Polls and the 2012 presidential election

We’re about to get inundated with a year and a half of public opinion polls about the 2012 presidential election. The Monkey Cage blog recently reported a study that contains the following important graph (I apologize – it’s a little blurry):

Basically, it’s saying that 300 days before the election (about 10 months), public opinion polls have almost ZERO predictive power on the outcome of the election. They start to get about as good as a coin flip (i.e. 50%) about eight months before the election (around March during the election year). And it’s not until around three months before the election (i.e. August) that the polls reflect the eventual winner more than 75% of the time.

Bottom line lesson: take all public opinion polls regarding the outcome of the 2012 presidential election with a grain of salt (or feel free to ignore entirely) until about August 2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s