What’s Up at SurveyUSA?

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August 12, 2010 1:20 p.m.

Not quite sure what to make of this yet. But SurveyUSA’s polls this year are leaning pretty strongly toward the GOP candidates relative to most other pollsters.

What caught my eye was this result for the California Senate race which has Fiorina over Boxer by 5 points, even though all the other recent polls, including Rasmussen, show Boxer ahead by at least a few points and in some cases by almost 10 points. So for instance, the current TPM Poll Average for that race gives Boxer a 2.6 point edge. But take out SurveyUSA and the margin pops up to 5 points, which is a big difference when a lot pollsters are following this race.Now my sense has been that this is not restricted to California. And when I asked our poll editor Evan McMorris-Santoro about this, he said that sure enough Dem press folks have been shooting down SurveyUSA results this cycle somewhat in the way many discount Rasmussen’s numbers.

But here’s the thing. SurveyUSA had a really good record in the 2008 cycle. That’s not just my recollection. Nate Silver’s mega-number crunch suggested the same. So are they picking something up which other pollsters aren’t? Given their record in the past cycle, it’s not something I’m inclined to rule out.

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