Another Outlier LA Times Poll Shows Big Boxer Lead

Posted: Oct 25, 2010 10:19 AM
A month ago, the LA Times released a bogus poll showing Sen. Barbara Boxer with a large lead over Carly Fiorina.  We dissected the poll's flaws, and the Fiorina campaign followed up with an email totally blowing it out of the water.  Yesterday, the Times was at it again, reporting yet another outlier poll indicating a wide Boxer advantage:

The abrupt movement in the race for governor [Brown leading Whitman by 13] came as Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer held onto her 8-point margin over Republican Carly Fiorina in the U.S. Senate contest. Boxer's 50% to 42% lead was statistically unchanged from September's 51% to 43% edge.

Sigh.  Take it away, Team Carly:

Put simply, the Times/USC poll is in direct conflict with both the trends and results of every other public poll in the U.S. senate race taken over the last two weeks and it is not an accurate reflection of where the voters of California stand in this race.

Attached is a memo from our pollster, Dave Sackett of the Terrance Group, that discusses the major problems with this poll and compares what little data the Times/USC have provided publicly about their sample to actual turnout figures in the 2006 and 2008 elections. A few key points: 

*    The poll implies that Democrats will have a net 5 bigger advantage in turnout based  on Party ID than they did in '06 - despite the documented enthusiasm gap favoring Republicans.
*    If you look in the tabs, among those who voted in the '06 election, the ballot is tied
     at 45/46, as it has been in nearly every public poll in this race over the last week. 

Finally, this poll is totally out of sync with private tracking polls as well. Here is a link to download another memo from Dave Sackett from late in the week that details the movement in tracking in this race:

: Rasmussen's very latest CA Senate poll adheres to the clear trend of most non-LA Times polling in this race.  It's a statistical dead heat, with Boxer ahead by two points.