Republican pollster Bob Moore is alive and well, polling in fantasyland

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Over the last six weeks, three polls were released to the public in the OR-1 race. We now have election results data to compare them to.

In mid-December, Public Policy Polling (PPP) conducted a poll on behalf of Daily Kos and SEIU. At the end of December, SurveyUSA conducted a poll on behalf of KATU. And on January 11-12, Republican pollster Bob Moore (pdf) conducted a poll for Rob Cornilles.

PPP SUSA Moore Actual
Bonamici 52 50 46 53.8
Cornilles 41 39 42 39.6
Others -- 4 2 6.6
Undecided 7 7 10
SB Lead +11 +11 +4 +14.3
MoE +/- 3.1% 4.5% 6%
Sample 979 504 300

That's right, folks. Despite being the closest to the actual election by weeks, Bob Moore's poll was wildly off in comparison. (Note: This post was updated on 2/2 at 11 a.m. to reflect the latest election results.)

A few more points of distinction: Sure, Moore's sample size was smaller and margin of error bigger. But PPP and SUSA were also much more transparent. Both released the exact wording of every single question, along with detailed demographic crosstabs. And PPP, as with every poll sponsored by Daily Kos, released the raw answer-by-answer data. Bob Moore? He just released a memo that characterized Cornilles as "surging" and the race "going right down to the wire".

This isn't the first time, of course, that Moore's polls have been called into question.

A week before the election in 2008, Moore had Gordon Smith beating Jeff Merkley by 4%, when two other polls conducted that same day had Merkley up by 5% (Hibbits) and 7% (SUSA). Merkley, of course, won by 3%.

In 2010, Moore had Scott Bruun beating Kurt Schrader by 4%, less than a week before voters started casting votes in an election that Schrader won by 5%.

And most dramatically - in 2010, he did it in the race between Jim Huffman and Ron Wyden, claiming Huffman was leading 47 to 38%.

The O's Jeff Mapes called that poll "a fantasy", and national pundit Stu Rothenberg was apoplectic - noting that Moore refused to release any details and saying that the campaign "has something to hide." Wyden won handily 57 to 39.

So, it seems to me that serious journalists shouldn't bother listening to Bob Moore's nonsense. And if they do, they should insist on complete transparency - all the questions, crosstabs, and raw data. Otherwise, they might just be getting taken for a ride through fantasyland (and taking their readers along with 'em.)

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    Kari, I'm presuming these most recent +/- data represent the width of the 95% confidence interval. If that is the case, the probability that Moore's error is due to chance is a less than 2.5%, that is, 1 in 40. Pretty poor performance.

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    With an ounce of honesty Bob Moore should change his title from pollster to propagandist. That's what he is.

    PPP seems to be the consistently most accurate pollster currently.

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    I am not a pollster, but since Nate Silver started his work, it's been pretty clear that there are biased pollsters, slightly biased pollsters, and not biased. Moore? Hyper-biased.

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    Well, we can all agree that this type of propaganda can and does backfire. But should we be surprised about this coming from a party that uses voter suppression as an actual tactic? Nope. R's prove time and time again that they will try anything if they think it will help them win, manipulation of social science techniques included.

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    the obvious next step is for a SuperPAC to start a "polling" group that doesn't even bother to poll anyone. just announce results that tell how great their candidate is doing, and especially among indies who love his/her stand on [fill in the blank]. how can you fact-check that? and who will care? then the SuperPAC simply runs ads touting the "non-partisan" polling group's results. give it the full Romney (run 5000 times more ads than the opponent) & you convince swing voters (ie, voters who let the ads make up their minds for them) to vote for this candidate.

    expect this to be in place by November.

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    The critical point to Kari's post is that the horse-race driven media will print any poll (Mapes did after all), so Moore need not fear any retribution for publishing bogus propaganda. And he knows it.

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