Skip to comments.Zogby applies "special sauce" in S.D. Sen. Race [He admits it!]
Posted on 10/30/2004 5:57:58 AM PDT by Timeout
Republicans John Thune and Larry Diedrich have overcome double-digit deficits to draw ahead of their Democratic rivals, Sen. Tom Daschle and Rep. Stephanie Herseth, according to an independent poll.
The Republicans' leads were about 3 percentage points - within the poll's 3.5 percent margin of error - and pollster John Zogby of Zogby International warned that the Senate and House races in South Dakota were too close to call. "We've got two competitive races here," he said.
Libertarian House candidate Terry Begay polled less than 1 percent.
The Rapid City Journal, KOTA-TV and other state media outlets commissioned the poll, which Zogby conducted Monday and Tuesday. Pollsters interviewed 800 likely voters.
Thune led Daschle 48.5 percent to 45.5 percent in the Senate race, Zogby said. Diedrich led Herseth 48.3 percent to 45.5 percent.
"It's all in the hands of independent voters," Zogby said, noting the high number of undecided voters who are not members of a political party.
Earlier this year, Daschle and Herseth had double-digit leads.
Zogby's results also would be a huge turnaround from a Mason-Dixon poll conducted last week for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and KELO-TV, which showed Daschle with a two-point lead and Herseth with a four-point lead.
The two polls used different methods to determine the ratio of Democratic to Republican likely voters. Daschle campaign spokesman Dan Pfeiffer called Zogby's method "questionable."
Pfeiffer said a Daschle poll put the Democrat up 50 percent to 48 percent.
Thune campaign spokesman Dick Wadhams, who also has been critical of Zogby polls, said he believed the results confirmed "momentum" for Thune, but he said, "This race goes down to the wire, and John Thune will campaign incessantly until 7 p.m. Tuesday." A Republican Party poll put Thune ahead by 4 percentage points.
Diedrich said Wednesday night the poll confirmed his own momentum. "It's following the trend we're seeing," he said. "It's a matter of getting to know me."
Herseth spokesman Russ Levsen, like Pfeiffer, said Zogby had underestimated Democratic likely voters. "Those numbers are far different from everything we've seen, but we've always thought this would be a close race," he said. "We'll continue to run a positive race and talk about Stephanie's independent record in Congress."
Poll results can differ significantly depending on how pollsters define "likely voters." Zogby's initial report, for example, showed Thune leading Daschle by 49.6 percent to 43.9 percent, a result Pfeiffer called "absurd," adding, "No sane person in America believes this is a six-point race."
Diedrich led Herseth 48.8 percent to 44.5 percent in those first results, and Zogby said that gave even him pause.
Zogby said he arrived at those results using the ratio of Republicans to Democrats in exit polls conducted during the 2000 presidential election. Those results were 49 percent Republican and 33 percent Democrats.
Democratic turnout could have been low in that election for a number of reasons. Thune overwhelmed his Democratic opponent for the House that year, there was no Senate race and there was no significant Democratic get-out-the-vote effort.
Current voter registration in South Dakota breaks down to 47.5 percent Republican, 38.1 percent Democrat. Most of the rest are independents. The Libertarian and Constitution parties each have less than 1 percent.
On Wednesday, after reporters pointed out the discrepancy between registered voters and Zogby's estimate of "likely voters," he closed the [political party] gap to 47 percent Republicans and 35 percent Democrats. When he refigured the results, he came up with three-point advantages for both Republicans. "We decided to look at it anew," he said. He called the change "one I could easily defend."
Pfeiffer was not convinced. "No one with any knowledge of South Dakota would believe the assumptions made by Zogby."
Pfeiffer also pointed out that in the 2002 election, which Thune lost by less than 1 percent to Democrat Tim Johnson, Republican voters outnumbered Democrats by only 10.5 percent.
Zogby, who is based in Utica, N.Y., said he stood by his adjusted poll results, but he also cautioned he was not predicting the outcome of either race. "Six days from the election? God no!"
ZOGBY polls are as worthless as tits on a bull.
He DID have enough sauce, unfortunately, to put Kerry back in the lead.
While I hope Thune wins, its not the race that has my stomach in knots.
He is going after the so-called Undecideds and the so-called "new" voters who are giving Kerry his 1 point lead. Big whoopsie do.. 1 point which is within the margin of error. The first poll that Kerry is leading and with the constant negative drumbeat this week that Bush has had to undergo with the negative carpings of the MSM, I cannot believe that Zogby has Kerry only 1 point ahead. I am sure he is flabergasted also!!!
"There's almost a panic [among Democrats] around the nation about Daschle being able to cling to his seat," Thune campaign manager Dick Wadhams said.
Friday's Question: Not so, Daschle supporters say. For starters, they say, the Zogby poll published in the Rapid City Journal is flawed. It showed Republican Thune leading Daschle, 48.5 percent to 45.5 percent, just within the margin of error. At first, however, the poll had shown an even larger Thune lead, which seemed so improbable that the pollsters adjusted their voter turnout estimates and arrived at the narrower gap.
Democrats scoffed, saying the poll remains suspect. It contradicts other public polls showing Daschle slightly ahead, and it showed House GOP challenger Larry Diedrich leading Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D). Even some Republicans find that hard to believe.
Zogby adjusts according to his mood..No one knows his methodolgy.
Zogby is normally right on in Presidential years. Don't discount his numbers.
...or balls on a mare.
I dont recall him being around in 1992 and 1996. Do you have any numbers for those years??? Being right one year doesnt make one an expert!
Excellent post. Zogby is not a pollster, but a spinner. The problem with the vast lack of poll comprehension (thank you, public schools) by the body politic is that, in turn, spinners like Zogby can bury the garbage stink sauce in the MOE. After blowing the 2002 Congressional races, Bush's +4% / +290 EV win in 2004 will once and for all fully discredit Zogby and his methods.
Here's why I find this article interesting.
Zogby DOES have a good reputation. But, by changing his results, he is saying he screwed up the INITIAL poll so badly that it skewed the results by 3 whole points (that's a huge error!).
What other polls might he be screwing up---but no "reporters" or Rat campaign workers demanded he change them?
All you need to know about Ziggy's credibility is this: He is an Arab, a Muslim exteremist dressed in western garb and a left wing liberal zealot.
The bigger question is how it is that so many Bush supporters can also support Daschle, who thwarts Bush at every turn.
If Thune were to beat Daschle, that would earn him a lot of gratitude from the GOP. He would be a hero, thus making it easier for the Junior Senator to bring home some of the bacon that Daschle apparently does (how else could he win in SD???). If SDans realized this then it probably wouldn't even be close.
I really wonder how accurate any polls are in this state. I live in Sioux Falls and I have not been polled even ONCE during this election. I really wonder who they are calling.
On a side note, I have had a LOT of fun with all the Daschole workers that keep showing up. I just ask what it would take for me to convince them to vote for Thune. They used to engage in dissucussion, lately they just scurry off as fast as they can.
I have a real good feeling about this election!.
Right? I think he adjusts his numbers to confirm his next press release. More than any other pollsters he is quoted too too much. His results and the statistics that got them should speak for themselves. His edification is suspect.
Zogby has always admitted this. Acouple of months ago on MSNBC he admitted to changing his national polls to reflect 40% Dem and 32% Republican. His polls are worth less than then ethics training at the Dem National Convention.
A poor scientist tinkers with his statistical methods till he gets the results he wants. "If you torture the data, it will confess."
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