Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Polling - Public vs. Internal

This is an interesting article written by Charlie Cook on the National Journal. He quotes Stu Rothenberg's comments about internal polling and much of what is publicly available.

The passage that most interested us is:

"I should echo an argument made several weeks ago by my good friend and competitor Stu Rothenberg. He scoffed at those who mistakenly believed that polls conducted independently from the candidates and parties were inherently better or more reliable than campaign polling.

My view is that most academic polling, as well as the polling sponsored by local television stations and newspapers, is dime-store junk.

The far more sophisticated polling is done by top-notch professional polling firms for campaigns, parties and major business and labor organizations. These polls are considerably more expensive and the methodology is more rigorous.

Most of these surveys are not made public, but insiders can be made aware of them. While even the most experienced and contentious political pollsters have more challenges than a generation ago, their work is still far superior and reliable.

The end result is that you have two separate conversations about these political races: one that is driven by the publicly available, but less reliable, stock of polls and the other made by the black market of high-quality and more expensive surveys done for private clients, including the campaigns themselves."

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