The Star Tribune‘s “Minnesota Poll” continues to serve its primary function – manipulating voter turnout.
As always with the MNPoll, the marquee numbers are nearly meaningless;
Dayton has strengthened his lead to 41 percent, according to the poll, followed by Emmer at 34 percent. Horner, who has struggled to get out of the teens in all public polls, is at 13 percent. That’s down from a peak of 18 percent last month.
The poll was conducted between Oct. 18 and 21 among 999 likely Minnesotans voters on both land-line and cell phones. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
No, it’s the crosstab numbers that matter It’s buried on the second page of the online report, naturally:
In this poll, the sample of likely voters consisted of 34 percent Democrats, 31 percent independents and 30 percent Republicans.
Four percent overpoll of Democrats? This year?
The poll is of 999 “likely voters” – and it’s there that the methodology goes from “reporting” to , as David Brauer puts it, the “secret sauce”.
[the poll is] based on 804 land-line and 402 cell phone interviews conducted Oct. 18-21 with a representative sample of Minnesota adults. Of that sample, 999 were deemed to be likely voters, and the poll results are based on those respondents.
And there’s the detail in which the Devil is. How does Princeton Research (the company that actually does the Strib’s polling) take those 1,200 likely voters and “deem” 1,000 or so of them to be “likely”?
We don’t know. None of the major pollsters will say.
The article, by Rachel Stassen-Berger, goes on to squeeze in a puff piece for Dayton.
We really know two things:
The Minnesota Poll has, for a generation, always shown Republicans behind the week before the election, sometimes by ludicrious amounts, when they went on to win.
And the Minnesota Poll’s errors immediately before elections inevitably appear designed to drive down Republican turnout in elections that every other pollster in the business shows to be incredibly tightly contested.
It is time for someone to investigate the Strib’s polling operations, both under Princeton Research and, before 2007, under Rob Daves. If Emmer wins – and I predict he will, by a three point margin – it’ll be further proof that the Minnesota poll is nothing a get out the DFL vote/suppress the GOP vote effort.
The deniablity is plausible – but only just.