Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Back on Polls: Closing the Gap

The Oakleaf "Opinion Research" poll came out for the Lt. Governor's race. It of course showed the Republican to be far, far, behind. I have explained in previous articles why the poll is inaccurate, and is of more value as a propaganda instrument for the left than a measurement of who is actually ahead in the race. Still, while I don't trust the poll's final numbers, they can be used to detect trends. In other words, a poll that is deeply biased in favor of Democrats can still show whether the Republican is gaining, losing, or staying even relative to the Democrat.

The Oakleaf poll shows that both Hutchinson and Holt are gaining. The Oakleaf polls have terrible final numbers for them, but those numbers are bogus. Don't look at the flawed numbers, look at what this poll can still tell us: the trends. In terms of trends, both polls have Hutchinson and Holt closing the gap. Hutchinson closed the gap by three and Holt by an astonishing seven points. It is amazing that one can close the gap by seven points without spending any money and absent any single big news item. That draws a lot of comment in the Doug Thompson article on the results.

Ok, Mark, you blog-buffoon, what about the Roby Brock Biz Talk polls? They show both races much closer than the Oakleaf poll, but did not show the same trend as the Oakleaf poll. If the trend is real, why didn't the Brock poll show it?

The reason they did not show the trend is because something went wrong with their polling in the third congressional district- Republican land - in their lastest poll. In their previous poll, Hutchinson was up 60-20 and Holt was up 70-22 in this district. One month later the new Brock polls tells us that Hutchinson is LOSING in the third district, 46-45, and that Holt's lead has shrunk to single digits. This is clearly wrong. Something went wrong in their polling of the third district.

In the other three districts, the Brock poll DOES record the closing trend. Let's take the Lt. Governor's race, since that is the larger of the two trends and easier to spot. Brock's poll says that in the 1st CD Holt went from being down 35-51 last month to down 39-52 this month, a gain of three for Holt. In the second district, Holt went from being down 28-62 to being UP by two at 46-44. That is a 36 point swing in one month that sounds impossible, but remember that the alleged swing down for Holt in the 3rd CD was even bigger. In the fourth, Holt went from being down 27-64 to being down 38-50. That is a twenty-five point swing Holt's way.

Asa Hutchinson did not close in the first CD, but closed by 30 in the 2nd and twenty in the forth. As with Holt, these massive gains were masked by an even larger alleged drop in the 3rd CD that showed him losing to Beebe in that district.

Do you believe those numbers? Me neither. That is what I have been shouting from the mountain tops for two months. Don't worry about these polls. Holt is likely winning, Hutchinson is in reach, and it is not out of the question that LaGrone or DeLay will pull out a win if they get a gift from their opponents. Brock's team has something wrong, but I suspect they know it too and will straighten it out before the next poll is taken. I expect the next poll to show dramatically better numbers for the GOP.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you are in a place where you have audio and want to hear that wild interview with that state legislator, drop the URL above this into your browser...its wild

This other story about polls gets real technical but it is a good one....

1:17 PM, October 05, 2006  

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