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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Internal Polling This Year

Posted by DavidNYC

Josh Marshall writes a little bit here about internal polls. On one point I'm not so sure I agree:

The problem with them is that a partisan poll only gets released when it's good for the candidate who sponsors it.

So, hypothetically, a candidate could commission three polls, get a range of results and only release the one which shows him doing the best, a reading that's likely an outlier and thus misleading.

While this is indeed hypothetically possible, I tend to doubt that this takes place all that often. Commissioning a poll is not a cheap exercise - it's a five-figure affair no matter what. (Unless you use a robo-polling outfit, but I really don't think many campaigns bother with that.) So unless your campaign is especially flush, and a bit silly, I think the most likely reaction to a bad internal poll is to just shut up about it.

Where I certainly do agree with Josh is that the typical response to Joe Democrat releasing an internal poll is for Jim Republican to fire back with one of his own. But the GOP has been almost whisper-quiet on this front. Exactly how silent? Amy Walter tells us (sub. req.):

Publicly released polls taken in individual districts also tell a pretty ugly story for the incumbent party in Congress. Since the beginning of this year, we have seen 38 polls released by Democrats, or Democratic-related groups, while we have seen just five public polls released by Republicans or Republican-related groups. And, when you look at the individual polls, it is easy to understand why Democrats are much more willing to disclose their numbers.

Democrats have released polling taken in 27 districts held by a Republican. Of those, 22 incumbents were under 50 percent of the vote against their Democratic opponent and 10 incumbents were either behind or within the margin of error. Republicans have only released three polls in Republican held seats - two of which showed the Republican under 50 percent (one was Rep. Bob Ney who announced this week that he was not running for re-election).

Walter's article was dated Aug. 9th. I know of at least three other favorable Dem polls taken since that time - Hodes', of course, Mike Arcuri in NY-24, and Larry Kissell in NC-08. There may well be more out there. And in any event, like Josh says, these three new polls - like most of the thirty-eight taken before them - have been accompanied by just one distinct sound: cricket, cricket.

Posted at 12:53 AM in 2006 Elections, Polls | Technorati

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I think you hit the nail on the head.

Posted by: Steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 23, 2006 12:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment