POLITICS

POLLSTER UPDATE: Dueling Polls, Massachusetts Edition

Apr 25, 2013 | Updated Apr 26, 2013
AP

Dueling polls in Massachusetts, with a twist. It's a big day for data on social media, and social media data. And Frank Luntz gets snared by another David Corn secret recording. This is the HuffPost Pollster update for Thursday, April 25, 2013.

MA-SEN PRIMARY: MARKEY LEADS LYNCH IN TWO POLLS PPP, on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters, which endorsed Markey: 50 percent Markey, 36 percent Lynch. [LCV]

Lynch internal poll: 45 percent Markey, 39 percent Lynch. Reporter David Bernstein: "The poll suggests that the composition of voters who come to the polls Tuesday — in a race largely overshadowed by the marathon bombing as well as the Boston mayoral race — could go a long way toward determining the Democratic nominee.

Markey holds a 21-point advantage with registered Democrats, who account for 59 percent of the poll respondents; and a 14-point lead among women, who account for 58 percent. Lynch holds a 17-point lead among unenrolled voters, and a six-point lead among men. Markey does better among older voters, while Lynch leads with voters under age 50." [David Bernstein]

A representative from Lynch's pollster, Bannon Communications Research, tells HuffPollster that they did not conduct the survey, and directed further queries to the campaign's manager. Representatives from the Lynch campaign didn't immediately respond to questions about the survey's methodology.

LUNTZ CALLS LIMBAUGH 'PROBLEMATIC' - HuffPost's Paige Lavender: "Frank Luntz, a top Republican strategist and pollster, called conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh 'problematic' in a talk with college students this week that was secretly taped. Mother Jones reported Thursday on the tape, which was recorded during an April 22 talk at the University of Pennsylvania hosted by the school's College Republicans." [HuffPost]

Cites impact on Rubio - Luntz: "Marco Rubio's getting his ass kicked...He's getting destroyed! By Mark Levin, by Rush Limbaugh, and a few others." [Mother Jones]

WOLFRAM EXPLORES BIG FACEBOOK DATA - Stephen Wolfram, designer of Mathematica software and the Wolfram Alpha answer engine, won a lot of online buzz today for an analysis of Facebook data. "Wolfram is most interested in looking for signals about how a person and their life changes over time, and Facebook data provides plenty." The analysis tracks the size and age spread of social networks, as well as interest areas, by the age of Facebook users. [Technology Review]

@jcpolls: "Great use of FB data, even if only to once again show that the older you get the more you care about the weather"

@kwcollins: According to these data, men talk about politics on FB twice as much as women and this gap is larger for older users pic.twitter.com/4OIZi2DEqz

How did Wolfram get the data? It comes from a "Data Donor program," built into Wolfram|Alpha's Personal Analytics app for Facebook, "that allows people to contribute detailed data to us for research purposes." [StephenWolfram.com]

PEW RESEARCH PLOTS THE RISE OF POLITICS VIA SOCIAL MEDIA - "There has been major growth in political activity on
[social networking sites (SNS)] between 2008 and this survey in 2012. The number of social networking site users has grown from 33% of the online population in 2008 to 69% of the online population in 2012...For most politically active SNS users, social networking sites are not a separate realm of political activity. They are frequently active in other aspects of civic life....Even as online platforms have grown more prominent in political affairs, Americans' day-to-day political conversations mostly occur offline." [Pew Internet & American Life Project]

HEARTLAND POLL: MIDDLE CLASS WORRIES ABOUT FALLING BEHIND - National Journal's Ron Brownstein: "Americans still believe they can reach for the stars, but they are increasingly fearful they are standing on a trapdoor as they try....Reaffirming the results in earlier Heartland Monitor polls, most of those surveyed said the middle class today enjoys less opportunity, job security, and disposable income than earlier generations did. And strikingly small percentages of American adults said they consider it 'very realistic' that they can meet such basic financial goals as paying for their children's college, retiring comfortably, or saving 'enough money to … deal with a health emergency or job loss.'" [National Journal]

Pew Research's Michael Dimock: "New NatJournal poll is out...Interesting as always, and fits with what we learned about wealth http://t.co/WUCqi2bI40" [@MichaelDimock]

NO INTENSITY GAP ON GUNS - Democratic pollster Margie Omero: Contrary to conventional wisdom, polling "simply does not show gun law opponents feel more strongly than gun law supporters. In the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, just under a third (29%) said they could not vote for a candidate who disagreed with them on guns, even if they agreed on most other issues. This number is exactly the same in gun households and in non-gun households. It is essentially identical for both Democrats (29%) and Republicans (27%)." [HuffPost]

THURSDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to more news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-PPP finds Hillary Clinton preferred for president by 68 percent of New Hampshire primary voters, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio the top picks of Republicans. [PPP]

-Most Americans still consider George W. Bush's presidency a "failure," though fewer than four years ago. [CNN]

-George Bush fares least well among the former presidents in terms of current popularity. [Fox News]

-Harry Enten says George Bush "hasn't seen much recovery over the past three years in his retrospective approval rating." [Guardian]

-Gallup notes that time tends to improve past presidents' reputations. [Gallup]

-Cook Political, which recently moved the Sanford vs. Colbert-Busch race (SC-01) from "leans Republican" to "tossup," now rates it as "leans Democratic." [Amy Walter]

-SurveyUSA finds "violent lurch" in L.A. Mayor's race to Wendy Greuel. [SurveyUSA]

-Molly Ball rounds up political science findings showing the edge female candidates have in voter preferences. Atlantic]

-Defeat of gun bill causes spike in calls for stricter gun control on Twitter. [Pew Research-Journalism.org]

-House Republicans introduce legislation to eliminate the American Community Survey. [The Monkey Cage]

-Andrew McAfee offers advice to pundits on how to stop sounding ignorant about data [HBR via @treycausey].

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