Letter to the Editor: Murphy-McMahon a 'Dead Heat'? Not Exactly

Durham resident says a recent UConn-Courant political poll is "skewed."


In a September 19th article, "UCONN/Hartford Courant Poll Shows McMahon Murphy In Dead Heat," published in the Hartford Courant recently, the Courant quoted a poll which sampled voters from the following categories:

Democrat, number polled 263 

Independent, number polled 92 

Republican, number polled 143

Put another way, the number of Democrats which were polled was 263. The number of Independents and Republicans combined polled was 235.

A poll which samples more Democrats than Independents and Republicans combined cannot be considered fair or accurate. In this poll, the Democratic candidate is clearly advantaged by the skewed numbers. 

The Hartford Courant newspaper issued a press release stating, "the purpose of the poll is to provide unbiased opinion research". Bias, as demonstrated in the McMahon/Murphy poll, hardly rises to the Courant's lofty claim. It merely calls into question the editor's motives.

Regrettably, the credibility of the newly formed University of Connecticut and the Hartford Courant polling partnership has been diminished in my view.

Jay Berardino


Pat McCann September 25, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Differences in sample sizes are controlled by various statistical methodologies. So the results are likely accurate given that they agree with similar polls. Since the calls in this poll were made at random, Republican households would do well to answer their phones during the election season if they don't trust these tried and true statistical methodologies. For interested parties the source data can be found at http://poll.uconn.edu/
Ex Republican September 25, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Pat may, in fact, be correct. I dunno. However, I did some googling and found that 37% of Ct voters are registered as Democrat but the poll had talked to 53% of voters who were registered as democrats. I am no statistician but that seems biased to me and backs up what Jay opined.
Ex Republican September 25, 2012 at 11:18 PM
It just came to me in a flash. The poll was conducted during the day time and all the Republicans and Indies were at work and unable to answer their home landlines while all the democrats were at .... Maybe I better not go there! :(
Pat McCann September 26, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Yes and according to the data only 20% of voters in CT are registered as Republican with the remaining 42% as unaffiliated. I don't hear any independents conmplaining about the poll. See http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/lib/sots/electionservices/registration_and_enrollment_stats/2011_registration_and_enrollment_statistics.pdf for the town by town breakdown. PS. very lame and very old joke
Ex Republican September 26, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Who said I was not an independent? The facts still speak for themselves, including my old lame joke!


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