Whether people are willing to tell strangers their vaccine status over the phone is actually one of the things that we have an excellent way of testing -- there's CDC data to compare it to!

So far, many public polls tracking this look pretty accurate.

None of this is to say that election polling doesn't have ongoing issues, or even that polling around vaccines/mandates isn't subject to them (there are some less rosy assessments out there as well). But this is really one of the *more* directly measurable questions out there.
Which is to say, using the Virginia election results as a proxy for whether polling on vaccines is accurate seems a lot more complicated than just...looking at whether the percentage of people who say they're vaccinated is accurate to the public health data we're already keeping.

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More from @aedwardslevy

11 Oct
good morning, this week I am obsessed with the spycraft of the peanut butter sandwich

what if the foreign agent was allergic!!
like, how do you decide on a peanut-butter-and-classified-intel sandwich over classified-intel-and-marmalade

was it creamy or crunchy

why only half a sandwich
Read 5 tweets
8 Oct
survey research is so weird Image
department of aggressive quotation marks Image
where people sometimes post their thoughts Image
Read 8 tweets
8 Oct
no better way to realize that you are an Old than the sinking feeling of looking through 2008 polling and realizing that it really was an entirely different political era
file under:
1. wow, that's a sea change
2. "gravel clear winner"
3. ok!
4. sports jacket ImageImageImageImage
that escalated quickly Image
Read 5 tweets
8 Oct
This is a really, really good paragraph on how to think about What It Means For The Midterms.

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/… Image
Also, this: "[T]he problem isn’t really polling. Rather, it’s the use of polls to center everything that happens in politics around those November 2022 swing voters in Wisconsin."

The subset of political actions that are going to meaningfully affect an election is both small and often unknowable, and yet that often becomes the primary lens through which those actions are examined, even in cases where there are other large, knowable effects.
Read 4 tweets
20 Sep
If you're concerned about polling's continued ability to broadly reflect the American public, this is good news:

"Polling estimates of the adult vaccination rate have been within about 2.8 percentage points, on average, of the rate calculated by the CDC."
Via: pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021…

One of the reasons election polls get so much attention (beyond the obvious) is that they serve as an external validator of polling data. Here, the CDC numbers allow us to compare the polls with a source of hard data on the actual number of shots.
(Another interesting outcome of having that data is that a couple of pollsters have recently started weighting *to* the CDC vaccination rate as a benchmark -- will be very interested to hear more on how that's playing out.)
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep
Feels like maybe some people have taken the (correct) premise that a disproportionately energized base on the unpopular side of an issue can shift the political calculus in their favor, and missed that the anti-vaccine faction doesn't actually seem to have intensity advantage.
(The remaining question is whether politics is more likely to shift current views about the vaccine or whether the vaccine is more likely to shift current views about politics, and I suspect the answer to that is possibly "yes.")
Read 4 tweets

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