- Apr 12, 2008
- Reaction score
- real world
First, let’s start with the topline results, as reported by CNN: Obama 52%, Romney 43% among registered voters, 53/41 among all respondents. If that’s the case, then the number of respondents in the latter case voting for Obama should be 538, and the number supporting Romney 416.
However, when reading the questions on page 3 of the poll report, that’s not at all what we see:
BASED ON 484 RESPONDENTS WHO PLAN TO VOTE FOR OBAMA — SAMPLING ERROR: +/- 4.5 PERCENTAGE PTS.
3. (Asked of Obama voters) Is that more a vote FOR Barack Obama or more a vote AGAINST Mitt
BASED ON 476 RESPONDENTS WHO PLAN TO VOTE FOR ROMNEY — SAMPLING ERROR: +/- 4.5 PERCENTAGE PTS.
4. (Asked of Romney voters) Is that more a vote FOR Mitt Romney or more a vote AGAINST Barack
Since the combined total of the two exceeds their count of registered voters in the survey (910), we have to assume this refers to the general-population response. That’s wildly different than the 53/41 split that CNN reports from the poll. In fact, it’s only a 48/47 split for Obama. And given that the poll shows a slightly better result for Romney among registered voters, it’s not difficult to conclude that Romney probably led in that category before CNN’s pollster shifted the results around to this extent.