Why This Year's Pollsters Are Stumped

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2008 8:30 PM CDT
In this file photo from Jan. 30, 2007, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. greet on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – This year's presidential race is bamboozling many a pollster. Todd Domke looks at some of skewing factors for the Boston Globe:

  • Race: White voters might be reluctant to tell pollsters they oppose a black candidate. Tom Bradley, remember, led the polls for California governor but lost the race. Then again, will white guilt over prejudice offset that? 

  • Age: When the debates highlight the contrast in ages, will some be turned off by John McCain's relatively weathered look? And will they admit it?
  • Turnout: Will Obamania continue to result in a big surge in young voters, or has the novelty faded? How should pollsters adjust their model?
  • Tele-polling: Lots of people have cell phones only these days and are consequently beyond the reach of pollsters.