NY-01: New SUSA Poll Shows a Dogfight, But Almost No Young Voters in Sample

SurveyUSA for Firedoglake (1/16-18, likely voters):

Tim Bishop (D-inc): 47

Randy Altschuler (R): 45

Undecided: 8

(MoE: ±4.1%)

First of all, there is a pretty glaring peculiarity from this poll: it contains almost no young voters in its sample. Voters between the ages of 18-34 make up exactly 1% of its sample. Look: I wouldn’t be surprised if the youth vote is severely depressed in November, but that seems a little extreme. (Similarly, SUSA’s AR-02 poll had a 5% sample of young voters, and 3% in OH-01.)

I have no interest in discussing the healthcare portions of this poll (and neither should you), but the top lines are still worth having a look at. Critics of a poll like this might point to an Altschuler internal poll from mid-November that had Bishop ahead by 46-26. However, I think you can defensibly argue that the environment has gotten weaker for Democrats in the interim. Remember, this is not a deep blue district — Obama only won Bishop’s CD by 52-48. Moreover, this is one of the few races that have actually been engaged: Altschuler went on the air in late December with blistering ads hitting Bishop on his TARP votes. Still, the lack of young voters here seems like a pretty glaring weakness of SUSA’s likely voter screen. I would suspect that a more realistic model would give a few extra points to Bishop, but that still wouldn’t be enough to say that he’s out of the woods.

UPDATE: Nate Silver has noticed the demographic quirk, too, and is currently “doing some digging” on the poll.

RaceTracker Wiki: NY-01

62 thoughts on “NY-01: New SUSA Poll Shows a Dogfight, But Almost No Young Voters in Sample”

  1. although given that PPP’s Mass poll showed 18-29 voters as 8% of the electorate I still don’t expect it to be very good. sigh. as a 19 year old I really really really cannot stand the turnout issues with this demographic.

  2. how the FDL polls seem to have common characteristics, like pumping up Republicans against House members who voted for health care reform, and finding a way to have nobody under 35 voting in the election.

  3. While there’s a general dissatisfaction with Congress, there’s never been that much outrage about Bishop, whether from local press or the bigger NY press. He’s brings home pork and votes with the majority, and has pretty much zero profile.

    As far as ads, i havent seen a single altshuler ad, but was push polled a few months ago by his camp.

    Then again, these dogshit polls by FDL don’t mean anything anyway. 3 straight polls with no voters under 35. I cant prove it scientifically, but most of the young people in suffolk county are pretty liberal, especially on social issues. It’s doubtful that a dopey guy like Altschuler would appeal, especially since no one knows about him.

    And of course they didnt post anything about favorable or unfavorables because that would prove the stupidity of this poll. I would be utterly shocked if more than 20% of the district knew who Altshuler was

  4. right now is to engage hard on the financial regulation fight.  It is the one issue that we can put the GOP on the defensive and hook them with Wall Street folks that are currently joined to the hip with incumbent Democrats.

  5. I remember the good ol days when I was frontpaging and got an e-mail from SurveyUSA telling me to not call them SUSA. Way back in the magic days of 2006. It was amusing, looking back on it. Watch out for the SurveyUSA ninjas, James. They might be unhappy that you’ve unintentionally diminished their brand name. Ha.

  6. Special elections are a funny thing, but the FDL/SUSA polls are for regular midterm elections.  I don’t have the data on hand, but I’m pretty sure that if you look at the youth turnout going back to the 1970s for midterm elections, it was never as low as 5%.

    The OH-01 poll really made no sense, as there are several major universities in OH-01 (Cincinnati, Miami of Ohio, Xavier, etc.).  Yes, some students still register using their home address, but many also do switch to their school address, and there’s a fair share whose home address is still in that district.

    Though I have no idea what major schools are in NY-01, if any.

  7. I also live in NY-01 and outside of the now defunct Suffolk Life, Bishop has gotten mostly very good press during his tenure.

    I also did not see any Altschuler ads.

  8. I think the last guy who ran against Bishop got 40% in 2008. republicans held this seat last in 2003. I have seen Altschuler ads. President Obama won NY by 33% but this district by 4%.

    The Hamptons are in this district but Dowling College isn’t. I think Altschuler maybe a tough fight for Bishop. Princeton and Harvard grad and a Fulbright scholar. But who knows in this climate.


    Lake Grove, NY  

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