Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

One More Election Prediction, From — No, Not Nate Silver or Karl Rove — SurveyMonkey

As you head to the polls right now, you might be inundated by all the pundits and polls and pontificating.

I know I am.

But here’s one more, from a source that is new to the game — Silicon Valley’s SurveyMonkey, which did its own election poll for the 2012 Presidential race. The company surveyed about 1.2 million people from Aug. 17 to Nov. 2.

Its goal?

“With this data, we seek to show that Internet data is as good as phone data (if not better) at assessing public opinion.”

This report embedded below is from the 600,000 people who responded to its poll from Oct. 3 through Nov. 2, and looks at the data in three different models, all excluding weekends and using a seven-day trailing sum. Interestingly, all three SurveyMonkey models show fewer swing states than other polls.

In the first, called a RAW look, with no weighting or correction, Republican candidate Mitt Romney wins; in a HOW “correction,” which corrects for sampling method, Democratic President Barack Obama wins in a squeaker; in the WHO correction, which corrects for sampling frame, Obama is a much clearer winner.

SurveyMonkey is going with the third one — WHO.

Said the company:

“Model #3 accounts for the differential of polled and actual voters without getting caught up in the pros and cons of an Internet sample in particular. It is similar, but not identical to what other pollsters are saying and has shown itself to be consistently ahead of the curve of other polls for the past month.”

Well, we’ll all know soon enough, as the votes are counted in an election — which I think is the only safe prediction — in which the Internet plays a greater role than ever.

Until then, here’s the full SurveyMonkey report to chew over, as well as one on just the battleground states:

final models FINAL version


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work