Club For Growth Poll Shows Three-Way Statistical Tie In NY-23

Club For Growth Poll Shows Three-Way Statistical Tie In NY-23


A new poll of New York’s 23rd Congressional District from the Club For Growth, which is backing Conservative Party Candidate Doug Hoffman in the race, effectively shows that the race is now a statistical dead heat among all three candidates:

Washington – A poll released today by the Club for Growth shows Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman surging into the lead in the special election in New York’s 23rd congressional district to replace John McHugh, the former congressman who recently became Secretary of the Army.

The poll of 300 likely voters, conducted October 24-25, 2009, shows Conservative Doug Hoffman at 31.3%, Democrat Bill Owens at 27.0%, Republican Dede Scozzafava at 19.7%, and 22% undecided. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 5.66%. No information was provided about any of the candidates prior to the ballot question.

This is the third poll done for the Club for Growth in the NY-23 special election, and Doug Hoffman is the only candidate to show an increase in his support levels in each successive poll. The momentum in the race is clearly with Hoffman.

This result stands in contracts to the other recent polls conducted in the race, which seemed to show that the Democratic candidate was benefiting from a divided Republican electorate:

FireShot Pro capture #170 - 'RealClearPolitics - Election 2009 - New York 23rd District - Special Election' - www_realclearpolitics_com_epolls_2009_house_ny_new_york_23rd_district_special_election-1

Of course, it’s worth noting that there are obvious reasons to discount the Daily Kos poll, and there are some serious doubts about the Club for Growth poll as well.

For one thing, Basswood Research appears to be an exclusively Republican polling firm and there’s absolutely no indication that it’s methodology is accurate or reliable.

For another, the 5 3/4% margin of error is unusually high, and means that the numbers themselves give no indication of who might be in the lead.

Finally, with one-fifth of the electorate undecided, a number that doesn’t seem to have changed all that much from the previous polls, it’s pretty clear that this race is far from being decided.

Personally, I’m going to wait until we get a poll from an unbiased source like Siena College to see where this race might really be going.

  • Gaucho Politico

    i wouldnt discount the r2k poll simply because it comes from kos. your going to need more than the source to discount polling especially when its conducted by research 2000 and not the site itself. this is especially true when the r2k poll is in line with the sienna poll you find is reliable.

    the r2k poll is very transparent. it asks the follow up question about where the votes go if you eliminate hoffman. a third wont vote and the rest are undecided.

    the club for growth poll isnt releasing any of the cross tabs which would be useful in evaluating how useful it is. i agree that the small sample size is disconcerting. in addition it is a “likely voter” poll so that also changes depending on how they are deciding what a likely voter is. so i wouldnt wait it that heavily but i wouldnt fully discount it.

  • Nick Benjamin

    The problem with most partisan and campaign polls isn’t that the campaign is necessarily lying. The problem is they only release polls that fit their narrative. DailyKos releases all their polls. They have to. No organization with that many members could release a poll just to members. They could try but it wouldn’t work too good.

    I’m very skeptical of this particular poll. Club for Growth does not release most of their polls. This particular one has a minuscule sample size, and shows a 14-point swing from Owens to Hoffman in 3 days. It also fits the narrative Club for Growth wants perfectly.

    So I wouldn’t be surprised if Club for Growth actually commissioned several polls, nudged the questions so that Hoffman voters were disproportionately represented, and then released the best one.

    That said polling a special election well is virtually impossible. You just don’t know whose going to show up. Polling a three-way special election is even harder. This poll seems to imply the Republican is dead at 20%, but if you nudge the numbers his way five points he’s actually 2nd, behind the Conservative by a single point.

  • kranky kritter

    Very good advice, Doug.

  • Trescml

    Never trust a poll that the margin of error goes out to a 100th of a percent.

  • Nancy Hanks

    Yes, this poll brings new meaning to the term “margin of error”!!