Tuesday, September 7, 2010

David Schweikert Graduates From the Karl Rove School of Polling

A new poll has been generating a lot of buzz in the Arizona conservative blogosphere. At first glance, the poll feels like a punch in the gut to a desert progressive. Harry is down 6 points to the David “I serve children with eviction notices” Schweikert? How can this be? Congress Mitchell is a Tempe (and now, CD-5) establishment and David Schweikert got rich when your neighbor had to move his family into an apartment.

Given that David made his money with the same unfettered greed that caused The Great Recession, how would any voter, left or right, want to hitch their star to that kind of person? When did ruthless profiteering become such a virtue that serving an eviction notice to a child doesn’t end any chances of winning a popular vote – in any district? All this made me wonder if Schweikert run on a platform of beheading puppies on Jan Brewer’s doorstep and STILL win?

No. Random Musings has a great analysis of the poll’s creditability. I won’t touch on the finer points, as he already did a much better job that I could have, I will only suggest you check read his dissection of the results. I would like make a few broader points though.

This poll, like so many, is all about how the question is asked, and to whom. In this case, the questions were stating the Schweikert campaign’s attack lines against Mitchell, and then asking if those attacks made you more of less likely to vote for the Democrat.

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This “How bad is Harry” poll asked to a sample set with 70% of the respondents over 50 years old. That’s right 70%, that’s means that people 50+ are overrepresented by at least 20%.

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This is Tempe and Scottsdale of all places, so I’m not sure how they found such an old sample. Oh wait, yes I am.

According to the poll, 7% of AZ CD-5 respondents have attended a Tea Party rally. Now, 7% doesn’t sound like a lot, but blow up that number to represent the population of district, and we are talking about 35,000 people attending Tea Party rallies in the East Valley. As someone who often attends Tea Party rallies (for fodder), let me say the largest one I’ve been to had a few hundred people there, and lot of those were bused in from surrounding states to support SB1070. So the idea that 35,000 people in CD-5, or the whole Valley of the Sun for that matter, are attending Tea Party rallies is ridiculous.

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Since this poll says 7% have attended a Tea Party rally, and 10% are likely to attended a Tea Party rally, and those numbers don’t translate with reality at all, I can’t believe this poll is anything more than the deceptive polls being put out by hard right candidates nationwide (with the help of Karl Rove).

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