Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Eighth District race in dead heat

NY Times poll conducted late last week

Marcus White
Posted 9/12/18

REGIONAL – The race between Republican Pete Stauber and Democrat Joe Radinovich is a virtual tossup.

That’s according to a “live poll” of registered voters in the Eighth Congressional …

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Eighth District race in dead heat

NY Times poll conducted late last week

Posted

REGIONAL – The race between Republican Pete Stauber and Democrat Joe Radinovich is a virtual tossup.

That’s according to a “live poll” of registered voters in the Eighth Congressional District conducted by the New York Times late last week, that found Radinovich with 44 percent voter support, just one point ahead of Stauber, with 43 percent. The difference was well within the poll’s margin of error.

A total of 13 percent of respondents said they remain undecided, and it appears that the newspaper did not ask about Independent Party candidate Ray “Skip” Sandman.

The Times, working with Siena College, conducted the poll beginning last Thursday, as part of a program of extensive polling that the newspaper plans to conduct on congressional races across the country right up through the Nov. 6 general election. Minnesota’s Eighth District is widely considered one of the GOP’s best opportunities to pick up a seat in Congress in an election year that is increasingly looking like a good one for Democrats.

The Times made a total of 18,000 phone calls to households in the Eighth District, connecting with 504 residents who agreed to be surveyed. What was unusual about the poll, according to Nate Cohn, one of the survey’s authors, is that the newspaper provided live results on their website as they accumulated over the course of about two days of sampling. A map of the district indicated the location and party identification of each resident who took the poll. With the live results, online readers could watch as the results changed hour by hour, with both candidates leading at various times in the polling, aware of the survey to track the phone calls and their results in real time on the national newspaper’s website.

In most states, Minnesota included, election registration is public, and includes information such as a person’s gender, party affiliation, how often the person has voted (but not for whom), and most important for the study, their phone number.

The data gives pollsters the ability to see where voting clusters have occurred, right down to the neighborhood level, which Cohn said is a good indicator of not only how polls will turn out, but who will win in the November election.

The Times acknowledges that the poll wasn’t an ideal sample of the Eighth District, given that only 504 potential voters agreed to be questioned. A close look at the map of survey respondents also shows the majority live either in Duluth, or the far northern Twin Cities suburbs, with few respondents in areas around the Iron Range or the district’s agriculture centers where major campaign issues, such as President Trump’s tariffs and proposed copper-nickel mining are likely to motivate a higher percentage of voters.

About a half dozen people responded to the poll in the Timberjay coverage area, which includes the proposed PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. There were clusters of respondents around Virginia and Brainerd, but still much fewer than more urban centers.

A complete breakdown of the poll and its criteria can be found at: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/upshot/elections-poll-mn08-1.html .

The New York Times did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.

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snowshoe2

I wonder sometimes if I should go ahead and just vote for the candidate who themselves and all whom run ads for them is the least negative.

I noticed in the past the most negative person against their opponent usually has the least to say about his stand on issues.

Saturday, September 15