Sunday, March 22, 2009

POLLING analysis in Rick vs. Kay race.

Dr. Richard Murray from Cougar High (no offense to Cougar High, a.k.a. the University of Houston) is on TV a lot in Houston and around the state, talking about polls and campaigns. He's got some expertise, and some letters after his name. Dick, as his friends probably call him, wrote a good piece on the polling in the Rick vs. Kay race (link). Excerpt follows:
Above all else, keep in mind polls taken a year before an election are notoriously unreliable. If you could take these early readings to the bank we would had a presidential match-up last November between Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Hillary Clinton, as both were well ahead of their rivals a year before their respective party nominating conventions.

[T]he major reason we have to be quite careful in projecting current poll numbers into March 2010 results is the huge uncertainty as to who will actually show up at the Republican polls next year. One can see why that is a big problem by looking at Republican primary voting in the last four gubernatorial years (1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006) compared to the vote received by the Republican nominee in the November General Election.

These numbers show that while there have been millions of votes for Republican nominees in recent General Elections, there were far, far fewer voters in the March party primaries. That tells me that trying to figure out who the primary voters will be a year from now, and poll just those voters, is not possible at this stage. Any one of the 13 million registered voters in Texas can vote in the Republican Primary next year, but if past performance is a guide, less than a million will actually cast ballots.

We do know that the very selective GOP primary voters from 1994 – 2006 have been disproportionately hard-right conservatives. This explains why Governor Perry has been busily moving to the far right since he realized Senator Hutchison really is going to try and take him out in 2010, unlike four years ago when she talked about running against him, but pulled back at the last minute.

A much more robust and serious analysis from Dr. Murray than Saturday's blog from Paul Burka (link), who basically posted word for word the email from Rick's "campaign guru Dave Carney" followed by the exact spin I have been receiving in my email inbox from anonymous Kay supporters. Not really enlightening stuff. A commenter on the Burka Blog asked Burka if he had consulted with Dr. Shaw of UT who conducted the poll. No answer yet, but maybe I'll do just that and report back here in a future Rick vs. Kay post. Or if anyone knows Dr. Shaw, they could do that and post it in the comments section.

1 comment:

Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.