The Veriblog

Social Desirability and The Donald

Very few people saw this coming.  You could argue that undecided, silent voters are to blame, or maybe it’s the “overconfidence” of the Democratic party.  Sure, those were factors, but it could also be a bit of a chicken and egg phenomenon, as the Dems certainly had confidence in part due to the consistent lead Hillary seemingly held over Trump.  Michael Moore attempted to scare folks into getting passionate about the Dem candidate with his movie “Trumpland,” convinced that Trump would win if not.  It didn’t happen – the Trump vote was out there, but very few polls got close to predicting what actually happened on November 8th.  In fact, only one poll really nailed it – the USC Dornsife poll.

The USC Dornsife poll followed and watched roughly 3000 respondents in a panel format.  This was quite a different methodology than most polls.  The panel was “micro-weighted” to reflect the overall voter population, and was executed by asking polling questions to this same pool of respondents each time.  A key to the success of the Dornsife is that respondents were asked to assign a probability of voting for either candidate on a scale of 0 to 100.  Rather than a bipolar yes/no utilized by the majority of polls, this scaling approach allowed for tracking shifts in voter sentiment. 

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Talking Taboo: Election Politics in the Exam Room

With the first two debates in the books and a third fast approaching, you may be thinking to yourself: “I don’t care for either one of those people.” You most likely wouldn’t be alone. The undecided voter gained a face with Ken Bone during an earlier presidential debate, but what do others say? We checked out our database of over 12,000 patient-physician conversations since mid 2015 to examine what everyday people and physicians are really saying about this election season.

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