You can’t unskew a poll this skewed up
Updated twice below.
Karl Rove, the man who was absolutely certain that Mitt Romney was going to pull out an astonishing victory over Barack Obama despite all evidence to the contrary, has commissed a new series of polls that say Republicans are going to take back the Senate. Michigan was among the states polled and they have Terri Lynn Land, the invisible candidate, up 5 points over Congressman Gary Peters in the race to fill Carl Levin’s U.S. Senate seat.
When you look at the data from the poll commissioned by Rove’s American Crossroads, you can see why.
The last time I checked, Duluth was in Minnesota, Green Bay, Superior, and Appleton were in Wisconsin, South Bend and Elkhart were in Indiana, and Toledo was in Ohio. So far as I know, this is still true. However, if you look at the regions they polled under the Demographics section, those cities are listed. I’m not kidding.
UPDATE: It turns out, the regions described in the Demographics section are media markets which are named after the largest cities in the area. For example, the Green Bay-Appleton market in Wisconsin includes the bottom half of Menominee County in Michigan. This has been your Eclectablog media markets lesson for the day.
I took all of the cities that are actually IN Michigan, tallied up their populations based on data from the U.S. Census department, and then calculated the percentage they represent of the total population in those regions. Here are the results which compare the polled percentages vs. the actual percentages:
|Region||Percentage polled||Actual population %|
|Grand Rapids-K’zoo-Battle Creek|
As you can see, the heavily Democratic city of Detroit is massively under-represented in Rove’s poll. Conservative areas like Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Traverse City, and Cadillac, however, are significantly OVER-represented.
And that, kids, is how you skew a poll.
This could be an interesting race if Terri Lynn Land would take a long enough break from fundraising from her wealthy pals and fellow corporatists to actually do some public events. It appears, however, that she has no interest in actually speaking with voters. She’s probably worried she’ll have a “47-percenter Moment”.
And well she should be.
UPDATE 2: The folks over at HUFFPOLLSTER who know a bit more about media markets than I clearly do analyzed the demographics numbers and found out that even my crude analysis is pretty accurate:
The only one I was significantly off on was the Traverse City-Cadillac region. The conservative-leaning Kalamazoo-Grand Rapids demographic was still over-represented and Detroit was still massively under-represented.