Friday, October 24, 2014

Nunn, Perdue, and a Plethora of Polls

A bunch of Georgia polls came out today. If you're confused, don't be. Yes, most of the recent U.S. Senate polls had the Democrat, Michelle Nunn, slightly ahead of David Perdue, the Republican. And yes, a "gold standard" AJC poll just released has Perdue slightly ahead of Nunn. But again, don't be confused. Basically these leads are all within the respective margins of error of the surveys, so call this race a statistical tie.

Before the AJC poll, the Huffpollster wrote:
IN GEORGIA: CNN MAKES FIVE POLLS FAVORING NUNN - A new CNN/ORC poll gives Democrat Michelle Nunn a 47 to 44 percent edge against Republican Rep. David Perdue. This survey is the fifth in the past week to give Nunn a slight advantage, with earlier polling ranging between 1 and 3 percentages points. Twelve of 14 previous polls conducted since early September had given Perdue advantages ranging from 2 to 10 percentage points.
Also, written before the AJC stuff, this good NYT piece.

So, has anything really changed?

I said "gold standard" before concerning the AJC poll. That means that humans telephoned respondents via landlines and cell phones, something many polls -- especially robo-polls -- fail to do. There are also subtle differences in the secret sauce of who is identified as a "likely voter," as well as statistical weighting. In other words, even good polls are expected to differ some. My own read is Nunn and Perdue is simply too close to call and it comes down to the "ground game" on election day, short some October surprise in the next coupla weeks.

Let's take a closer look at the AJC poll. A few key points you may not have seen:
  • Nunn leads 49-36 over Perdue among women.
  • For Perdue, the lead among men is 52-35.
  • Nunn leads 44-34 among young voters.
  • Perdue owns the white Protestant evangelicals, 72-16.
  • Perdue also does well among self-described "independents," 43-31.
  • Nunn dominates in metro Atlanta, Perdue wins the burbs.
  • Perdue leads among the wealthiest likely voters, 55-30. Indeed, it's the only income level he does lead in. Nunn leads the rest.

No comments: