We’re Trying To Figure This Out


(Ed. Note: See updates below.)

Getting a massive amount of coverage this morning is the CNN snap poll of the debate, which showed Romney winning the exchanged overwhelmingly.

But the internals of the poll look really strange. If you look at the breakdown of the sample, it doesn’t appear to contain anyone (or doesn’t appear to contain any representative sample) under 50, anyone outside of the South or anyone who’s not white. (See page 8 of this pdf.)

I doesn’t make sense to me that they’d do or release a poll like that. So really curious if anyone has an explanation.Late Update: We’ve dug in a little deeper on this, and there seems to be a straightforward non-nefarious explanation. It appears that where the subgroups within CNN’s representative sample of 430 voters were too small to yield statistically valid conclusions about the subgroups themselves, CNN declined to publish those results simply because they were not reliable on their own. We’re seeking confirmation from CNN, but this is the most likely explanation — one that is valid. –dk

Later Update: CNN provided us with the internals of the poll, and the demographics of the poll respondents are very much line with normal standards for randomized sampling. —dk


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.