Friday, October 22, 2010

Don't Believe Everything You Read

Maybe you can't figure this one out because it has me stumped. Stu Rothenberg has MA-9 in the toss-up column after not listing it before. Scott Brown won this district, but he did better in 2, 3, 5, and 6. Rothenberg lists none of them. The MA-9 candidate has no money. There's nothing on line about this race. How could this district be in danger? (Edit: Rothenberg has removed MA-9 and moved MA-10 from Lean Democrat to Toss-up.)

Republicans are releasing all sorts of polls showing obscure candidates in tight races, like the one for Washington-6 today.

Internal polls are always suspect, but seeing one for a race that hasn't been polled independently is really suspect. I can't see how either of these districts will flip. Republicans appear to be flooding the zone with competitive polls in non-competitive districts. This is brilliant. Democrats are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. You have to defend Washington-6, don't you? It shouldn't take that much to save it, right? What if you don't and he loses? Democratic resources will be stretched thin.

At his point, any independent poll where the candidate is down means he'll likely lose. We're so close to the election and there's been so much early voting that making up ground now is extremely difficult. Any internal poll that shows a candidate down is really suspect. If the candidate releases a poll where he's down 4, that means he's down a lot more. Maybe he can make it closer, but you don't get a prize for losing 53-47.

If you see three Senate polls where the candidate is up 6-8, don't buy one poll that has him up 2. One poll is an outlier.

If you can find out how many people qualify on a likely voter screen, take that into account. If a poll lets 90% of respondents through, you have to question it. Mid-terms get 53-60% of registered voters. They get 35-40% of voter age people. Assuming that likely voters are more likely to want to answer questions you should be able to get rid of at least 25-30% of the people polled. Since Democrats are less enthusiastic, they are likely including more Democrats than they should.

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