The White House polls are not all they seem

The White House polls are not all they seem


    Is Kerry really 13% behind?

Punters who’ve been basing their White House race betting on the opinion polls should read this before investing anymore money.

According to this report Gallup – used by US Today and CNN and currently showing a Bush 13% lead – assumes that this November 40% of those turning out to vote will be Republicans, and only 33% will be Democrat. Apparently that’s how they make up the sample on which their poll results are based. Perhaps this is why the pollster is so out of line with almost all the other organisations doing surveys on the 2004 race.

John Zolby, the head of one of the other polling organisations has joined in the criticism of Gallup’s methodology and states strongly that to base samples on 40% Republican – 33% Democrats does not fit with what has happened in recent elections. It’s no wonder that Gallup is producing such big Bush leads.

The problem is that Gallup is used by some of the US’s leading media organisations and the coverage it gets is very wide. It also has a much bigger influence on UK media coverage than other polling organisations and has, undoubtedly, help cause the big move in the Kerry price over the past few weeks.

    Having said that Bush is still ahead in the polls but by nothing like the margin that Gallup has been reporting.

We think that the Bush-Kerry 60:40 ratio as seen in the Iowa Electronic Exchange price is a fair representation. At the current UK bookmaker price of 2/1 we think that John Kerry is a good value bet.

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