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This new poll of the California races by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and American Viewpoint for USC and the LA Times has been discussed from one side of the Internet to the other, and back again.
But I wouldn’t be doing my job if I let it go without chiming in, now would I? Of course not. So let’s dig in.
First off, this Media/University poll wasn’t all that spectacular back in the primaries, projecting Carly Fiorina 38-Tom Campbell 23-Chuck DeVore 16, when the actual was 56-22-19. Fiorina vastly outperformed this poll. On the Governor side, the poll had Meg Whitman 53-Steve Poizner 29. Again, the eventual Republican winner was underpolled, as Whitman actually won 64-27. So if these polls continue to underestimate Fiorina’s and Whitman’s support levels, it’s not the most surprising thing around.
So when I look at Democrat Barbara Boxer’s 51-43 lead over Republican Fiorina in the poll, or Democrat Jerry Brown’s 49-44 lead over Republican Whitman, I can’t help but wonder. Especially when the Times points this out:
Brown, for example, trailed by 12 points among those most enthusiastic about voting this year. Boxer’s lead reversed to a 17-point deficit among the most enthusiastic voters.
When Public Policy Polling showed no apparent enthusiasm gap in California, I doubted it. If this poll is not taking it into account when assigning Likely Voter profiles, I doubt it, too.