If you have not realized it by now, Public Policy Polling — which works for DailyKos — has become an important part of the left-wing messaging machine, with a relentless series of polls spun as bad news for Republicans since the November 2010 elections, and gimmicks (such as polling Charlie Sheen, or only Republicans in Mississippi) designed to generate headlines.
In early March 2011, PPP predicted the demise of Republicans in Wisconsin, purporting to show that Gov. Scott Walker would lose by seven points if the election were held again, based on data which was skewed in favor of Democrats relative to the actual vote in 2010. The Prosser-Kloppenburg Wisconsin Supreme Court election, which served as a proxy for Gov. Walker’s popularity, was evenly split, proving PPP was far off the mark in measuring a large shift in Wisconsin.
Now PPP is up to it again, with a new poll which is generating a lot of attention, purporting to show that Republicans likely would lose the House and had dropped in popularity. Here is how PPP spins the poll, Bad News For Congressional Republicans:
PPP’s newest national poll finds that after a little more than 3 months in charge House Republicans have fallen so far out of favor with the American public that it’s entirely possible Democrats could take control of the House back next year.
But once again, PPP uses a seriously skewed sample weighted in favor of Democrats.
Here is the sample breakdown in the recent PPP poll, 38% Dem, 34% Rep, 28% Ind:
This doesn’t come close to reality. Here are Gallup’s most recent party affiliation numbers, 31% Dem, 29% Rep, 38% Ind:
Gallup’s recent party identification analysis by state shows an even worse situation for Democrats, with the number of solidly Democratic states declining from 2008 (30) to 2010 (14).
The PPP poll which purports to show a shift away from Republicans uses a sample which overweights Democrats both relative to Republicans and relative to the total voting population.
Keep an eye on PPP.
Update: Sam Foster has more.