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SUSA Poll Is Total Crap

by: Kenton Ngo

Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 05:42:42 PM EDT

DEM PRIMARY (D voters only)
          04/27 04/06 03/30 03/01 02/01
Pollster  SUSA  R2K   PPP   PPP   PPP
McAuliffe  38    19    18    21    18
Moran      22    24    22    19    18
Deeds      22    16    15    14    11
Undec.     18    41    45    46    53
          04/27 04/06 02/05 12/04
Pollster  SUSA   R2K   Ras   Ras
McDonnell  46     37    39    37
Moran      34     36    36    41
Net       R+12    R+1   R+3   D+4
          04/27 04/06 02/05 12/04
Pollster  SUSA   R2K   Ras   Ras
McDonnell   46    40    42    41
McAuliffe   39    33    35    35
Net        R+7    R+7   R+7   R+6
          04/27 04/06 02/05 12/04
Pollster  SUSA   R2K   Ras   Ras
McDonnell   44    38    39    39
Deeds       39    31    33    39
Net        R+5    R+7   R+6   Tie

It is with great reluctance that I call an unfavorable poll an outlier, but there are several major problems with the latest SurveyUSA poll that purports to show Terry McAuliffe blowing open the race and Brian Moran collapsing against Bob McDonnell.

1. No likely voter screen. For the head-to-head general election matchups, SurveyUSA polled registered voters and ran no likely voter filter. That alone should indicate that the results are worthless, but...

2. Of those registered voters, a full third are supposedly likely primary voters. In the Research 2000 poll, they accomplished polling both the general electorate and primary electorate by oversampling likely primary voters and then re-weighting results. Here, they ran a pass for registered voters only, and determined that a full 30% of them would vote in the primary. Democratic primary turnout in 2005 was less than 3%, the Obama-Clinton primary of 2008 attracted only 15%. Essentially, what they did was find 1396 registered voters, and deduced that 409 of them were going to vote in the primary, whereas if a real likely voter filter was run, of those 1396 registered voters, perhaps 200 tops would have made it through.

3. Severe Northern Virginia undersample. In 2006, Northern Virginia made up 41% of the primary electorate. SurveyUSA assumes that it will make up only 31%.

Kenton Ngo :: SUSA Poll Is Total Crap
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I Disagree!
Then why are the Deeds/McAuliffe numbers almost the same? The only thing different is that the Moran numbers are crashing, which is inline with what alot of observers expected... Moran is blowing millions on consultants and a negative and hate filed message gets you nowhere in Virginia.

No, you don't disagree.
I'm not even arguing the numnbers of this poll because I'm arguing that the methodology is crap. It's irrelevant until backed up by a legitimate likely voter poll.

[ Parent ]
NoVA is not undersampled
It is true that in the 2006 primary, NoVA was 41% of the vote. That is probably the worst primary to use as an example, because the featured race was a Senate race that would naturally create more buzz around Washington, DC than elsewhere in the state.

In the 2008 General election, I looked at where Dmocratic presidential voters were from as a proxy for paterns around the state. 33.6% were from NcVA.

In the 2008 presiential primary, 31% were from NoVA

In the 2005 Gubernatorial election, I again used Democratic voters as a proxy for where Democrats are located. 31% were from NoVA.

In the 2005 LG primary, 33.6% were from NoVA.

So, 31% sounds about right to me. May even be a little high, given the fact that there are two primaries (Gov and LG) with candidates from all around the Commonwealth.

But, Kenton
I think I agree with you that the way they determined the sample for the primary part of the poll is very confusing, at best.

[ Parent ]
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