Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 8, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

ALTERNATIVE POLLING METHODOLOGIES....As it turns out, despite all the kvetching, the polls did a pretty decent job of predicting the outcome of the election this year. But is there a better (and cheaper) way of predicting the winner? Maybe:

  • The 7-Eleven coffee cup poll was right on the money. 51.08% of its customers bought coffee in a Bush cup while 48.92% bought coffee in a Kerry cup. "We sell a million cups of coffee every day, so our sample size was huge," said 7-Eleven's CEO.

  • I don't have a link for this, but Intrade claims that their political trading site was dead on. Their communications director, Mike Knesevitch, emails to say, "The George Bush re-election contract was the most heavily traded political contract in the world and it accurately predicted the exact number of electoral votes President George Bush would receive AND the outcome of all but one senate race!"

  • George Bush Halloween masks outsold Kerry masks 57%-43%. That's not as accurate as the coffee cup poll, but the Halloween mask people say their sales have correctly predicted that last six consecutive elections. "It hasn't failed us yet," said Daniel Haight, chief operating officer at Buyseasons.

  • TIPP, in addition to its normal polling, also asked voters who they thought would win. Bush led Kerry in this poll by at least ten points the entire year.

Coffee cups and Halloween masks may not seem very scientific, but at least they'd solve the problem of cell phone users and survey burnout. Something to keep in mind for 2008.

Kevin Drum 2:05 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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