Thursday, August 6, 2015

Trump and Georgia

A new Georgia poll has Trump way ahead of his competitors for the Republican nomination. Forget the news stories about the poll. Instead, look at the actual results (pdf).

For you nerds out there, first the methodology. It's a survey of 569 likely Republican primary voters, with a 4.1 percent margin of error. The data were weighted by age, race, and gender to correct for the survey not matching the 2012 primary voter stats. IMPORTANT: this was a robo-poll of landline only phones. Remember landlines? Well, when people couldn't be reached by landline, they were reached by mobile. Not sure exactly how that works, but 83 percent of all completed surveys were by landline. Skewed sample.

OK, the survey details aside, a few results
  • Trump is way ahead at 30.4 percent. 
  • Bush holds second at 17.3 percent. No one else in double figures unless you round up, and then Carson has 10 percent.
  • Undecided is only 3.8 percent, but it bests several other candidates.
  • Trump sucks among 18-29 year olds, tied for 4th place with "someone else." Then again, how many 18-29 year olds have a landline phone? That age group made up only 6 percent of the sample. In other words, about 34 people. In even other words, meaningless.
  • So how about black Georgia Republicans? It's Trump, then Walker, then Carson (who is black). Then again, this is based on about six people. Should you even report such a breakdown? No, not at all. Never.
So what do we learn from all of this? Not a hell of a lot, since much of Trump's popularity seems to be a combination of voter anger, media exposure, and possibly drawing in folks who normally and rationally would be tuned out of the process more than a year ahead of an election.

Then again, no polling this early matters a lot, which is why many pollsters cautioned Fox and others to not rely on them to decide who gets in the main debate tonight versus being sent to the kids' table.

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