Thursday, April 2, 2009

Going both ways on IVR

Republican pollster David Hill pointed out yesterday in The Hill that one of the findings of the AAPOR report on the polling in the early primaries last year was that there was no difference in accuracy between the surveys conducted by live operators and those done with IVR.

Most folks willing to take a dispassionate look at the actual track records of the two types of polls in terms of their accuracy at calling elections have already come to that conclusion, but Hill points out that it's particularly surprising to see AAPOR, many of the members of which have been quite critical of automated polling, grant that fact.

Some folks are apparently stuck in the 90s though. I guess Blanche Lincoln didn't like our poll results last week because in an interview with Politico, she 'dismissed the survey’s automated format of questioning likely voters.'

I think someone's giving Senator Lincoln bad advice because the much better way to spin the poll numbers, which weren't that bad for her, would have been to say that the poll showed no one has ever heard of any of the Republicans thinking about running and she's in solid position to be reelected.

Instead she decided to criticize us with a tired and increasingly obsolete line of attack. By doing so she essentially acknowledged the numbers were bad for her when there was plenty of positive data within the poll she could have used to emphasize instead.

My overall take on Lincoln is that most voters in that small state already know what they think of her one way or the other, and that while she's not as popular as a Mike Beebe or Mark Pryor, the balance of favorability is enough that she should get reelected with something in the 55% range she received in both 1998 or 2004 unless either Mike Huckabee runs or the Republicans end up not even trying.

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