Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Friday, October 03, 2008

Polling 101

A little on the dynamic of polls as they effect a third party candidate gaining support, and how polls can manipulate the decision making process.

First off if you comb the blogs you will see several references to the 3% result Rasmussen showed Barkley at a few weeks ago. While that result is completely valid within the context of that polls methodology it should not be considered even an outlier. They went with the idea that third party candidates generally don't do well and most voters will select one of the two establishment candidates. That potentially can happen but polls are supposed to be a snapshot in time and Dean is very clearly somewhere above 13% and presumably still rising beyond the latest 19% figure.

3rd party candidates are not considered by 90% of the population when polling at under 1% (case in point Bob Barr or Ralf Nader) as they start to register they become open for consideration by more and more of the population. Of course being considered only puts them on equal footing of the other considered candidates. In Barkley's case it is reasonable to believe that if it came down to it more then a third of voters would put him in the US Senate over his rivals, meaning with 100% consideration he will likely win. The poll #'s reported are the biggest factor in this. Of course the presence of lawn signs and activist are also used by many to gauge viability.

The goal of the Barkley campaign at this point should be to win the battle of ideas, as at this point the battle for consideration will take care of itself. we're currently looking at 40-55% consideration if that moves to over 70% and he doesn't lose a considerable # of supporters he wins or at least has a late night November 2nd.

Luckily the Democrats and Republicans think more along the lines of the people at Rasmussen and will do little to knock him down until it's to late. The Democrats and Republicans will continue to use there most favorable internals but the real story comes unfiltered.


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