While in the Fox News green room, I had a chance to ask the Great Michael Barone of U.S. News and World Report how large a poll’s partisan spread (the ratio of Republicans to Democrats in the sample) could get before he stopped trusting it. I suggested that in this environment, I could live with about six or seven percent. Barone said he might be comfortable with a bit higher, but that he wouldn’t put it in double digits.
There a few if any figures in analyzing races I trust more than Barone. If he thinks an eight or nine percent margin is a possibility, then I’m adjusting my mental calculations for it.