PPP: Kaine Edges Allen; Neither Particularly Popular; Wild Differences with Post Poll

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    A new PPP poll contrasts sharply with the recently-released Washington Post poll of Virginia voters. The big differences:

    *In the Post poll, Tim Kaine has a healthy, 56%-28% (+28 points) favorable/unfavorable rating. In the PPP poll, it’s barely positive, at 42%-41% (+1). A 27-percentage-point difference between two reputable polls released at the same time? What on earth?

    *In the Post poll, George Allen is at a fairly strong, 51%-26% (+25) favorable/unfavorable. In the PPP poll, it’s a weak, “upside-down,” 36%-42% (-6) favorable/unfavorable rating. A 31-percentage-point difference between the two polls? Again, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!?

    *In the Post poll, Jamie Radtke’s at a decent 13%-9% (+4), while in the PPP poll, she’s at a pathetic 4%-23% (-19) favorable/unfavorable. In both polls, most people don’t know anything about Radtke, but in the PPP poll, those who know here really don’t like her. Wow.

    What’s weird is that, despite the major differences in favorability ratings between the two polls, both show Kaine and Allen running neck and neck (note: Kaine leads Allen 46%-44% in the PPP poll and is tied in the Post poll). That part makes sense, I just can’t figure out how two near-simultaneous polls can have two major, well-known Virginia political figures viewed so differently by Virginians. Anyone have an idea?

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      Perhaps it boils down to the people who happened to be sampled in the polls. I know well the insistence of statisticians that polling can be statistically accurate to a given margin of error. There are times when that is absolutely true. At other times, the polling universe is not representative, the people being polled aren’t actually engaged in an election more than one years away, people are being polled by land line thus assuring an older universe of people, etc.

      I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t have a clue why there would be these results. 🙂

    • FreeDem

      The Post’s poll asks earlier about approval/disapproval of Tim Kaine’s job as Governor. That could have primed people to think more about their approval/disapproval of Tim Kaine in the context of his Governorship and not as an individual and other traits (DNC Chairmanship).

    • AnonymousIsAWoman

      The difference this early on may be in how each phrased their questions and the order in which those questions were asked.  Anybody have cross tabs and the actual questions?

    • KathyinBlacksburg

      voters will remember why they rejected George Allen.

    • sspiker

      This is a common discrepancy between IVR polls like PPP and live-caller polls like Washington Post. Not sure why it happens, but it’s definitely common. Maybe respondents are more comfortable expressing their displeasure with someone by pressing a button rather than saying it aloud to another human being?