AJ Strata has an interesting analysis of recent polls.
Note the D-R-I split on “all voters” is 43-36-28. Most polls are weighting their sample by party affiliation, not policy preference. With the Democrat Presidential Primary drawing huge crowds and lots of GOP cross-overs to fight off Obama I would not want to put my reputation on party ID being the definitive weighting factor.
Look at the policy preference break down of Lib-Con-Mod, it is split 23-37-36 – almost the REVERSE of the party ID break down. That means if you re-run the polls using policy preference as the weighting factor you could see the polls almost flip 180°! Democrats are up by 7%, but Cons are up by 14% – twice the advantage!
Even more interesting is the undecided poll. In the Party ID view undecideds are split equally between Dem-Rep-Ind at 28-26-43. This would lead one to allocate undecideds or leaners basically down the middle between Obama and McCain since the difference left and right is a statistically insignificant 2%.
But in the policy world view the picture is dramatically different. The Lib-Con-Mod mix is heavily tilted away from Obama’s base with 18-32-47. Here we see very little opportunity for Obama to take the undecided voters. Now the imbalance is 2:1 in favor of McCain, which holds a statistically huge 14% advantage.
I don’t put much faith in polls to me they’re “manufactured news”… They’re just something for the talking heads to fill time with. Strata does raise in interesting question though, what if the polls are being weighted incorrectly?