April 25, 2012

Alberta Election 2012 - Part I

The latest Coup d'etat by the WRP (Wild Rose Party) was a dismall failure. In a world where social media is the norm and people want to be connected to the cutting edge of information, we have to ask ourselves...

Do the Pollsters use Social Media to determine what is happening? I don't think so.

This is an old world method that relies on Phone demons, a witches brew, a few good old friends, a three eyed frog, a mage, random sampling, the caramilk secret and...wait for it...Raw Data.

They utilize 3 methods to determine what is really going on in peoples minds :
(notice I did not include mind reading) dah!!

1. Benchmarking
       - 10 to 12 months before the election.
       - about 100 questions in length

      The 5 Essential Elements to Benchmarking
          1a.) Political Mood of the people
          1b.) Voters attitudes of important issues
          1c.) Voters attitudes of Candidate Personality
          1d.) Perceptions of Candidate Weakness
          1e.) Reactions to Arguments (debate) with Opponents

2. Trend or Brushfire
      - 4 to 6 months before the election.
      - about 50 questions in length
      - used to determine how the initial strategy is working
      - based on many environmental changes (who knows), reactions are made

3. Tracking
      - 2 months to voting day of the election.

      - about 25 questions in length
      - near the election date - sub-sampling of a fractional portion polled everyday
      - in most cases a "Rolling Poll" is done in the final days

Allan Rivlin once referred to polls as X-RAYS and was quoted as saying ; "an X-ray reveals the underlying structure - and that structure remains, even if the surface expression changes."

In the case of this election - the X-ray must have looked like this:

or maybe this :

Best of luck to you pollsters in the future. Don't quit your day job!!
I won't say that I can do a better job. What I will say is don't believe your hype.

...to be continued...


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