Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pres08: National Primary Sensitivity Comparison

Updated: 8/7/07

This post compares the estimates of presidential national primary support using the "stable and a bit stodgy" "Old Blue" estimator to the "sensitive and a bit gullible" "Ready Red" estimator.

For a full description of these see this post. Briefly, the Blue estimator is slow to react to just a few polls which suggest a change in trend but which may in fact just be random noise. The Red estimator is more sensitive to new polls and is therefore quicker to pick up change but also more likely to mistake random noise for new trend. When the two overlap, only the blue estimate is visible in the plots. In the long run, the two agree quite well. Put more trust in Blue if you prefer not to make mistakes. Red will alert you to changes quickly, but will also "cry wolf" more often.

This page is updated in place, so come back here for future updates. A link to this page appears in the right column's thumbnails.