Quinnipiac Polling’s Peter Brown Tries To Defend Oversampling Democrats In New Battleground State Polls

Hugh Hewitt
8/2/2012

HH: I’m joined right now by Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polls, Quinnipiac in the news today along with CBS and New York Times for swing state polls, which surprised a lot of people. Peter, welcome, thanks for being on the show.

PB: My pleasure.

HH: I want to start with the models, which are creating quite a lot of controversy. In Florida, the model that Quinnipiac used gave Democrats a nine point edge in turnout. In Ohio, the sample had an eight point Democratic advantage. What’s the reasoning behind those models?

PB: Well, what is important to understand is that the way Quinnipiac and most other major polls do their sampling is we do not wait for party ID. We ask voters, or the people we interview, do they consider themselves a Democrat, a Republican, an independent or a member of a minor party. And that’s different than asking them what their party registration is. What you’re comparing it to is party registration. In other words, when someone starts as a voter, they have the opportunity of, in most states, of being a Republican, a Democrat, or a member of a minor party or unaffiliated.

HH: Okay.

PB: So what’s important to understand is what we are doing is we’re asking voters what they consider themselves when we interview them, which was in the last week.

HH: Now what I don’t understand this, so educate me on it, if Democrats only had a three point advantage in Florida in the final turnout measurement in 2008, but in your poll they have a nine point turnout advantage, why is that not a source of skepticism for people?…so if, in fact, you had gotten a hundred Democrats out of a hundred respondents that answered, would you think that poll was reliable?…

The interview continues at HughHewitt.com

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