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POLL: Gallup Daily Tracking


Gallup Poll

National
Obama 47, Clinton 45... McCain 63, Huckabee 21, Paul 6

 

Comments
erik:

Does anyone know why this polls differs from the Gallup poll done over the weekend that has Obama leading by 13pts among democratic voters...what are the differences in methodology (other than simply a 3-day average) that would produce such huge difference between polls conducted by the same organization?

see for reference
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-02-25-poll-prez_N.htm

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JGK:

Ok, as far as this discrepancy between the gallup polls, isn't the tracking poll based in part on asking people who they have already voted for (if they are in one of the 36 states that have already voted)? So to that extent isn't the tracking poll no longer directly reflecting current opinion, instead to a large extent reflecting past votes? If true, I really don't see the rationale for their tracking poll.

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SA:

JGK, in that case, given Obama has pulled in quite a few more votes than Clinton, wouldn't the tracking poll indicate Clinton is actually ahead among those still to vote? Wouldn't this explanation make more sense if two polls were reversed?

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Brian Schaffner:

Frank Newport has blogged about the differences between the two polls. His blog suggests to me that the tracking poll question is not actually different from the USA Today poll. In fact, he seems as puzzled as we are about the differences. He mentions a couple of potential explanations, but I'm not sure that any of them can really account for the magnitude of the differences between the two polls.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/104545/Obama-vs-Clinton.aspx

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BitJam:

I think the discrepancy has to do with the "likely voter" issue that has been raised before about the Gallop daily tracking poll. I believe the Gallop poll does not screen for likely voters while many other polls do. The trend has been that polls move in the favor of Obama when only likely voters are included. Therefore, my guess is that the Gallop poll is showing a result for all Democrats while the USA Today/Gallop poll is for Democrats who said they were likely to vote.

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erik:

I think this passage from the gallup poll may be tellling

"At the same time, I think a telling question comes from the USA Today/Gallup poll. It asks Americans who they "think will win the Democratic nomination for president this year." The key point: a large majority of Republicans/Republican leaners (82%) and Democrats/Democratic leaners (70%) assume Obama will win the nomination."

If they asked this question BEFORE they asked presidential preferences, this could have had an effect on opinion not apparent in the tracking poll.

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Mark Blumenthal:

Thanks to Brian for the link. I just posted on the Newport item on the main page.

Despite some of the assertions above, the screens used for this question (i.e. "Democratic voters") should be identical on both the USA Today/Gallup and Gallup Daily Tracking (although the methodological blurbs are less than crystal clear on this point). We had a multi-post discussion of how the Daily screens a few weeks ago.

I agree with Erik that the more likely explanation is the items that came just before the primary vote question. But we have no idea what those are from the info in the public domain.

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