Quinnipiac’s Final Poll: 100% “CYA”

Madame Quinnipiac knows all.

Madame Quinnipiac knows all.

Quinnipiac University has featured the wildest swings in their polling of Colorado candidates of any public pollster in 2014 by far–so far away from the trends other polling shows at the same time that they've become something of a running joke among Colorado politicos. Quinnipiac's consistently outlier results have given Republicans lots to crow about, even as smart GOP analysts admit they don't think the numbers are accurate.

One of the things we and others who follow polls have noticed is that some–not all but some–pollsters tend to release results that give them the splashiest headlines early in the election season, only to tighten those numbers to something resembling consensus reality as Election Day approaches. Based on Quinnipiac's final polling of Colorado out today, that appears to be what's happening:

A late surge by Democrats in Colorado leaves the governor's race and the U.S. Senate race too close to call, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. 

In the governor's race, former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, the Republican challenger, has 45 percent of likely voters while Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has 43 percent, with 3 percent each for Libertarian candidate Matthew Hess and Green Party candidate Harry Hempy. Six percent remain undecided…

Results in the U.S. Senate race are the same as in the governor's race: 45 percent for the Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, and 43 percent for Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, with 6 percent for independent candidate Steve Shogan and 4 percent undecided. 

An October 30 Quinnipiac University poll showed Gardner up 46 – 39 percent, with 7 percent for Shogan.

The fact is, we still don't know if these numbers can be trusted, even if they are correct in showing a rapid improvement for Sen. Mark Udall as they appear to. The poll only shows Udall leading Cory Gardner by three points with women voters, a figure we believe is substantially lowballed. Because Quinnipiac has been all over the map this election cycle, this result much closer to other polling still has little value to us–the polling equivalent of a lucky guess, or last-minute "CYA" that further underscores suspicions about their previous polling.

If it is the latter, it's a game people are becoming wise to.

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. marklane1351 says:

    These numbers are inaccurate. Matthew Hess and Harry Hempy are not getting %6 collectively, and Steve Shogan is not getting %6 by himself. QPac was shamed by its %10 poll and is polling close results out of nowehere.

  2. FrankUnderwood says:

    To really CYA, they should announce that their poll has a 50.0% MOE.

  3. Andrew Carnegie says:

    PPP just did about the same thing.  I do not think there has been any movement in the last couple days.  They are both positioning themselves for the after the election look how close we came contest.

    On thing that is interesting is they have the margins for both races the same.  I sense that Hick will do a couple points better than Udall.  What do the polsters think?

    • PPP hasn't been all over the place like Q-poll has, though.

    • Early Worm says:

      Anything in possible, but I have to agree that it does not make a lot of sense that Gardner would not do better than Beauprez.  Last time Beauprez ran for gov, eight years ago, he lost by 14 points.  He had a hard time breaking 40%.  He will certainly do better than that, and maybe he will win.  But if he wins, it will be a republican landslide in Colorado, and Gardner will win by double digits. More likely, the Senate race is decided by 2 points one way or the other, and Hick wins by 5 points.

  4. Big Time says:

    Agreed, Hick wins by 3 and Udall by 1. 

  5. nota33 says:

    I'm looking at the early returns and I gotta say, it does not look good for udall. Maybe most of these right wingers are voters that would have voted on election day, but if dems don't step it up, Udall is going to lose and it makes me angry knowing that Gardner is a POS, a con man, and a liar might become Colorado's junior senator.

  6. Andrew Carnegie says:

    It was going to be a tough race under the best of circumstances but he really did not pick up on this abortion stuff is not moving the dial in time to switch course.

  7. kickshot says:

    Today's breakdown of submitted ballots by party:

    D: 33%, R: 41%, U: 26% 

    The D-R gap continues to narrow:

    15% to 12% to 10.4% to 9.3% to 9.1% to 8% while the Us keep climbing.

  8. Diogenesdemar says:

    Apparently using the word "surge" is some new 21st-century code for — "I'm [we're] completely full of shit!" ???

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