Home 2012 races Kaine-Allen Senate “Poll” FAIL

Kaine-Allen Senate “Poll” FAIL


Earlier today, the Kaplan Post reported on a new “poll” by Roanoke College on the U.S. Senate race between George Allen and Tim Kaine. The reason I put “poll” in quotes?  Check out this update from the Post:

Washington Post Polling Director Jon Cohen warns to be cautious of the Senate race numbers from this Roanoke College poll. Results were adjusted only for gender, and the resulting sample is not representative of Virginia’s racial composition, its age structure or regional population densities. Each of these factors is related to partisan preferences.

As if that’s not bad enough, the poll had a tiny sample size of just 360 people, with a wide margin of error. Also, just using common sense, there is no way in he** that either Allen OR Kaine are leading the other one by more than a few points right now. That’s just not credible, given how closely Virginia’s divided, how tight the Webb-Allen race was in 2006, what Kaine’s and Allen’s favorability ratings are (see below), etc. Other than that, it’s a great poll — not. FAIL!

P.S. A poll by the consistently excellent Public Policy Polling back in November 2010 had Kaine’s favorability at 43/40, compared to 40/41 for Allen. And in a head-to-head matchup, Kaine led Allen by 6 points, 50%-44%. That certainly seems a lot more “in the ballpark” than this strange Roanoke College “poll.”

  • libra

    you say:

    the poll had a tiny sample size of just 360 people

    Sounds like the “pollster” simply discussed it with his own extended family 🙂  

  • mechenvy

    The poll did not seem to include cell phones, so it will skew away from minorities and younger respondents. It appears to underrepresent Northern Virginia. Interestingly, even with a sample that is almost certainly biased towards more conservative folks, the support for renewable energy sources is very strong, opposition to domestic drilling for oil is close to 50%, support for the environment is pretty strong, support for the Tea Party is only about 50-50. The numbers on Kaine and Allen do not appear to be representative of the state as a whole.

  • The Richmonder

    Makes you wonder if maybe this was an inside fix.  What’s the deal with Roanoke College?  Is it a real school or a right wing diploma mill?

  • richmonder

    I agree. Kaine’s image around Richmond is strong, with memories of his time as mayor, his decency and approachableness and more. That’s why it’s irritating whenever Jeff Shapiro mentions Kaine’s Senate race and brings up his pardon record and proposals to raise taxes while governor. Shapiro reflexively anticipates what he supposes (or knows) will be GOP talking points. But in fact most Virginians I know judge him on other grounds, especially his character and family. Whatever Obama’s fortunes in 2012, it would be surprising if he doesn’t defeat Allen (or any GOP) by at least 5 points.