Wednesday, January 07, 2004

There seems to be some confusion in the polls regarding a Dean v. Bush race. Today's USA Today/CNN poll has Bush ahead 59-37, but a TIME/CNN poll from earlier this week has Bush up by only 5 points, 51-46. What's going on here? The USA Today poll has a larger sample size, but not enough to make for that kind of difference. My guess is that something is amiss in the timing and methodology of the TIME poll. It was done by Harris Interactive so I'm not sure about the methodology. Also, the poll was conducted from December 30 to January 1, probably not the best time to reach people at home. Finally, the TIME poll seems the an outlier when you look at polls over the last month:

CNN/USA Today 1/2-5:
Bush 59
Dean 37

TIME/CNN 12/30-1/1:
Bush 51
Dean 46

CBS 12/21-22:
Bush 55
Dean 35

ABC 12/18-21:
Bush 56
Dean 38

Newsweek 12/18-19:
Bush 53
Dean 40

CNN/USA Today 12/15-16:
Bush 60
Dean 37

The average Bush margin across each poll, except for the TIME/CNN poll in question is about 15 points. Also, there seems to have been very little movement over the last month. I'll need to see more polls before I believe that Dean is competitive with Bush at this point.

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