Careful with those poll numbers … Rasmussen on O’Malley and Ehrlich
– The poll shows O’Malley beating Ehrlich again, if the election were held today, 47-44.
– It shows strong approval for Ehrlich among men and for O’Malley among women.
– It also shows O’Malley with higher unfavorables than Ehrlich (no doubt a function of O’M being the incumbent.)
Some general critiques:
– Rasmussen only polled 500 likely voters. An excellent sample would be 1,000 likely voters and Gonzales Research, which has a long history in Maryland, typically does around 800 people.
So the margins are going to be bigger, making this either a lot tighter of race than the poll would have it appear, or a lot less close.
– Rasmussen’s robocall method of polling has drawn criticism because, among other things, it’s harder to judge the validity of your respondents than if you had a person asking the questions.
– All of that said, one national analyst, Nate Silver, has lauded Rasmussen’s national polling work.
– UPDATE: A reader took issue with the assessment that Nate Silver “lauded” Rasmussen and provided a link to this post. In the post, Silver lays out why Rasmussen’s polling methodology tends to favor Republicans. It’s a good read, tad esoteric, but worth the time as we are entering heavy-speculation and prognostication season.