Friday, March 07, 2008

The Phony Walberg/Schauer Poll

The media is reporting that a new poll in the 7th Congressional District race between Congressman Tim Walberg and State Senator Mark Schauer shows that they are tied.

A survey of 7th Congressional District voters conducted by Detroit News/WXYZ-Action News pollster EPIC-MRA shows Rep. Tim Walberg of Tipton in a statistical dead heat when voters are read biographical information about him and challenger Mark Schauer, who represents the Battle Creek area in the state Senate. Walberg stood at 48 percent and Schauer at 49 percent.
But this is extremely misleading, if not downright false. The key here is the "biographical information". This kind of poll is basically worthless in determining the state of a race. You can make any candidate look competitive with this kind of poll.

The article never says what biographical information was provided. But at least the News mentions it, unlike some other media outlets.

Here is the real result of the poll.

When voters had no additional information than the two candidates' names and party affiliations, Walberg was favored by 51 percent to Schauer's 40 percent. That head-to-head question was asked first, then asked again after the biographical information was read to survey respondents.
Why did the media report the first result rather than this one? Walberg may well face a tough race, but it is not tied or a "dead heat" at the present.

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