Thursday, March 27, 2008

NBC/WSJ Poll Oversampled

For all Obama fans who planned to sleep a whole lot better after learning about a new NBC/WSJ poll that showed Rev. Jeremiah Wright didn't hurt Sen. Obama's campaign one tiny little bit, well, start worrying again.

Taylor Marsh links to a post from First Read that fesses up to oversampling in the much-hyped poll.

The new NBC/WSJ poll (pdf) out today has Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama tied at 45%. The margin of error is 3.7%. The poll was of all registered voters, not just Democrats. Both Hillary and Obama's unfavorability ratings increased somewhat from two weeks ago. Combining the "somehat "and "very negative" categories, Obama was at 28% unfavorable two weeks ago and is at 32% now. Hillary was at 43% and is now at 48%.
At first blush, it would appear that Hillary was tanking with Republicans. But as Marsh writes, the amazing phenomena about the NBC/WSJ poll is not how Obama was better liked than Hillary; it's the pesky part about oversampling from First Read that places the entire exercise into question:
[W]e oversampled African-Americans in order to get a more reliable cross-tab on many of the questions we asked in this poll regarding Sen. Barack Obama's speech on race and overall response to last week's Rev. Jeremiah Wright dustup.
Yep, makes perfect sense. Or perhaps not...Especially after Marsh's eagle-eyed analysis with a link from A/P noted that perhaps First Read "should also have included [a very] important nugget."

Yet people familiar with Obama's remarks were about evenly split between those who said they felt reassured about his feelings on race, and those who said they still had doubts. Slightly more said Obama has said enough about race than said he needs to address it further.

In all instances, whites were more dubious than blacks about whether Obama had handled the issue successfully. Democrats were far more supportive than Republicans, while independents were likelier to be divided.

Oh dear...

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