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Polling methodology debate: Did the US Gender Gap disappear?

16 May

NEW Controversial polling by the N.Y. Times and CBS washingtonpost.com (Opinion)

Yesterday’s NY Times-CBS poll that showed Mitt Romney gaining strength and ahead among women for the first time, and that President Obama’s gay marriage decision is being viewed by the public with a jaundiced eye, got a fair amount of buzz among political insiders. Republicans, who have often criticized those news organizations broadly and their polling specifically, were delighted by the results. But were the results accurate? Stephanie Cutter, a senior Obama campaign strategist, immediately raised questions about the survey, which interested me because she is too much of a pro to whine about polls. So what’s up?

How the Poll Was Conducted New York Times

The latest New York Times/CBS News poll is based on telephone interviews conducted May 11 through May 13 with 615 adults across the United States. The respondents had also been interviewed in a separate poll conducted April 13 to 17. The original sample of landline telephone exchanges from that earlier poll was randomly selected by a computer from a complete list of more than 72,000 active residential exchanges across the country. The exchanges were chosen so as to ensure that each region of the country was represented in proportion to its share of all telephone numbers….

Countering Obama, NY Times stands by poll Politico

The New York Times has sent in its response to the Obama campaign’s heavy criticism of today’s NYT/CBS News poll (see previous post), which the campaign objected to, in part, because it surveyed the same group of people surveyed for a poll last month. That now controversial poll has Mitt Romney leading Obama among those surveyed — including women — and shows two-thirds believe the president supported same-sex marriage “for political reasons.”

Obama Message on the Times Poll: ‘They Re-Biased the Same Sample.’  nationalreview.com

The argument is that because the Times went back to 562 of the 852 registered voter respondents they reached in April, it somehow doesn’t accurately represent the views of the electorate the way the preceding poll did. It’s possible that the 562 lean further to the right than the preceding sample. But because the Times provides the partisan breakdown of both samples, we know that the sample is essentially the same in partisan composition. It shifted from 26 percent Republican, 34 percent Democrat, and 33 percent Independent (D+8) to 27 percent Republican, 35 percent Democrat, and 34 percent Independent (D+8). The sample of 562 is a bit smaller than one would like to see in a national poll, but it’s not wildly smaller than other national polls, and as the Times writes, “In theory, in 19 cases out of 20, results based on such samples of all adults will differ by no more than 4 percentage points in either direction from what would have been obtained by seeking to interview all American adults.”

New York Times Doubles Down On Controversial Poll Showing Romney Beating Obama Among Women mediaite.com

The New York Times doubled down on its controversial poll which showed Mitt Romney leading President Obama among women voters. “We stand by our latest poll with CBS News on same-sex marriage and its use of a call-back survey of respondents from our most recent poll in mid-April,” spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told Politico’s Dylan Byers.

Obama campaign questions fairness, accuracy of new poll azcentral.com

“We can’t put the methodology of that poll aside,” deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter told MSNBC this morning. “It is a biased sample.” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt took to Twitter to raise doubt about the poll’s suggestion that Romney has closed the gender gap. The CBS/New York Times polls show Romney leading the president 46%-44% among women and 45%-42%. “State polls show big advantage among women,” LaBolt tweeted. “Be wary of any poll that doesn’t.” He could have a point. A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows the gender gap continuing. In the nationwide poll, women prefer Obama by 8 percentage points. Men prefer Romney by 3 points.

Obama Campaign on NYT Poll: ‘Weird Methodology’ weeklystandard.com

…In response, the Obama campaign is blaming the Times for the bad numbers. As press secretary Ben Labolt tweeted last night, “Aside from being outlier, CBS/NYT poll used weird methodology — same voters as last month, reached fewer of them, more IDed as GOP.”

Aside from being outlier, CBS/NYT poll used weird methodology — same voters as last month, reached fewer of them, more IDed as GOP. — Ben LaBolt (@BenLaBolt) May 15, 2012

That New York Times/CBS News Poll about Obama and Same-Sex Marriage prospect.org

This new poll—discussed here by Peter Baker and Dahlia Sussmann—is already getting attention for what the article doesn’t say: this survey is a “panel-back.”  That is, respondents who were previously interviewed in an April 13-17 poll have been interviewed again.  You will learn this if you choose to click through to the toplines of the poll (same deal at CBS).  You will learn more if you read what Steven Shepard says at National Journal, or what Mark Blumenthal said about panel-backs a while back….

Romney takes the lead with women voters despite Obama’s cosy chat about gay marriage on The View UK Daily Mail

Women Voters Fleeing Obama for Romney israelnationalnews.com

Reposted: Team Obama: NYT/CBS poll used ‘biased sample’ politico.com

New CBS/NY Times poll shows Romney leading Obama among women voters washingtontimes.com

Obama can thank ‘Julia’ for his drop in the polls thehill.com
Sabrina L. Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum.

Rattled Obama team making miscues washingtonexaminer.com (Opinion)

Mitt Romney’s Poll Surge Might Be Bigger Than It Looks usnews.com (Opinion)

The Likability Sweeps sunshinestatenews.com (Opinion)

Video Links:

Fox News: President losing women voters? Election battle brewing for women voters

Obama campaign: NYT/CBS poll ‘biased’ politico.com/msnbc.com (Video link)

Limbaugh: Obama’s “War On Women” Has Backfired Big Time realclearpolitics.com (Opinion, video link)

TheYoungTurks: Poll: Romney Beating Obama Among Women

 

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One response to “Polling methodology debate: Did the US Gender Gap disappear?

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