Ten Miles Square

Blog

May 30, 2012 11:00 AM “Political Polling Has Reached Its End Point”

By Larry Bartels

That’s according to Time magazine’s Michael Scherer, who cites a new survey from Public Policy Polling showing that one of Mitt Romney’s improvised campaign appeals is making big inroads into Barack Obama’s base in electoral-vote-rich Michigan.

The PPP robo-poll of 500 Michiganders asked, ”In Michigan, do you think the trees are the right height, or not?”

“That’s right,” Scherer writes, ”2008 Obama voters are 17 points more likely to agree with Romney on the height of Michigan trees. It was a crossover vote play all along!” (Trees also polled well among women and young people.)

It would be fascinating to follow over the course of the campaign whether Michiganders bring their vote intentions into line with their, uh, spatial preferences or—as is more often the case—simply adopt the views of their favored candidate if and when they learn what those are. Alas, I don’t think PPP does robo-panel surveys; and in any case, political polling has reached its end point.

(Thanks to Chris Achen.)

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

Larry Bartels is a professor of political science at Vanderbilt University.
tags ,