It must just be Murphy's Law of blogging, but the most link-worthy news always seems to spring up during days when I am unable to post. I will try to catch up with more details on some of these items, but as all are of interest, here is a brief run-down on poll related news:
- The Majority Watch project conducted a one-night automated survey the 16th District of Florida from which Republican Mark Foley resigned from on Friday (via Kaus). The difficulty of polling this contest is that Foley's name will remain on the ballot, and votes cast in his name will count toward replacement candidate Joe Negron. So the Majority Watch used two separate samples to ask two questions: One replicating the choice as it will appear on the ballot (Foley vs. Democrat Tim Mahoney), and one explaining that a vote for Foley "will count as a vote for the new Republican nominee." Mohoney led by seven points (50% to 43%) on the first version, but by just 3 on the second (49% to 46%). While the impact of the unfolding Foley scandal is obviously topic A this morning, readers should remember that the Majority Watch surveys use an automated methodology so new that even its creators describe it as a "work in progress." Given the presumably rapidly evolving opinions of Florida 16 voters and the usual risks of conducting one-night surveys, we strongly recommend taking this particular result with a larger than usual grain of salt.
- The weekend also brought a slew of new polls in competitive statewide races from the Mason-Dixon organization. Links are in our "recent polls" update box to the right and will be include in the next update of our charts within a few hours.
- The Pew Research Center website posted an interview with Joe Lenski of Edison Media Research conducted by Pew' President Andrew Kohut. Lenski was the partner of the late Warren Mitofsky and will now take responsibility for leading exit polling next month for the news media consortium that includes ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press. Kohut's interview with Lenski discusses the "steps that he and his colleagues have taken to avoid problems associated with the 2004 poll." It's worth reading in full.
- Finally, Professor Michael D. Cobb of North Carolina State University sent word of a new survey conducted along with NC State colleague William A. Boettcher III. According to their release, the survey provides evidence that Americans are skeptical of the links made by President Bush between Iraq and "the broader campaign against terrorism" and "appear unwilling to pay the future human and material costs of the war. Cobb is an occasional commenter here. Another frequent commenter here, DemfromCt, also posted to DailyKos excerpts from a lengthy email exchange with Cobb and Boettcher.