“Political Polling Has Reached Its End Point”

by Larry Bartels on May 30, 2012 · 3 comments

in Campaigns and elections,Politics Everywhere,Public opinion

That’s according to Time magazine’s Michael Scherer, who cites a new survey from Public Policy Polling showing that one of Mitt Romney’s improvised campaign appeals is making big inroads into Barack Obama’s base in electoral-vote-rich Michigan.

The PPP robo-poll of 500 Michiganders asked, ”In Michigan, do you think the trees are the right height, or not?”


“That’s right,” Scherer writes, ”2008 Obama voters are 17 points more likely to agree with Romney on the height of Michigan trees. It was a crossover vote play all along!” (Trees also polled well among women and young people.)

It would be fascinating to follow over the course of the campaign whether Michiganders bring their vote intentions into line with their, uh, spatial preferences or—as is more often the case—simply adopt the views of their favored candidate if and when they learn what those are. Alas, I don’t think PPP does robo-panel surveys; and in any case, political polling has reached its end point.

(Thanks to Chris Achen.)

{ 3 comments }

Margie Hershey May 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I think the more significant finding here is that two-thirds of those who say they voted for McCain aren’t sure whether or not their trees are the right height; it would appear that they don’t know their ash’s from a hole in the ground.

Prison Rodeo May 31, 2012 at 6:40 am

I have an overwhelming impulse to “Like” Margie’s comment. (As opposed to simply “liking” it).

Curse you Mark Zuckerberg!

marija May 31, 2012 at 11:33 am

This is the sort of political science that Congress probably thinks our NSF tax dollars are funding. ugh!!

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