Wednesday, April 7, 2010
This is a screen capture from Google.
Polls are fickle. My advice is to not believe any of them. There are too many variables: contact selection, demographic selection, margin of error, wording of poll questions, etc.
None of us can assume that ANYBODY'S poll is a solid representation of what the public actually believes.
Political marketing experts like Bill Fleming and his buddy Jody Severson, use polls to help them decide how and where to advertise for their clients, and what kind of advertising message should be used. Those polls are usually done in a manner that gives the advertising expert a much more accurate view of how the race is actually going than most of the public polls. The contracted polls are rarely made public because they often identify a candidate's weaknesses as well as his strengths, and most ad execs don't care to share information they paid for with their opponents.
Some political consultants also use push-pull polls to help them push a voter away from one candidate and pull them toward another, with questions like:
Would you still vote for Candidate R, if you knew he had been accused of multiple rapes of handicapped juveniles?
Of course, Candidate R may never have been accused of any such thing. The question doesn't accuse him of anything, it simply asks if you would vote for him if such accusations had been made. But, they have planted a seed...rather like a wing-nut brochure planted the seed that Sam Kooiker was a wing-nut, even though his opponent knew he wasn't. The truth of the matter, just didn't matter. The brochure worked and their candidate, who was behind in the polls, won the election.
Polls, I don't trust them – any of them. So those coming to this blog and expecting me to take seriously any poll from any source, will be disappointed by my skepticism.
Posted by Michael Sanborn at 4:54 PM