How Not to Predict Election Results

Fact: The final Reuters/Zogby poll in California, published the day before the Super Tuesday primary in that state, had Mitt Romney up by seven points on the Republican side, and Barack Obama ahead by 13 points in the Democratic primary. In fact John McCain won by eight points, and Hillary Clinton by 10 points.  According to an attempted explanation by John Zogby, “Some of you may have noticed our pre-election polling differed from the actual results.” 

Analysis: From my old political-involvement days, I have lots of friends who have been working on various presidential campaigns this year; several are still active – some on McCain’s staff, and one is with Hillary Clinton (having led her to an upset victory in California, and now her honcho in Texas).  Bipartisanship in practice!  But I can’t trust what they tell me, and each side tells me a lot about what’s purportedly “going to happen.”

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