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damianmann's avatar

Why were the Republican polls correct in New Hampshire...But, the Democratic polls were complete;y wrong?

Asked by damianmann (112points) January 8th, 2008

It seems odd to me that all the polls said Obama would win (by as many as 10 %) and the same polls said that McCain would win…yet, the end result was completely different only on the Democratic poll. Did Hillary’s crocodile tears really change things that much?

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6 Answers

mdy's avatar

How does this sound as a theory (note: this is pure speculation on my part):

Is it possible that Clinton’s supporters were so worried about losing by such a wide margin that they made the extra effort to show up and be counted, while Obama’s supporters felt it was safe to be complacent since he was clearly projected to win?

Michael's avatar

mdy’s theory could certainly be part of the explanation. There’s something else to note, however. The polls actually nailed Obama’s support level pretty much spot on. It was Clinton’s support that they underestimated. There are several possible explanations. First, undecided voters broke towards Clinton (giving her a boost). Second, some Edwards and Richardson people peeled off towards Clinton. And third, there is some natural sampling error that happens with polls. For more on this exact topic, see

damianmann's avatar

Also, the rumours of Obama being a Muslim were spread all around. I’m not sure what effect it had. But, I saw some examples where people ahd decided not to vote for him because they’d bought into this runour.

robhaya's avatar

I think a couple of things happened:

Edwards and Obama split the anti-Clinton vote
McCain got a majority of the independent voters that Obama got in Iowa
People assumed that based on the media hype that Obama would win NH, that they didn’t turn out to vote. The young voters that Obama has at his rallies, usually don’t turn out to vote when it really counts.

The tears by Hillary Clinton just humanized her as a candidate, and some of the women voters saw that as a rallying point to support her and can relate to her.


hossman's avatar

They weren’t off by that much. It’s not like Clinton won by a large margin. And since just a few months ago she was considered a lock for the nomination, losing Iowa big and winning New Hampshire small is a setback, not a comeback, no matter how hard she tries to spin it.

trainerboy's avatar

The democratic polls for New hamshire were off because they didn’t knwo exactly how many people woudl vote twice or three times. That through the whole picture off.

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