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August 20, 2009 06:31 PM UTC

Same GOP Oversample, New Poll (Thursday Edition)

  • 2 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

We’ve been talking most of this week about North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling’s new set of automated telephone poll results–represented as bad news for Democrats, the underlying methodology leaves the poll rather open to deconstruction. Chief among the issues critics have raised with this latest poll is an apparent gross oversampling of self-identified GOP voters relative to their real numbers in Colorado, a starting point that pretty much skews all subsequent results.

Including, as the Grand Junction Sentinel reports:

Fifty-one percent of people surveyed in a recent poll of Colorado voters said they oppose President Barack Obama’s health care plan, compared to 38 percent who support it.

Nonpartisan North Carolina research firm Public Policy Polling surveyed 969 Coloradans for a state poll and 909 U.S. voters for a national poll between Aug. 14 and 17 to see how Americans view the president, his health care plan and the rumor that Obama was born outside the United States.

Those Coloradans most likely to say they oppose the president’s proposed health care legislation are men (52 percent opposed), people over the age of 65 (58 percent), Caucasians (56 percent), conservatives (85 percent), people making $50,000 to $75,000 a year (57 percent) and those with some college education (61 percent).

The president’s health care plan drew its greatest support in Colorado from women (39 percent support it), 18- to 29-year-olds (48 percent), African Americans (75 percent), liberals (86 percent), people making $25,000 to $50,000 or $75,000 to $100,000 a year (tied for 40 percent) and those with post-graduate education (50 percent).

Like we said discussing another purported result of this poll, the amusing notion that historic political faceplant Bob Beauprez might actually be an electable candidate for the U.S. Senate, it was weighted in a manner that will invariably skew the results to favor GOP candidates and policy positions–almost 40% of the poll’s respondents were self-identified Republicans, when the reality in Colorado is more like 33%. If you were to re-align these sampled numbers to demographic reality, you’d get a much different result. It’s really that simple.

Having said that, some drop in public support for health care reform efforts would be consistent with national polls that show a bit of erosion of what was once an overwhelmingly popular plank in President Barack Obama’s platform. It was the intent of this whole intense August recess protest effort to exact whatever toll they could on public support the plan. And they have not been wholly unsuccessful–but it’s not the drop implied by this poll.

Endnote: Democrats and Republicans both understand that the success or failure of health care reform will have major electoral consequences in 2010. Interestingly, both pretty much agree–if reform passes, Democrats will win. The “death panels” and other boogeymen will not appear, and the public will not be less satisfied with their health care. And it will cost less. The poll numbers being driven down (in this case, with help from the pollsters) will recover once the absurdities of the current “debate” don’t materialize. Which Republican was it who said that if the Democrats succeed in passing health care reform, the Republicans will be a minority party for a generation?

What do you think all the hubbub is about, anyway?

Comments

2 thoughts on “Same GOP Oversample, New Poll (Thursday Edition)

  1. I have also heard this referred to many times, Randi Rhodes and others talk about it regularly. Frank Luntz? Dick Armey? Weyrich? I’d really like to know too.

  2. when people don’t understand basic math or the first thing about statistics.  Exit polls from the 08 election for Colorado had R+1 voters.  This poll ended up with R+3, a certainly reasonable expectation of turnout for a midterm election that will have Ritter and Bennet at the top of the ticket, not Obama.  It’s actually a little pessimistic in my opinion.  I think a lot more D’s will stay home and a lot more R’s will rush to those polls because of their belief their being persecuted by Adolf Obama.

    You can spin that Bob Beauprez is a laughable candidate all you want (I agree), but don’t piss all over a credible polling firm to do it. It hurts your credibility.

    And this won’t hold any sway for some, but since Markos did a lot of digging to see what polling firm he would go with I asked him his opinion of PPP:

    PPP is solid. Two of the top three pollsters the last two cycles — Rasmussen and Survey USA, are robo-polling outfits. And PPP had a fantastic record last cycle.

    Even if you think Markos is a left-wing America hating illegal immigrant, take a look at my comparison of PPP’s polling to everyone else’s for the ’08 Presidential and 08 CO-Sen race.

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