George Horace Gallup, founder of the Gallup polls.

George Horace Gallup, founder of the Gallup polls. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I promise: this is the last time I’ll comment on the election. But Russ Robert’s analysis of what’s likely to happen on Tuesday is worth reviewing. He starts with a little necessary history and the of polling:

Quick summary: dating back roughly to George Gallup’s introduction of modern political polling in the 1936 election, a pollster seeks to extrapolate the voting behavior of many millions of people (130 million people voted in the 2008 presidential election) from a poll of several hundred or a few thousand people.

But political polling is different:

Not all adults are registered voters, and not all registered voters show up to vote every time there’s an election.

And this is where “scientific” polling becomes a lot less scientific:

A pollster has to use a variety of different methods – in particular, a “likely voter” screen designed to tease out the poll respondent’s likelihood of voting – to try to figure out whether the pollster’s results have sampled a group of people who correspond to the actual electorate for a given election…

You can conduct the best poll in the world in terms of accurately ascertaining the views of a population that mirrors your sample – but if your sample doesn’t mirror that season’s electorate, your poll will mislead its readers…

Having lifted quotes from Dan McLaughlin’s article, Roberts then indulges himself with his own predictions:

My intuition is that Romney is going to win. I base that on two ideas. One is that the just isn’t doing very well…

The second point is that Romney is dominating the independent vote…

And here’s his disclaimer, in case he’s wrong:

The only thing I really know is that if the Republicans can’t beat an incumbent with lousy numbers, who has a disillusioned base and who has run the to $16 trillion in a country that trends conservative, they have some soul-searching to do on who might do better next time.

This, of course, is how an excellent economist views the world. He is blind to behind-the-scenes control of both candidates. Since both Romney and Obama have been vetted by the same and controlled by that same establishment (see The Anglo-American Establishment or the Shadows of Power for proof), it really doesn’t matter much who wins. And consequently neither does the polling.

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