Friday, June 20, 2014

Chris McDaniel now holds six point lead over Thad Cochran in June 24 Mississippi GOP Primary Runoff, latest Chism Poll, June 17-18

6/19/14, "US Senate Mississippi GOP Primary Runoff," Chism Strategies, Brad Chism

"We have continued to track the GOP Senate Primary runoff. On June 17th and 18th we surveyed 1192 GOP primary voters statewide. The MOE was +/- 2.85%. Our most recent survey confirms that McDaniel now holds a lead outside the margin of error.

On the following pages are the results of our tracking work. We include weighted top lines as well as tables that show results by age and gender.

Important points to remember:

1. While the surveys are consistent in showing McDaniel’s lead growing among voters from the June 3rd primary, our work does not measure for the potential growth in turnout. 

  • Cochran’s field efforts in the Delta, DeSoto County, Jackson County and other areas where he underperformed on June 3rd are much more extensive in the runoff.
  • The GOP establishment is “all in” with TV ads by Governor Bryant, former Senator Lott, and campaign appearances by Senator John McCain.
  • Cochran’s awkward appeal for Democrats to cross over is unlikely to produce huge results but with so few votes separating the candidates, all new votes are valuable.
2. No survey can fully capture the extent of the backlash among rank and file Republicans to Cochran’s tactics in the runoff.
  • A 42 year incumbent GOP senator stumping for Democratic and union votes will certainly anger more conservative Republicans.
  • Cochran’s assemblage of plutocrats has not gone unnoticed by the populists among McDaniel’s base.

3. In a campaign defined by the bizarre, we don’t know what is in store over the next 72 hours.

*Example: At the writing of this memo there is yet another firestorm over a Cochran endorsement ad by NFL great Brett Favre whose brother was serving time for a manslaughter conviction before a pardon by former Governor Haley Barbour.

Other notes:

1. These surveys include only landline phones.
2. These surveys have a three-part screen for participation. We surveyed only phone households with a voter participating in all three of the 2008, 2010 and 2012 GOP primaries. We asked each participant if (s) he voted in the recent GOP Primary. We asked each participant if (s) he planned to vote in the runoff.
The sample is 95% Caucasian, 3% African American and 2% other ethnicity. The raw survey data over represents women and older voters.
4. Different assumptions about gender and age mix of the June 23rd turnout will alter these results. The candidate support totals noted above are made from a weighted sample that assumes turnout at 53% women; 36% ages 65 and older; ages 18 to 64 at 64%. These are the same assumptions as in previous surveys.
With younger voters, the sample sizes are smaller and the charts show more variation from one wave to the next.



"FAQs: Chism Strategies’ Surveys on US Senate Mississippi Republican Party Primary Election"

"Why is a Democrat surveying in the GOP Senate Race? This is the most interesting race in the country and it’s happening in our back yard. These surveys help us better understand the Mississippi electorate and that’s helpful in our other work instate.

It’s an internal marketing expense.  We’ve budgeted for public surveys of this type for several years. This one just happens to be in a very closely watched race.

Are IVR surveys reliable? We do more of these IVR surveys than any other Democratic firm in America and are always trying to improve our process.  Our track record is a strong one. But there are certainly some “robopolls” that are poorly done. Imagine a twelve year old with a chainsaw. He can do a lot of damage to himself and others if he doesn’t know how to use it.  There’s a mountain of research that confirms that when done the right way, IVR surveys in the 2008, 2010 and 2012 elections measured up well against live polls.

What about all the footnotes in your survey reports? We want to be completely transparent about out methodology.  We want everybody -- from the armchair quarterbacks to the serious analysts -- to have all the info we have in the formation of their opinions.  This is a great country where anyone can be an “expert” in politics.  We’re confident enough in our product that we are willing to listen to constructive criticism. We get better when other smart people—on the left and on the right—offer their observations about our work.
What’s the best argument against an IVR Survey? We cannot legally call mobile phone voters, so a portion of the electorate — usually younger voters and minorities — are harder to reach with this instrument.

Then why don’t campaigns always use live surveys? IVR surveys cost less than half the expense of a live poll. But a statewide campaign with plenty of money would be foolish not to utilize a lengthy poll with live operators.  We tell our clients that if you can afford a live pollster, find one you like and listen carefully to their recommendations.

Are you nervous about your predictions? We aren’t making predictions. We’re just providing a snap shot of the electorate on a particular day. Big expensive campaigns like this race are never static. And we are careful to remind readers about the margin of error in these surveys.

Does it bother you that both GOP Senate campaigns have questioned your numbers at different stages in this race? No. They have a job to do in energizing their supporters and appealing to undecideds. We’d be more concerned if only one campaign was complaining. 

What if you are wrong with your assessments? If we find on Election Day we’ve missed the mark, we look at our assumptions about turnout and demographics and make sure our scripts were clear and we weren’t “leading the witness” with our questions. And we also look at the dynamics of the race to see if there were factors that just couldn’t be measured in a survey. This humbling experience of getting it wrong—however rare—helps us improve our tool." via Breitbart and Yall Politics


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