Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Secret of Mr Nano's success?

One of the commenters yesterday wondered out loud why we Liberals are so enthused about the polling numbers from Nanos Research. To be clear, I'm not one to be enthusiastic. There's still three weeks to go from today and fortunes turn on a dime. Remember last time out, Nanos was showing trend lines against the Liberals but was consistently showing results that were much closer to reality -- I think the final numbers showed them 0.2% off.

Last night on CPAC, Nik Nanos explained part of his methodology. He said when his people ask poll subjects for polling preferences they are not usually prompted with a list of choices, even one that is shuffled up for the next caller. If you don't know who the parties are, Nanos said, you're not going to make a reasoned choice; whereas if you are given a prompt you might say, "Oh yeah, I like them."

If this explains why the Liberals are doing much better in the Nanos poll and the Greens worse than all the other tracking firms, it actually does sound a bit like hot air. There has to be a bigger reason why there's a gap between 5 in one poll and 16 in another. But Canadians are reasonable people who actually have the ability to think issues through. Who knows where it will end up -- heck, Nanos could be totally wrong this time around -- but if this guy gets it right again then you might see the networks give their preferred pollsters their walking papers.

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Oxford County Liberals said...

More on that here, Robert.. and I disagree. I think it's a very valid point he raises.

Skinny Dipper said...

Interesting blog about Nanos.

BlastFurnace said...

Thanks for the link, Scott. I didn't realize that Nanos is also reaching cell phones ... which, as I think I wrote a little while ago, is huge untapped resource of opinion.