About that recent Oregon poll: Here’s what’s wrong with it

Yesterday, a poll for Oregon came out. I think it’s the only one that’s been done recently, so naturally everyone and their Bernie-loving (or hating) brother clicked on it to see how Oregon looks for us. The shocking headlines were everywhere. The pundits had a field day and night. Despite his massive crowds and the whole damn state feeling the Bern, she is a lock to win. Because this one poll says so.

Poll: Despite Bernie Sanders’ Crowds, Hillary Clinton Ahead In Oregon

Voodoo Doughnut BernieThe poll shows HRC with a 15% lead… and most of us knew it was complete and utter bullsh*t the moment we saw it. We’ve seen the photos of the rallies. We’ve watched the videos. Even the birds in Oregon love Bernie – I mean, the man even has his own doughnut at the legendary Voodoo Doughnut.

But after some some digging, I have discovered how they got their numbers for the poll that was blasted all over the internet. After laughing uncontrollably for five minutes, I started writing. If you want to laugh too, read on.

One more word about the poll though, it was commissioned by OPB.org (Oregon Public Broadcasting) and FOX 12 through a company called DHM research. OPB has the word public in their name, so they must be legit and unbiased, right? Well, keep in mind they are an NPR affiliate, and NPR has been anything but unbiased during this election cycle. Gotta keep those major corporate advertisers— I mean underwriters (my bad) happy.

So how is it that in a state that loves Bernie so much that even birds come to his rallies, she could be ahead in the only poll that has been done? One word. Methodology.

A deeper look into the methodology behind the poll done by DHM Research between May 6 and May 9 shows that out of the likely Oregon voters who will vote Democrat, just 27 of them were between the ages of 18 and 29 – Sanders’ ‘sweet spot,’ if you will. Out of those 27 voters polled, 25 were for Bernie Sanders and just 2 said they would be voting for Clinton. But the reason this poll is so heavily skewed in her favor is that 215 of the people polled were 45 years old and older. They also polled 61 people ages 30 – 44, another demographic that favors Sanders. Out of those 61, Sanders gets 35, Clinton gets 15 and there were 8 undecided. Oh yeah, and there were 3 in that age group who are staying home to bathe their cats on May 17, 2016.

Also of interest is the voting history of those polled. 58 of the likely voters are either first-time voters or have only voted in one Presidential Primary. The poll lists 247 people as having participated in at least 2 or 3 primaries and of those 247, 116 of them have voted in the last 4 Presidential Primaries. There’s your answer right there. And while it’s not clear if this poll relied on on cell phones or landline phones, it’s pretty clear that the call list was weighted heavily towards life-long, dyed-in-the-wool Democratic voters.

Does this mean the poll is wrong or inaccurate? I’m sure the poll is true and that the numbers are accurate. It’s just that the people they called are not a great indication of what is really happening in Oregon.

G.A. Casebeer