Friday, September 05, 2008

Howey-Gauge Poll's Timing Discounts Results

A Howey-Gauge poll released this week suggests a close race in Indiana between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain. In red state Indiana, McCain holds only a 2-point, 45%-43% lead over Obama according to the poll. Here's my problem with this poll. For whatever reason, the pollster conducted this poll last week during the height of the Democratic National Convention. Television coverage of the DNC saturated the airwaves as the pollster telephoned Indiana voters on August 29-30. If you've been closely watching the presidential polls over the past week, you have witnessed huge fluctuations in the same poll from day-to-day. Obama got a substantial bounce last week which has been substantially erased this week following the Republican National Convention. If the poll had been taken this week, I suspect McCain's lead would have been significantly higher. Howey has been unabashedly promoting Obama's campaign to the extreme this year. I think Gauge has done credible polling in the past, but I think the timing of this poll hurts its credibility. A more accurate poll result would have been obtained if the poll had been timed before the start of the conventions or after both had concluded. The same poll showed Gov. Mitch Daniels beating Democrat Jill Long Thompson 53% to 35%, with another 3% supporting Libertarian Andy Horning.


Vox Populi said...

Didn't you have a post the other day about how Obama had no bounce? Now it's "huge"? ;)

Gary R. Welsh said...

As did several major news organizations. The intitial polling data was contradictory. Some showed no movement while others showed a big bump. By the end of the weekend, all the polls were showing significant movement in Obama's direction. Those same polls have now drifted back to near where the race was before the start of the conventions.

mackenzie197 said...


The Obama bump was between 4 and 6 points. Where do you get "huge?" It was an average convention bump.

Vox Populi said...


AI's original post described the bump as "huge" I believe but now says "substantial." I may be wrong but I think he updated it.

Obama's convention bounce hasn't been erased by an erosion of support for Obama, but by increased support for McCain. Obama is still in the high 40's now while McCain is inching up to the mid-40's. A few weeks ago both candidates were in the low 40's.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I said "substantial", thank you.