Public Policy Polling (PPP) And Why It Should Be Ignored
Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/08/12
William A Jacobson over at Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion is baffled at why Conservative sites would even bother reporting on the findings of PPP.
It seems that every time I bother to look at the numbers behind a PPP poll, I find that they over sampled Democrats. While I have not tested a majority of PPP polls, in the times I’ve looked at their numbers I’ve never seen a sampling which reflected party-affiliation reality or which oversampled Republicans. Maybe I’ve just had bad luck, or maybe there is a problem at PPP.
So it is no surprise that Ed Morrissey at HotAir finds the same problem in a PPP poll purporting to show Obama doing well in Colorado[.]
And the problem Ed Morrissey sees?
The respondents in the PPP poll break out to a ridiculous D/R/I of 41/33/26. That may be why “only Mitt Romney improves on John McCain’s 9-point margin of defeat” — because PPP gave the Democrats a nine-point flip in the sample. In the 2008 election, Barack Obama won Colorado, but Republicans narrowly edged Democrats in exit polling, with a D/R/I of 30/31/39. PPP adds eleven points to Democrats, two to Republicans, and takes 13 points off of independents from a wave election for Democrats. Is there any universe in which Colorado Democrats have gained so much in strength after nearly three years of bad economic news and White House drift?
[italics his, bold mine]
In 2008, Obama won the national popular vote by seven points and the Colorado vote by nine points, a wave election year for Democrats. That year that Democrats were strong had the D/R/I at 30 Democrat/31 Republican/39 Independent. Since then, Democrats have been trending down, not up, while Independents have been trending up, not down. It is not possible, given the definite trend and the unpopularity of Obama among Independents (who have reversed course in a major way since the 2008 election), for Democrats to pick up 11 percent more voters in Colorado. Thus, PPP acted dishonorably in generating its weighting and results. Because PPP wants Democrats (and Obama) to look stronger than they actually are so as to improve popular perception of Democrats (and Obama).
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