Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Poll shows Gingrich leading in Oklahoma (but take with a grain of salt)


SoonerPoll.com conducted a poll over the past month on the presidential primary here in Oklahoma. It has some interesting results, but I'll explain why it should be taken with a big grain of salt.

Newt Gingrich: 33.3%
Mitt Romney: 14.3%
Rick Perry: 9.3%
Herman Cain:  9.3% (dropped out during polling, but was kept in for consistency)
Ron Paul: 4.3%
Michele Bachmann: 3.5%
Rick Santorum: 1.5%
Jon Huntsman: 1.3%
Don't know/refused: 23.5%

SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific poll Nov. 17-Dec. 16, 2011.  The survey was of 400 'Likely' Oklahoma voters who identified themselves as Republicans, with a margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

At the start of their polling, Herman Cain was still an active candidate. Upon his withdrawal, SoonerPoll had to keep his name in the poll, in order for consistency in the survey.

However, Cain's inclusion isn't the problem for me -- my hesitation is based on the length of the poll. Most surveys of this nature are done in a two to three day period, sometimes as long as a week. This one took a whole month, which seems excessive to me. With this particular election cycle, much transpires in a month's time (a prime example in this poll being Herman Cain's candidacy).

A primary poll is essentially a snapshot of the current mood of the electorate in regards to the candidates. When a poll is of this length, it loses focus, and the results become fuzzy and out of focus.

Gingrich may well have this type of a lead in Oklahoma, but I take this poll with a big grain of salt. Until another poll confirms the results, put an asterisk beside this one.

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