Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Looking at the Wetterling numbers

To expand on my previous post, one can certainly find polls showing Democrat leads that are questionable at best. Let’s take the Wetterling poll released by the STRIB today showing an 8 point lead over Bachmann.

First, if that’s all the lead the STRIB gives Wetterling, I consider it good news for Bachmann. Second, the poll weights the male/female split at 42%/58%. That hardly sounds representative of the district demographics, or the historical voting split. Third, the poll samples by party affiliation at 30% GOP, 34% Democrat, and 36% Independent. Given the district’s history, I don’t see any reason for such a split. Here’s the result from the last two Congressional races:

2002: 57 35
2004: 54 46

In order for the poll to be reliable there has to have been a huge swing away from the tendency to vote Republican. I live in the 6th and just don’t see any reason to think the district has become that big of a Democrat/Independent bastion.

Jeff Kouba over at the blog Bachmann vs.Wetterling points out that all previous non-STRIB polls had an even mix of male/female voters as well as a max of 28% independent and minimum of 37% Republican; Bachmann was ahead in all of them.

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