The strange case of disappearing Nevada youth in CNN/Time poll

posted at 9:47 am on October 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, CNN and Time released their final joint polls from five states in the midterm cycle, mostly with good news for Republicans.  However, in Nevada, veteran political journalist Jon Ralston pronounced the poll “crap” — and he has a point.  In an e-mail newsletter quoted in Politico’s own daily e-mail blast, Raslton blasted the methodology and the media for buying it:

“But, once again, the methodology is so screwy (Angle losing both urban counties but rurals carry her to victory?!) and almost unfathomable that it is impossible to divine anything from it. … I have never seen such bad public data – too much of it swallowed by the media’s undiscerning palate.”

Ralston took a look at the raw numbers from the poll and found something else interesting: the CNN/Time pollster apparently didn’t interview anyone under the age of 50.   In the age demographic breakdowns, all questions have “N/A” for 18-34 and 35-49 categories.  Maybe Nevada turned into a reverse case of Children of the Corn?

Nor was this problem restricted to Nevada.  In Kentucky, the poll shows no data for 18-29YOs and non-white voters, and all the self-described liberals must have been in hiding.  They also have no new suburbs; darn that recession anyway!  California also has a lost generation of 18-29YOs.  Not only that, but in California, the pollster apparently didn’t bother to look for rural voters, either.  In Colorado, everyone under 50 and everyone who’s not white has suddenly disappeared.

Pennsylvania’s 18-29YOs are no-shows, as are its non-white voters.  Oddly, when looking at the breakouts for Philadelphia, we get nothing but N/As, even though it’s the largest city in the state and a Democratic powerhouse — but the poll does have data for Philly suburbs, which break for Sestak.  It balances out by having no data for northeastern Pennsylvania.

Most amusing omission: The poll shows no data for “high-growth suburbs” in Nevada … perhaps because, thanks to Harry Reid and the Democratic agenda, there is no growth in Nevada these days.  There are also no non-white voters there, either, at least according to this poll, even though the Republican running for Governor is Brian Sandoval.

Ralston called the poll “crap” on his Twitter feed, and frankly, he was being generous.  The only conclusion this poll supports is that CNN and Time need a new pollster.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Okay – bad poll.

What’s baseline truth then here?

HondaV65 on October 28, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Maybe Nevada turned into a reverse case of Children of the Corn?

Quick, someone call Kucinich and have him launch an investigation into Area 51.

ted c on October 28, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Geriatrics of the Corn?

catmman on October 28, 2010 at 9:51 AM

I think someone is just trying to get their results done and out the door and its probably a really sloppy job that wasn’t edited well.

ted c on October 28, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Motivation for this is hard to fathom.

Wouldn’t minority and young voters tend to vote Democrat? So why skip them.

Maybe it is a misprint.

If not, if that is intentional, could they be hoping for a surprise validation of the last two years?

This is just too weird and why pay for something this stupid.

petunia on October 28, 2010 at 9:53 AM

but the poll does have data for Philly suburbs, which break for Sestak.

Uh oh. Gonna be a late night on Tuesday.

Could the N/As mean they didn’t ask the question, or their data is unreliable in certain categories for some other reason?

forest on October 28, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Geriatrics of the Creamed Corn?

catmman on October 28, 2010 at 9:51 AM

FIFY

Patrick S on October 28, 2010 at 9:54 AM

thanks to Harry Reid and the Democratic agenda, there is no growth in Nevada these days.

Liberal Utopia reached.

Number of abortions=Number of live births
Number of natural deaths=Number of euthanized deaths

that’s just what they want, ain’t it….?

jus askin’

ted c on October 28, 2010 at 9:54 AM

The only conclusion this poll supports is that CNN and Time need a new pollster.

Don’t stop there– that’s not all that CNN and Time need.

cartooner on October 28, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Maybe Nevada turned into a reverse case of Children of the Corn?

Does this make Harry Reid “HE-WHO-WALKS-AMONG-THE-CASINOS”?

pilamaye on October 28, 2010 at 9:55 AM

If they were actually not polling Philly or people under 50, I think the Republicans would be up about 80/20 in PA. It’ll be interesting to hear an explanation for this.

Oh, right, nevermind, pollsters don’t usually explain their sketchy practices. Just throw numbers out their to get media for a couple days.

forest on October 28, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Well, it’s certainly not the first time the media unquestioningly swallows a poll because the results match their narrative.

What’s the over/under on how many outlets report on this survey by an incredibly disgraced polling company showing Miller in a weak third?

KingGold on October 28, 2010 at 9:58 AM

The Sixties never happened, and anyone born after 1960 has been “raptured” into Heaven, or maybe somewhere else.

By the way, has anyone seen my son?

Steve Z on October 28, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Interesting. Midterms, though, are dominated by older voters. No question about that.

I guess their turnout model was based upon that idea.

AnninCA on October 28, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Maybe the Rapture is beginning and this poll is just the first evidence….?

Left Behind!

ted c on October 28, 2010 at 9:59 AM

I’m shocked. Shocked, I say!

Del Dolemonte on October 28, 2010 at 10:00 AM

I would say this. Harry Reid is certainly not going to inspire the young Dems to get out the vote. LOL*

This poll may be more on the money than you think! They can’t stand the guy.

AnninCA on October 28, 2010 at 10:00 AM

the Curious Reverse Case of Benjamin Button….?

theories.

ted c on October 28, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Harry Reid is kinda slowish….

ted c on October 28, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Maybe the 18-29 year old wedge fell off of their polling dart board.

fogw on October 28, 2010 at 10:02 AM

I would say this. Harry Reid is certainly not going to inspire the young Dems to get out the vote. LOL*

Nonsense, zombie vampires are all the rage these days.

NoDonkey on October 28, 2010 at 10:03 AM

is Burning Man going on right now? Maybe they’re all out in the desert gettin’ their funk on …..

ted c on October 28, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Actually more and more young people are living without landline phones, just cell phones. It’s us older people that the pollsters can actually contact and hope to get some info from.

NCJeff on October 28, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Ralston? The guy who has been openly campaigning for Reid all year? The guy who been madly spinning everything he possibly into an attack on Angle?

“Crap” certainly describes his own body of work.

TallDave on October 28, 2010 at 10:09 AM

It is statistically impossible for these polls to have “N/A” for certain age groups and ethnic/racial demographics.

Unless you vett the ones you dont like, to purposely cover or hide your “core” demo – when its clear they are not breaking for you.

This isnt a “mistake” or a “bad pollster” – this is outright fraud – from 2 multi-billion dollar media companies to manipulate their Dem candidates.

I am convinced the majority of polls out there, sans Rasmussen, are pumping Dem numbers by at least 5-10%. You know the drill, Dems claim what “polls say” – manipulated and all – then take to the streets and law chambers to create a “voting issue” post election – whereas old ladies in Miami are asked what chad they punched and or ballots are found in the trunks of cars.

Rubio/Crist polls showing Crist “in the lead or a dead heat tie” were complete and utter garbage – which have finally been exposed. Unless, of course – you believe a former Rep who claims an Indy run – suddenly recaptures 30% of the poll overnight. (this fraud was attempted due to the “Lieberman Effect, which for 187 different reasons – isnt anything like Crist). The polls are now accurate in their 15 point spread. Election day – expect a +22 win for Rubio.

Odie1941 on October 28, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Maybe Nevada turned into a reverse case of Children of the Corn?

Children of the Creamed Corn?

wearyman on October 28, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Here’s a question I have wondered about for some time. Are these polling outfits ever audited to prove their accuracy? Or can they just put out whatever they want. What credible means is there to prove that the results they publish are the ones they actually got in their poll.

JohnTheBuilder on October 28, 2010 at 10:13 AM

The youth and blacks are experiencing huge unemployment numbers. What do the see in Reid that turns themon? Nothing? They also don’t have listed land line phone numbers.

seven on October 28, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Patrick S on October 28, 2010 at 9:54 AM

DANG! Serves me right for commenting without reading first.

wearyman on October 28, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Quick, someone call Kucinich and have him launch an investigation into Area 51.

ted c on October 28, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Gotta love a great sense of humor early in the a.m.

Gang-of-One on October 28, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Actually more and more young people are living without landline phones, just cell phones. It’s us older people that the pollsters can actually contact and hope to get some info from.

NCJeff on October 28, 2010 at 10:06 AM

While true on the surface – statistics I have seen peg the cell – to land line rate at 30%… for households, not just “voters, likely voters or registered political party folks”. Households bust the “younger kids only” meme, for households through the definition are normally older folks – with established tax records.

Plus its easier to get cell numbers via the technology out there than a landline. And cell owners answer their phones for Q&A at a higher rate than the landline.

Odie1941 on October 28, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Yeah, besides, the under 50 crowd is the largest Slurpee-buying demographic.

fossten on October 28, 2010 at 10:18 AM

The only conclusion this poll supports is that CNN and Time need a new pollster.

That’s been obvious for some time.

GarandFan on October 28, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Maybe Sharron Angle is employing this missing voter bloc in the flower gardens of Nevada???

touche’

ted c on October 28, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Aha: Ralston is wrong. Surprising, I know.

Ralston took a look at the raw numbers from the poll and found something else interesting: the CNN/Time pollster apparently didn’t interview anyone under the age of 50. In the age demographic breakdowns, all questions have “N/A” for 18-34 and 35-49 categories.

Read closer Ed! There’s a question for “under 50.” The reason they don’t report it is they apparently asked a more general question, only breaking out the over 50 crowd into finer categories. It’s a bad report format, but the under-50s aren’t “missing.”

Ralston is just whining because Angle is winning despite the slimy, irreponsible jackassery he passes off as journalism.

And just in case I haven’t been clear on this: Ralston is a despicable partisan hack comparable to Krugman or Frank Rich.

TallDave on October 28, 2010 at 10:22 AM

is Burning Man going on right now? Maybe they’re all out in the desert gettin’ their funk on …..

No, that was end of August into first week of Sept..I was there :)

firepilot on October 28, 2010 at 10:23 AM

The MSM headlines on Wednesday morning will lead with,
“UNEXPECTED”.

All the polls are off by 12-15%. Candidates and news outlets should demand their money back on Wednesday morning.

barnone on October 28, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Odie1941 on October 28, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Maybe…

Or maybe the truth is that the DNC wants to leave the youth vote out so they can claim HUGE REPUDIATION OF TEABAGGERS, Obama’s policies vindicated – come November 3.

Skywise on October 28, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Could it be..The Rapture?

Kasper Hauser on October 28, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Rasmussen has the same numbers as CNN, Angle +4.

Jon0815 on October 28, 2010 at 10:29 AM

I have trouble believing the N/A means that they didn’t poll anyone from that demographic. I can’t imagine why they didn’t report it…but it strikes me as nearly *impossible* to do a poll where you get north of 1500 respondents in *five* states and you had ZERO respondents in the 18-34 demographic? Even taking into account that demographic is the most likely to be “cell-phone only”…you got none? At all? That’s over 7500 respondents. I couldn’t accomplish that feat without explicitly *refusing* respondents in the 18-34. I’d really like to see what their pollster has to say about that. If this is what happened…it’s absolutely remarkable. But I’d still guess that there’s some other reason that data is missing. It’s telling we don’t have a breakdown of the demographics of the sample…but rather a breakdown of the questions answered by demographic. I’d like to see that breakdown. If there’s really no one in that demographic across 5 samples in 5 different states…wow. Just wow. That’s like hitting the lottery. Twice. D.GOOCH

DGOOCH on October 28, 2010 at 10:29 AM

California’s Senate race polls between Boxer and Fiorina IS also massively over-weighted in my view. Rassmussen and RCP both think the Dem turn-out will leave Fiorina short by 4-6 points. I dont think so.

Rovin on October 28, 2010 at 10:29 AM

maybe this voting bloc is all doped up in hope of pot legalization and they just won’t answer the phone…..

dopes.

ted c on October 28, 2010 at 10:31 AM

is Burning Man going on right now? Maybe they’re all out in the desert gettin’ their funk on …..

ted c on October 28, 2010 at 10:04 AM

No, that’s in September. My son loves it. :)

AnninCA on October 28, 2010 at 10:32 AM

In Colorado, everyone under 50 and everyone who’s not white has suddenly disappeared.

Perhaps Ralston has spent too much time in mom’s basement. When I saw this line, I knew Ralston has never spent much time in Colorado.

I haven’t lived in Colorado since the mid-90s, but one thing I remember from living there was, there were not very many minorities there. Perhaps because minorities don’t like the extreme cold, but that’s subjective.

Knowing this, I did a quick search for demographics in Colorado:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/08000.html

White persons, percent, 2009 (a) – 89%

Even if you take into consideration, hispanics with footnote (b):

Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2009 (b) – 20.3%

…the overwhelming population in Colorado is very heavily “white.”

“They” haven’t “suddenly disappeared,” it’s simply the demographics of the state.

BruthaMan on October 28, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Nobody would ever skew polling data to a particular out come would they?

John Deaux on October 28, 2010 at 10:35 AM

I think this is more of an instance of not being able to reach those demographics because they are cell phone only demographics. However, in a effort to have an actual poll they should find a way to figure those numbers in. Most of the internals on most of the polls, esp PPP, do not have anyone in the 18-29 range.

Haunches on October 28, 2010 at 10:36 AM

I looked at the PA numbers, and I think they just have categories lumped together. I suspect “Philly suburbs” is Philadelphia and surrounding counties at 53-45 Sestak. I think NE PA is lumped in with “Central”. I’ll bet they broke it down by Soutwest PA, Pittsburgh and surrounding – Toomey win, Southeast – Philly and suburbs – Sestak win, and “Central” is basically the “conservative T”. What I don’t get is why they just didn’t name their categories properly.

forest on October 28, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Ralson’s on Fox right now—what a hack

“There’s nothing going on with voting irregularities”

Right John! And “the war is lost too”

Rovin on October 28, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Pre-programmed voting machines are breaking for Reid and the Democrats nationally.

mankai on October 28, 2010 at 10:56 AM

CNN/TIME response:

“Bush’s fault”

BobMbx on October 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM

I have to change the channel everytime Ralston comes on here in Reno. There is nothing insightful or interesting about the guy.

jcrue on October 28, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Ralston? The guy who has been openly campaigning for Reid all year? The guy who been madly spinning everything he possibly into an attack on Angle?

“Crap” certainly describes his own body of work.

TallDave on October 28, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Along with John L. Smith and Jane Ann Morrison there has been very little favorable press for Sharron in Vegas.

It’s been a looooooooong year.

Jvette on October 28, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Pollsters may already have their ideas about who is going to vote and how in the upcoming elections, thus saving the actual polling for groups whose turnout and choices are not as sure in their minds.

Sekhmet on October 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Making the global warming computer models look good.

Socratease on October 28, 2010 at 11:17 AM

I only looked at the CA numbers but while the 18-34 numbers are marked N/A, there is a huge difference between the results in the ‘Under 50′ column and those in the 35-49 group which suggests that they were included in the overall numbers.

It could be that the reporting is what is screwed up rather than the polling.

OBQuiet on October 28, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Isn’t it possible that they just screwed up the demo info on the poll release? Does anyone really think the pollster didn’t ask anyone under 50?

angryed on October 28, 2010 at 11:21 AM

jcrue on October 28, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Ralston? The guy who has been openly campaigning for Reid all year? The guy who been madly spinning everything he possibly into an attack on Angle?

“Crap” certainly describes his own body of work.

TallDave on October 28, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Jon Ralson is the Nevada local version of Keith Olbermann. He, like Keith and anything from PPP should be ignored.

angryed on October 28, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Maybe they’re just hiding their poll data since it doesn’t fit the narrative: Young and minority voters are no longer blindly voting Dimocrat..

Zippy_Slug on October 28, 2010 at 11:23 AM

I have trouble believing the N/A means that they didn’t poll anyone from that demographic. I can’t imagine why they didn’t report it…

Yep, in fact they clearly did poll them as there’s an “under 50″ column. They just didn’t break out the under-50s for whatever reason.

I didn’t see Ralston’s actual piece, but it looks like he was wrong based on Ed’s summary.

TallDave on October 28, 2010 at 11:37 AM

I learn more from HA comments than the posts 90% of the time.

TheBigOldDog on October 28, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Quick, someone call Kucinich and have him launch an investigation into Area 51.

ted c on October 28, 2010 at 9:51 AM

There is no “Area 51″. Any local will tell you that it is a very elaborate and sophisticated cover… a diversion from the real secret base…

… Area 52.

JohnGalt23 on October 28, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Here it is the real poll:
If any poll, any, shows the Republican withing 5-8 points behind, it’s a toss up.
democrats have to be 5-8% ahead just to make it even. And in some areas maybe as much as 11% plus or minus.
We are showing up to vote…and the democrats are home, sitting in the corner, rocking, and sucking their thumb.

right2bright on October 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM

If you’re going to get creative while counting votes, you need to make sure the polls look good.

“Good” polling data means less suspicion of cheating, and can give an excuse to make your own claims of voting irregularities.

reaganaut on October 28, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Maybe they anticipate all the young dem voters will get stuck in Washington D.C. after the Stewart/Dem rally. (Early snowstorm? One can hope…)

LASue on October 28, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Occam’s Razor would suggest instead that they did indeed poll these groups, they just didn’t disclose the breakdown correctly.

Perhaps, this being the last poll of the season, the temps who would normally have compiled all that data for release decided to spend the time throwing a farewell party and stocking up on leftover office supplies instead of working until quitting time on their last day . . .

Adjoran on October 28, 2010 at 2:26 PM

When someone needs more than a few sentences to express their ideas it’s shallow, very shallow. Are you tired of metaphors yet?

mixplix on October 28, 2010 at 6:04 PM

almost unfathomable that it is impossible to divine anything from it. … I have never seen such bad public data – too much of it swallowed by the media’s undiscerning palate

Sure Raslton wasn’t referring to Politico’s ongoing “reporting” from their notoriously “anonymous” sources?

Lourdes on November 1, 2010 at 8:10 PM

Maybe Nevada turned into a reverse case of Children of the Corn?

Does this make Harry Reid “HE-WHO-WALKS-AMONG-THE-CASINOS”?

pilamaye on October 28, 2010 at 9:55 AM

No, it makes Harry Reid the rat in the corn. Among many other rats in the corn.

Lourdes on November 1, 2010 at 8:13 PM