Friday, March 05, 2004

Instapundit links to an AP poll showing Nader with 6% support. CRJ thinks that it is way off due to a biased question, with Nader being blessed by being called "independent".

I agree that the poll is wrong, but I disagree completely on the reason why. It has nothing to do with a misleading question or biased polling or the magic word "independent". It is wrong for much the same reason that all the polls last year had Dean doing so well.

In 2003, people didn't have much information to go on, but a big number of people knew they didn't want Bush. Dean was getting a lot of press as the "Anti-Bush", so he got their "vote" in those polls. When the time came to cast a REAL vote in the primaries, the votes were more informed. Plus, this was also the time to vote for a particular candidate instead of just against Bush.

Now, we have a number of people who aren't really happy with either Bush, or Kerry. This leaves them with "not decided" and Nader. The poll is meaningless, so they register a "protest vote" for Nader. The poll result doesn't reflect Nader support, it just reflects deep unhappiness with both the major candidates in a small percentage (~5%) of their sample.