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Posted on May 4, 2008 in Uncategorized

The Undiscussed, Seemingly Forgotten Factor in Texas?

As the polls start to close across Texas, many people have already begun to speculate on who the winner will be. To many, they have already decided that Barack Obama is the victor.

This isn’t based on some having the ability to see into the future, or even someone knowing someone who works at the polls. No, this conclusion has been made by many simply because of what polling data has shown in the days and weeks leading up to the Texas Primary.

While polls do have their place in politics, as New Hampshire has shown, these are not always the most accurate, especially in such a diverse election.

Regardless, it seems that people have taken the polling data that was conducted in Texas to heart, and based on what they are seeing, Barack Obama is coming ahead.

However, the majority of the polls that are taken are done by using disproportionate samples. In a state like Texas, do you think that it is going to be proportionate when most of the polls taken have been conducted solely in English?

In a CNN article today, there was finally mentioning of one poll of likely Democratic Hispanic voters in Texas.

From CNN.com:

A recent Gallup poll of eligible Hispanic voters nationwide showed Obama not only erasing a 31-point gap against Clinton in just a week, but taking the lead by 4 percentage points.

Clinton led Obama 63 percent to 32 percent in the poll’s results from February 5-9. But by February 13-17, Obama had taken the lead 50 percent to 46 percent.

The tracking poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points, surveyed about 2,000 eligible Democratic voters.

While that poll might be telling, the fact that there isn’t another, more recent poll to compare this data with, leads me to believe that this is probably one of a very small number of datasets available.

If you look at any polling site, you will see that various polling firms will take polls on the same day, with the same sample size, but in many instances get extremely different results. However, they are able to come up with a more concise explanation for what is happening by averaging the data sets together.

When there is a limited number of sets, in what seem to be all conducted by one polling firm, you’re results aren’t going to be proportional.

Furthermore, by not polling Hispanics more frequently, this also throws off any other polls that have been conducted solely in English. There are a lot of Hispanic voters in the State of Texas, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that many of them don’t speak English.

So while Barack Obama is said to have the lead in a poll that was taken over two weeks ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if it shows to be way off and Hillary Clinton gets at least 55% of the Hispanic vote, regardless of any previous data provided.

But, just like the polls, I can always be proven wrong.

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