Some polls at least deserve some serious scrutiny before they get dismissed as flawed. Others are just so laughable on their faces that I hesitate even to put them in the same posting category as serious works. One of these laughers is This Texas poll from the apparently new firm Azimuth Research Group.
According to Azimuth, Ron Paul runs better for President than Rick Perry statewide among Texas Republicans.
First, the poll. “Monitored and automated calls” (which I suppose could mean monitored for mobile phones, but I see no details) of “highly active Republican voters.” MoE is 2. Ron Paul wins at 22%, Rick Perry (a non-candidate) is second at 17, Herman Cain takes third at 14, Newt Gingrich is fourth at 11, and names in single digits include Gary Johnson, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, John Huntsman, and Rick Santorum.
So, apart from the basic problem of polling a non-candidate, this poll injects a new wrinkle. Being that Texas choose its delegates through the primary process (in 2008, 96 were by CD popular vote and 41 were by the statewide vote), why would the poll limit itself to “highly active” Republicans?
Obviously that qualifier is going to exclude a lot of ordinary primary voters in a state party where Ron Paul took only 4.8% in 2008, well behind out-of-staters John McCain and Mike Huckabee, and a state party that only gave Debra Medina 18.6% in the three cornered 2010 primary against Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison.
For us to believe this result is representative of what a primary would actually look like, we either have to believe one of two things: The very same Texas Republicans that put Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in are desperate to keep him from succeeding Perry, or Paul/Medina Republicans have seen a sudden boost in popularity combined with a total collapse in Perry’s.
On the heels of Texas’s first cut in all-funds spending in 50 years, I’m skeptical. This poll is useless.