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Does Latest Quinnipiac Poll Show Governor’s Race Tightening? No. They Skewed the Demographics Again

The Cuccinelli Campaign was quick to hop on the headlines coming from the latest Quinnipiac Poll that appears to show the Virginia Governor’s race getting tighter with Cuccinelli closing the gap.

“For the past several weeks, political pundits have written off Ken Cuccinelli well before any polls have opened or closed, but we have consistently maintained that we know this is a margin race as exhibited in today’s Quinnipiac University poll.  With just six days to go, and as Terry McAuliffe fully embraces ObamaCare and out-of-state liberal interests, Ken Cuccinelli’s positive vision and substantive plans to grow the economy and ease burdens on middle-class families are gaining momentum.  The experts can say what they will but our campaign intends to deliver its message on Election Day.” – Chris LaCivita, Senior Strategist, Cuccinelli for Governor

But does it really show that or are they playing with the demographics again?

Unfortunately for Cuccinelli it appears to be the latter.

Although the poll’s own writeup looks to drive the narrative that the race is closer compared to a poll taken by Quinnipiac last week, when you take a look at the demographic shift between the two polls, we see a big shift in the number of Democrats vs. Republicans polled.

On October 23, 2013 the Q-Poll found:

While 47 percent of Virginia likely voters say the government shutdown hurt the Old Dominion “a great deal,” it apparently has no impact on the governor’s race, where Democrat Terry McAuliffe leads Republican Ken Cuccinelli 46 – 39 percent, with 10 percent for Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to the results of an October 10 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, showing McAuliffe up 47 – 39 percent, with Sarvis at 8 percent.

The latest poll on October 30, 2013 being cited by Cuccinelli as positive movement in his direction opines:

The Virginia governor’s race is going down to the wire with Democrat Terry McAuliffe clinging to a slight 45 – 41 percent likely voter lead over Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and 9 percent for Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to the results of an October 23 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, showing McAuliffe up 46 – 39 percent, with Sarvis at 10 percent.

So the poll appears to show the race getting tighter.

But let’s take a look at the Demographics n these 3 polls.

The October 10, 2013 poll breakdown:

Republican     27%
Democrat        32%
Independent  35%
Other/DK/NA  6%
On October 10, the poll was slanted to the Democrats by +5% and McAuliffe was leading by 8%.
The October 23, 2013 poll breakdown:
Republican      25%
Democrat         33%
Independent   35%
Other/DK/NA   7%
On October 23, the poll was slanted to the Democrats by +8% and McAuliffe was leading by 7%.
The latest poll on October 30, 2013 had a stunning movement in the demographics polled:
Republican      31%
Democrat         29%
Independent   31%
Other/DK/NA   8%
This poll is actually slanted towards Republicans by 2%. That is a swing in poll respondents of 10% from the October 23 poll and 7% from the October 10 poll.
And all of the polls show there is virtually no party defection. Democrats are voting for McAuliffe and Republicans are voting for Cuccinelli.
 So with a poll demographic that was a 10% turnaround in favor of  Republicans over the previous poll, Cuccinelli only managed to gain 3%.
When comparing one poll to a previous poll the results are only a measure of voter movement if the demographics remain constant. Only then are we comparing apples to apples.
So unless this pollster has some information that more Democrats have decided to sit this one out and more Republicans will show up since the previous poll was taken, it looks like the support for Cuccinelli would have slipped if this poll used the same – or at least similar – demographic breakdown as previous polls.
In my opinion, this poll does not measure movement in the voter preferences when compared to previous polls. If anything it shows Cuccinelli actually losing ground.
But the big question is was Quinnipiac oversampling Democrats in previous polls and finally, as the race draws closer, moving to models that more accurately predict the turnout? Or was this just some fluke?
And do races actually tighten a few days from the election, or do the polls just adjust their demographic samples to make it appear so.
My research has shown the latter. But I am not going to read anything into this poll.
Apples to apples people!



About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog.Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

2 Responses to “Does Latest Quinnipiac Poll Show Governor’s Race Tightening? No. They Skewed the Demographics Again”

  1. Gene Lefty says:

    Tom may finally be right about something, with documentation no less.

    Last November, as the “Romney Rejection” drew closer and closer, the media, along with the Real Leader of the Republicans, all attempted to turn the Romney Rejection into a real nail biter. Using rigged polls, alien logic, and customized, designer lies, designed to feed to their low info base, they all sat down in front of their TV confident of victory on E day. However, a few hours later, a tsunami of truth arrived, and the smiling, pop corn eating base, so sure of victory by their puppet masters, were instantly transformed into the walking dead.

    Even Carl Rove was shock and awed by the fact that Presidenf Obama was able to have his way with the Republicans once again.

    Great article!

    • Jeff Armstrong says:

      Finally we agree on something! Ken Cuccinelli’s spin doctors can only twist this so far and use it as a stick to beat Robert Sarvis with (similar to what they did with Gary Johnson last year), but at the end of the day, history will end up repeating itself and Ken will go down in flames. Jackson is also toast but apparently Obenshain still has a chance of scraping by.


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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

    Check out NewsMax!

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