February 07, 2003
Poll Psychology

Various lefties (you know who you are) have been gloating over a recent poll that showed Bush beating a generic Democrat by only 45-40, with almost two years to make up the five-point gap before the real election. I have read that asymmetric polls -- those that pit a named person against a generic candidate -- tend to overstate the latter's appeal. When you think about it, it's obvious that they must. Although a majority of voters who prefer Lieberman over Bush would also prefer Gephardt or Kerry or Dean or Hart over Bush, and vice versa, there are always some exceptions. An asymmetric poll allows all the Lieberman voters to assume that they are being asked about a Bush-Lieberman election, all the Kerry voters to assume that it will be Bush-Kerry, and so on. Republicans who prefer someone other than Bush -- and they do exist -- have no such option. The gloating is therefore ill-founded.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at February 07, 2003 11:58 PM