Students in the class on campaign politics at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi interviewed 470 Nueces County residents to determine voter intentions on November 2. The interview group consisted of residents with a listed telephone number who said they planned to vote on November 2. The group was drawn from people who had voted in the 2004 primary election. The interviews were conducted primarily from October 9-20 and excluded area communities where a long distance telephone charge would have been assessed.
“A survey is a ‘snapshot’ of voter intentions,” said Dr. Robert Bezdek, professor of political science. “Thus, we argue that our findings are an accurate reflection of the community within five (5) percentage points when most of the interviews were completed, about a week ago. To illustrate the margin of error in the presidential race, Bezdek pointed out that in Nueces County President George W. Bush’s vote had a range from 46 percent to 56 percent, while Senator John Kerry’s vote had a range from 33 percent to 43 percent.
Bezdek said that surveys completed about two weeks before the election are not capable of predicting the election result. Generally, an election result can be predicted accurately with a poll the last three days of the campaign or with an exit poll on Election Day.
He also pointed out some methodological concerns not experienced in previous polls. First, there are an increasing number of people who rely on cell phones, and the students conducting the interviews had no way of contacting such individuals. Second, recently registered voters could not be interviewed, and third, no organization is capable of predicting accurately which demographic groups will actually cast a ballot for the election. Bezdek added that campaign activities and unanticipated events are impossible to predict.
The class’s findings were:
PRESIDENT U.S. CONGRESS DISTRICT ATTORNEY