So – Matt Towery apparently slipped in the shower and hit his head and put out a “poll” showing Romney leading by about a bazillion points, and also that only 5% of Georgians think Obama will do a better job on the economy, and that no one wants to go to dinner with the President. Best comment I saw was that maybe just a lot of people that responded weren’t hungry. Now on the heels of this Fox 5 poll (and to anyone from Fox5 reading this – how can you release that garbage with your name on it?), internet pollster YouGov is out with a new poll of Georgia – one of what seems like a multi-state monthly poll that checked in on almost half of the states.
YouGov has a national panel of respondents that they randomly select and match to a stratified sample that complete their polls online. It’s new-fangled technology to be certain, but they have a decent track record. They weight their survey using the 2006/2007 American Community Survey results and use 2008 exit polling and turnout as a guide.
They show Romney with a 6 point lead – 50/44, but looking under the hood at their crosstabs, they also show African Americans making up just shy of 26% of the electorate. I personally think people get a little carried away “reweighting” every poll that comes out until it suits their fancy – maybe fewer African American respondents was naturally and scientifically balanced by interviewing more white Democrats than normal – you never know and that’s why it’s dangerous to reweight to your heart’s desire and also kind of the point of the margin of error.
But I will say that in 2008, African Americans made up 30% of the actual voters (roughly the same % as registered voters), and even in 2010 – a down year for Democrats they accounted for 28% of all voters. For 25% of the electorate you’d have to go all the way back to 2004 – when the decidedly very white John Kerry was the standard bearer. So…if the electorate is really 4-5% more African American than YouGov’s sample and you were to recklessly reweight this survey, you’d come up with pretty much a 47-47 tie. My firm conducted an IVR survey for Better Georgia before the conventions in August and we had among likely voters a 49-46 Romney lead, with a tie game among all registered voters.
So pick your poison – giant Romney lead (IA/Fox5), modest Romney lead (YouGov), tiny Romney lead (20/20 Insight for Better Georgia) or jump ball (YouGov re-weight/20-20 RV). One thing is for sure – at the Presidential level this state isn’t as boringly predictable as it used to be – and could be a legit swing state contender in 2016. Maybe let’s not get rid of that electoral college afterall!