Unlikely Voter

Poll Analysis and Election Projection

CNN adds mobile phones

The poll itself is unimportant: CNN asked adults about the Space Shuttle program. But the news comes on the front page of the CNN/ORC International poll: “The sample includes 856 interviews among landline respondents and 153 interviews among cell phone respondents.”

CNN is adapting to the new challenges in polling. Will they do well?

 

Read More | July 24, 2011
Questionable CBS Debt Ceiling poll shows odd shifts

Yesterday CBS put out a poll on the debt ceiling. As with most issue polling in the heat of debate, everyone’s eager to hype the poll or to discredit it, depending on results. I even get asked to join in.

I’m skeptical of all issue polling to begin with, I tend to dismiss the polls entirely. But this poll has a serious weighting problem, and I want to call it out as worthless.

 

Read More | July 19, 2011
I need a new category for this poll

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.

 

Read More | July 8, 2011
We need real, useful primary polling

So Fox News put out a new poll of the race for the Republican Presidential nomination. It’s a typical poll in many ways, but Fox’s bit of analysis got me to thinking: Polls like this favor frontrunners and likely skew the race.

 

Read More | June 30, 2011
I told you so: Carson out in OK

I said before that Brad Carson’s own polling looked bad for him to take back his old Congressional seat in Oklahoma.

Looks like I was right: He’s not running after all.

 

Read More | June 29, 2011
Has Brad Carson fallen behind in Oklahoma?

By request, we look at a 2012 House race today. PPP polled Oklahoma’s second district for the Friends of Brad Carson. Carson, a Democrat, of course won this seat previously in 2000 and 2002, giving it up in 2004 in a failed Senate run. Dan Boren, also a Democrat, won the seat in 2004 and has held it ever since. Boren is retiring, so Carson wants to run.

Is he in good shape, like PPP says he is?

 

Read More | June 14, 2011
Daily Kos and Research 2000 settle

Last June the big shock in the polling world was when Daily Kos dropped Research 2000 as its pollster, and then convincingly demonstrated that Research 2000′s polls were faked. So it’s not surprising that in a settlement now reached, Research 2000 is paying Daily Kos cash installments, despite admitting no wrongdoing.

 

Read More | May 27, 2011
Polling methodologies still need adapted to new technologies

It’s not really news, but people who write often on polls in the offseason do need to find things to write about. So that’s why we have the hubbub about a recent CNN/Time poll which did not grapple with the issue of polling cellular phones. Due to federal law, polling cellular phones requires that either phones be manually dialed, or that surveys be manually conducted. Entirely automated systems of calling cellular phones are illegal.

Pollsters that don’t adapt, will fail.

 

Read More | May 11, 2011
Daily Kos poll suggests Union movement no match for TEA Party

By request, I took a look at this poll by PPP for Daily Kos and SEIU. Markos Moulitsas himself is hyping the poll as showing an enthusiasm gap, which of course was one big indicator of the electoral wipeout we saw in 2010.

I think that he’s right, to a degree. However I read the figures as having two conclusions: First, the TEA party effect is still there, and Republicans are slightly more engaged than Democrats at this early point in the cycle. Second, the Union activism of this year is not having the same engagement effect with Democrats, that the TEA party, the ARRA, and the PPACA had with Republicans.

 

Read More | April 26, 2011
Wording Matters: Why I don’t trust Issue Polling

Since Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Senate had a big uproar over unions of government employees, and that uproar has spread to states like Ohio, there’s been a great deal of issue polling on unions and collective bargaining. I tend to ignore all of it, just as I ignore most issue polling. I’ve gotten comments that this is a failure of the site in fact, that I don’t hit these things more.

I have a standard answer for why I tend to ignore issue polling, though: the results are volatile and easily manipulated, either accidentally or intentionally.

 

Read More | March 23, 2011