Skurnik on 2008 Polls: Yeah, Right

In the comments section, numbers man Jerry Skurnik raises a good point, and politely tells me to stop getting so excited about all these 2008 presidential polls.

“Since candidates have won when polls have shown them down by 20 points a week out, can we just agree right now that no poll a year and a half before an election with a margin of less than 20 means anything?”

In a quick telephone chat, Skurnik elaborated.

“Two weeks before the Iowa caucus, Howard Dean was ahead. And came in fourth,” he said. Skurnik said even locally, early polls are not too reliable.

“Michael Bloomberg wasn’t ahead of Mark Green in any polls until the very end” of the 2001 mayoral race.

Wonder if this’ll slow the pace of all the 2008 polls we’re seeing?

– Azi Paybarah