Tom Jensen at Public Policy Polling released their weekly tracking poll in the GOP race for governor today and while it shows a similar overall lead for Pat McCrory (about 10 points) as our poll released last Friday, there are some different demographics that may paint a different picture. One of the main differences between our polls is the age distribution
of who we poll. Our poll tends to be older, PPP’s much younger.
First of all, as always, we did not poll likely Primary voters, we polled likely General election voters, so our poll numbers should not be construed as a true reflection of what Primary voters will do. These are two completely different groups who do not always vote or think the same way.
Our poll skews considerably towards the older age demographic since these are the people who vote in General elections. (In our GOP sample, 37% of the respondents were 65+ and another 23% were 55-64).
Older people vote in greater intensity than younger voters, it’s just the way it is. Our poll shows McCrory leading among older votes by 12-16 points.
PPP’s poll of GOP Primary voters only has 20% of their sample coming from those aged 60 and above. And among those voters, they have McCrory leading Smith by only 1 percentage point (34-33).
The demographics for the GOP Primary is that it has traditionally been composed of nearly half of voters coming from the 60+ age group. So if PPP’s percentages for that demographic are correct, they would show a much closer race between McCrory and Smith if you weighted that result to a larger percentage of the sample.
While our poll isn’t primary voters, it shows just about the opposite of PPPs — older voters voting for McCrory in higher numbers.
Who is correct? I don’t know, it’s probably somewhere in the middle. McCrory is up on Smith, but probably by a smaller margin that either of our polls show.