It strongly appears both Mississippi and Louisiana have highly questionable polling make the news cycle, happening first in Louisiana:
In an ensuing conversation about that story on Twitter the one thing we agreed upon was that there was not enough information provided about the polling methodology to determine if the poll was BS or held some validity though the results seems way off kilter based on Louisiana being almost a Ruby Red State.
Tim Morris at the Times Picayune picked up on that citing another pollster (Morning Consult) which had some drastically different numbers. Worth noting is the Advocate’s pollster, Market Research Insight is a B+ rated polling company according to Five Thirty Eight while Morning Consult rates a B- so we are at least in apples to apples territory comparing them.
Dan Fagan, an unofficial Louisiana Republican Party Spokesperson, was more direct and revealed where the Market Research Poll likely went off the tracks:
Kennedy says only half of black respondents said they would vote for Edwards in the fall. Kennedy says typically, 90% of blacks vote Democrat, so he adjusted the African American response in his poll from 50% to 90%.
Having pulled statistical samples a few times myself I recognize that particular technique but I also understand that essentially changing the answer you get from a sample increases the risk of bias in a major way. According to both Fagan and Morris Louisiana Republicans are claiming the numbers were cooked to keep Trump out of the Louisiana Governor’s Race. I personally believe the Market research Poll must have one or more fatal flaws.
Here in Mississippi Yall Politics is trumpeting a Tate Reeves poll which shows him owning every other candidate handily. In political circles it is well known that former Chief Justice Waller jumped into the Governor’s race on the GOP side because they perceive Tate Reeves would be vulnerable to Attorney General Jim Hood in the general election and that has been born out in the polling done to this point. Early this week Adam Ganucheau of Mississippi Today filed a story on Waller visiting Hattiesburg that included this quote from Willis Lott:
“I’m supporting Bill Waller because he has a vision for a better Mississippi,” Willis Lott, former president of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, told a reporter as the breakfast group listened. “Tate Reeves, in his years as lieutenant governor, has not shown that he has a vision. Plus he’s arrogant, and a lot of people know it.”
Willis Lott is neither a blow hard-lightweight or known for calling people arrogant as Higher Education Presidents typically are very temperate in their choice of words. His choice of words is therefore stunning. Continue reading “Caveat Emptor: It appears we’re in bullshit poll season…”