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Here in the Twin Cities, we have gotten used to the rich fantasy life of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Minnesota Poll. I covered the folly of the MinnPoll last July, showing that the poll has consistently and significantly underrepresented Republican support. In fact, over the last twenty years, its final analysis prior to an election has underestimated Republican support by an average of over seven points. In only one race in 20 years has the MinnPoll overestimated the Republican votes.
My good friend King Banaian at SCSU Scholars dissects the problem in the latest "analysis" from the Star Tribune's polling. Earlier, they had shown DFL candidate Patty Wetterling ahead of Republican Michele Bachmann by eight points in Minnesota's 6th District, a district that had voted for Bush by 57% two years ago. How could the district have shifted that much?
Apparently, it came from an exodus of men. The Star Tribune's sample for the district consisted of 58% women. King notes the demographic problems:
# Comparing demographics of the poll (see the StarTribune's pretty pictures) with the 2000 Census would indicate either many more college graduates vote or respond to polls, or that the sample has too many relative to the district. The poll reported 39% of respondents being either college graduates or having post-graduate education. The Census in 2000 reports less than a quarter of area residents over 25 years old have earned a bachelor's degree or more.
# And lastly, 58% of respondents were female. In all previous polls that Jeff and Larry mention, there has been a female advantage in the poll for Wetterling, so the more females in your sample the more likely you'll find a Wetterling advantage. The Sept. SurveyUSA poll was 49% female, the October SurveyUSA poll was 50% female, and the Majority Watch robopoll was 53% female. Now why hasn't anyone noted this? The only way this can be representative is if you thought that if the election were held today, 58% of voters would be female. Why would you believe that?
The MinnPoll has a long and inglorious history of skewed results, and the skewing always goes in one direction. King took the time to check the crosstabs, and discovers one of the methods used by the Strib to generate that skewing.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Can All the Polls Be Screwy?John Hinderaker Our friend Dafydd ab Hugh continues the conversation Paul and I have had over whether the polls that consistently show bad results for Republicans can all be wrong. Actually, Dafydd says, they can. [Read More]
Tracked on October 18, 2006 5:36 AM
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