Unlikely Voter

Conservative views on polls, science, technology, and policy

Desperately seeking a pattern in Nevada

I said it over and over again when Democrat Harry Reid went on a polling run, and I will say it now when Republican Sharron Angle has gone on a run: trading tiny leads back and forth is the sign of a tied race with random statistical noise around it, not any genuine changes in public opinion or “Big Mo.”

So yes, despite the new Rasmussen poll, in my mind this race is tied.

I know that Angle fans are all atwitter on Twitter about the Angle 50-Reid 46 (MoE 4) result in this new poll, not only because it’s the single best poll result she’s had since June (and a 69/31 advantage for her per my calculation), but because it’s the first time she’s led in three different, most recent polls at the same time.

So while this is an unprecedented spike for Sharron Angle in the post-primary phase of this race it’s still not a runaway split in the probabilities. She’ll surely do much better in my next Senate ratings next Tuesday if more Reid-friendly polls don’t come out, but Reid’s had weeks like that, too, and I didn’t declare him to be running away with it.

So I caution Sharron Angle fans not to expect this race to have hit a great turning point. Not without more data, and without a large lead in at least one poll.


2 Responses to “Desperately seeking a pattern in Nevada”

  1. I’m not sure I agree, Neil – the 2004 Thune-Daschle followed a very similar pattern to the current Angle-Reid race. If this race continues to follow the 2004 race’s pattern, this may indicate the Angle has finally gotten the advantage, just as Thune did.

  2. Exactly. Rasmussen has wisely kept this race at Toss-up status.

    On the other hand, if you go by the metric that incumbents that can’t get to 50 percent are in deep trouble, then this race is looking pretty good for Angle. We’ll see.

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