Let me start by saying, I am not a pollster. Far from it. I’m an advocate for causes and concerns. But I’m also a political junkie who enjoys reading and analyzing poll results. If you’re reading this, we probably have a lot in common.
So I decided to run a poll, using Google Consumer Surveys, to learn what Kentuckians are thinking about the prospective race for Kentucky Senate between U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. This is the first of several polls we plan to run here at Cofounder, on this political race and various other topics of interest. If you have an idea for a poll, let me know. We might just do it.
This poll is also not a representative sample of likely voters this May or November. It is, however, a representative sample of how the Internet population in the Commonwealth feels about a particular issue or political race. And the findings are interesting.
Bottom line: Kentuckians aren’t paying attention to the U.S. Senate race right now. Many may not even know there’s a race this year. The Presidential race is taking up all the political oxygen in the Commonwealth and elsewhere. Decisions have not yet been made.
The poll ran from 3/30/16 to 4/2/16. The weighted results breakdown like this:
Now, a word about how we come up with our data – Google Consumer Surveys.
Google Consumer Surveys makes use of inferred demographic and location information to employ stratified sampling method by distributing the surveys based on the targeted audience to Google’s publisher network and/or Android smartphone users. Google infers demographics through respondents’ browsing history (DoubleClick cookies for age & gender and IP address for geography), then they match them against existing government statistical data. Google Consumer Surveys uses post-stratification weighting to compensate for sample deficiencies to remove bias among the survey sample. This gives a more accurate result with lower root mean square error (RMSE) which also makes the results better represent the Current Population Survey (CPS).
Google Consumer Surveys has its limitations. However, in 2012, Nate Silver, then of the New York Times FiveThirtyEight blog fame, concluded that Google Consumer Surveys was the #1 most accurate poll online and the #2 most accurate poll overall.
And really, with what we’ve seen from other recent public polling conducted in Kentucky (Read the FiveThirtyEight story, “What to Make of Kentucky’s Polling Failure”), how bad could it be?
We hope this poll makes for more enlightened and enlivened conversations about politics in Kentucky. After all, they are the damnedest!