Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gallup Getting Freaky

I've mentioned in the past that Gallup is not the gold standard in polling it once was. One reason is that Gallup's tracking poll has played a bigger role in defining their brand than before and there are problems with any tracking poll.

One problem is that Gallup's tracking poll includes 7 days of data while some of their other numbers (like their approval rating data) includes just 3 days of data. So, there is very often an asymmetry.

But there's other problems. As of this moment, Gallup has Mitt Romney ahead among registered voters by 1 point and they have Romney ahead among likely voters by 7 points. Both of these sets of numbers are outliers among other polls but so is the gap between the two. Romney will surely do better among likely voters than among all registered voters but a net 6-point difference between likely voter numbers and registered voter numbers is a bit on the high side.

PPP just released their tracking poll and they have the race 48-48 among likely voters (didn't see registered voters numbers but surely they have Obama slightly ahead among registered voters) and Tom Jensen indicated that Obama did a tiny bit better on the last night of the tracker (the one night that was fully after the second debate).

All of that "feels" about right to me and is more in line with where most other polls are at this point. I wouldn't get too freaked out by Gallup's tracker.

No comments: