Tracking the Top 3 in this week’s Democratic Presidential Primary polls.
After months of tracking Real Clear Politics poll averages and other sites that don’t always paint an accurate picture of primary voters or a candidate’s support, I decided to do my own tracking of the Democratic primary polls and thought I’d share the results here for anyone interested in (hopefully) a more complete and accurate look at where the candidate’s stand each week. At the very least, it may offer some insight into what is routinely overlooked by political pundits and polling analysts in the media.
RCP averages generally have one or two national polls either missing or included longer-selectively, in any given week, which can either inflate the lead and/or bring down the averages of one or more of the top three candidates.
This can affect subsequent poll outcomes, as a result, due to confirmation bias, a phenomena that affected not only election poll outcomes in 2016, but voter opinions in general about who was likely to win the presidential election. Media’s selective attention to certain polls or their findings while downplaying or ignoring other factors that conflicted or interfered with their beliefs about a candidate’s chances, not only left many voters utterly shocked by Trump’s win, but likely contributed to that outcome, a phenomena still being repeated today.
FiveThirtyEight doesn’t give averages, and posts poll results once they are released to the public; consequently, polls are often listed out of order and sometimes are not posted until days or weeks after a poll was conducted.
270-to-Win lists polls based on the day they were posted (to FiveThirtyEight) so current averages can also be significantly off and can make it nearly impossible to track any trends in support accurately. It can also get very confusing when trying to validate a poll listed with the wrong date.
The 5-day and 10-day weekly poll averages track the Democratic Presidential primary polls for leading candidates with the polls listed in order of their end date from when the poll was conducted. I don’t always get the order or averages right either, especially when a poll is held or posted after calculating a weekly average, but I try to update my 5-Day and 10-Day Weekly polls as quickly as possible whenever polls are missed. I’ve also narrowed down the pool of candidates to the top three for the week, due to time constraints and likelihood of a candidate winning the primary. The top three can change, however so I have adjusted or expanded the candidate’s to reflect that, when necessary.
5-Day Poll Averages: updated/posted Tuesday & Friday
10-Day Weekly Poll Averages posted each Friday & will include:
- changes +/- from the last poll conducted by the pollster
- separate listings of: eligible voters, registered voters, democrats only, and early states, when available.
The Friday weekly polls will also have a summary for that week , with any trends noted or anomalies-like an outlier poll or a significant demographic swing that could be affecting a poll’s outcome.
Analysis of age demographics will also be included. How the polls are weighted by age can dramatically affect the outcome and not every poll site uses the same percentages, sample size, or age breakdowns. A list of the different age categories for each pollster, if listed, and their average percentages, as well as averages of likely voter turnout by age based on PEW Research, which looks at multiple factors, will be made available. Links to how PEW conducts their research and, whenever possible, the margin of error (MoE) will also be included in friday summaries.
One last note:
Polls aren’t the only indicator of electability, and in some cases may not accurately reflect someone’s support, especially by themselves. But, given the amount of attention media plays to certain polls and tendency towards confirmation bias in their coverage, I wanted to at least share the info that may not make the headlines, but is still relevant to voters and hopefully help to pinpoint any trends you don’t see with isolated polls or reflected in poll averages and/or analysis done by mainstream political pundits.
Constructive criticism is always welcome, however attacks and/or divisiveness is not, so comments of that nature will not be responded to, and may be removed. No one will be censored unless absolutely necessary. I also want to emphasize that supporters of any of the candidates running in the Democratic primary are welcome to post comments-as long as they are respectful to others and other candidates. Let’s keep it positive and inclusive, folks!