Man Without Qualities

Saturday, November 02, 2002

ANOTHER UPDATE: A Sea-Change Signifying Nothing in November?

Today's report by Matt Drudge seems to confirm that the margin for error in national polling is probably much bigger than such margins normally are.

Drudge is reporting that the NYTCBS Poll to be released tomorrow will show that 47% of likely voters will vote Republican in the next week's election; and 40% of such voters will vote Democratic. This serious tilt to the Republicans is consistent with the same poll reportedly finding that 34% of likely voters (at least, I think his squb is still refering to "likely voters) said Democrats presented a "clear plan for country", where about 40% said same thing about Republicans. [UPDATE: OOPS! Drudge has removed his report about tomorrow's NYTCBS Poll. What does that mean?]

On the other hand, Drudge also notes that the Zogby Final is predicting that likely voters favor Democrats in the Congressional races by 51% to 49%. The Zogby Poll otherwise confirms with various ancillary findings its suggestion that neither party is favored.

Of course, the details of the NYTCBS Poll released tomorrow may show that poll is more consistentwith the Zogby results than seems possible at this point. at least technically.

But as to the general impression these polls suggest, the nation's likely voters cannot both be spitting equally between the parties with a slight Democrat tilt and be rather strongly favoring the Republicans. There are probably some big errors in there.

UPDATE: CBS and the New York Times have each now posted their vewrsion of the poll.

The New York Times has recently acquired a justified reputation for grossly misinterpreting its own polling data. One wonders why the Times bothers to pay for the polls if they have such a determination to misrepresent the results. The spin on the current poll is no major exception, but I'll leave it to others to unpack the details of how the Times' story twists polling results which are consistently negative for Democrats to fit a predetermined "plague on both their houses" theme apparently invented in the Times newsroom.

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