Wednesday, February 27, 2008

There Are Polls, and Then There Are Polls

News of Howey's latest poll regarding the 7th District race have shot across the blogosphere, an unstoppable force much like Ted Kennedy rushing towards an open bar.

To recap, Howey is showing Andre "I was a Muslim before I wasn't a Muslim" Carson with a seemingly insurmountable 18 point lead over our guy Jon. But being that we are (ahem) accomplished and experienced flacks here with "the right kind of experience" required to read these things, a couple of things jumped out at me:

First off, this poll only sampled 300 people. Hmmm... that's about as many people as attend my church on a Sunday, and I attend a very small church in a very small town.

Secondly, 28% of the respondents were Black, which if my memory serves, is a much higher percentage than there are Black voters in this district. I haven't looked at the Demos for this district for quite some time, but I think that's probably double the actual percentage of Black voters in this district 9assuming you don't include the voters who reside in Crown Hill Cemetery, of course).

Thirdly, the margin for error was a stunning 5.7%. Those of us who have seen a few polls in our day know that a three percent margin is ideal, four to four and a half acceptable. Frankly, a 5.7% margin makes this poll about as accurate as this particular statement by a certain former President: "I did not have..." Well, you remember the rest.

Listen, I have a great deal of respect for Brian Howey and have long been an avid reader of his. I am not trying to attack him or his methods in any way whatsoever.

But to put this kind of a poll out there as something that is definitive or accurate in any way does a gross injustice to Jon and his campaign, not to mention that it isn't even close to the numbers shown by the campaign's own internal polling. Frankly, Brian is better than this and his readers deserve better.


Gonzo Defenestrater said...

Dude, N300 sample? ...that's maybe a brushfire number in a congressional district ... bet me this is a lack of cash for a larger sample ... and what were they testing, just cd7 or was it a carve out of a bigger poll?

With an almost 6%moe, I wouldn't trust those numbers, man.

Anonymous said...

It's McGoff's fault. If he hadn't run against Burton, Burton would have raised all that money and handed it over to a candidate who opposes the defense of marriage act.

Damn that McGoff!