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article imageU.S. pollsters over sampling Democrats

By Larry Clifton     Sep 28, 2012 in Politics
Washington - According to a Reuters report, claims by Republicans, conservative Independents and media pundits that polls are over-sampling Democrats is true. Pollsters “frequently” poll more Democrats.
However, Reuters goes on to defend pollsters by claiming they don’t exactly "go out of their way to poll more Democrats."The frequently skewed polling occurs because “it is just that there are more of them on voter registers than there are Republicans and independents.”
To confirm the pollster’s story, Reuters uses another poll, a PEW survey, that shows 35 percent of registered voters identify with Democrats, 28 percent with Republicans, and 33 percent are independents, according to a PEW study out in August.
Even using the PEW poll to defend other polls doesn’t account for the high number of Democrats polled over Republicans and Independents, according to the Reuters piece.
In fact, all things considered, “Democrats do appear to be over-represented in some of the surveys being criticized by Republicans.” A higher percentage than the 35 percent of Democrats mentioned in the Pew study are used by pollsters to get the results they publish.
Meanwhile, Republicans and Independents question polls that suddenly show Mr. Obama leading Mr. Romney by anywhere from 5 to 9 points in such major polls as the economy seems to be weakening and events in the Middle East have brought the President’s foreign policies under scrutiny.
Quinnipiac, like most pollsters, say they do not sample by party affiliation, however Quinnipiac often gives results based on party affiliation.
“If a certain percentage of respondents are Democrats, then that is just because it has turned out that way,” said Peter Brown, Quinnipiac spokesman.
However the pollster’s methodologies are now under fire from bipartisan experts. "I'm a little uncomfortable at some of the samples, which strike me as surprisingly Democratic," said Stuart Rothenberg, publisher of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report, which analyzes political races.
On the other hand, some conservatives concede the polls may not be accurate but that Romney must do something to turn the race.
"I've been in politics long enough to know that the louder one side gets complaining about the polls, the more likely it is that this is the side that, in reality, actually is losing," conservative commentator Erick Erickson, who runs the RedState blog, wrote on Thursday.
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