Much has been made of the LA Times poll that shows Cruz Bustamante trouncing Schwarzenegger by a margin of 35% to 22%. However, this Fox News piece confirms what I’ve thought for a while – that poll just ain’t right.
One clue that the poll has something fishy to it is the fact that it is not a poll of likely voters, but a sample of people dialed in the Los Angeles area completely at random. As Jay Leno teaches us, the average schlub walking around in LA isn’t the best barometer of what’s really going on. Furthermore, the poll was conducted over several days, and before Schwarzenegger had unveiled his policy plans on the California economy.
Both internal Democratic and Republican polls have a statistical dead-heat between Bustamante and Schwarzenegger. The level of undecided voters is a lot higher than the Times meager 9%. Many of the voters in the Simon camps will defect elsewhere, and the number for Ueberroth in the Times poll seem greatly inflated.
The media is treating the Times poll as some authoritative measure of the state of the election, when it’s a fundamentally flawed poll. The election is a lot closer than the Times poll indicates, and anything can change between now and October.