Yes, we know there is a new Public Policy Polling automated telephone poll out today that makes various representations about the 2010 Senate race, part of a series of poll results PPP is releasing this week purporting to gauge Colorado opinion. Being an off year there aren’t as many public polls floating around to ruminate about–so anything that comes along gets the full pontificatory treatment, even if it is more or less, as we feel fairly comfortable opining in the case of PPP’s “robopolls,” a methodological load of hooey (more on this in a moment).
According to PPP, as they claimed in April, failed 2006 gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez is the only potential challenger who leads Sen. Michael Bennet in a head-to-head matchup, 42-39%. The poll obviously didn’t include the possible candidacy of former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, but she wasn’t a factor until yesterday and we question how much better she would really have done. Either way, that’s their conclusion: only Beauprez can beat Bennet.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a result that could only be considered plausible by someone with no knowledge of Colorado politics–even setting aside the fact this poll appears to have wildly oversampled Republicans (almost 40%, compared to Colorado’s 33% GOP reality). You know it and we know it–it’s a ridiculous idea. Beauprez can’t even find competent locals willing to work for his still-undeclared campaign from what we hear. His last campaign has gone down in truly persistent infamy as one of the “worst campaigns in Colorado history.” Of all the numbers PPP will release this week, this is definitely the one Democrats hope Republicans take as gospel and run like hell with it.
So if we’re to assume that Beauprez isn’t paying for this some way, and we suppose we do, what are we to make of Beauprez doing so outlier well here? We’d say it speaks to the flimsy methodology of the poll more than anything–automated polls with push-button answers just don’t have the same quality of response as real human interaction. They have a higher hang-up rate, and are more likely to be skewed by, if you will, less-than-serious responses.
And sure–in that environment it wouldn’t surprise us if PPP’s way oversampled self-identified Republicans were more likely to mash “2” for Beauprez than other Republican candidates.
Back here in reality, we invite Republicans to buy into this conclusion at their peril–and we know a lot of Democrats who would probably prefer we not tell you so.