Thursday, July 31, 2008


Although most polls on the New Mexico Senate race have shown Democrat Tom Udall beating Republican Steve Pearce by better than 20 points, a new Zogby poll shows Pearce coming within just eight points.

Here's what Zogby has to say:

Independent, moderate and Hispanic voters are putting Democrat Tom Udall in position to take the seat being vacated by Republican Pete Domenici. Udall leads Republican Steve Pearce, 49%-41% ...

Moderates favor Udall by more than 2-to-1, while Independents give him a 10% lead. Udall nearly doubles Pearce’s support among Hispanics. The two are even among men, but Udall holds a solid lead among women.

Pearce’s strengths are with the traditional GOP voters: regular church goers and gun owners. The survey included 464 likely voters in New Mexico and carries a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points.

That seems like a radical shift. But there are major differences in how this poll was conducted compared to others.

Even though Zogby just released the poll -- an online "interactive" survey -- the data actually is a month old. It was taken between June 11-30, 2008. There is no indication that the sampling was "likely voters" or "registered voters."

The previous poll I saw was Rasmussen's, which showed Udall ahead 59 percent to 34 percent. That poll was taken on July 25 of 700 likely voters. Its margin of sampling error for the survey is plus or minus 4 percentage.

As Tom Waits said, "The large print giveth and the small print taketh away."

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