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August 08, 2010 11:57 PM UTC

Magic 8-ball sez: tomorrow's PPP poll: intentionally wrong

  • 24 Comments
  • by: StrykerK2

Some of you reading this are going to ask how I know the following.  What I have to say is this: perhaps some kids over at the DSCC weren’t too happy with their forced servitude working a DNC phone bank for Bennet all weekend, and decided to share some fun facts.

PPP, the polling firm of the DSCC, is going to release a new poll tomorrow.  Guess what it will say?  Bennet up on Romanoff by (probably) 5 points — just outside the margin or error.

How did they reach this result?  By weighting their poll differently than what they actually believe the voting population will look like.

It’s actually pretty easy — follow along 🙂

We all know Bennet sent out mailer after mailer to older voters claiming that Andrew Romanoff wants to privatize their social security (I’m less sure, but I think it also said he hates their grandkids and doesn’t use the blanket they sent him).  

Result?  Fairly effective — Bennet spooked older voters into being wary of Romanoff.

We also know that Bennet is hitting certain population centers far more than others.  Mostly abandoning Denver, he’s trying to win based on Boulder (to some extent), Grand Junction (to a greater extent) and a few other spots.

So, if you want to produce a poll showing Bennet up, what do you do?  You overweight Bennet friendly populations.  The poll will show a disproportionate amount of older voters (it’s a huge group already) and “geotilt” it to minimize Denver and maximize other areas.

The race is close — almost no one is saying otherwise.  Therefore, it doesn’t actually take much to skew a poll like this — an extra percentage of 65+ voters here, a few less “expected” voters in Denver there, and voila! you have a poll that shows what you want.

This is, of course, simply a prediction.  I hope I’m wrong and the DSCC isn’t going to try and lie to the national media and Colorado voters about what the situation looks like.

What’s that you say?  They’ve done it before?  They release polls simply for political gain of Michael Bennet?  By God you’re right!  Here’s a few examples:

Remember when the DSCC’s firm PPP released a poll right before caucus?

Or right before the state assembly?

The analysis of those polls (provided by them of course) would include language such as:

“In Colorado the Democratic primary was supposed to be competitive and the GOP one a foregone conclusion,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But it seems like the opposite of that is happening. Bennet has expanded his lead while Buck and Norton are headed for a close one.”

Why would they want that out there?  Well to demoralize Romanoff support of course.  If you’re thinking of caucusing for Romanoff, or spending your day off in Broomfield at assembly for Romanoff, and you see a poll that shows he hasn’t got a chance in hell, well you just might decide to do something else with your day instead.

The problem, of course, is that it didn’t work and independent pollsters show that this race is within the margin, and Romanoff might actually be a few points up.

So if that poll does come out tomorrow, ask to see the weighting — and then ask why it was weighted like it was.

PS — why weight it like this?  Because Bennet needs those late voters to break for him.  Voters like to pick a winner.  If John Q Public is sitting at home thinking of dropping off his ballot, and Ron Zappolo comes on the TV to with a report like “Major polling firm says that despite Romanoff’s attacks, Bennet will probably prevail” that person is more likely to actually fill out their ballot.  Simple psychology.

Comments

24 thoughts on “Magic 8-ball sez: tomorrow’s PPP poll: intentionally wrong

  1. perhaps some kids over at the DSCC weren’t too happy with their forced servitude working a DNC phone bank for Bennet all weekend

    OK, I’m fishing my ballot out of the trash and voting for His Purity, Andrew Romanoff.  How else to react to the shocking revelation that the DSCC has employed slave labor to phone bank on behalf of Bennet????

    Skyler2 wouldn’t be scoring crude political points on the backs of the historical victims of slavery, would s/he?  I hope not.

      1. Ralphie if I remember correctly you said you had worked in polling (or am I remembering someone else)?

        You know about proper weighting and such then right?  If they do release this tomorrow as planned, remember to ask about the details – how and why of the universe they include in the results.

    1. I bet if I flip a coin a hundred times it will not come up 50 heads and 50 tails.

      So what?

      There is one and only one poll that matters now.

      I voted, all my neighbors votes, all my family and friedns will have voted, go GOTV and stfu here.

  2. Sounds like pissing in the wind to poll right now – kind of like people here trying to convince each other of anything. What does a poll taken after 80% of the vote has been cast really mean? I’d bet Romanoff was narrowly in the lead when SurveyUSA released their poll, fell behind when Bennet and his editors at the paper blasted Romanoff and he sent out his attacks saying Romanoff wanted to privatize social security and invest retirements in derivatives (oh wait, no – that was him)… Anyway, who the hell knows where this race is now and more importantly, polling people today after 245k have voted – really think anything would be accurate?

    1. But either way- it’s useless as far as I can see.

      OTOH- if PPP needs the polling cred- releasing something so close to Tuesday, if they’re close, it validates them.

    2. Obviously, Stryker is spinning madly to diffuse what he expects to be bad news.  But who the fleep cares?>  An announcement Monday has no effect on the ballots which will almost all have been mailed by then.  The only real value of a poll in a primary is to identify areas of strength and weakness so you can adjust your message accordingly…as hammering at Romanoff on Social Security seems to have done.  Its a waste of time and money.   If it keeps stryker away from real work on GOTV, I’ll all for it, but gotta around with you that this is bullshit, no matter how good the methodology is.  

  3. One…we’ll have the only poll that matters on Tuesday night.

    Two…random bloggers don’t get this sort of information. Stryker just outed himself. No matter how this turns out, Andrew Romanoff has shown himself to be a despicable, dishonest, say-anything-to-win politician by employing a scumbag like ___________

  4. I’m not a regular user of this site and I don’t know who this guy is, but based on the fact that these paragraphs seem like they were written with a sneer, I think it’s safe to say that Strykerk2 is probably a driving force behind what makes politics unbearably shitty.  

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