Monday, October 30, 2006

Election Stuff


Okay, I know I've posted this cartoon several times already but its one of my favorites and is always good to use around election time :-).

President's Conference Call

On saturday I had the exciting opportunity to be on a conference call to hear some encouraging words from Ken Mehlman and the President. The President was very optimistic and said we were going to win on November 7th because of 3 reasons:
1) We are right on taxes. The Democrats have already promised to raise taxes by not renewing the President's tax cuts when they get into office.

2) We are right on the War on Terror. The Democrats are against terror surveillance, the Patriot Act, virtually everything that has been implemented to prevent future terrorist attacks.

3) The grassroots efforts of people like us. It was so neat to hear him thank us for all our work and to acknowledge that we are making a difference. He said that we have already made more phonecalls this year than we had at this time in 2004 so our get out the vote efforts are going strong.


Democrats Push to Counter G.O.P. in Turnout Race

Here is an excerpt from this NY Times article:
"Democrats are pushing into high gear this weekend a sharply expanded campaign to get their voters to the polls, even as some party leaders expressed anxiety that Republicans would again out-organize them in the approximately 20 House and 3 Senate races that both sides agree will determine the outcome of the midterm elections.

After two national elections in which Republicans’ sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation helped them triumph over their opponents, Democrats have invested heavily in catching up.

The success of that effort could be crucial to their hopes on Nov. 7. Notwithstanding polls that show broad Democratic strength, control of Congress appears to rest on a relatively few races in which the candidates are separated by razor-thin margins. Those are precisely the kinds of races where turnout efforts can make a difference, and the Republicans’ track record on getting their supporters to the polls in districts they focus on is a primary reason that the White House continues to express confidence that it can at least limit Democratic gains this year.

Howard Dean, the Democratic national chairman, said Friday that he was confident that a swell of enthusiasm among Democratic voters, combined with what he characterized as despondency among Republicans, would push Democrats to victory, an assessment that even some Republican strategists said they shared. But in an interview, Mr. Dean said that Republicans continued to have a clear superiority in identifying voters they can persuade to vote for their candidates and then getting them to cast ballots."

I love how even Howard Dean admits that our get out the vote efforts are superior.

Polls and Pundits: How Reliable Are Forecasts?

This was an interesting Wall Street Journal article on polls. Here is an excerpt:
"How reliable are polls? Polls can't predict the outcome of an election; they only take a snapshot at a given moment. Opinions often change in the final days before an election. Up to a quarter of voters don't decide whom they'll vote for until the week before an election, according to Republican pollster Bill McInturff. As many as 8% don't decide until Election Day.

In 1994, when Republicans won control of Congress, few pundits predicted the landslide. In July 1994, the Pew Research Center said that 47% of voters would likely vote Democratic, while 45% would vote Republican. By November, the poll showed Republicans ahead by just two percentage points. Yet Republicans actually ended up trouncing the Democrats, winning 52 House seats and eight Senate seats.

Polls in the run-up to this election are more consistent than usual. From June to late October of this year, people who said they plan to vote Democratic have fluctuated by two percentage points, compared with seven percentage points over the same time period in 1994.

Are polls biased? Polls are only as good as their sample and the questions asked. If the sample group is too narrow or too small, it can skew results. The average size of a poll is 1,000 adults, and pollsters have models that try to include all races, ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.

But modern technology poses new challenges. Most polls depend on land-line phones, but one in 10 adults now has only a cellular telephone. That poses a potential sampling problem, since nearly half of voters with only a cellular phone are under 30 years old, compared with 13% who have land-lines. Still, a recent Pew report concluded that cellphone-only users are not yet "creating a measurable bias in the overall finding."

Early voters also can affect poll bias. About a fifth of all votes cast in the U.S. are cast before Election Day, up from at least 8% in 1994, according to Michael McDonald of George Mason University. This "very subtly biases the results," he says, since this growing category isn't always accounted for in polling models."

Go check out this great video over at Skye's!!
And Mike has some neat pics and a humorous video as well!!

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