The Corner

Believe the Closer Massachusetts Poll

Two polls came out over the weekend in the special election to replace Ted Kennedy as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. In a University of New Hampshire poll conducted for the Boston Globe, Democrat Martha Coakley led Republican Scott Brown by a comfortable 17 points. In a poll by the independent North Carolina firm Public Policy Polling, however, the two were virtually tied with Brown at 48 percent and Coakley at 47 percent.

Who’s more likely to be right? Based on past experience, go with PPP and its automated interactive voice response (IVR) technology. That’s also the technology used by Survey USA and Scott Rasmussen (disclosure: a former chairman of my think tank, the John Locke Foundation). I’m not rushing to PPP’s defense because of personal affinity or proximity, believe me. It’s a liberal firm with Democratic ties. But evidence is evidence. On balance, the IVR folks call elections better. PPP’s Tom Jensen explains further here.

John Hood is a syndicated columnist and the president of the John William Pope Foundation, a North Carolina–based grantmaker.

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