Sunday, September 19, 2004

Ruy Teixeira on yesterday's CBS News/New York Times Poll:

As many have already heard, the new CBS News/New York Times poll, conducted September 12-16, gives Bush an 8 point lead (50-42) among RVs--but also gives the Republicans a 4 point edge on party ID. Reweight their data to conform to an underlying Democratic 4 point edge (using the 39D/35R/26I distribution from the 2000 exit poll) and you get a nearly even race, 47 Bush/46 Kerry.

Nearly even. That goes along with the 46-46 tie in the Pew Research Center poll (which gave the Democrats a 4 point edge on party ID without weighting) and the 48-48 tie in the Gallup poll (once weighted to reflect an underlying Democratic 4 point edge). Not to mention the two other recent national polls (Harris, Democracy Corps) that show the race within one point.

Perhaps all this is just a coincidence, but the pattern seems striking. Once you adjust for the apparent overrepresentation of Republican identifiers in some samples, the polls all seem to be saying the same thing: the race is a tie or very close to it.

It's the duty of all Kerry supporters to understand this distortion, keep the faith, and communicate polling flaws to as many people as possible. Let's not allow deceptive polls to be self-fulfilling and influence the election.

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