Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Poll Ungoodness.

At Swing State Project, DavidNYC looks at a new Granite State Poll, which is not as good for Hodes as their April poll was. In April, they put the race at Bass 42% - Hodes 35%. This time, they have it at Bass 53% - Hodes 25%. So what would account for a 10 point swing?

David suggests that it's much more about the poll, specifically the sample, than about the race:
The current sample has 10% more Republicans than the prior poll. While I'm aware that party ID among independents tends to shift with the political winds, there's been nothing to suggest that even so much as a gentle zephyr has been blowing in the GOP's direction in New Hampshire over the last twelve weeks. What's more, if Bush's favorability shows an increase comparable to Bass's, that would make him more popular in blue New Hampshire than in the nation as a whole - and more popular than he's been in the state since January.
I would add one or two other things supporting this critique. This poll puts Bass's favorable ratings higher than they've been since October 2003, and his net favorability hasn't been this high since July 2004. Where would that be coming from? I could see a rebound of a few points, but a 2 or nearly-3-year high, depending on the measure you look at? Not so much, especially given that he doesn't seem to be campaigning actively or be in other ways visible in the district. This poll also has the first district's Jeb Bradley at an all-time high net favorability. Given that polls of the rest of the northeast seem to be coming out distinctly negative for Republicans, I'm just not buying this result without an argument as to why New Hampshire would be so distinctive at this moment in time.

(A possibly interesting side point echoes the pattern cited by Keener and SSP: While Bass's favorables are lowest among people who have been NH residents for 5 years or less, in the head-to-head match-up, Hodes does best among people who have been in NH for 11-20 years. There's no significant difference in Hodes' numbers for the other three length of residency categories, but Bass's next-worst group is the 20+ years.)

Update: In comments at SSP, bosdcla14 notes
Also bizarre: All of Bass's new support in this poll came from former Hodes supporters. The number of undecideds stayed the same.


Blogger IndieNH said...

I have read the poll data too and I agree that this is very bad news for Hodes and that our chances here in NH are very dim. This probably means the national party and national money will look somewhere else to pickup the seats needed to win back Congress, but that is smart and I hope they find the right races.

I don’t want them spending one dime on wasted effort. We only need 15 House seats and 6 Senate seats – not all of them. I am going to look at the competitive race list to figure out where to send another / netroots donation and maybe help out in other ways. Maybe CT or NY for me - they are at least close by.

Anyone interested in pooling NH efforts for some of those races? Maybe we could even go help out for a few days in buses or something in November?

12:29 PM  
Blogger Keener said...


I appreciate your pragmatism, which is often in short supply among us Dems, but I think you're wrong on this one.

I go into this in detail on my new post. Check it out -- I think it will lift your spirits considerably. This race is still very much on!

11:36 PM  
Blogger MissLaura said...

indie, you may have read the poll data but you apparently haven't read my post...I question the poll's reliability, and I do that in all seriousness as a social scientist, not just as a partisan.

I'd encourage you to look at the Swing State Project post I link and to give my post another reading, and think about our reasons for questioning this poll. Hopefully that will bring your time and money back to your home state.

11:50 PM  

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