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.
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.
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.
Some researchers led by Noah Smith at Carnegie Mellon tried an experiment: Could they predict the results of traditional polling, which has as its core feature a genuine random sample of people, with careful monitoring of Twitter?