A memo from polling company McLaughlin & Associates states,” our internal polls differ significantly from partisan Democratic poll releases. The results of our most recent survey show that [the] Ballot for U.S. Congress in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District is a horse race, but Barbara Comstock has a 1-point lead over Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton, 48% to 47%, with only 5% undecided.”
The methodology for the poll, which has a 95 percent confidence level and accuracy of +/- 4.9 percent, is described:
“The poll of 400 likely general election voters in Virginia Congressional District 10, was conducted on October 6th, 2018 through October 8th, 2018. All interviews were conducted via telephone by professional interviewers. Interview selection was random within predetermined election units. 165 interviews (41%) were completed on cell-phones. These samples were then combined and structured to correlate with actual voter turnout in a general election.”
“We have polled all of Barbara Comstock’s races since 2009,” the memo says, adding that she “has consistently outperformed other Republicans in this area over the years in her five general elections,” three for House of Delegates and two for U.S. Congress. Additionally, it says that “Comstock has also consistently over performed our own internal polls every election…continues to have strong support in blue and purple parts of the District that other Republicans consistently lose.”
Comstock is also leading Wexton with favorability as the November 6 midterm election draws closer.
At this point in the campaign, the incumbent Republican is polling “higher than she was in the 2016 race…She went on to win with 53% – double digits ahead of the top of the ticket,” the poll’s memo stated.
“There is no Democrat – including Hillary Clinton, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, or Ralph Northam – who has ever received more votes in the 10th District than Barbara Comstock – who received 211,000 votes in 2016.”
Of course, there must also be a mention of another poll that was done by The Washington Post recently that shows a large counter to this.
Last week, a Washington Post-Schar School poll claimed to reveal that Wexton had a commanding lead less than four weeks before the midterm elections. However, it must be noted that this attempt by The Washington Post to bash the Comstock campaign is predicated on a poll wherein pollsters did not even use telephone calls to contact respondents in their information gathering.
“The Post-Schar School poll was conducted by sending mailed invitations to randomly selected registered voters in Virginia’s 10th District identified through official voter records. Respondents had the option of completing the self-administered survey by computer, mobile device or phone. The margin of sampling error among 866 likely voters is plus or minus 4 percentage points.”
Voters in VA-10 have strong opinions of The Post and their political bias, both good and bad, that is no surprise.
In May, The Post endorsed Wexton, claiming that she was “a moderate Democrat in a moderate district.” Actually, no, she is not a moderate. In fact, the Virginia Progressive Legislative Alert Network (VAPLAN) listed her as the number one most progressive legislator in the General Assembly.
Obviously, the The Post carries a liberal bias, there is no hiding that.
So, considering prospective Republican and Independent voters know the bias of the paper, why would they want to go to their website and fill out a survey when receiving the poll’s letter in the mail? Presumably, in some households, that invitation went straight from the mailbox to the trashcan. Therefore, this strategy cannot be as “random” as readers are led to believe.
Why use invitation cards to send respondents to The Washington Post website? They know the bias, but report it as the complete truth.
It is understandable that a company like The Washington Post is biased. However, a stunt like mailing invitations to people who carry an animus towards that bias and expect them to go on The Washington Post website and complete a survey is asinine.