RSS Feed of the blog
Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Florida Political Blogs:
Most Recent Entries
- Nelson, 501(c)(4) attack victim, says enforcing law would have prevent scandal
- Rich gets NOW endorsement
- Emily’s List again backs Ehrlich
- Jaroch: Tampa 912 “one of the first ones targeted”
- GOP Hispanic outreach official switches parties
- Castor, Crist, local Dems raise $$ for Graham’s daughter
- Joyner designated Senate Democratic leader
- Castor to Obama: Reform “outdated” Cuba embargo, travel ban
- U.S. House Dems send Weatherford letter re Medicaid
- La Gaceta ad, 300 signers, back Castor trip to Cuba
- Ehrlich announces she’ll try again v. Young
- Proposed Defense Budget Saves Clearwater-based National Guard WMD Unit
- Sarasota GOP’s next Statesman of the Year: Sean Hannity
- Mack joins dad’s lobbying firm
- Hagan, Higginbotham lead county commission candidates in fundraising
- Breaking News
- Back To School
- Allnighter For An iPhone
- 2008 Florida Primary
- A Killer's Grip: The Day Of Execution
- Al-Arian Trial
- Ask The Professor
- Back to College with Adam Emerson
- Baird Helgeson In Key West
- Behind The Crime
- Behind The Wheel
- Boot Camp Death: The Trial
- Branding Tampa
- Business & Careers
- Bus Money
- Civil Rights Movement
- Castro Resigns: Bay Area Reacts
- Coming Back From Extremes
- Couey Trial
- Consumer Updates With Stacie Schaible
- Convention Ears
- Day Without An Immigrant
- Destruction In Central Florida
- Dick Greco
- Diminishing Agriculture in Florida
- Driver's Licensing Soundoff
- Election Connection With Krista Klaus
- Election Day Updates
- Elevated Crosstown Opens
- Governor's Inauguration 2007
- Good Friday For Skipping School
- Great American Teach-In
- Guestbook - Al Lopez
- Guestbook - Gators Are National Champs
- Guestbook - James Dungy
- Higher Gas Prices, Higher Profits For Oil Companies
- Highlands News Updates
- Holiday Blog
- Holiday Office Parties
- Hurricane Guide Updates
- I-4 Traffic
- Insurance Protest Hits The Road
- I-75 Tanker Accident Leads To Traffic Snarls
- International AIDS Conference
- Lafave Plea Deal
- Interstate 4 Disaster
- Largo City Manager Update
- Life - As It Happens
- Live From Cuba
- Life 2.0
- Medicare Part D - Countdown
- Memorial Day Travel
- Memories Of Sea Wolf Restaurant
- Pasco County: What Makes It Special?
- Pasco Health Care
- Out Of The Park
- Plugged In with Jim Collins
- Polk County News Blog
- Politics 2.0
- Primary Voting Day
- Rising Gas Prices
- Saint Leo Trip
- Black Friday Shopping
- Shuttle Updates
- Smoky Skies
- Steele Murder Trial
- Target 8 With Steve Andrews
- The Crime Blog
- Onstott Trial
- The Road To City Hall
- The Weather Spot
- Traffic Tickets Backlog
- Training Videos
- View From The Stands
- War Stories
- Weather Dog
- Command Post Tampa
- Fact Finders - Databay Blog
- Guestbook: Remembering The Fallen Soldiers
- Fresh Squeezed Politics
- RNC 2012: The Road to Tampa
- Political Safari
About those clashing polls
Posted Aug 14, 2010 by William March
Updated Aug 14, 2010 at 06:21 PM
Politics junkies may have noticed a surprising clash in poll results on the Republican primary for Florida governor this weekend.
A Mason-Dixon poll for the Tribune and other news clients showed Bill McCollum 4 points ahead of Rick Scott, while an Ipsos poll for the St. Petersburg Times and others showed Scott 10 points up – a 14-point swing on polls released within a day of each other, both from reputable pollsters.
Whassup with that?
The answer provides an interesting lesson in the vagaries of political polling.
First of all, Mason-Dixon is the one most likely to be accurate as a gauge of the primary outcome – even Ipsos pollster Julia Clark acknowledged that.
The chief reason for the difference, according to Clark and Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon, is that the Ipsos sample was drawn from registered Republican voters, while the Mason-Dixon sample came from likely Republican voters – those who had voted in previous GOP primaries or said they were likely to vote in this one.
Primaries tend to be low turnout elections, Coker noted. In 2006, barely 25 percent of the 3.9 million Republicans then registered voted in the Charlie Crist v. Tom Gallagher primary for governor.
Those who do vote in primaries tend to be very interested in politics or at least in a candidate – they may even be party or campaign activists.
Those folks are more likely to be behind the “establishment” candidate favored by party leaders – in this case, McCollum.
In addition, the Ipsos poll was done three days earlier, starting Aug. 6, while Mason-Dixon started Aug. 9.
McCollum is probably moving up against Scott – several negative stories about Scott have broken in the past week, while McCollum has been out campaigning with the popular Jeb Bush, and McCollum only recently began saturation TV advertising. So those three days could have altered the result as some voters swung to McCollum.
So why did Ipsos use registered voters instead of narrowing down to likelies?
After discussion, the clients – the Times and Miami Herald – wanted a registered voter poll, she said. Such a poll could be more accurate on questions about the general election.
And drawing a separate sample of likely voters for the questions about the primary election would have been too expensive.
Meanwhile, a John McLaughlin and Associates poll for the Florida Chamber of Commerce showed McCollum up 12 points – a 22-point swing vs. Ipsos. MOP hasn’t talked to McLaughlin about that one, but will note that McLaughlin is McCollum’s campaign pollster and the Chamber has endorsed him.
The Times and Herald will have another installment of the Ipsos poll on the Senate race out tonight or tomorrow morning, also based on registered rather than likely voters.
Watch for that poll to show Jeff Greene looking better against Kendrick Meek, the party establishment candidate in the Democratic primary, than he does in today’s Mason-Dixon, which showed Meek 40, Greene 26.
It also may show Charlie Crist, the best known of the four major candidates, looking better in the general election matchup against Rubio, beloved by GOP insiders, and Meek, champion of Dem activists.