WRAL: Recent polls may overstate voter concerns about Senate control

Sometimes I see reported survey results that need to be taken with a grain of salt.

A recent poll by American Insights of registered voters in North Carolina, for example, asked respondents whether control of the U.S. Senate influenced their vote choice in the Senate race in North Carolina. More specifically, respondents were asked, “Will the issue of which party controls the U.S. Senate be a factor in your vote, or not?”

A surprisingly high percentage, 62 percent of respondents, said that control of the Senate was a factor for them.

Around the same time, Gallup asked a similarly worded question about control of Congress. The sample was a nationally representative one, not just of North Carolina, and it asked about Congress as a whole, not just the Senate. Still, when asked how much control of Congress mattered, 42 percent said “a great deal.”

These questions are unbiased, and they are reasonable to ask, so that’s not my concern. In fact, I collaborated with Pearce Godwin, director of the American Insights poll on some of their survey questions.
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