Seems to me there's an easy and straightforward way to resolve the debate that Burka and the Texas Politics Project are having over the efficacy of the latter's Internet-based polling: Why don't we compare the results they get to what actually happens next year and see how close they come to the mark? I mean, the reason we know that Zogby Interactive polls are crap is because they were such a crappy predictor of the actual results back in 2006, when they were being prominently partnered with NBC/WSJ for those elections. Maybe we've learned how to do these polls better since then, maybe the UT folks are just better pollsters than John Zogby, and maybe the method is still crap regardless of who's doing it. Seems to me that if the UT folks can provide regular updates, right up to the election next March, we'll find out soon enough.
I mean, many people, including as I recall one Paul Burka, once thought robopollers like Rasmussen and SurveyUSA were questionable, until they established a track record that demonstrated their accuracy. The idea behind Internet polling is plausible enough, it's just a matter of seeing if the experience can match the theory. Maybe this will be a good test. In the meantime, to keep things interesting during the intervening year, maybe Burka and Professors Henson and Shaw can come up with a friendly wager on the outcome. I'll leave that to them to determine. What say you, fellows?Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 23, 2009 to Election 2010