Sunday, January 10, 2010

Brown vs. Coakley: A Tale of Two Polls

There are two new polls out on the Massachusetts Senate race with diametrically opposed results.

One poll conducted for The Boston Globe gives Democrat Martha Coakley a 15 point lead over her Republican rival Scott Brown. To be precise, the poll puts 50% of likely voters supporting Coakley with 35% supporting Brown.

But a separate poll conducted by Public Policy Polling puts Brown up by one point over Coakley. In this poll, Brown leads 48% to 47%.

Well, both polls can't be right.

Having looked at both polls I'm leaning with the results done by Public Policy Polling. I do so for two reasons.

First, the PPP poll was done more recently than the Boston Globe poll. The Globe poll was conducted between January 2nd and 6th while the PPP poll was conducted between January 7th and 9th.

Second, PPP interviewed 744 likely voters while the Globe poll interviewed 554 likely voters. The more voters polled the better the snapshot.

Now this doesn't guarantee a victory for Scott Brown. A one point lead is well within the margin of error which is generally plus or minus 4%. Even if this poll is accurate Coakley could still win on January 19th.

But unless there is another significant shift it is going to be much closer election than anyone could have anticipated. Even if Coakley does prevail she isn't going to win by 15 points.

As I wrote here a few days ago, "If there's any danger of Coakley losing the Democrats will pull out all the stops for her." Well, former President Clinton will speak at a Democratic fundraiser at the Fairmont Copley Plaza next Friday. The Democrats are afraid, very afraid.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can everyone is mass email one person who will vote against coakley and make them a buddy to vote with? This will be the momentum we need to stop the socialist spending that will make us number two like europe. I left europe for a reason.