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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Friday, April 23, 2010

Does this mean that Tom Barrett has already won, then?

by folkbum

Via iT, I see that Rasmussen has gotten back around to dipping its polling proboscis into the cheese, and they've offered results on our governor's race:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state shows both candidates earning 46% of the vote if [Tom] Barrett runs against former Congressman Mark Neumann. Given that match-up, four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided. The other GOP hopeful, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, also attracts 46% against Barrett, while the Democrat draws 44% of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer another candidate, and seven percent (7%) remain undecided.
This is a poll of a November match-up conducted in April; as such, it's almost worthless anyway, except to tell us that the state's Republicans are likely to vote Republican and the state's Democrats are not. But on all things polling I defer to Nate Silver, such as:
[Rasmussen] is something of an outlier and would reflect a house effect of about 6 points when measuring the net difference between Democratic and Republican preferences. [. . .] Meanwhile, an increasing number of pollsters have begun to publish results among likely voters in their take on the Congressional generic ballot. [. . .] Note that the house effect here, again, is about 6 points.
As much as I do not put great stock in an early poll like this, I do put stock in Silver's comparative assessment of pollsters, which, as you can see, puts Rasmussen about +6 in the R column--which could put Barrett ahead in Wisconsin by a good ten points. Maybe. We'll see what the next slightly less partisan poll shows.

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