October 27, 2004
 
Status Update and the Presidential Election
Yes, I'm still alive. Many thanks for your emails (including a few very interesting ones that I might share soon). I had the good fortune to spend over two weeks overseas, but I am still catching up at work... I expect to resume posting on a more regular schedule soon.

However, there is another reason I have haven't posted much on the Presidential elections. Nothing has really changed – I still expect President Bush to win reelection. I stand by my November 2, 2003 prediction that Bush will win since his vote will not be split. The only update from my original prediction is to replace Howard Dean with John Kerry.

That said, there is one thing that is different about this election than previous elections. A significant and growing segment of society is not being polled. Many have commented on this, but I like the way Robert Cringely puts it.

The simple story is that nearly every tracking poll is conducted by telephone. A pollster selects a random sample of 500 or so voters, calls them up on the telephone, and asks who the respondent would vote for if the election were being held today.

Every kid has a mobile phone they use for everything. And that means no tracking poll is ever going to learn who those girls and boys are going to vote for President because it is literally against the law for pollsters to call mobile phones in this country.

Cringely then concludes these untracked youthful voters will push Kerry to win. I disagree with that conclusion; the youthful vote is hardly a monolith, there are many young supporters of President Bush. However, as a professional marketer, I completely agree that all telephony polls severely undercount, or ignore, the youth market because more and more of this market prefer mobile phones to landlines and see no reason to have both.

Anyway, despite Cringely and the media, I'm sticking to my prediction. I expect President Bush to win reelection next Tuesday. We shall see.

 

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