Tidbits of information I found interesting while reading up on polls:
Only 9% of Americans participate in public opinion polls. One must consider the intensity (how persuadable a person being polled is) of a poll.
This HuffPost article does a good job explaining that even though Romney has a lead in the battleground states of Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina, Obama has a lead in the other battleground states that yield more electoral votes, thus still putting Obama ahead. The reason to watch state polls and care about them is because they can show national trends, the issue though is that state level polls are harder to attain quick information about and the ones post-debate are all favoring Romney. More time is necessary.
Silver discusses how “some of the firms, like Rasmussen Reports, take other types of shortcuts, like conducting all of their polling in a single evening. Also, as we have mentioned, they almost never include cellphones in their samples. Therefore, it is open to question whether these firms can continue to perform on par with traditional pollsters.”
Thus, Ramussen has exceptionally low response rates because not calling cellphones excludes 30% of the population, they only call between 5pm-9pm, and the stats on their rates are only dealing with call rates, not cooperation rates, making the overall response rate even lower…3-4% of Americans, not a fully representative percent.