October 18, 2004
In my opinion, the polls were being deliberately gimmicked, in hopes of helping Kerry. In early August it looks as if there was an attempt to engineer a "post-convention bounce", but it failed and was abandoned after about two weeks. But I'm not absolutely certain about that.
The data for September, however, is clearly an anomaly. The data is much too consistent. Compare the amount of jitter present before September to the data during that month. There's no period before that of comparable length where the data was so stable.
The September data is also drastically outside of previous trends, with distinct stairsteps both at the beginning and at the end. And the data before the anomaly and after it for both Kerry and Bush matches the long term trendlines.
If I saw something like that in scientific or engineering data, I'd be asking a lot of very tough questions. My first suspicion would be that the test equipment was broken, but in the case of opinion polls there is no such thing. My second suspicion would be fraud.
In September, I think there was a deliberate attempt to depress Kerry's numbers, so as to set up an "October comeback". Of course, the goal was to engineer a bandwagon.
Public opinion isn't usually as ephemeral as these polls suggest that it is. But there can be long-term trends, and I find it interesting that such a thing actually does show through. It's quite striking how close some of the data falls to the long term trendlines which I've drawn in.
The reason the Democrats and the MSM are getting frantic is that they're losing.
From your mouth to God's ears, all my atheist readers notwithstanding.
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