Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Poll: Collins +16

Survey USA is out with a new poll that has Sen. Collins up 16 points:

Tom Allen (D): 39 (38)

Susan Collins (R-inc): 55 (55)

Numbers in parenthesis represent results from a Survey USA poll conducted October 26, 2007.

Clearly, the figures have barely budged. And at first glance, that looks like more lousy news for Rep. Allen. But once you wade into the polling data, the situation becomes a bit murkier.

Because while the poll's partisan breakdown is 35-34-28 among Dem-Rep-Ind, the latest figures show that Maine's actual breakdown is 32-27-38.

In other words, the poll overweights Democrats and Republicans--but it overweights Republicans disproportionately.

When the results are re-weighted to bring them in line with Maine's current partisan profile, the gap shrinks to about 12 points.

That's still leaves Allen with quite a task in front of him. (He still needs, for example, to cut into Collins' 24% share among Democrats--which is lower than we've seen in other surveys, but still way too high for him even to come close to victory.)

But overcoming a low double-digit deficit in six weeks is the kind of thing that does happens in congressional races with some frequency.

On the other hand, the closer things get to twenty points, the more far-fetched the scenarios become.

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