POS In the News, 3/31/09

Pollster.com shows the trend in polls for the New York CD20 race between Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy.

What makes the trend persuasive in this case is how consistent the polls have been in showing Murphy’s gains and Tedisco’s (more moderate) declines. While there are only five polls, the results for both candidates are remarkably close to the trend lines. And the trends aren’t affected by dropping any single poll. The NRCC poll done by Public Opinion Strategies in early February is just as close to the trend lines as the DCCC poll done by Benenson in late February- they differ due to the trend, not due to one being out of line with the rest of the data. Likewise the three Seina polls have shown the same close match to the trend line and a steady gain for Murphy and slow decline for Tedisco. It is this consistency across polls that makes the trend compelling.

Lear Pearce mentioned Steve Kinney and Gene Ulm’s post on his blog Cheat Seeking Missiles as he wonders whether the rising misery index is good news for Republicans.

Right now, the US misery index – that’s the unemployment index and the inflation index added together – is at 8.34 and rising .  At the TQIA blog penned by my polling friend Steve Kinney and his business partner Gene Ulm, this is all explained.

Gerald F. Seib of Wall Street Journal’s Capitol Journal blog also mention’s Gene Ulm’s post.

Is misery good news for Republicans? Gene Ulm of the GOP polling firm Public Opinion Strategies suspects it is, and he’s starting to put together historical data to make the case.

In postings on his firm’s website, Ulm revives the “misery index,” that generation-old figure that combines the unemployment and inflation rates to attempt to show how badly adverse economic conditions are hitting Americans. “The current Misery Index (the unemployment and inflation rates combined) is 8.34 and rising,” he writes. “The unemployment rate alone was 8.1%.” But unemployment hasn’t peaked yet, he notes, which means the index surely is heading higher.

Rob Autry’s post today is linked to by Ironic Surrealism.

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