Manufactured McPalin Bounce

1 comment September 10th, 2008at 07:16am Posted by Eli

This sounds an awful lot like pollster malpractice to me:

This week’s mainstream coverage of the presidential horse-race has been dominated by a series of polls showing the McCain-Palin ticket with its first stable lead over Obama and Biden. Gallup’s tracking poll, USA Today and CBS News all show the Republicans with some kind of lead over the Democratic ticket. But, interestingly, all three polls were also conducted using a higher sampling of Republican voters than in July, thus raising a question of methodology.

In a year in which Democrats have a lead of 11 million registered-voters over Republicans, and have been adding to that advantage through a robust field operation, are pollsters over-sampling Republicans?

Despite a raft of advantages in the electorate for Democrats, in September’s first Gallup Tracking poll, an equal number of Republicans and Democrats were surveyed (including “leaners”) from Sept. 3-5, compared to a 10-point Democratic identification advantage two weeks ago. That partisan makeup of the polling pool resulted in a 5-point lead for McCain in Sept. 5 tracking poll. Meanwhile, the new CBS poll features a 6-point swing in partisan composition toward Republicans, which plays some role in the poll’s two-point lead for McCain. Finally, the latest USA Today poll, which claims a four-point edge for McCain, was arrived at after a 10-point swing in partisan makeup toward GOP respondents.

The pollsters are claiming that it’s not uncommon for party ID to change in the wake of the conventions, but this is a radical shift, and unless I’m missing it, they don’t provide any factual basis for making such significant changes in their poll weighting.

To me it looks like they’re deliberately trying to manufacture a McPalin Momentum narrative, to replace the stench of failure and desperation with the aura of scrappy come-from-behind victory, either to encourage voters to jump on the fake McPalin bandwagon (and demoralize Obama supporters), or to make the horse-race reporting more interesting than, “Republican convention and Palin speech have little effect on voters; McCain campaign still looks doomed.”

Either way, it’s despicable and unprofessional.  I’ll have to start looking more closely at party ID to figure out which polls can be trusted.

(h/t Phoenix Woman)

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,McCain,Media,Palin,Politics,Polls,Wankers

1 Comment

  • 1. Cujo359  |  September 10th, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    While the Gallup voter identity numbers look suspect, I don’t see a reason to disbelieve the CBS ones. They show that the increase in party ID is from independents identifying as Republicans again. This seems reasonable – many independents are Republicans disillusioned with their party, because it’s not radical enough for them. They seem to be coming back into the fold thanks to Palin.

    None of this surprises me much.

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