It’s a day for lots of polls and crazy poll swings

The campaigns for Georgia’s key statewide races were buffeted by the heaviest day of polling to date on Friday, which means they had to cope with some loopy polling swings as well.

No less than three independent polls were released within the space of eight hours for the governor’s and Senate race.  The results were all over map, leaving the state’s voters to scratch their heads and ask the age-old question:  which poll is accurate?

That’s a question that probably won’t be answered until election day on Nov. 4.

The deluge of numbers started late in the morning when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution released poll results that showed Gov. Nathan Deal ahead of state Sen. Jason Carter by 43-42 percent in the governor’s race and Republican David Perdue leading Democrat Michelle Nunn by 45-41 percent in the Senate race.

The AJC poll had Libertarian Andrew Hunt with 7 percent support in the governor’s race and Libertarian Amanda Swafford at 6 percent in the Senate battle.

Friday afternoon, Morris News released the results of a poll by Insider Advantage that showed a wild swing in the Senate race numbers.

Insider Advantage, which has had an up-and-down polling performance this cycle, said its Senate race survey had Perdue leading Nunn by a whopping 10 points at 50-40 percent with another 5 percent going to Swafford.

The poll for Morris News had similar findings to the AJC for the governor’s race:  Deal up on Carter by 44-40 percent with Libertarian Andrew Hunt receiving 7 percent of the vote.

By Friday evening, the poll results had swung back dramatically in Nunn’s and Carter’s favor.

WSB-TV said its latest poll conducted by Landmark Communications showed Nunn leading Perdue by 46-43 percent (which was at the edges of the poll’s 2.9 percent margin of error).  No number for Swafford was provided.

WSB said its poll put Carter in the lead in the governor’s race at 47-44 percent over Deal.

Part of the reason for all these polling swings comes back again to the issue of projected turnout among black voters.  The poll for the AJC weighted black turnout at 24 percent while Insider Advantage projected the black vote at 33 percent, a considerable difference.

From the Morris poll, where Perdue had a 10 point lead, to the Landmark poll, where Nunn was ahead by 3 points, you had a swing of 13 points among Senate race pollsters.

You had a smaller disparity of 7 points in the governor’s race polls, ranging from a Deal lead of 4 points to a Carter advantage of 3 points.

As the old saying goes, all of them can’t be right.

© 2014 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Atlanta Journal-Constitution , David Perdue , Jason Carter , Michelle Nunn , Morris News , Nathan Deal , Polls , WSB