Today, the Columbus Dispatch released the results of their mail-in poll in the Governor’s and Senate races.  The Dispatch poll is the only poll outfit that conducts its polling entirely by mail.  It’s lead for some rather unpredictable results, and as such, has been generally regarded as the least accurate measure of public opinion in Ohio.

The Dispatch claims that their poll has a margin of error of 2%.  I don’t see it.

Of the Dispatch respondents, only 54% said they voted for Strickland in 2006, even though Strickland got 61% of the general election vote—a seven-point undersampling.  The Dispatch’s respondents consisted only 45% of people who voted for Obama in 2008, even though Obama carried 51.5%, another nearly seven-point undersampling.  In fact, a majority of respondents said they voted for McCain.  Despite the fact that the Democrats have an over million voter registration advantage over Republicans, the majority of the Dispatch’s sample was registered Republicans.

Despite that and a disproportionate  high sample size of central Ohioans, the Dispatch  poll still shows the Attorney General and Secretary of State races essentially tied (however, that could be regional bias that would favor Franklin County Maryellen O’Shaughnessy.  And the Treasurer’s race would appear to be within striking distance.  But again, that could be the result of the regional bias of the poll since Boyce is from central Ohio.

In other words, this poll is, like the prior Dispatch polls, is completely useless.   It predicted that several of the RON amendments in 2005 would pass—they all went down in defeat.

There was a reason the Dispatch had used the Ohio Poll by the University of Cincinnati earlier this year.  The question is why would they go back to their widely discredited joke of a mail-in respondent poll.

  • Dennis Spisak

    Brian Hesler discounts ANY POLL that has Ted Strickland trailing…..

    Talk about being a true Ted-Head. This former Strickland aide should have a giant L on his forehead……

  • Anastasjoy

    Yeah, and I loved the guy who was quoted as saying we need to get Ohio back to where it was. Well, Kasich would certainly do that — stagnating economy, accelerating job losses, and crony corruption that would make Coingate look like a tempest in a teapot, and likely end up sucking billions out of the state treasurer – your money and mine.

    Yeah, I was to “get back” to that.

  • Danngoingdown1

    Um, the Dispatch mail in poll has been extremely accurate for statewide candidates in the past. It called 2008 and 2006 accurately.

  • Karl

    From November 6th, 2008:

    “As usual, Dispatch Poll was accurate”

    The Dispatch Poll again accurately foreshadowed the outcome of the presidential race in Ohio as well as the other three items in its survey.
    The poll came within a point of both Barack Obama’s and John McCain’s percentages, well within the survey’s 2-point margin of sampling error.

    http://goo.gl/BJxS

  • Bob

    The poll fits their narrative. It’s all part of their daily Trash the Democrats strategy.

  • guest

    They needed something positive to write about the Republican’s in the state. Their poor polling helps them write the headlines.

  • ONU2003

    Great analysis Modern. The Dispatch poll can be explained away; what about the Rasmussen polls that show Kasich and Portman pulling away from Strickland and Fisher with double digit leads? As a loyal democrat and supporter of the ticket I’m very concerned.

  • I love how they ran the results on the front page of the Sunday paper.

  • Modern Esquire

    Um, who didn’t call those races “accurately.”

    The fact is that the sample size underrepresents Democrats, Obama voters, and Strickland voters.

  • Modern Esquire

    Spell my name right at least.

    Speaking of not spelling names right, they didn’t even get yours right.

    I don’t discount every poll that shows Strickland trailing. But you have to discount one that has a notorious poor methodology and a worse track record and clearly undersampled Democratic voters/oversampled Republican voters.

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