Thursday, July 30, 2015

WHY YOU SHOULD BE SKEPTICAL OF THAT TRUMP-LEADS-FLORIDA POLL (AND WHY MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T BE)

I'd love to believe this, though I'm skeptical:
Shock poll: Donald Trump leads Jeb Bush 26-20 percent … in Florida

For the first time this year, Donald Trump tops a state poll of GOP presidential candidates in Florida.

A St. Pete Polls survey released on Wednesday shows the New York businessman with 26 percent support, with Jeb Bush in second place with 20 percent.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is in third place with 12 percent, and Marco Rubio is in fourth place with 10 percent. He’s followed by Dr. Ben Carson at 5 percent, Ted Cruz and John Kasich at 4 percent, and Rand Paul at 3 percent....
There are reasons for skepticism. Last year, Daily Kos's David Nir criticized the track record and methodology of St. Pete Polls :



Nir specifically criticized St. Pete for having a pro-Republican lean and for conducting one-day robocall surveys. But a pro-GOP bias wouldn't matter in this case because it's just a poll of Republicans, and the pollster tells us this survey was conducted over the course of eleven days, not one.

But that's the only criticism of the pollster. When this story broke yesterday, Dave Weigel tweeted a link, and some of his readers picked apart the numbers:





Does it make sense in Florida that the 92% of the Republicans surveyed were white, or that (to be specific) 79.9% were 50 or over, and 32.5% were 70 and over?

Well, maybe it does make sense. The respected Edison Research exit-polled the 2012 Florida Republican primary, and 78% of its respondents were 45 or older, while 36% were 65 and older. Also, 83% were white (1% each were black, Asian, and "other," while 14% were Hispanic, of whom 8% were Cuban). So the St. Pete numbers aren't that far off.

The St. Pete gender skew is weird, however -- 61.9% male? Really? (Edison's 2012 exit-poll respondent poll was 51% male.) However, in the St. Pete poll, Trump wins among women as well as men, though men like Trump more (men: 28.2% Trump, 20.3% Bush; women: 23.2% Trump, 19.6% Bush).

So, yes, Trump may really be leading in Florida.

5 comments:

Victor said...

The Ancient Chinese had a curse:
"May you live in interesting times..."

I don't recall one that said, "May you live in TEH STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPID times!!!"
Oy...

mlbxxxxxx said...

I think we should all just accept the fact that Trump is probably, legitimately in the lead everywhere. This ridiculously large field, 17 now with everyone's fav (?) Jim Gilmore joining the melee, is partly responsible, but Trump might be leading regardless of the size of the field. Shit, Trump might be the nominee. Wouldn't that be a hoot? It is going to be a wild ride unless they can kneecap him in the debate --a wild ride, but a hugely, classy one.

petrilli said...

Trump voter panel discussion from Bloomberg. No real surprises. None of them can really articulate their reasoning. None of them show any signs of having gone to the trouble to drill down into any particular issue. All smoke and mirrors.

nonynony said...

petrelli -

TPM has basically outed the Bloomberg voter panel as a sloppy mess. Supposedly only one of the panel was an actual Trump supporter - the rest just listed Trump as one of their "top three".

The political press and the 24 hour news channels have a vested interest in making the presidential campaign a) as long as possible and b) as big a spectacle as possible. Trump is a dancing circus monkey with a dead ferret on his head, but he gets eyeballs. So they're pushing the Trump narrative as far as they can to get the clicks. He's going to max out somwhere in the range of 27% (within a margin of error - let's say +/- 5%). That 27% looks impressive in a field of 16 candidates, but when it comes down to 2 candidates and one has 67% and the other has 27% it won't look so impressive.

It's silly season pushed back into July. Usually this would be August material - another example of how much the political press needs the presidential campaigns for the eyeballs. If he makes it to Iowa I would be surprised to see him come in as high as 3rd. Iowa introduces another wrinkle because Iowa caucuses are all about the ground game - and I don't think Trump has any ground game. he's not building a national machine to win an election - he's building a publicity machine to fluff the "Trump brand". He may think that's all it takes to win an election, but you'd think after his failed attempt at the Reform Party nomination in 2000 he'd know better. (Though that would entail Trump actually learning from his mistakes - and history has not shown that the man is capable of learning much of anything.)

petrilli said...

Yeah I saw that TPM article. I hate to admit, I assumed they were all Trump supporters. Even though the clip was obviously heavily edited. You're right on all counts. Trump is good TV and they'll use each other as long as they each can profit from it. I agree (and have always believed) that when the ground game becomes important, that is, when he has to spend his own money, if he gets that far, he'll dry up and blow away. Unless he goes Independent like Perot, but I don't think he has the cash to do that.