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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What's up with this?

I know political polls are "snapshots in time" but can someone please tell me why there's been a huge swing in numbers on Deval Patrick in a month?

A WBZ-TV/Survey USA poll taken between Nov.21-24 shows Patrick with a huge problem: 45 percent of voters approved of his job performance and a full 50 percent disapproved.

But a Boston Globe/UNH Survey Center poll taken Dec.11-18 (page 7 of PDF) show Patrick with a 52-29 job approval rating -- and an overall 64-24 favorable-unfavorable score.

Huh?

Perhaps some wiser in poll methodology can help explain those totally contradictory results?

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2 Comments:

Blogger sco said...

I haven't had a chance to look at the polls in any detail, but one difference is that SurveyUSA exclusively uses robo-polls. There will be a message that asks you to push buttons in response to recorded questions. The other pollsters use live questioners. It may be that people are more willing to say that they think the governor is doing a bad job to a machine than to a live person.

December 21, 2008 2:26 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

I generally find SurveyUSA to be one of the more reliable polls out there.

More to what Sco was saying, though, I think the biggest reason for the difference is the different pollsters. Not only the models of what they ask come into play, but the who they ask - the proportion of partisan breakdown, etc.

December 21, 2008 10:08 PM  

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