By Sam Foster
A week ago, I called out Public Policy Polling as a political spin machine instead of credible pollster:
Still, there are a number of things to consider before taking PPP at their word. After 2010 elections, which PPP did a good job polling, many have noticed a dramatic pull toward narrative building as opposed to informational reporting. Especially their Charlie Sheen/Sarah Palin gimmick (Nate Silver’s words, not mine).
While PPP is associated with Daily Kos, they’re accuracy in 2010 elections won over my doubts. However, in a very new development, they are also teaming up with the SEIU and given their narrative making, I’m not sure PPP should really be getting the unbiased press that they’ve enjoyed over the last few months.
And without fail, it looks like their recent polling on Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida follows the template I laid out. Introducing the poll is a blog post called “Scott Incredibly Unpopular.” The narrative has carried over to David Weigel of Slate and the Orlando Sentinel, but once again, the cross tabs are revealing.
First of all, while Scott won the election by a percentage point, PPP gave Democrat Alex Sink a +7% edge in the demographics they used for the poll. That’s an 8 point difference from the election just 4 months ago. I cannot compare to their supposed December poll because it wasn’t a control question, however, even PPP has Scott polling low even before he took office?
Looking at the PPP crosstabs, we learn that Scott is not viewed well by those that voted for Democrat Sink. Anyone surprised? There seems to be some defection in those that voted for him in comparison to Sink, but the big population driving up Scott’s negatives are people who identified that they didn’t vote or don’t remember voting.
I suppose that this could translate into Scott being incredibly unpopular, but to be more accurate, he’s incredibly unpopular with those that don’t vote or are so disengaged they don’t remember voting.
It hardly merits the mindless narrative floating around the pundits, that Scott is linked to a widespread softening of Republican governors and is in an extremely weak position.
But, hey, it’s the media, just run with it ok.