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Mostly agreed. There are structural factors which are almost out of play - race, religion, class, generational issues, peer group pressure, ideological infrastructure, suggestibility, economic interests, social self identification, brand awareness etc. - and which change only very slowly over time.

But there are other variables which can impact most of the 100% - not just the 6%.  Chief of these is turnout. A 100% voter - e.g. an early voter - is worth a lot more than a "likely" voter with a 75% probability of making it to the polls. I am not convinced most pollsters weight this factor adequately.

This is where political organisation, ground game, intensity, the last minute news cycle and semi random factors can come into play. In a game of very narrow margins, these can have a wildly disproportionate effect. The number of "battleground" states within 2-3% is quite amazing  - Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin - and represent 110 electoral college votes or over a 20% swing one way or the other in the EC.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 31st, 2012 at 04:58:15 AM EST
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