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Fresh polls in 6 & 8

Monday, Oct 30, 2006

Constituent Dynamics has released two new polls for the 6th and 8th Congressional Districts.

* Three weeks ago, the polling firm had Peter Roskam slightly ahead of Tammy Duckworth, 47-46. Now, they’ve got Duckworth edging Roskam 48-47. Crosstabs here. Click below for a larger image.


* Two weeks ago, they had Congresswoman Melissa Bean neck and neck with Dave McSweeney, 47-44. Now they’ve got Bean ahead by a more comfortable 50-45.

However - and this is a big however - for the second time in a row the organization has failed to poll the third candidate in the race, rendering this poll useless — The Archpundit has convinced me that the third party candidate is probably picked up in the “other” category. I’d still like to see the candidate in, but the poll is not totally useless. Crosstabs.


If they can’t even figure out that there are three candidates in this race, you gotta wonder whether they can be believed on anything else.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Squideshi - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 6:35 pm:

    Rich wrote, “However - and this is a big however - for the second time in a row the organization has failed to poll the third candidate in the race, rendering this poll useless.”

    I’m glad that you’re raising this point, Rich. Thanks for standing up for good journalism!

  2. - Rawlings - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 6:44 pm:

    Just keep searching online, you can find a poll showing your candidate in the lead….these polls, and the attention they get, are getting old….only one more week to go until the real polling counts, thank GOD!!

  3. - Lovie's Leather - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 7:39 pm:

    I second that, Rawlings. It is amazing how much that the polls vary in the last couple weeks. It is either a symptom of a bi-polar Illinois, or of crazy polling methods, or… and let me be explicit… selective polling. I can’t wait for this to be over. At the very least, we’ll have a new 6th district congressman/woman and a new treasurer. Isn’t that exciting, Illinois?…?!

  4. - fedup dem - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 8:02 pm:

    I don’t think it will matter that much on November 7, but your point on the absence of the third candidate is valid. Whomever paid these bozos to conduct this poll should sue them for fraud!

  5. - Bridget Dooley - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 8:27 pm:

    I’m pretty skepticall all around about Constituent Dynamics. Aren’t they a new outfit? Their polling for IL-10 was wayyyyy off compared to other pollsters.

  6. - Archpundit - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 8:32 pm:

    It’s not useless. There is the other category and it didn’t break 1% in either of the first two polls and came in at 3% this time. They specifically point this out in their methodology section:

    ==We’ve learned a great deal along the way, initially from the trailblazing work of SurveyUSA, and by carefully analyzing our own results. We have done few controlled experiments, but we usually try something new each time out, hoping to achieve continuous improvement.

    ===This particular instrument was drafted in collaboration with Thom Riehle. We went through several drafts and considered and ultimately rejected a series of issues questions before deciding on the current content.

    ===While the names are different, the form of the congressional preference questions is identical, providing an option for “some other candidate” in every race. Our typical approach is to list each candidate on the ballot, but in this case the desire to compare across 30 districts came first. Of course in a few jurisdictions with contested September primaries we were forced to ask some generic major party candidate questions as well.


    It’s not uncommon to leave off 3rd party candidates who aren’t registering over a couple percentage points as volunteered answers. When you are trying to get accurate polling data adding names can be a problem as well for accurate results. Not many people go into the booth and vote for a non-major party candidate without knowing to volunteer the name.

    With only one other candidate on the ballot it would be nice to have it, but it doesn’t make the poll worthless.

    The DH poll puts him at 2% strong backing with 6% weak backing compared to 3% other in the CD/RT poll. Most likely, Scheuer will come in closer to 2% than 8%.

  7. - knotatrooper - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 9:11 pm:

    I have had several folks not involved in the campaign tell me they got called on the poll. And they said they will vote for Scheurer. Now the DCC is taking out slime ads against him. Just shows, he is really polling much higher than is comfortable for the dems. In fact, he has enough support right now to guarantee Bean loses. So I guess a vote for Bean is the wasted vote. The race is between Scheurer and McSweeney now. Time to come over from the dark side and vote for peace. You know you want to. Just do it!

  8. - Wumpus - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 10:10 pm:

    Separate question, ho wtall is Todd Stroger? Every time i see him in a chair on tv, he looks like a …Toddler. It is not relevant to my vote, but I know tall guys usually win the race for President and given his underwhelming credentials, a bright eyed child does not instill confidence. ABC News reports that:
    Peracia 51
    Toddler 42
    Undecided 7

  9. - VanillaMan - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 10:18 pm:

    Polls are everywhere and nowhere. We just might find out that few polls know what they are doing on election night.

    It is getting harder to believe most of them. They swing here and there. They used to be useful only when telling us “who is ahead”. Now, they don’t even do that anymore.

    It is difficult to believe that voters are as insane as the polls indicate. A 16 point swing for Blagojevich? Thats freaking nuts. Polls are looking like a bunch of nothing. I used to look at them with a jaundiced eye, add 5% to the Republican percentage and take a guess. Now, we can’t even do that.

    Is it some kind of plan to make polls look bad? Or are polls just losing it? Who is answering these land phones? I haven’t had one for years, and it seems only my parents do. Are they calling geezers? Who the heck are they calling?

    When polls give results like this, and they have been striking out for months now, you have to start wondering about all of them. They were a valuable tool. Not anymore.

  10. - Squideshi - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 10:37 pm:

    Archpundit wrote, “It’s not uncommon to leave off 3rd party candidates who aren’t registering over a couple percentage points as volunteered answers.”

    This is called a bias in favor of Republicans and Democrats. It only serves to perpetuate the status quo because the polls, themselves, are a type of free publicity for the candidates.

    If a candidate makes it onto the ballot, a difficult thing to do in Illinois, then the media and pollsters should treat that candidate as a serious candidate. The candidate should be invited to debates and included in articles.

    It’s precisely BECAUSE of discrimination like this that new party candidates have such a hard time.

  11. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 10:43 pm:

    This close to election day, you gotta include a third party candidate who seems viable, in my opinion.

  12. - Archpundit - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 11:08 pm:

    ===It’s precisely BECAUSE of discrimination like this that new party candidates have such a hard time.

    Rich has a valid point–and I don’t entirely disagree with him and would prefer to include Scheuer–that said, there’s not much evidence that they are missing much.

    But in response to the above the reality is that polls are about estimating voter support and fairly consistently polls overestimate candidates and become less accurate when including third party candidates that are polling around the margin of error.

    It isn’t because he’s not included that Scheuer isn’t doing well, it’s because no one knows who he is. If he spends all the rest of his money he can reach voters with one mailing. If he halves his universe to Democratic leaning voters he can do two. I would argue for most 3rd Party candidates findings of being around 2-3 percent hurt them more than anything else.

    It’s a first past the post system that kills 3rd parties, not all of the other reasons 3rd parties like to claim.

  13. - Nickname - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 1:03 am:


    If I were Melissa Bean, I would not at all be worried considering that the NRCC has to rely on the Daily Herald ENDORSEMENT OF HER (which they clearly show in their negative ad) to find something on which to attack her. That’s really desperate.

    She’s a cinch to win.

  14. - Squideshi - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 9:14 am:

    ArchPundit wrote, “It’s a first past the post system that kills 3rd parties, not all of the other reasons 3rd parties like to claim.”

    I agree that this is a major problem. In fact any system that allows a candidate to be elected without a majority of the vote, such as our current system, is seriously flawed. A plurality is simply not enough to elect a candiate, because the majority may actually be opposed to the candidate elected.

    We need to replace our system of minority (plurality) elections with a system that ensures majority rule. Of course, the most common way to do this is to use run-off elections; however, Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is a far better option because it is less expensive, improves voter turnout, and reduces negative campaigning.

    Attorney General Madigan has already issued an opinion stating that home rule municipalities may use IRV with referendum approval; but we’ve also had several good IRV bills introduced in the Illinois General Assembly, that never make it out of the House Rules Committee. These include HB0843 in the 94th, HB3301 and HB4011 in the 93rd, and HB6293 in the 92nd.

    IRV is a common sense election reform supported across the political spectrum. Why aren’t these bills coming out of the House Rules Committee?

    I am of the opinion that with a Democratic House, Senate, and Governor, Illinois Democrats have no right to complain about any spoiler effect. They have been given the solution, but they refuse to use it. They are the only ones that have the power to make this change; so the responsibility for any “spoiled” votes lies squarely at their own feet.

  15. - IL Dem - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 11:22 am:

    All of consitituent dynamic polls seem to be well off the mark compared to every campaign poll released. Kirk and Seals both released polls with an 18-20 point difference, then CD has them neck and neck.

    Bean released a poll with a 19 point lead, then she’s only up by 3. This seems to be the saem the same across the coutnry.

    Is there something different in the way they conduct these polls?

    As for Bean, I’ve seen polls from her, but not from McSweeney. Every other congressional race in IL has been releasing their numbers (Seals, Weller, Kirk, Duckworth, Roskam, etc.) Has McSweeney released anything? I don’t think he has which leads me to believe his numbers are not as good as these CD polls suggest. (PS - IMHO any candidate on the ballot should be included in any poll)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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