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A few grains of salt to take with that WSJ/NBC Poll

Posted by joshpainter on September 29, 2010

*
We’re talking about the poll that the lamestream media is hyping today as supposedly showing Democrats getting more excited about the midterm elections. You know, the one which allegedly shows that Bill Clinton is the most popular politician in the country and purports that Sarah Palin has lower approval ratings than Harry Reid? Yes, that one. Well, the devil is in the internals, as we always like to say when we’re talking about polls. So here are a few grains of salt that need to be taken with this poll:

FACTUALS: Now I am going to ask you a few questions for statistical purposes only.

QP1a Now, many people we’ve talked with tonight were unable to vote in primary elections this year, how about you, did you vote in a 2010 primary election in your state? (IF “YES,” THEN ASK:) And, did you vote in the
Democratic or Republican Party Primary?+
Yes, voted in a Republican Party Primary …………… 28
Yes, voted in a Democratic Party Primary……………. 33
Yes, voted in an Open Primary (VOL) ……………… 4
No, did not vote in any primaries ……………………….. 34
Not sure …………………………………………………….. 1
+ Results shown reflect responses among registered voters.

F1b/c. A lot of people are unable to get out and vote for many reasons. Did you happen to vote in last November’s election for president? (IF “YES,” ASK:) For whom did you vote — Barack Obama, John McCain, or someone else?
Yes, Voted 82
Voted for Barack Obama……………. 41
Voted for John McCain………………. 31
Voted for someone else …………….. 5
Not sure …………………………………. 5
No, Did Not Vote ………………………. 18
Not sure ……………………………….. –

[…]

QF4 Generally speaking, do you think of yourself as (ROTATE:) a Democrat, a Republican, an independent, or something else? (IF “DEMOCRAT” OR “REPUBLICAN,” ASK:) Would you call yourself a strong (Democrat/Republican) or not a very strong (Democrat/Republican)? (IF “NOT SURE,” CODE AS “NOT VERY STRONG DEMOCRAT/REPUBLICAN.”) (IF “INDEPENDENT,” ASK:) Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party, closer to the Democratic Party, or do you think of yourself as strictly independent? (IF “NOT SURE,” CODE AS “STRICTLY INDEPENDENT.”)
Strong Democrat ……………………… 20
Not very strong Democrat ………….. 15
Independent/lean Democrat……….. 8
Strictly Independent ………………….. 13
Independent/lean Republican……… 11
Not very strong Republican………… 12
Strong Republican……………………. 14
Other (VOL) ……………………………. 5
Not sure ……………………………….. 2

[…]

QF9 Do you have any children in pre-school, kindergarten to fifth grade, middle school, or high school currently living in your household? (IF YES, SPECIFY)(ACCEPT ALL THAT APPLY)
Total Yes, PreK-12th Grade 32
Yes, Pre-school……………………………………………… 10
Yes, K-5th grade …………………………………………….. 13
Yes, Middle School…………………………………………. 9
Yes, High school ……………………………………………. 10
Yes, have kids at home out of high school (VOL) .. 3
No, no kids ………………………………………………….. 61
Not sure ……………………………………………………… 4

Okay, let’s get this straight… The sample surveyed for this poll was not limited to likely voters or even registered voters. The poll oversampled Democrat primary voters over Republican primary voters by 5 points and strong Democrats over strong Republicans by 6 points. It sampled Obama voters over McCain voters by 10 points (even though Obama’s actual margin of victory over McCain was 7 points in the 2008 election). And a whopping 61 percent of the people surveyed don’t have any children? Where was this poll conducted, in a singles apartment building in Manhattan?

“Curiouser and curiouser,” said Alice…

– JP

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