Poll Schmoll

A smart reader emailed me an analysis of the recent Washington Post Poll showing Martin O’Malley with an 11-point “lead” over Bob Ehrlich.

Like most of us their bullshit meter red lined.

Missing Likely Voters:1448 adults called–81% say they’re registered voters which is 1172, but WaPo says 1196 (so probably higher than 81% reporting)

WaPo reports 71% of registered voters are certain voters which is 850 likely voters

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WaPo reports 14 probably which added to 71% gives you 1017 likely voters.

But the WaPo’s sample says 730 voters which is 120 off even their “certain voter” total…120 is 16% of 730. If they count certain and probably as a likely voter than its 286 difference or 39% of 730.

The Montgomery Drop Off:Washington Post reports a 10pt falloff for Ehrlich in Montgomery County. From 02 to 06 Ehrlich’s fall was 1pt (38 to 37).

Republicans undercounted: WaPo reports that 26% of sample were Republicans even though Republicans were 30% of the 2006 general election turnout.

Then thre is Paul Liben’s take on the poll, which points out it’s flaws

What they do expect, in order for Ehrlich to prevail, is for him to win over his own party and most independents. And according the Post poll, that’s what he has done. In the Post’s words, “Ehrlich has the support of almost every GOP voter in the state, and he is winning independents by a wide margin.”

So why is he behind? According to the Post, it’s because an overwhelming majority of Maryland’s Democrats back O’Malley, far more than when Ehrlich won the statehouse in 2002. But as any pollster will say, the poll could have mistakenly oversampled Democrats. Or it could be erroneously counting likely nonvoters as voters among registered Democrats. Determining who is a likely voter is no easy feat.

A further possibility is suggested by examining another recent poll, the Rasmussen survey of September 15. It had O’Malley ahead of Ehrlich by a 50-47 margin, a statistical dead heat. Unlike the Post survey, Rasmussen pressed undecided voters to make a decision.

Also laughable is the Post’s analysis that “newly energized” Democrats are changing the dynamics of what nearly every poll–except for the poll commissioned by the allegedly straight news outlet founded by O’Malley’s former lackeys now holding high dollar fund raisers for him– has shown to be a dead heat.

Newly energized Democrats?

Could the Post mean those energized Democratic primary voters in bell weather Baltimore County, 30 percent of which, voted against O’Malley or couldn’t touch the screen under his name?

Did the Post writers bother to click over to the State Board of Elections to find out that Martin O’Malley received 29,000 less votes in 2010 than Kathleen Kennedy Townsend?

Did the Post writers take into account that Republican primary turnout jumped eight percentage points from 29% in 2006 to 37% in 2010, while Democrat turnout dropped to 63% in 2010 down from 71% in 2006?

Instead of helping the O’Malley campaign and professional Democrats manufacture enthusiasm, they should–like good reporters–ask crtical questions about the O’Malley administration’s coverup of the July jobs report and demand the governor release all the remaining documents his administration is withholding from the public.

One could divine more about the governor’s race from the stripper’s pole at Night Shift than this flawed Washington Post poll.

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