Thursday, May 24, 2012

Florida: a tale of two polls

Haven't had much to say about the Florida Senate race, in which Democratic Senator Bill Nelson is trying to hold on to his seat. In a Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday, according to National Journal, Nelson was found to be in a dead heat with Rep. Connie Mack (42% to 41% for Mack, which is a statistical tie in polling). Mack has a large lead over all other Republican hopefuls, so it looks like he'll be the guy for the GOP, though that is not settled.

Do those suits come in
different colours? Hope so.
In a poll done in late March, Nelson held an 8 point lead over Mack, so things are going in the wrong direction for the incumbent, at least by the lights of this poll.

Quinnipiac also found that Mitt Romney leads President Obama 47 percent to 41 percent.

But just to give you a sense of how difficult it is to read polls, here's a different take in an NBC-Marist poll, also released on Thursday, as reported by the Miami New Times.

In the Senate Race, Bill Nelson is leading 43-38, NBC found; for voters leaning towards one candidate, that's a 46-42 lead for Nelson.

And for the presidential race:

45 percent of Floridians say they'd vote for Obama, and only 40 percent say they'd vote for Romney. When you include voters who haven't quite made up there mind but are leaning one way or another, those numbers become 48 for Obama and 44 for Romney.

The difference in the two polls for the Senate race isn't that extreme, but the numbers for the presidency are quite different. Does make you wonder what accounts for the difference and how much we can trust discrete results. I guess the best we can do is either average or look for corroboration.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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