Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The new butterfly ballot conspiracy

How sad for the state of our democracy that we have citizens for whom ballot order can change election outcomes.

Ballot Changes Cited in Vote's Discrepancy With Polls

Without a doubt, a big source of the discrepancy between the pre-election surveys and the election outcome in New Hampshire is the order of candidates' names on the ballot and in the surveys.

Our analysis of all recent primaries in New Hampshire showed that there was always a big primacy effect — big-name, big-vote-getting
candidates got 3 percent or more votes more when listed first on the ballot than when listed last.

...Thus, I'll bet that Clinton got at least 3 percent more votes than Obama simply because she was listed close to the top.

...More importantly, if New Hampshire had rotated name order in the voting booth as it has always done in the past, the race would probably have been too close to call without a recount and might even have been an Obama victory.

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