Unlikely Voter

Poll Analysis and Election Projection

Posts Tagged ‘ 2010 ’

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.

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Good evening. We have a great deal of new polling that’s flooded in. Much of it is interesting too, so rather than pick and choose which polls I’ll cover in depth and which I will omit, instead I’ll give a quick look at all the good ones.

We’ve got Senate races in Nevada, Connecticut, West Virginia, Ohio, New York, Missouri, and Delaware, plus races for Governor in Illinois, Rhode Island, New York, Hawaii, and Florida. I told you it was a lot.

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I’ve given up on polling of individual House districts. Even if we see more than one poll of a given race, it’s usually all from the same pollster for the same client, a local newspaper or media alliance. These polls are erratic and without multiple sources to verify the figures, it’s hard to draw value from them.

So even though I’ll stick with the wide world of generic ballots to do my House analyses, I think some will be very happy to see The Hill’s new series of House polling of a dozen races and counting.

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The long string of single digit gaps we’ve been seeing in the Connecticut Senate polling has been halted, but Republican Linda McMahon is still keeping surprisingly competitive with Democrat Richard Blumenthal.

Three new polls have opened the race up a bit from before. PPP, Fox News/POR, and CT Capitol Report/MRG don’t give McMahon reason to cheer relative to last week, as she fell back some, but the race does not appear to be entirely out of reach for her at this point.

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Every time one candidate or the other rattles off a few polls in his or her favor in the Nevada Senate race, some people rush to call it momentum or a real change in the race. I disagree.

I see this new Fox/POR poll as just another random bounce in a race that’s staying even between Republican Sharron Angle and Democrat Harry Reid.

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With the House update done, it is as always time to finish the new Senate update. Last week the pace of Republican gains rebounded strong as the party made gains in surprising places. The question this week is: will they hold, or will Democrats pull that projected gain back to six?

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It’s October. The baseball games start to count for more, and in the National League where men are men, and players play on the field, the games become riveting managerial duels. Yes, I know I just lost readers. My Dodgers are home now and I can say what I want.

The polling is also getting more exciting though, as even the Gallup Poll is moving to a Likely Voter model. Let’s see where we are versus last week’s 49 seat Republican gain.

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In private conversation I keep referring to the state of the New Hampshire Congressional polling as a possible Republican sweep, as Charlie Bass, Frank Guinta, and Kelly Ayotte are all in good shape to win in November.

However a sweep in New Hampshire technically should require a win in the Governor’s race, but the polling has favored Democrat John Lynch over Republican John Stephen, including this new WMUR/UNH poll.

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By request (requests always taken via the Contact page, but in general know that individual House race polls are few and far between), I’m taking a fresh look at the Maine Governor’s race.

This is a three way race between Republican Paul LePage, Democrat Libby Mitchell, and Independent (and former Carter and Muskie staffer) Eliot Cutler. The polling has increasingly favored LePage thanks to the split race, but what’s going on with the new Critical Insights poll, is what I think everyone wants to know.

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Scientific polling, based on the laws of probability and the compounding of likelihoods, is a mathematical activity. It’s all about the numbers. Without the numbers no poll has meaning. That’s why I highlight key facts like Margins of Error.

Your typical internal poll release is very low on numbers and instead is a one page memo. Those releases can be based on sound polling practices, but they are firstly designed to push an agenda. When I see this new Illinois poll, I am reminded of an internal poll release.

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