How To Read The Polls

Apr 17 2012 @ 9:08am

Among Nate Silver's tips is to "not over-learn the lessons of history":

[T]here have been only 16 presidential elections since World War II. That simply isn’t a lot of data, and overly specific conclusions from them, like “no recent president has been re-elected with an unemployment rate over 8.0 percent” or “no recent incumbent has lost when he did not face a primary challenge,” are often not very meaningful in practice and will generally not carry much predictive weight.

Blumenthal decodes recent conflicting polls. In short:

With just under six months remaining before Election Day, voter preferences are soft and polls are apt to produce divergent results.