Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In Georgia ... Pick a Poll at your Own Risk

We just had our party nomination runoff elections and we have two really interesting general elections in Georgia to look forward to -- Governor, and U.S. Senate.

Let's look at the polling.

Right now, according to this nifty Wikipedia page (scroll down a bit to the table labeled General Election) the polls between Republican and incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger Jason Carter are all over the place. We've got carter up 49-41. No, wait. It's a tie. No, wait again, Deal is up 47-40.

Here's the lesson for the day. Look hard at how the polls were conducted. If it's a robo-poll, ignore it. Take, for example, the recent GOP runoff for U.S. Senate. InsiderAdvantage had Kingston ahead by 5 percentage points. Perdue won by a couple. Yes, it was a robo-poll, meaning landline only, or some odd way of contacting people online in combination with landline phones, which skew older, more conservative. Or, as this story points out, should simply be ignored by journalists. Landmark also has Kingston winning by 7 percentage points. Indeed, every poll but one favored Kingston.

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