Many of you might be focused on the Presidential race and believe that it is a foregone conclusion. First off, it is not, because we don’t know how accurate our polling is. Questions like, will young voters (18-29%) make up more than 17% of the electorate this years, as they have the last three cycles. The Obama crowd claims to have the young vote like no candidate since JFK. Most pollsters, by in large, are buying their claim. They are weighting the sample as at a rate much higher than this, well into the 20% range. Personally, I am calling 18% of the electorate is youth this time.
Still, pollsters are good at what they do. Most likely, the vast major come near to being right and call the race correctly, and Obama wins this election. Still, there were major errors in the primaries this cycle, see New Hampshire and North Carolina and more importantly, pollsters have made majors error in the past in the general, see the elections of 1948 and 1936.
With polls relying on weighting more and more due to the difficulty of contacting certain voters, it is easy to see why polls are coming out all over the map. Also, the whole ADD culture has effecting polling. The length of a news cycle is getting smaller and smaller. Thus, the pollster need to sample faster in order for the poll to mean anything. Problem is, the pollsters need time to contact a representative sample. You will see academic pollsters doing polls over multiple weeks this cycle and they mean nothing. Why, because they are taking too many pitchers at once. To use a photo metaphor, it is like keeping the shutter open too long at a NASCAR race at and you just get a blur in your picture.
So, sometime the chips are going to hit the fan. The pollsters weighting will be too much, and not be representative of the general public. Some election, they are going to call for the wrong guy. It is a ticking time bomb. Barack Obama might be safe from this hot potato, but unfortunately for someone, they will become the next Dewey.