The probable electorate is defined as those citizens who are registered to vote and who very likely will [Page 624]vote in an upcoming election. In election polling and surveying, this concept is operationalized as a sample of pre-election survey respondents whose candidate preferences have been weighted by the respondents' estimated likelihood of voting.
One ongoing challenge in election polling lies in ascertaining which respondents will actually turn out to vote. The distribution of candidate support among the sample in the aggregate, while revealing, is essentially irrelevant when it comes to making predictions about election outcomes. What matters are the choices of those respondents who will actually vote on (or in some cases before) Election Day. If survey researchers had a crystal ball, they could determine with ...
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