A Problem in the RCP Average

One of the good things about polling averages, such as the one maintained by Real Clear Politics,  is that they can take a large amount of data, and compress it down into neat little charts, which, barring errors or crazy polls being included, usually give you a fairly good idea of where the race actually stands. For example, RCP maintains an average of the six most recent Florida polls:

  Rudy Giuliani Mike Huckabee John McCain Mitt Romney
InsiderAdvantage* 19 12 23 30
SurveyUSA 18 14 30 28
Rasmussen 20 15 23 27
Mason-Dixon 18 15 26 30
Strategic Vision (R) 22 18 25 30
Herald/SPT/Bay9 15 15 25 23
RCP Average 18.2 15 25.3 25.2

Alright, it looks like McCain is holding a slim lead (very slim) over Mitt Romney, correct? Well, at least in the RCP, he is. But that is probably not an accurate representation of the situation on the ground. Why? Because, the InsiderAdvantage poll is flawed. Democrats and Independents are not allowed to vote in the Florida GOP Primary, and the deadline to switch registration has already past – yet the poll in question included independents and democrats – in fact, they were nearly 30% of the sample. Yet RCP has either not caught the error, or decided against using the sample of only Republicans. This distorts the results, and renders the RCP average nearly useless. Fortunately, however, Insider Advantage, as I said, also provided results for the GOP-only sample. I have typed up a new average containing the more accurate results:

  Rudy Giuliani Mike Huckabee John McCain Mitt Romney
InsiderAdvantage 19 12 23 30
SurveyUSA 18 14 30 28
Rasmussen 20 15 23 27
Mason-Dixon 18 15 26 30
Strategic Vision (R) 22 18 25 30
Herald/SPT/Bay9 15 15 25 23
RCP Average 18.2 15 25.3 28

Well, do I need to say any more? Who would have thought that, after facing challenges from both the left and right, losing both Iowa and New Hampshire, and enduring a non-stop hailstorm from the media, that he would be leading in Florida – one of only two states people thought he would be unable to win?

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “A Problem in the RCP Average

  1. josh4viceprez

    Sorry young man, Insider Advantage polled REGISTERED republicans. Some of those may say they are Dems or Inds but for what ever reason be registered Republicans. I

    Its gonna be a close race in November and John Mccain will need your help!

  2. he won’t get it.

    I’m leaking this a little early, but if McCain gets the nomination, I’ll tune out the 2008 race, encourage other Republicans to leave the Presidential part of their ballots blank, and wait until we can run a real conservative in four years.

  3. josh4viceprez

    Not being a part of the political process wont help anything. But what the hell, go for it Im not gonna convince you and youre not gonna convince me.

    If he doesn’t get it, Ill be watching as Romney struggles to get even 40% of the vote and telling you that I told you so.

  4. Carolina

    I will never vote for John McCain.

    If somebody is going to ruin the country for the next four or eight years I much rather a democrat do it than a Republican.

    By the way, Mitt Romney can win over a heck of a lot more that 40% of the vote. He is experienced, professional, optomistic, capable…in other words, the is Presidential.

  5. “Not being a part of the political process wont help anything.”

    I didn’t say that. If McCain gets the nomination, I will remain involved – just not in support of a Republican for President in 2008.

    If its McCain vs. Democrat X, the country gets stuck with liberal policies on major issues either way, so I’ll take the Democrat – because at least they can be replaced by a Conservative in four years.

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