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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

MY PREDICTION FOR CNN'S NOVEMBER 3 HEADLINE: "VOTERS INEXPLICABLY ELECT WRONG CANDIDATE" 

The most recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows Bush leading Kerry by 8 percentage points among likely voters and by 11 percentage points among registered voters. It also shows Bush leading Kerry on almost every conceivable issue. So what's the headline on CNN.com? "Bush apparently leads Kerry in pre-debate poll."

But wait. It gets worse:
The CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that among likely voters, Bush was the choice of 52 percent, while Kerry was the choice of 44 percent and independent Ralph Nader garnered 3 percent. That result was within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
OK, sure. Subtract 4 from Bush's 52 and add 4 to Kerry's 48 and the result is a 48-48 tie. But what is the likelihood that a candidate with an 52-44 lead in a poll with a sample size of 1,006 people and a 4% margin of error is actually tied?

2.28%.

In other words, based on this poll, there's a 97.72% probability that Bush is genuinely ahead.

Don't believe me? Just ask Kevin Drum's Excel spreadsheet, last spotted when the Kerry folks were whooping it up over a two-point lead in mid-August.

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