The McDonnell campaign has been very clear about the large lead in most polls. They don’t believe their lead is double digits. Public Policy Polling has some interesting and, I believe, highly partisan polls. The conclusions they reach in their explanations show their pro Democrat bias.
Take the just released poll concerning President Obama’s approval numbers for example. While Zogby, Rasmussen, Gallup, CNN, CBS and almost anyone taking polls have seen a significant drop in Obama’s approval ratings, PPP’s opinion is they were all wrong. His numbers were never that high to begin with. They claim his numbers are actually going up.
Now, after showing Obama’s approval ten points behind them all year, they’re at 50% and we’re actually at 52%, actually finding him slightly more popular…
Interestingly, their only national presidential poll listed on their website was an August 19, 2009 poll that shows this 52% approval mentioned in the above quote. If they were polling the same earlier this year, there appears to be no way to confirm this on their website. And as to the partisan nature of their polls, they used the term “birthers”, which is a left wing term intended to ridicule those that do not believe Obama was born in this country, in the same vein as the word Teabaggers, with it’s sexual connotation. It is hard to trust polls that have such an obvious bias.
Now the latest poll comes out on the Virginia Governor’s race. This poll shows McDonnell ahead 49%-42%, a drop for MaDonnell and an increase for Deeds over a poll taken in early August. That early August poll showed McDonnell with a lead at 51%-37%. PPP concluded:
Creigh Deeds has cut his deficit against Bob McDonnell in half, from 14 points a month ago to now 7.
Now, in looking at the internals in the poll, there are some glaring differences in the two sample groups. In the August 4 poll, they surveyed 35% Republicans and 32% Democrats. In the current poll, 38% were Democrats and 31% were Republicans. So, Republicans polled went from +3 to -7 – a swing of 10%. It seems that the only shift has been the in the sample. Deeds polls higher with women, and the latest poll surveyed more women (59%-41%) compared to the August 4 poll (55%-45%).
Several Left leaning blogs decried the first poll showing double digit deficits for Deeds. DailyKos said:
So…two badly-weighted polls in a week from Virginia. Don’t get too excited if McDonnell crashes back to a single-point lead once a well-weighted poll comes out, just as you shouldn’t panic at the sight of these results. If the polls return to a narrow GOP lead, it’s not a McDonnell meltdown or a Deeds surge, it’s the pollsters bothering to weight/check their samples once again. McDonnell doesn’t actually have a 14-point lead now; he can’t lose it if he never had it.
A number of other lefty blogs questioned the integrity of that August 3 PPP poll. (Not surprisingly, they don’t seem to have a problem with this one, even though it still has the same issues they took exception to last month, funny that.)
Now, having said all that, the McDonnell campaign has said all along the double digit poll leads were implausible. When Rasmussen and some of the others come out with their polls in the next few days, we will see what they say. I would predict that they will all trend to a much tighter race than previous polls have shown to date. But I think we all agree that PPP is not a very reliable poll.