What the numbers say
Monday, a poll was released showing Jon Ossoff, the Democratic contender in the upcoming special election in Georgia’s sixth Congressional district, up seven percentage points over Republican candidate, Karen Handel.
Conducted by Survey USA, the poll surveyed 700 voters, 549 of which were presumed to have voted in the runoff election. Margin of error is set at 4.3 points. Where the other 150 voters went, I’m not sure, because the poll is based on 549, 30 of whom indicated they were undecided, leaving 519 surveyed voters who’d made up their minds. Of the remaining 519, 40 more people have already pledged their support for Ossoff than Handel. 239 said they’ll vote for Handel and 279 plan to vote for Ossoff.
I’ve been covering elections for six years now and I’ll just say this: I always take Survey USA polls with a grain of salt. And I’m not the only one.
Look no further than MSNBC’s Chris Hayes:
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) May 23, 2017
Handel’s campaign provided the following statement, questioning the Survey USA results, and hammering Ossoff for being flush with out-of-state cash:
“I don’t think anyone really believes that this is a 7 point race and our internal numbers show that this is truly a toss-up. Karen Handel has faced an unprecedented flood of out-of-state money, raised from Nancy Pelosi and the “resistance”, to fund ads falsely attacking Karen Handel and presenting Jon Ossoff as someone in touch with the voters of the 6th district. Most of his claims have been proven false by independent news organizations, and we’re confident that on June 20th, voters will see through this duplicity and elect Karen Handel.”
Handel’s campaign is probably right here — this race is still in a dead heat, but there’s certainly no seven point difference, not in the real world anyway. The Survey USA poll is narrative building, fundraising fodder, and little else.
Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekayeDONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.