I thought I’d share this memo I just received from the NRSC as to the value of Rick Weiland’s recent polling. Or lack thereof:
FROM: Ward Baker, NRSC Political Director
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Mike Rounds Still Winning Despite Democrat Pollster’s Tricks
Public Policy Polling (PPP) has released yet another poll with former Governor Mike Rounds leading on the ballot. First, it’s important to note that the poll was conducted on behalf of “People for Weiland”. And, though the “pollsters” at PPP try to make hay out of a supposed tightening of the race, this poll (when read correctly) is simply one more indication of Rounds’ resilience and ballot strength in the state.
First, the ballot question showing the supposed waning of Rounds’ strength includes a third party candidate, Libertarian Kurt Evans. Evans has run for Senate before in South Dakota, in 2002 he garnered less than 1% of the vote (only 3,070 votes statewide out of 337,508). The most any Libertarian has received in a statewide contest in the last 10 years was 5.67% by Russell Clarke in2012 running for Public Utilities Commissioner.
PPP has Mr. Evans at 11%, a sign that their poll simply cannot be taken at face value. It is a frustration vote from respondents, not an accurate representation of his support. One of the pitfalls of automated technology used by PPP is that it is easier for respondents to express their frustration this way when there is only a recorded voice on the other end of the line instead of an actual human being.
Responsible pollsters follow up a three-way ballot of this type with another question. It usually tends to be something like, “And if the only two people on the ballot were Democrat Rick Weiland and Republican Mike Rounds, who would you vote for?” By looking at both those questions, one can accurately get a feeling for the position of the electorate. By omitting the second, PPP is willfully skewing the results to get their desired talking point (or that of their client)… their problem is that Governor Rounds is STILL winning the ballot test even under these artificial conditions.
Second, as always, a glimpse at the party data shows that PPP is yet again under-representing Republican voters. South Dakota is a party registration state, where a voter indicates their affiliation on the voter application form, so the Secretary of State has exact numbers on the composition of the electorate for us – 35% of voters are registered Democrat, 46% are registered Republican.
The poll released by PPP manages to fully represent Democrats, yet has Republicans at only 43%, 3-points low. Even PPP’s previous poll in SD (the standard by which the supposed movement is being measured) had party in the state as R+12, but now they’ve dropped it to only R+8 and claimed the ballot moved when in reality it is actually their sample that has changed.
In the words of Stu Rothenberg, “The only thing we know right now is that the PPP/MoveOn.org polls are of little value in understanding the electoral landscape a year from now.”
This poll is a ruse. And, even with the dirty tricks, Mike Rounds comes out on top. He is clearly a top-tier candidate in the effort to take back the Senate, which is why the left is manipulating data.
You know, there’s something else to consider in all of this timing of the PPP poll from Weiland. Has anyone heard of his fundraising numbers being released yet?
I’m questioning what his numbers are. Because this poll might be a diversion from bad fundraising news.