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A Howler From the Strib

We noted last night that the Minneapolis Star Tribune had performed its biennial service to the Democratic Party, via its notoriously inaccurate Minnesota Poll: the poll, reported in this morning’s paper, shows Kerry with an eight-point lead, 49% to 41%. This poll is worth further comment, in view of the Minnesota Poll’s sorry history.
The Strib is sensitive about the fact that its poll is always wrong, and always in the same direction: it favors Democratic candidates. So the Strib makes a hilarious effort to blame its own apparent bias on those shifty Minnesota voters:

Bush also could be helped by the fact that the Minnesota Poll has, since 1996, consistently found that starting the Friday night before the election, the electorate becomes more conservative and ends up voting more Republican.

Amazing how that keeps happening, isn’t it?
The Strib also tries to shore up its poll by quoting Larry Jacobs, director of the 2004 Elections Project at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute:

“The poll is very consistent with a whole lot of other results, so no one can disagree with it.”… Jacobs said the key number in the poll is Bush’s 41 percent, because it closely mirrors virtually all of the statewide polls conducted in recent weeks. “All the polls show him having a hard time breaking out of the mid-40s….”

Usually it’s the Trunk who deconstructs the Minnesota poll, but today we’ll let reader A. Hawkins do the honors:

Do people who are age 47 to 49 fairly describe themselves as “mid-40s”?
Compare (“having a hard time breaking out of the mid-40s”) to the data:
Bush
0.41

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