Gallup doesn’t think I’m going to vote, because I’m a flaky young whippersnapper

Oh yea.. you’re gonna vote Mr. “young urban professional?” Fat chance, kid.







According to Gallup, I am not a “Likely Voter.” 










Let’s take a look as to how, and why (my comments in red, Gallup’s stuff in white):


Gallup scores respondents one point for each question they answer in a way consistent with voting (the scoring scheme is detailed in subsequent paragraphs), resulting in overall likelihood of voting scores ranging from zero to seven. Gallup has then used various procedures to set a threshold for the pool of likely voters. The validity of setting a threshold based on a specific estimated turnout among the voting age population (VAP) or voter eligible population (VEP)is less clear than it was in the past, particularly given real-world changes in voting such as early voting and decreases in survey participation rates. For the 2012 election, Gallup currently considers respondents with the highest scores (six or seven) to be likely voters.

Questions Gallup Uses in Its Presidential Election Likely Voter Model

For the seven questions that make up the likely voter scale, respondents get one point on the likely voter scale for each question to which they give the response listed in parentheses (with a maximum of seven points possible). See the full question wording for each question in the “Question Wording” section.

  1. Thought given to election (quite a lot, some)

Obviously a point for me here

  1. Know where people in neighborhood go to vote (yes)

This is an asinine question for the millions of young, (like under 50) urban voters. Me, like most working Americans, has no need to know where my polling place is before election day. Add to that I lived somewhere else in 2008. Why would I need to know and have mapped out a route to where “people in my neighborhood go to vote?” Like pretty much everyone under 60, on election day I will plug the address into my GPS, and go. I don’t need to case the joint before-hand. – no point for me

  1. Voted in election precinct before (yes)

No. Newsflash Gallup. Young people are mobile. They move. Wayyyy more people vote in presidential elections than locals or primaries. Another ridiculous way of screening out shitloads of voters and not calling them “likely” – no point for me here either

  1. How often vote (always, nearly always)

Again, what are they referring to exactly? Municipal races? Local dog catcher? American Idol? Without context I’d have to assume they mean in general, and the answer for me wouldn’t be always or nearly always. Maybe.. kinda often? When I don’t know much about local candidates, I typically don’t vote. And guess what? A shitload of Americans, particularly younger Americans, do the same thing.  – no point for you, jerk-ass

  1. Plan to vote in 2012 election (yes)

Interestingly, my yes here ends up meaning no, according to Gallup.. keep reading. But – at least I get one more point for now

  1. Likelihood of voting on a 10-point scale (7-10)

Yes. 9.999 (barring catastrophic injury/illness/natural disaster – one point

  1. Voted in last presidential election (yes)

Yes – one point

That’s a total of 4, for those of you playing at home.. here are some qualifiers for the very young kiddos listening to Animal Collective and Barry Manilow (ironically): 

Gallup also measures the increasing trend of people voting before Election Day by asking people when they plan to vote and then considers this information when determining if people are likely to vote.

For the raw scores, Gallup makes the following adjustments:

  • Respondents who are not registered to vote receive a score of zero.

At this stage of the game, understandable. Most states are past the deadline now.

  • Respondents who do not say they plan to vote (see item No. 5) receive a score of zero.

Fair enough as well.

  • Respondents who report they already voted receive a score of seven.

Well duh. But I’m betting most people who already voted probably won’t bother with a survey at this point. Just a hunch.

  • Given the rise in voting by mail, respondents who say they do not know where people in their local district go to vote receive credit for that question if they say they plan to vote before Election Day and say they have voted in their precinct in person or by mail in past elections.

In other words, old people who likely answer would yes to both questions anyway. Again, I’m punished because I lived in another district in 2008, and I haven’t cased out my polling place yet. Does that really make me an anomaly? Gallup thinks so.

  • Gallup adjusts younger respondents’ scores to account for their ineligibility to vote in some or all past elections. In other words, even though the model identifies voters based on past voting history, Gallup does not penalize younger voters for not being of voting age in past election years.

Well, that’s good to know. But it also tells me Gallup is again grossly undercounting youth votes. I think plenty of 22-26  year olds who didn’t bother to vote last time around will be more inclined to now.

  • If aged 18 to 19, Gallup converts their scores as follows: 1=2, 2=4, 3=5, 4=7

That seems like a good approximation.

  • If aged 20 to 21, Gallup converts their scores as follows: 1=1, 2=3, 3=4, 4=6, 5=7

Yea ok neat-o.. but that doesn’t affect me. The 30-something who wasn’t in this district 4 years ago and will find my polling place via Google Maps or GPS. (or more likely I’ll know exactly where it is, I just haven’t looked at the address yet, because I’m mobile and am sure I won’t have difficulty getting to it)


So in short, I am not counted as a “Likely Voter” by Gallup. Not even close (I have 4 points, needed 6 or 7) And why?

1)      I’m new to the area and haven’t voted in this precinct before. That’s a point off for just about every single undergrad (and grad) student in the country, actually. Not to mention the millions who have moved in the past 4 years because of the economy and real estate crisis. And forget about me who moved to a new state, this potentially counts you out if you just moved a few miles away in your same town.

2)      The morning I go to vote, I’ll get the address off my voter registration card and head to my precinct to vote. I haven’t mapped out how to get there, or planned my day or week around finding it. I live in a big city, am mobile, and have a GPS on my phone, and an internet connection to use any number of map services. Is this unusual? Are young working people really penalized or considered “unlikely” if they haven’t written out their Election Day plans beforehand?


Bottom line: I vote in presidential elections, and I’m sure as hell not sitting this one out, even though there’s no way my state is going blue (yet.. give us a few more cycles) Yet Gallup doesn’t think so, for the reasons stated above. I bring this up because I just don’t think my situation (new to district, doesn’t always vote in local races, hasn’t yet mapped out where polling place is and only will on or night before Election Day) is all that unique for young professional adults or college students. And that group, as you know, overwhelmingly leans to Obama. This is my theory on why Gallup’s LV model may be fucked. 

A quickie – Remember this guy?

No, no, no Joe.. more… SMUG….. perfect…

Good old Joe the plumber. His name isn’t Joe, and he isn’t actually a plumber. But still, after Palin-mania died a wicked death, he was the last best hope for the McCain campaign in the waning days of the 2008 election.. because taxes.. or something.

Joe didn’t just turn out to be a very fake, ego-maniacal opportunistic “everyman,” he also turned out to be a virulent racist, homophobe, and a tad nuts. As Wonkette reminds us, he’s sorta/kinda running for US Congress, although he skips out on debates, does more hunting than campaigning, and in scant polling doesn’t seem to be taken very seriously, despite the energetic support of the Tea Party and NRA (Must have  been his public declaration that the Holocaust was caused in part by WWII-era gun control in Europe).

The Wonkette feature also points out that the Hardcover copy of his 2009 book, titled: “Derpa Derpa American Dream they Took our Jerbs!”, or something like that, is on sale at Amazon for 1 cent (even signed by Joe!).

I wasn’t so much interested in the ways and means of how to acquire the Plumber’s book as I was in the ” Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed” section, the top ones which I have included here, unaltered, with their Amazon descriptions:

Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies [Paperback]

Michelle Malkin (Author)

Also, incidentally, available for 1 cent at Amazon

Book Description

Release Date: August 9, 2010
Barack Obama’s approval ratings are at an all-time low. A recent Gallup poll found that half of the Americans polled said Obama did not deserve a second term. Weary of the corruption that gushes from the White House faster than a Gulf Coast oil spill, voters are ready to put a cap on smear campaigns, pay-to-play schemes, recess appointments, and Chicago politics.
In the updated paperback edition of her #1 New York Times bestselling book Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies, Michelle Malkin says, “I told you so,” citing a new host of examples of Obama’s broken promises and brass knuckled Chicago way.Culture of Corruption proves once again this isn’t just any politics. It’s “boodle”-clogged, dissent-squelching, redistributive Chicago politics. The 2010 elections promise to be an anti-corruption referendum for the history books. “After all,” Malkin says “You can’t reform corruptocrats, but you can vote them out.” New revelations in the updated Culture of Corruption:
How Obama has declared war on independent government whistleblowers—with unannounced firings, smear campaigns, and forced silence—when their findings expose his political allies.
How First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity is less about reducing our youths’ waistlines and more about swelling SEIU coffers with nearly 400,000 new food service workers.
How, despite the exposure of ACORN’s illegal practices and subsequent defunding, ACORN still remains—and why the Obama White House remains tight-lipped on the future of ACORN.
How Obama is using recess appointments to install politicos when both Democrats and Republicans have torpedoed the nominations.
How the White House is manipulating key races across the country, including endorsing such candidates as Alexi Giannoulias—a mob-linked, scandal-tainted banker from Obama’s hometown.Powerful, damning, and comprehensive, the paperback edition of Culture of Corruption reveals the ever-growing mountain of sleaze and self-dealing that the Obama administration would rather you not know.

Uranium Ore

Customers who bought this item also bought Canned Unicorn Meat. 2 degrees of separation from Joe’s book..

Product Description

Radioactive sample of uranium ore. Useful for testing Geiger Counters. License exempt. Uranium ore sample sizes vary. Shipped in labeled metal container as shown. Shipping Information: We are always in compliance with Section 13 from part 40 of the NRC Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules and regulations and Postal Service regulations specified in 49 CFR 173.421 for activity limits of low level radioactive materials. Item will be shipped in accordance with Postal Service activity limits specified in Publication 52. Radioactive minerals are for educational and scientific use only.

How to Avoid Huge Ships [Paperback]

John W. Trimmer (Author)

This one is available from $500 new and $250 used, FYI

Sadly, no description, but a helpful review:

5.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a whodunnit! December 21, 2010

I bought How to Avoid Huge Ships as a companion to Captain Trimmer’s other excellent titles: How to Avoid a Train, and How to Avoid the Empire State Building. These books are fast paced, well written and the hard won knowledge found in them is as inspirational as it is informational. After reading them I haven’t been hit by anything bigger than a diesel bus. Thanks captain!

Wheelmate Laptop Steering Wheel Desk

by Go Office

I kinda want one of these..

Product Description

Introducing the AutoExec WM-01 Wheelmate Steering Wheel Desk Tray – Gray – , featured in our Other Vehicle Parts department. This product generally ships within 2 business day(s) from Pinellas Park, Florida, and weighs 2 pound(s). Attaches to your steering wheel for easy access to a writing and drink storage surface. The Go Office Wheel Mate Steering Wheel Desk is flat for writing and perfect for lunch or a snack. This Go Office Wheel Mate Steering Wheel Desk stores neatly in your car when used with the larger Auto Exec Laptop Car Desk. For safety reasons, never use this product while driving. Easily convert your car into your personal automobile office with the Wheel Mate car desk by MobileOffice.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Intelligent Design [Paperback]

Christopher Carlisle (Author), W. Thomas Smith Jr. (Author)

I think I’ve become so cynical, irony has little effect on me anymore. But if it did, my brain would have just exploded.

Book Description

Release Date: December 5, 2006 | ISBN-10: 1592575552 | ISBN-13: 978-1592575558
An objective overview of the biggest controversy in American education.Intelligent Design is one of the hottest issues facing parents and educators to day, but it can be hard to separate the facts from the heated rhetoric. This expert and objective guide gets to the bottom of the questions: What is Intelligent Design? Should it replace or complement traditional science? What’s all the fuss about?
• Explains the terms, the controversy, and the involvement of the American courts
• Indispensable guide for concerned educators and parents
• Written by an expert in the field
(Blogger’s note here.. I love this last bullet point. It’s written by an “expert” in a completely made up, bogus “field.” Well then, I am an expert in Porklefuckknobbing. That’s not a real thing, but I dare you to prove I’m not an expert in it. I’m writing a book.)

The Bush Boom: How a Misunderestimated President Fixed a Broken Economy [Paperback]

Jerry Bowyer (Author)

This one is available for 2 cents, quite literally double the price of Joe and Michelle Malkin’s books.

Book Description

Publication Date: October 25, 2003
Jerry Bowyer confronts the critics and offers clear and convincing evidence that the Bush Administration fixed a broken economy, boosting the fastest economic turnaround since President Ronald Regan.

Rejuvenique RJV10KIT Facial Toning Mask Kit

by Rejuvenique


Product Features

  • Face mask’s 26 gold-plated contacts tone skin with light energy pulsation
  • Battery-operated (9-volt battery included)
  • Knob adjusts pulsation intensity to suit individual preference
  • Mask adjusts to fit any face size, both male and female
  • Instruction video tape and contact toning gel included

Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story [Paperback]

Jerry Sandusky (Author)

There was a “leather bound” edition, but it’s sold out.   =(

Book Description

Publication Date: January 1, 2001
Touched is the story of Jerry Sandusky’s life in his own words. From his childhood to his professional career, this book goes behind the scenes to explore the successes and challenges that Jerry Sandusky has faced in life, both on and off the football field. After graduating from Penn State in 1966, Sandusky went on to coach collegiate football for 34 years. Thirty-two of those years were with Penn State, as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach under Joe Paterno, until his retirement in 1999. The book also explores Sandusky’s involvement in children’s charities, including the founding of his charity, “Second Mile.”

Accoutrements Horse Head Mask

by Accoutrements


Product Description

From the Manufacturer

We’ve discovered yet another universal truth – a person wearing a Horse Head Mask looks downright disturbing. But don’t take our word for it, wear this latex mask with realistic fur mane to your next social function and watch as people scramble to avoid you. Fits most adult heads. Bagged with illustrated tag.