Well, it appears that either there was no systematic bias against Republicans in the polls, or Nov 6th just happened to be the wrong time of the month for the Republicans.
My mother was with me on election night, and she mentioned being quite surprised that New Hampshire wasn’t a closer race (52-46 for Obama), and even more surprised that Maggie Hassan beat Ovide Lamontagne by as wide a margin as she did (55-42). Apparently the polls had showed a closer race, and many people she knew were convinced that bias meant the Republicans were actually leading.
I ended up driving back to New Hampshire with her, and I started to see where some of the problem had come up. At least on the route I take, the roads were COVERED in Romney/Ryan and Lamontagne signs. They outnumbered Obama/Biden and Hassan signs by quite a bit.
I was reflecting that I’ve heard that’s the point of signs….to give the impression that there is a majority for one candidate, and that you are going against all of your neighbors if you vote otherwise. I wondered how many people saw those signs and had at least some of that influence there opinions of the polls. There can’t be that many people voting for the other guy….I see hundreds of signs every morning that say otherwise.
This is yet another example of where proxy markers can fail. Political signs along major routes reflect the dedication of a few, not necessarily the opinion of the many.