Friday, May 2, 2008

The things that drive pollsters crazy

Apparently Walter Dalton has hit the airwaves with an ad attacking Hampton Dellinger. I haven't seen it and can't speak to its veracity but it makes sense- yesterday's WRAL poll made it clear that Dalton has a decent chance to win the primary without a runoff and going after Dellinger now could conceivably be the knockout punch. That's why you fire the first (well funded) bomb when you're in the lead.

As a pollster it makes me nuts! If Hillary Clinton or Richard Moore starts running a new ad on Friday night four days before the election who cares. The voters pretty much know who the candidates in those races are and have their opinions about them made up. That's not going to have a great impact on our weekend polling. But this is a whole new stage for the LG race and it makes it hard to poll the race because when we talk to folks tomorrow they probably won't have seen it yet but it's quite possible that by Monday they will have- and it could put them in the Dalton camp because they believe it, in the Dellinger camp because they think he's being targeted unfairly, or into the Besse or Smathers camp because they're seen as above that fray.

It doesn't matter externally as much in this particular race because we're not polling it publicly but if these sorts of race altering things happen with any of the other down ballot contests we're going to have to consider doing an extra poll Monday to try to nail down the races that are close and had potentially number moving events during the weekend.

1 comment:

DrFrankLives said...

Dellinger's response to Dalton:

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