Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Don't Pay to much Attention to "Professionals"

There was a good Twitter fight this morning between Washington Post bloggers Greg Sargent (the liberal one) and Jennifer Rubin (the conservative one). 

Greg initially tweeted:  YouGov/Economist poll: O 49, R 46. Key is it doesn't include Thurs and Fri after debate. 
Rubin replied: @ThePlumLineGS that would mean it's meaningless
To which Greg replied: @JRubinBlogger uh, no, it would mean that it doesn't include the days Romney had inflated numbers.

Rubin then goes on to yell about Libya, largely because Sargent made her look like an idiot.  Largely because Greg did in fact make her look like an idiot.

Anyway it's a good example of how partisans think about polling numbers.  Rubin is treating the post debate polls like a football game and seems to think that leaving out Thursday and Friday is akin to leaving out a quarter of a football game where team Romney scored a bunch of touchdowns.  But the reality is that if the debate result was only a temporary "bounce" for Romney, and I think that the evidence of this is mounting, what the polls "showed" on October 4-6 is fairly irrelevant to who wins the election.  Essentially Romney's "surge" won't help him out on Election Day, it will disappear, just like the VP bounces McCain and Romney both got when they announced their picks.  In short, all these types of bounces do is add drama about the campaign narrative and make tracking lines or graphs move around a lot.  This is a great example of how uninformed people who make their living writing about politics can be, I mean she doesn't even realize that polls telling us where we are tell us more about who will win than polls telling us where we might have been in the past.  Indeed, it is quite possible that this Romney "bounce" will go away just like Obama's leader after the 47% video came out did.  And don't forget, she gets paid a lot of money to write about this election.  So if you want to know whats going on, go read The Monkey Cage, the links over there on the right.    

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