Poll Positioning

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.

One thought on “Poll Positioning

  1. Believe it or not, I think you are probably right…at least partially. I don’t suspect they’ll be a groundswell of voters racing to the recall election ballot shouting Cruz Bustamante’s name. At the same time, I think Californians are hearing a giant hissing sound right about now. Sure half of that can be contributed to the sucking of American jobs onto foreign soil, but the remainder of that hissing sound would seem to be the air deflating out of Schwarzenegger’s head every time he opens up his mouth and offers nothing but empty, benign and ultimately uninspiring cliches and platitudes. I think even American voters have enough intelligence to understand that we have some serious problems right now, and California is ground zero of the crisis. Thus, Arnold can put on a good show both on screen and on the campaign trail, but there’s precious little evidence thus far that he could comprehend, let alone overcome any of these enormous challenges. Thus, I don’t necessary believe Cruz is ahead by 12 points, but I also don’t believe Schwarzenegger has anywhere near the godlike following GOP leaders anticipated he would a couple weeks ago.

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