Bill Kristol Unskews ‘Bogus’ New York Times Polls Showing Dems In Lead

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Like clockwork, the consistently wrong Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol quickly moved to “unskew” a set of new polls showing Democrats in surprisingly good shape in a handful of Senate races where Republicans have long been regarded as the favorites.

The polls, conducted by The New York Times and Kaiser Family Foundation showed Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan (NC), Mary Landrieu (LA), and Mark Pryor (AR) as well as likely Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes either in an essential dead heat or leading their Republican competitors. Those Democrats have all been regarded as highly vulnerable this election cycle.

Kristol’s qualm with the new round of polls centers around a subquestion on who those surveyed said they voted for in Arkansas in 2012. The poll found that 26 percent of those surveyed said they voted for President Barack Obama in the 2012 election in Arkansas while 27 percent of those surveyed said they voted for Mitt Romney over Obama. At The Weekly Standard on Wednesday Kristol wrote:

But Romney carried Arkansas in 2012 by 24 points. Similarly, the Kentucky sample is +3 Romney when reality was +23. The Louisiana sample is +3 Obama in a state Obama lost by 17, and the North Carolina sample is +7 Obama in a state he lost by 3.

The whole point of question 12 is to provide a reality test for the sample. That’s why they ask that question–we know what happened in 2012, so the only thing to be learned by asking the 2012 question of the sample is to ensure that it’s a reasonably accurate snapshot of voters in the state. Of course there’ll always be some variance between reality and the sample’s report of its vote a year and a half ago–but not a 23 point variance.

A reputable news organization would have looked at question 12 and thrown the poll out. But then again, it was the New York Times.

Kristol also used to work for The New York Times. The Republican National Committee also sent out an email saying that the Times was “desperate after losing Nate Silver.” RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said that the polls were of “adults, not registered voters or even likely voters.”

Although Kristol has made a habit of making bad predictions, he wasn’t alone in his skepticism of the poll’s new findings.

But there was pushback from Daily Kos polling analyst Daniel Nichanian.

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