Tuesday, August 06, 2013

About That Poll

All the insiders are atwitter over the first poll of the Senate season. In the Public Policy Polling survey just published, Democrat Michelle Nunn ties most of the field and wallops firebrand Paul Broun. Three first impressions.

Why the Democrats can be happy

-Despite the entrenched narrative that PPP "leans left" (it is a given they poll demographics more favorable towards Democrats) according to Nate Silver, in the 2012 Presidential election, they were actually biased towards Romney! More importantly, they were far more accurate than some of their top competitors.

Why the Republicans can be happy

-Nunn still polled no higher than 42%. As we've shown, the mid-40s is the Democrats high water mark in non Presidential races. There's a good chance this poll is closer to the ceiling than the floor

Why the weird can be happy

-Relative unknown David Perdue polled 40%. The only reasonable explanation is people think he's former Governor Sonny Perdue.

And that last point brings us to the bottom line. Polls, particularly early ones, are useless at the strategic level and marginally useful at the tactical level. At this point, they are really about driving the narrative in whatever particular direction you favor. And with the first one on the board, expect a lot of narrative spew in the next 24 hours.

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