... "President Bush took a few minutes during his trip to Europe Thursday to voice his opposition to establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11." [CBS News, 5/23/02] ...BUSH SUPPORTS CREATION OF INDEPENDENT 9/11 COMMISSION "President Bush said today he now supports establishing an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." [ABC News, 09/20/02]

18. Time Extension for 9/11 Commission

BUSH OPPOSES TIME EXTENSION FOR 9/11 COMMISSION... "President Bush and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) have decided to oppose granting more time to an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks." [Washington Post, 1/19/04] ...BUSH SUPPORTS TIME EXTENSION FOR 9/11 COMMISSION "The White House announced Wednesday its support for a request from the commission investigating the September 11, 2001 attacks for more time to complete its work." [CNN, 2/4/04]

19. One Hour Limit for 9/11 Commission Testimony

BUSH LIMITS TESTIMONY IN FRONT OF 9/11 COMMISSION TO ONE HOUR... "President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have placed strict limits on the private interviews they will grant to the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, saying that they will meet only with the panel's top two officials and that Mr. Bush will submit to only a single hour of questioning, commission members said Wednesday." [NY Times, 2/26/04] ...BUSH SETS NO TIMELIMIT FOR TESTIMONY "The president's going to answer all of the questions they want to raise. Nobody's watching the clock." [White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 3/10/04]

20. Gay Marriage

BUSH SAYS GAY MARRIAGE IS A STATE ISSUE... "The state can do what they want to do. Don't try to trap me in this state's issue like you're trying to get me into." [Gov. George W. Bush on Gay Marriage, Larry King Live, 2/15/00] ...BUSH SUPPORTS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BANNING GAY MARRIAGE "Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of man and woman as husband and wife." [President Bush, 2/24/04]

21. Nation Building

BUSH OPPOSES NATION BUILDING... "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road." [Gov. George W. Bush, 10/3/00] ...BUSH SUPPORTS NATION BUILDING "We will be changing the regime of Iraq, for the good of the Iraqi people." [President Bush, 3/6/03]

22. Saddam/al Qaeda Link

BUSH SAYS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEEN AL QAEDA AND SADDAM... "You can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror." [President Bush, 9/25/02] ...BUSH SAYS SADDAM HAD NO ROLE IN AL QAEDA PLOT "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in Sept. 11." [President Bush, 9/17/03]

23. U.N. Resolution

BUSH VOWS TO HAVE A UN VOTE NO MATTER WHAT... "No matter what the whip count is, we're calling for the vote. We want to see people stand up and say what their opinion is about Saddam Hussein and the utility of the United Nations Security Council. And so, you bet. It's time for people to show their cards, to let the world know where they stand when it comes to Saddam." [President Bush 3/6/03] ...BUSH WITHDRAWS REQUEST FOR VOTE "At a National Security Council meeting convened at the White House at 8:55 a.m., Bush finalized the decision to withdraw the resolution from consideration and prepared to deliver an address to the nation that had already been written." [Washington Post, 3/18/03]

24. Involvement in the Palestinian Conflict

BUSH OPPOSES SUMMITS... "Well, we've tried summits in the past, as you may remember. It wasn't all that long ago where a summit was called and nothing happened, and as a result we had significant intifada in the area." [President Bush, 04/05/02] ...BUSH SUPPORTS SUMMITS "If a meeting advances progress toward two states living side by side in peace, I will strongly consider such a meeting. I'm committed to working toward peace in the Middle East." [President Bush, 5/23/03]

25. Campaign Finance

BUSH OPPOSES MCCAIN-FEINGOLD... "George W. Bush opposes McCain-Feingold...as an infringement on free expression." [Washington Post, 3/28/2000] ...BUSH SIGNS MCCAIN-FEINGOLD INTO LAW "[T]his bill improves the current system of financing for Federal campaigns, and therefore I have signed it into law." [President Bush, at the McCain-Feingold signing ceremony, 03/27/02]

26. 527s

Bush opposes restrictions on 527s: "I also have reservations about the constitutionality of the broad ban on issue advertising [in McCain Feingold], which restrains the speech of a wide variety of groups on issues of public import." [President Bush, 3/27/02]

...Bush says 527s bad for system: "I don't think we ought to have 527s. I can't be more plain about it...I think they're bad for the system. That's why I signed the bill, McCain-Feingold." [President Bush, 8/23/04]

27. Medical Records

Bush says medical records must remain private: "I believe that we must protect...the right of every American to have confidence that his or her personal medical records will remain private." [President Bush, 4/12/01]

...Bush says patients' histories are not confidntial: The Justice Department...asserts that patients "no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential." [BusinessWeek, 4/30/04]

28. Timelines For Dictators

Bush sets timeline for Saddam: "If Iraq does not accept the terms within a week of passage or fails to disclose required information within 30 days, the resolution authorizes 'all necessary means' to force compliance--in other words, a military attack." [LA Times, 10/3/02]

...Bush says he's against timelines: "I don't think you give timelines to dictators." [President Bush, 8/27/04]

29. The Great Lakes

Bush wants to divert great lakes: "Even though experts say 'diverting any water from the Great Lakes region sets a bad precedent' Bush 'said he wants to talk to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien about piping water to parched states in the west and southwest.'- [AP, 7/19/01]

Bush says he'll never divert Great Lakes: "We've got to use our resources wisely, like water. It starts with keeping the Great Lakes water in the Great Lakes Basin...My position is clear: We're never going to allow diversion of Great Lakes water." [President Bush, 8/16/04]

30. Winning The War On Terror

Bush claims he can win the war on terror: "One of the interesting things people ask me, now that we're asking questions, is, can you ever win the war on terror? Of course, you can." [President Bush, 4/13/04]

...Bush says war on terror is unwinnable: "I don't think you can win [the war on terror]." [President Bush, 8/30/04]

...Bush says he will win the war on terror: "Make no mistake about it, we are winning and we will win [the war on terror]." [President Bush, 8/31/04]

(Source: www.americanprogressaction.org)

Re:good thing the youngsters don't vote (2, Interesting)

beaverbrother (586749) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280956)

Flip flops aren't a bad thing.

I think it's better when a candidate is able to change their stance based on new information.
It's too bad this election has been showing this as a bad thing.

Re:good thing the youngsters don't vote (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280996)

I think it's better when a candidate is able to change their stance based on new information.

Unfortunately, in Bush's case, that "new information" usually comes from focus groups and opinion polls.

Re:good thing the youngsters don't vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10281041)

that "new information" usually comes from focus groups and opinion polls.

No, that's Kerry. Bush is just outright lies the first time around. He might change his words, but whatever he does he planned to do from the start.

Gallop poll is dubious (5, Informative)

green.vervet (565158) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280488)

The reason for Gallop's very high poll numbers for Bush was based on its bizarre assumptions on turnout. This is well documented in Zogby's critique of Gallop:

http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=859 [zogby.com]

Gallop assumes for that poll assumes that the turnout on election day will break down as follows:

Total Sample: 767
GOP: 305 (40%)
Dem: 253 (33%)
Ind: 208 (28%)

However, as zogby noted:

If we look at the three last Presidential elections, the spread was 34% Democrats, 34% Republicans and 33% Independents (in 1992 with Ross Perot in the race); 39% Democrats, 34% Republicans, and 27% Independents in 1996; and 39% Democrats, 35% Republicans and 26% Independents in 2000

So Republicans are badly over-sampled and Democrats badly under-sampled, giving systematically biased results. Awful polling, but used to keep Republicans motivated and Democrats depressed.

Re:Gallop poll is dubious (1)

beaverbrother (586749) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280979)

The polling companies are also for-profit companies. Stocks are generally owned by people with money. People with money are generally conservitive. Conservitive people are generally republican.

Maybe i'm stretching it a bit, but it seems like the polling companies are mostly owned by republicans.

Re:Gallop poll is dubious (1)

green.vervet (565158) | more than 8 years ago | (#10281049)

I wouldn't go into debating Marxism, but Gallop's CEO is a big Republican contributor. But the question is incentive, really. There are three goals a poll could have: 1. To get accurate information about what the population actually feels for the client's strategic analysis 2. To get biased information and publicize it in order to create a public perception about what the population feels 3. To directly impact public perception through leading questions and dissemination of information (accurate or inaccurate) in the poll itself (push-polling) Zogby does 1, and there are a lot of people who want 1. That's why he can criticize gallop and still keep clients like the wall street journal and fox news. But others with less stellar reputations to preserve can get into 2. and 3. and make money off it.

Polls today are not accurate. (3, Interesting)

yoder (178161) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280526)

I live in rural Minnesota and have done some calling for local politicians. Political parties can't even get their contact lists right, I can't imagine a polling entity being any more accurate.

Even within rural areas like this it is almost impossible to get a handle on who is for or against whom. In this divisive political environment people are not speaking their minds because they are afraid of being singled out and of hostility. This alone pretty much guarantees that polls will not be accurate.

Whatever poll results (0)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280881)

However biased (I mean this is the statistical sense) the poll results are, whatever real votes will be cast, you know deep in your heart that Cheney will reappoint himself ruler of the USA.

He is the real President, he was the one taking the decisions in that breefing room in the morning of the 9th of September 2001. Decisions like keeping Bush away from Wahsington that day.

He certainly won't let democracy get in the way. Yes that's just my opinion, but when you wake up early on the 5th of November with anguish churning in your stomach, remember that I Told You So(TM) ;)

Re:Whatever poll results (1)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280892)

Woops, I really meant the 11th of September 2001, not the 9th. And I did preview !

Sigh, I did a poll in college (1)

mtaco (520758) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280897)

And I got within 1-2% of the final result.

The polling companies slice their data up by demographic, and then recombine them to get a picture of the electorate. Its pretty easily, really.

If 33% of the population is green,
40% purple,
27% orange,

then if green people are 2-1 for pepsi vs. coke, purple people 1-2 for coke, and orange people mixed you get: 48% Pepsi, 52% Coke. It doesn't quite matter what the ratios of green, purple and orange people are that you end up talking to as long as you talk to enough people in each box.

So while its possible that there is a shift, its only if Kerry voters are more likely to be landline-less no so much because landlineless people are less likely to be polled.

If... (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280938)

If a majority of younger voters tend Democratic, the polls could be giving Kerry a raw deal.

If, if, if, if, if...

Dewey Defeats Truman... (2, Informative)

Big Sean O (317186) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280972)

Lots of people remember the Chicago Daily News headline, but this story harkens back to the 1948 race.

Back in 1948, Thomas Dewey (he-of-the-new-york-state-thruway-fame) was polling ahead of President Truman. No one expected that Truman would win. However, after the votes were counted, Truman won.

Afterward it was discovered that extra Truman support came from urban and rural poor, the people who didn't have phones, and therefore they weren't polled.

There was even a third-party candidate back then: Strom Thurmond, the "Dixiecrat [rotten.com]" who bailed on the Democratic party because Truman had the gall to support civil rights reforms (like integrating the military). "Ol' Lizard King", as I like to call Thurmond, apparently felt it was okay to secretly father children with "Negroes" (although he preferred a different N-word [stromwatch.com]), but southern states shouldn't have to give up segregation.

Of course, back in 1948 you had two decent, qualified people running for president, today we're lucky if we get one.

One must also account for..... (1)

h8macs (301553) | more than 8 years ago | (#10280978)

The fact that many of use have call blocking, privacy features, and answering services/machines. I can't say that I would even answer a poll call.

Aside from the sheer fact that Polls are slanted and do NOT include all of the candidates!
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