New California Poll Data

The Hoover Institution has been doing some polling in California; the full results are not out yet, but there was an interesting preview in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle. What is unique about Hoover’s survey is that they are interviewing voters in person and actually showing them the paper ballot with all 135 names. All other polling that has been reported is the usual telephone variety, and you can’t read 135 names over the phone. So the pollsters have just been reading the top five names and adding an “other” category. In the telephone polling that has been published, the “other” responses have been vey few. For example, among likely voters in the recent USA Today poll, “others” garnered only 1%.
But when the Hoover people have been showing voters the paper ballot with all 135 names on it, 14% have been voting for someone other than the top five candidates. That’s a huge difference that could be important if the race turns out to be close. Intuitively, I would think that Schwarzenegger and Bustamente voters would defect to “other” candidates in roughly equal proportions, but that’s entirely speculative.
In other recall news, Arianna Huffington says she is considering dropping out of the race and throwing her support to Bustamante.

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