Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Why Polls Have Been Wrong Recently and other news and views

Why Polls Have Been Wrong Recently - The polling industry has been hit hard by high-profile misfires in recent years. Pollsters got last November’s Kentucky governor’s race wrong, as they did the 2014 midterm elections. They have missed predictions in elections in Israel and Britain. But exactly why the polls err often remains a mystery. Potential sources for error abound: The initial samples could be biased, the likely-voter models may not reflect the actual electorate, or voters could make last-minute decisions that make even an accurate poll wrong on Election Day. Pollsters have few tools for untangling these distinct problems. But a new study by researchers at the Pew Research Center, pollsters themselves, offers new insights into those factors during the 2014 midterms, when polls failed to anticipate a huge Republican landslide. The study found that likely-voter screens may not have adequately anticipated the Republican turnout advantage, and that undecided voters might have broken toward the Republicans. Pew’s analysis, on balance, is good news for the polling industry.

Ringling Will Retire Circus Elephants Two Years Earlier Than Planned - In May, the performers will join other elephants at the company’s conservation center in central Florida.

Chaos and Violence: How New Year's Eve in Cologne Has Changed Germany - New Year's Eve in Cologne rapidly descended into a chaotic free-for-all involving sexual assault and theft, most of it apparently committed by foreigners. It has launched a bitter debate over immigration and refugees in Germany -- one that could change the country. By SPIEGEL Staff

Australian preschoolers take to Indonesian quicker than Japanese or French

The Name of God is Mercy’: new book by Pope Francis - “The corrupt man tires of asking for forgiveness and ends up believing that he doesn’t need to ask for it any more. We don’t become corrupt people overnight. It is a long, slippery slope that cannot be identified simply as a series of sins. One may be a great sinner and never fall into corruption if hearts feel their own weakness. That small opening allows the strength of God to enter. When a sinner recognises himself as such, he admits in some way that what he was attached to, or clings to, is false. The corrupt man hides what he considers his true treasure, but which really makes him a slave and masks his vice with good manners, always managing to keep up appearances.”

For Republicans, Mounting Fears of Lasting Split - The Republican Party is facing a historic split over its fundamental principles and identity, as its once powerful establishment grapples with an eruption of class tensions, ethnic resentments and mistrust among working-class conservatives who are demanding a presidential nominee who represents their interests.

Steve Israel: Confessions of a Congressman - In the days after my first election to Congress, in 2000, I attended several orientation sessions in Washington, eager to absorb the lessons of history. I wanted to learn what Congressman Abraham Lincoln had learned, to hear the wisdom of predecessors like John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster and Joseph Gurney Cannon. The romance was crushed by lesson No. 1: Get re-elected. A fund-raising consultant advised that if I didn’t raise at least $10,000 a week (in pre-Citizens United dollars), I wouldn’t be back.

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