Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Poll: 10 Points

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Critical Insights' "Spring 2008" survey is out and the numbers are interesting.

The poll, conducted June 1-27, found the following:

Tom Allen (D): 40 (34)

Susan Collins (R-inc): 50 (54)

Numbers in parenthesis are from Critical Insights' last poll, conducted Oct. 12-30, 2007.

Curiously, several Maine news outlets are reporting a 14 point spread, which refers--as far as I can tell--to an unscreened pool of Maine residents.

But the 50%-40% spread represents the result among likely voters, which is obviously the more important number. It's the number we focused on when the last Critical Insights' poll was released. And the "likely voters" number is the one that was widely reported at that time.

Of course, screening for "likely voters"--or at least "registered voters"--is pretty standard among pollsters.

So why are outlets going with the 14-point number, and ignoring the 10 point spread? Your guess is as good as mine.

In any case, looking at the Critical Insights result in the context of the last three independent polls leaves us with the following:

Critical Insights (July) (June) Collins +10
Rasmussen (July) Collins +7
Pan Atlantic (June) +25
Rasmussen (June) +7
It now seems more likely that the Pan Atlantic poll is an outlier. And it seems pretty clear that we've got ourselves a race.

UPDATE: The data that Critical Insights includes with the results doesn't appear to be restricted to likely voters, so it's not as helpful as it might be.

But it is notable that there's only a slight discrepancy in outcomes between the first and second congressional districts: Collins does just three points better in the second than in the first.

Also of note: Allen gets only 65% of Democratic votes, according to Critical Insights. That number is sure to rise--and perhaps substantially--as voters begin to educate themselves about Collins' performance in office over the last six years.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, the CI poll is not sampled to reflect voter registration, it's a business poll that also asks political questions.
CI polled 42% Democrat, 27% Republican, and 23% Independent. Maine's most recent voter registration breaks down as 32.8% Democrat, 28% Republican, and 39.2% Independent.
So you can see that this poll is weighted almost 10 points too heavy to Democrats.
If you recalculate the raw numbers to reflect voter registration data (which is what all other political polls do), Collins' lead increases to 56%- 35%.