About this Blog
About The Author
Email Me

RealClearPolitics HorseRaceBlog

By Jay Cost

« The Poll I Would Like To See | HorseRaceBlog Home Page | Will Bush Pardon Libby? »

Why I Love Gallup

With all due respect to the other great pollsters out there, this is why Gallup is the poll I look to first.

This is from their new poll.

4. (Asked of Democrats and independents who lean to the Democratic Party)I'm going to read a list of people who may be running in the Democratic primary for president in the next election. After I read all the names, please tell me which of those candidates you would be most likely to support for the Democratic nomination for President in the year 2008, or if you would support someone else.

5.(Asked of Democrats and independents who lean to the Democratic Party who named a candidate they support for the Democratic nomination in 2008) Who would be your second choice?

This is not exactly what I argued for earlier today. I would like to see everybody's preference ordering from 1 to 8 (in the case of the Democrats) and be able to see the raw data so I could run correlations to find out if there is a relationship between your first choice and your second choice - but this is a step in the right direction.

So also is this question:

6.(Asked of Democrats and independents who lean to the Democratic Party)Suppose the choice for the Democratic presidential nomination narrows down to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Which one would you prefer the Democratic Party nominate for president -- (ROTATED:) Hillary Clinton (or) Barack Obama?

Again, not exactly what I would like. But a step in the right direction.

[N.B. Actually, I was just being rhetorical when I said that this is why I love Gallup. They are indeed my favorite poll, but that is because they offer polls on congressional politics that go as far back to 1946. There are a whole host of polls today that are as good as Gallup. But Gallup's history gives me a large number of observations to test hypotheses. One hypothesis that I hope to test pretty soon is that congressional job approval is positively correlated with presidential job approval, regardless of whether the government is divided. This would mean that the 110th Congress's marks are low because Bush's marks are low [as opposed to the idea that Nancy Pelosi et al. are pissing voters off, which I honestly doubt]. I wold not be able to test this if it were not for Gallup, which is why I love them. Well - that and because George Gallup all but said Harry Truman should give up in 1948, and yet the firm still managed to build a reputation for reliability. You have to respect that kind of comeback!]

-Jay Cost