Polling Fisticuffs.

Pleeeeeeease tell me G.D. and I aren’t the only ones following the awesome polling beef between RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight.com.

I’m favorably disposed toward Nate Silver, because he supports Barack Obama and because of his work with baseball stats. But, seriously, dude?

He first wrote about the allegedly right-leaning RCP in a post called “Real Credibility Problems.”

Look — I’m not going to tell you that my site is completely devoid of spin. I am a Democrat, and I see the world through a Democratic lens. But what I can promise you is that we’ll keep the spin separate from our metrics. The spin is a side dish, which you can choose to consume or ignore.

Unfortunately, that is not a choice you have at RCP. Their partisan leaning is infused into their numbers. If RCP disclosed their methodology — articulated their rationale for excluding or including certain polls — I would give them the benefit of the doubt. But they do not, so I do not.

And then yesterday, he writes:

I just concluded a long, and understandably fairly contentious phone conversation with John McIntyre of Real Clear Politics.

John strongly disputes the notion that he is cherry-picking polls to achieve a particular partisan result (pro-GOP or otherwise).

It is clear to me that there is substantial subjectivity in how RCP selects the polls to include in its averages. RCP does not publish an FAQ, or any other set of standards. Nor, in my conversation with John, was he willing to articulate one. In my view, the fact that RCP does not disclose a set of standards means ipso facto that they are making judgment calls — that there is some subjectivity involved — in how their polls are selected.

I adore blog beef.

For those of you who actually care about, say, the numbers, here are today’s EV maps from both 538.com and RCP. (FYI: 538 does an Election Day projection, while RCP does daily snapshots.)



Tagged: ,

3 thoughts on “Polling Fisticuffs.

  1. ladyfresshh October 3, 2008 at 4:47 pm Reply

    so they are arguing over independents…or is it me…

  2. Steve October 5, 2008 at 5:11 pm Reply

    This pretty much sounds like someone with too much time on their hands who wishes their site was more popular….

  3. Nate Silver, Super Genius. « PostBourgie November 6, 2008 at 10:08 am Reply

    […] to be as transparent as possible (as shani-o pointed out, Nate and the folks at RealClearPolitics got into a little scrum over bias in the way they reported their numbers). And what if Silver’s predictions were just […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: