Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fundraising Poll at

Dr. David Terr has come up with some interesting numbers for the "Fundraising Poll" which I've written about previously. The new "top-tier," according to Dr. Terr, looks like this:

McCain 38%
Romney 23%
Giuliani 19%
Paul 14%

While I'm quite excited to see Ron Paul's numbers up so much, I have a few worries about the methodology used to come up with these numbers. It seems that Dr. Terr assumes an across-the-board average $200-and-under donation of $30. While this would be a fine assumption if it were anything close to true, I have seen no evidence (and indeed no way of finding evidence) that would support this assumption. Nor is it safe to assume that every presidential campaign has the exact same average donation size for the $200-and-under category.

I don't mean to pick on Dr. Terr, quite the opposite in fact; I'm glad someone else is interested in getting these numbers. I think that this method could actually be the best predictor of the real support each candidate has, and thus could give us the best early picture of how the primaries might play out. Because of this, I think it's highly important that we get these numbers as accurate as possible, and not make sweeping assumptions without any evidence to back them up.

Dr. Terr, if you're reading this, please clarify exactly how you came up with an average donation size of $30 for all candidates. I'm extremely grateful that you're interested in this method of statistical analysis, and if we can come up with more accurate average-donation numbers, I'd like to combine that with the number of donors reported to the FEC on line 14(a) of the campaign finance reporting form. This should give us a very accurate look at how much support each candidate has at this point in the election cycle.

No comments: