Thursday, 20 January 2005

Poll'd again

Me, November 3rd:

My gut feeling is that the [2004 national exit polls] in part failed because the networks replaced VNS; Edison/Mitofsky was new at this, and a rookie effort is fraught with perils—as I learned myself yesterday. Coupled, perhaps, with a small cognitive bias on the part of the people being paid by Edison/Mitofsky to conduct the poll themselves (one suspects the typical person looking for day-work isn’t a Republican) and you can easily see why they were quite a bit off, notwithstanding the advertised margin of error.

Edison/Mitofsky, Wednesday:

[B]ased upon the Within Precinct Error that was observed in the 2004 general election we plan to make some enhancements to the exit poll interviewer recruiting process.

  • We will use recruiting methods that reduce the number of students and young adults we use as interviewers.
  • In addition to the standardized rehearsal and training dialog, we will add a standardized pre-rehearsal training script for all individual phone training conversations.
  • We will evaluate other training techniques such as a video training guide and interviewer tests and use the Internet more effectively as an interviewer training tool. (64)

There’s a lot more there if you really care about exit polling techniques, but the bottom line is that interviewer problems seem to account for much of the pro-Kerry bias in the Edison/Mitofsky poll. (þ: Wizbang)