Novak cites poll
Robert Novak cites the GOP commissioned poll to bolster conservatives worried about the 2006 elections. The party has gotten their money's worth out of their skewed poll.
I know that Novak, Bush, John Sweeney (R-NY) and others in their party have a hard time understanding the relationship between facts and reality, but here are the facts:
In the last 20th District race, the county turn out was as follows:
Columbia had 31,326 voters Dutchess had 47,372 voters Washington had 25,223 voters
Columbia and Dutchess Counties are where the 2004 Democratic Candidate had the most votes. Columbia voted for Kelley at 35%, Dutchess at 37%. Just 26% of Washington County voters choose Doris Kelley.
Number of people polled in each of those places?
Columbia - 18 Dutchess - 45 Washington - 44
Columbia and Dutchess county total 25% of the voters yet only 16% of those polled. The poll questioned just over 400 people. 128 of them were in Saratoga County which was supposed to be a reflection of the fact that 32% of the voters were there. Yet 25% of the poll didn't go to Dutchess and Columbia counties.
That is a skewed poll created by design to favor Sweeney no matter how you slice it. The GOP got what they paid for, a headline. Novak is still worried about being wrong and finishes up with a hedge:
Republicans still worry about reverse coattails in New York. State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, heading the Democratic ticket as the candidate for governor, is running far ahead of former Assemblyman John Faso. Sen. Hillary Clinton also has a huge lead for Senate re-election.
I spoke with a friend who does marketing research recently, he said that a poll that used a maiden name that the person doesn't use and that underplays certain parts of the district could be done for those that wanted to hire one: the GOP was the client, this wasn't an independent poll no matter who they paid to run it for them. Republican Blogger News Copy has unanswered questions on the poll:
The NRCC is pitching Sweeney's 2-1 edge in a recent poll, except the Congressman's campaign hasn't called back News Copy with any numbers crunched on the percentage breakdown of the voters in the district compared to where respondents were called.
It is possible 30 percent of the Congressional District is in Saratoga County, right?
That clarification is the difference between John Sweeney making a slam dunk where the backboard shatters -- and him missing a free throw.
Yes, it is possible. But what has happened is that the most Democratic parts of the district were under-polled and other Republican parts were over polled.
Don't take my word for it, the NYS Board of Elections has the voter turnout for all of the races right here. Sweeney doesn't have a 2-1 edge at any rate since there are as many people who were undecided as those who said they'd vote for Gillibrand. Which the NRCC conveniently ignored.
Here's more to consider: in the last election, Sweeney won by around 67% of the vote - even the skewed poll shows him at just over 50% today. Sweeney has lost support and is in real danger.