Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Prez Debates

The debate commission has released which polls will be used to determine if a third-party candidate, in this case Libertarian Gary Johnson, will make it to the presidential debate stage. The polls are:
  • ABC-Washington Post 
  • CBS-New York Times 
  • CNN-Opinion Research Corporation 
  • Fox News 
  • NBC-Wall Street Journal
According to a CNN report, the numbers for Johnson if you add up the results so far is 10 percent. I've not gone back and verified this, but let's assume CNN can count. The commission long ago said 15 percent would be the threshold to be on the stage, but according to Politico it sent signals recently that if Johnson gets close, he may earn a spot.

Ron Faucheux reports in his daily email blast on polls: "Note in the poll that Gary Johnson, at 11%, is getting a little closer to the 15% debate threshold." But this is a report on the NBC/SurveyMonkey poll, which is different methodologically from the NBC-'Wall Street Journal poll (if I'm wrong on this, let me know). So I don't know it means a lot unless, being new it signals some trend for Johnson.

My take

If Johnson can get solidly within the margin of error of the magic 15 percent mark the commission gives him a seat on the stage. A recent ABC/WaPo national poll, one of those included above, had him at 8 percent and a 4 percent margin of error, meaning he'd miss it on that single poll.  If I have time I'll compute his running average on the five polls above with a margin of error, but figure he needs to hit around 12 percent as an average to make the MOE argument.

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