Originally Posted by Vincent
The "middle" is inspired to save the Republic. You people should poll them.
Vincent - I know if I just cite to Nate Silver's column in the New York Times on the current fantasy that Romney is trailing in the polls due to sampling errors I will hear bu..bu..but it's The New York Times
Since President Obama gained ground in the polls after the Democrats’ convention, it has been the Republicans’ turn to make the same accusations. Some have said that the polls are “oversampling” Democrats and producing results that are biased in Mr. Obama’s favor. One Web site, unskewedpolls.com, contends that even Fox News is part of the racket in what it says is a “trend of skewed polls that oversample Democratic voters to produce results favorable for the president.”
The criticisms are largely unsound, especially when couched in terms like “oversampling,” which implies that pollsters are deliberately rigging their samples.
On the whole, it is reasonably impressive how unbiased the polls have been. In both presidential and Senate races, the bias has been less than a full percentage point over the long run, and it has run in opposite directions....
That does not mean the pollsters will necessarily get this particular election right. Years like 1980 suggest that there are sometimes errors in the polls that are much larger than can be explained through sampling error alone. The probability estimates you see attached to the FiveThirtyEight forecasts are based on how the polls have performed historically in practice, and not how well they claim to do in theory.
But if there is such an error, the historical evidence suggests that it is about equally likely to run in either direction.
Instead I will link to this response from Gallup, the polling site to which you link from time to time when it supports your views, on allegations of sampling bias
The discussion of the party identification composition of poll samples comes up in every presidential election with which I've been involved. Interested observers often opine that when a given poll shows that Candidate X is ahead, it cannot be correct because there is a higher percentage of voters who identify with Candidate X’s party in the sample than there should be, based on comparison to some previous standard.
There are several reasons why this is a faulty approach to evaluating a poll's results.