Polls Which Will Change Polling

In a post tonight in FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver points out that Obama's relection chances improve dramatically if only polls which include mobile phones are counted.  

In this universe, Mr. Obama seems poised for victory. The model forecasts him for a 4.1 percentage points win in the national popular vote. That compares with 2.9 percentage points in the regular FiveThirtyEight forecast, which includes polls both with and without cellphones.

Mr. Obama's advantage is also clearer in the swing states. The cellphone-inclusive polls give him an 80 percent chance to win Virginia, a 79 percent chance in Ohio, and a 68 percent chance to win Florida, all considerably higher than in the official FiveThirtyEight forecast.

Overall, this version of the model gives Mr. Obama an 83 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, a full 10 percentage points higher than the 73 percent chance that the official FiveThirtyEight forecast gave him as of Monday night. So the methodological differences are showing up in a big way this year.

I think we're on the brink of a revolution in polling.  Back in 1936, the well-respected magazine The Literary Digest ran a poll of its ten million readers that ran into the millions of responses. The results were overwhelming: a landslide for...Alf Landon.

In actuality, it was, as the link describes, the poll that changed polling.  The audience of the The Literary Digest was as skewed Republican as we're likely to find those who have landlines are.

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