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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Can we trust Quinnipiac polls?

I used to regularly hear from prominent Republican political consultants urging us to take a tough, skeptical look at the methodology of polls by the Quinnipiac Polling Institute in Connecticut. Lately, Democrats have been pulling their hair out about Florida Q polls that so often receive loads of publicity despite polling samples and weighting that draw frequent skepticism.

Democratic consultant Steve Schale is today weighed in on Quinnipiac and its strange polling sample:

"...Here in Florida, roughly 40% of voters are Democratic, 36% are Republican and the rest are minor or no party affiliated. Furthermore, about 67% of voters are white and roughly 13% are African-American (or Caribbean American) and the same are Hispanic.

"In terms of what the electorate will look like on election day in 2012, by my estimate is it will be roughly 42% Democratic, 40% Republican and 18% minor/NPA -- and using 2008 as a bit of a guide, roughly 70% white, 13% African American (or Caribbean American) and 12-13% Hispanic.

"The Q poll, which gave Mitt Romney a 6 point lead, weighed out at 37% Republican, 29% Democratic and 29% Independent. It also landed at over 80% white, 8% Hispanic and 7% African America and Caribbean American. There is no scenario where the Florida votes will look like this on Election Day 2012.

"In fact, if you go back to the last Q poll, which had the race 44-43 Romney earlier this month, that poll also had a bizarre electorate make-up of about 32R-30D-28NPA, again a scenario that is simply not going to happen on Election Day...."

The latest Q poll already is producing some off the wall beltway punditry like this from National Journal, suggesting Obama might want to give up on the country's biggest battleground state: ...Writing off Florida would be, in many ways, liberating, since its pricey media markets and sui generis politics make it a resource-draining state. But the looming loss of a state the president carried four years ago by three points, after Florida had gone for George W. Bush twice straight, poses longer term, ominous concerns for Democrats...

Please. Romney has an excellent chance of winning Florida, but nobody who knows anything about this state expects it to be anything but a very tight, hard-fought election on both sides

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 10:18pm]


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