The latest data from the highly suspect New York Times/CBS/YouGov “opt in” online poll is in. It shows that Republicans have an edge in taking the Senate in the midterms. That’s not surprising. The last data from this survey showed similar results, as do other “good” polls. What has shifted is the numbers coming out of Alaska. When the last data was crunched pre-primary, Sen. Mark Begich had a 12-point lead over GOP challenger Dan Sullivan. In this set of numbers, Sullivan leads Begich by 6 points.
No doubt the numbers will be used by Sullivan’s supporters for fundraising purposes and to bolster his campaign. However, we should all approach the findings with caution. The methodology used by the poll is highly controversial because it uses “opt-in” respondents, basically meaning that people had to go to them online to get surveyed. Such survey methods fly in the face of what has been considered scientifically sound polling. Until this election cycle, the New York Times itself refused to publish such polls.
And then there’s the Alaska problem. Apparently, it has been difficult for the New York Times to find people in Alaska who want to participate:
Alaska, however, is a state where there are reasons to have reservations about the quality of the data. The panel had less than 500 respondents, despite recruitment efforts. There should be fairly low confidence in the exact finding.
Which begs the question as to why they’re publishing it at all.