January 16, 2006

Quick, rough thoughts on the subsamples made available

I'm in a bit of a hurry, so please forgive me if this isn't pretty (even for a blogger). However, here are the quick, rough thoughts I've jotted down after perusing the new crosstabs for the subsample of the Chronicle's poll:

1. They asked 560 people (the entire poll sample) whether they would vote in the GOP primary. They then screened by those people who said they were "likely" or "certain" to vote in the the Republican primary. (they didn't ask if they had voted in previous primaries, but whether they planned to...generally, this is not a very good screen, because people are much more likely to intend to vote than to actually vote)

2. 213 of the 560 sample said that they plan to vote in the Republican primary. This is 38%. 38% of REGISTERED voters sampled said they were likely to vote in a GOP primary? In 2004, 0.65% of registered voters voted in the Republican primary.

3. 50.2/39.9 was DeLay's favorable/unfavorable ratio among the 213 subset. 90.6/8.4 was President Bush's favorable/unfavorable.

4. 38.5 DeLay/ 1.4 Baig/ 5.6 Campbell/ 2.3 Fjetland was the primary numbers among the 213 subset. 52% didn't know/refused. That's high.

5. Among the 213 subsample (remember, these are likely GOP primary voters according to the poll) 39.4 DeLay/7.5 Lampson/ 14.6 Stockman/ 38.5 none/don't know/refused

6. Among the 213 subsample, when asked how they voted in 2004: 58.2 DeLay/9.9 Morrison/ 3.8 someone else/ 28.1 don't know refused.

7. 213 is a very small subset sample size. When you combine this with a relatively weak screen, it degrades the reliability of the numbers reported.
Big picture points worth further emphasis:
1. 38% of registered voters said they plan to vote in the GOP primary. In 2004, 0.65% actually voted in the GOP primary. That is a large discrepancy. This is a very weak screen.

2. Only 58% of likely voters in an upcoming GOP primary voted for DeLay against Morrison in 2004? Really?

3. The primary numbers combine a small sample size with a weak screen. This is not a recipe for a reliable poll. I continue to have a hard time taking the primary numbers seriously.
I have lots of respect for both Murray and Stein, but I think point #1 of my further emphasized points is very important.

These are just quick thoughts. Perhaps after further thought, I'll change my mind on some ponts. Since these are very quick, rough thoughts, I'm interested in further input.

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