2004/11/01

Prediction is Difficult, Especially the Future

Mysecond hat at AOL is development manager for the AOL Polls system. This means I've had the pleasure of watching the conventions anddebates in real time while sitting on conference calls watching theperformance of our instant polling systems. Which had some potentialissues, but which, after a lot of work, seem to be just fine now. Anyway: The interesting thing about the instant polling during thedebates was how different the results were from the conventionalinstant phone polls. For example, after the final debate the AOLInstapoll respondents gave the debate win to Kerry by something like60% to 40%. The ABC news poll was more like 50%/50%. Frankly, I don'tbelieve any of these polls. However, I'll throw this thought out: Theonline insta polls are taken by a self selected group of people who areinterested in the election and care about making their opinions known. Hmmm... much like the polls being conducted tomorrow.
I'llgo out on a limb and make a prediction based on the various pollresults and on a lot of guesswork: Kerry will win the popular vote by asignificant margin. And, he'll win at least half of the "battleground"states by a margin larger than the last polls show. But, I make nopredictions about what hijinks might ensue in the Electoral College.

Update 11/11: Well, maybe not...