Yes, you read that right. Despite four recent polls from Suffolk (taken 9/13-16), Public Policy Polling (9/13-16), Western New England College (9/6-13), and MassINC (9/15-17) that all show Elizabeth Warren with a lead of between 2 and 6 points, the Herald’s latest effort (taken 9/13-17) shows Brown up 49-44 with likely voters. The margin is one point larger, 50-44, with registered voters.
Weird, huh? Most of the polls were taken during the same time period, so either the Herald is wrong, or the other four are wrong. So here’s one observation: both the Suffolk and the MassINC polls had 36% Democratic respondents, which is right on the money according to the statewide registration figures (I couldn’t quickly find the PPP breakdown). WNEC asks its respondents to self-identify rather than using party registration; it had 37% self-identified Dems. The Herald’s poll, like WNEC, also asked respondents to self-identify which party they affiliate with. Without “leaners,” the poll had only 28% Democrats, which falls well short of the actual party registration figure, whereas it had 12% Republicans, which slightly exceeds the actual party registration figure of 11%.
So, I’m no pollster, but it seems to me that the Herald poll under-sampled Democrats and slightly over-sampled Republicans. Which could certainly explain why the Herald’s result is so far out of step with the other four polls released over the last couple of days. If anyone cares to explain why I’m wrong about the sample, or has another explanation, I’m all ears.