by Craig Dimitri

In what may be one of the closest House races in America, two high-prestige independent polls disagree as to who has a significant lead in Connecticut’s 4th CD.  Reuters/Zogby (using live phone calls) says Democratic challenger Diane Farrell leads Rep. Christopher Shays (R), by 51%-44%.  But MajorityWatch (using recorded phone calls) says precisely the opposite: it has Shays with a 52%-43% advantage.  They both can’t be right…

In addition to the fact that both polls are independent and reliable, they were both taken around the same time.  Reuters/Zogby ended its poll of 500 likely voters on Oct. 29; MajorityWatch concluded its poll of 976 likely voters, on Oct. 26.  Because MajorityWatch used a larger sample, it has a lower margin of error, although that factor alone is not enough to account for such a large discrepancy (Shays up by 9% in one poll and down 7% in the other.

The methodology may explain the discrepancy, since it is the only other key variable which is different in each poll.  MajorityWatch believes that recorded phone calls are the best way to reach voters, and reduce human error.  In contrast, Reuters/Zogby used live phone callers – although there would be no apparent reason why a poll with live callers would produce such a strong swing toward the Democratic candidate.  Unsurprisingly, Farrell’s official site, linked below, prominently features the Reuters/Zogby poll showing here with the 7% lead.

Shays official campaign site – http://www.shaysforcongress.org/

Farrell official campaign site – http://www.farrellforcongress.com/ 

Zogby poll – www.zogby.com

MajorityWatch poll – http://www.majoritywatch.com/

Questions?  Comments?  Information?  You can contact Craig Dimitri at cdimitri1@yahoo.com. 

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