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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In Actual Fact

posted by on September 10 at 13:56 PM

More proof that we are using old and possibly useless systems for polls and ratings:

If you read the news last week, you probably saw that presidential candidate John McCain’s speech was watched on TV by a record-breaking 38.9 million people, roughly 600,000 more than the number of viewers who tuned in to watch Barack Obama’s acceptance speech a week earlier, according to Nielsen.

But Nielsen’s numbers don’t tell the whole story. Television is one thing, and the internet is an entirely different beast. Online, speeches from Obama and Biden have so far garnered 3.7 million viral views while McCain’s and Palin’s speeches have been viewed 2.4 million times, according to Visible Measures, an online video measurement group.

It’s hard to dismiss the significance or power of broadcast television, but it’s also negligent to exclude the significance of the internet. All told, there were 7.8 million DNC viral videos viewed, across 278 different video placements, compared to 3 million RNC video views online in 265 unique video placements, according to Visible Measures. Of course, the discrepancy could be attributed to plain old demographics — the McCain support base just prefer television to online video.

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Could these extra Obama viewers be in other countries, and not count on election day? I hope not, but I'm just saying.

Posted by sockpuppet | September 10, 2008 2:10 PM

Plus polls can't predict the number of extra votes to be generated on Diebold machines in Ohio in any given election.

Posted by kinaidos | September 10, 2008 2:34 PM

I dunno where you guys were, but the bar I watched from probably had close to two hundred people that Nielson definitely wasn't counting. Did the Republicans have viewing parties?

Posted by Christin | September 10, 2008 2:46 PM

tv viewers do not equal votes. Just sayin, cause I watched both. Cheering during one and choking on my own vomit during the other.

Posted by Steven | September 10, 2008 3:03 PM

Puh-leeze folks. It's a poll. You still have to deliver the real thing in November.

Posted by stunk | September 10, 2008 3:51 PM

Plus those numbers don't include PBS or C-SPAN which are likely to skew to Obama supporters.

Posted by seattle mike | September 10, 2008 4:02 PM

Polls are for chumps...Have YOU ever participated in a REAL presidential poll, or know anyone who has? Would you even give information to someone over the phone?

why do i have a feeling it's all old people, alone in their apartments or wise-ass teenagers with nothing better to do.

Posted by michael strangeways | September 10, 2008 4:06 PM

"Mr. McCain, the polls show that less people are watching your party online. What do you have to say about that?"

McCain : (stares blankly for about 25 seconds) : "I was a POW. My running mate is Sarah Palin. Hello."

Posted by Just wait until those debates, kiddies... | September 10, 2008 4:15 PM

In Canada, they're holding an election in less than 30 days.

Entire time - start to finish - 30 days.

Using pencils and paper ballots.

More voters percentwise will vote there and they will have a higher accuracy rate than we will with all our high tech.

Results matter.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 10, 2008 11:23 PM

"In actual fact ..." polls and rating always seem to be based on skewed data when they favour conservatives or Republicans. However, if a poll the very next day by the same outfit shows a liberal or Democrat ahead, well--they got it right! No problems HERE folks!

Posted by Seajay | September 11, 2008 1:03 AM

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