The Worst Election Poll Ever Taken by Anyone

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 8 2012 10:19 AM

The Worst Election Poll Ever Taken by Anyone

On August 1, the Detroit Free Press released the results of an EPIC-MRA poll of the GOP primary in the 11th congressional district. The question: Would voters get behind the libertarian rancher who accidentally became the only candidate on the ballot, or would they write in well-known local pol Nancy Cassis?

[Sen. Nancy] Cassis, of Novi, is leading her rival Kerry Bentivolio of Milford 52% to 36% in Tuesday’s Republican primary for the 11th Congressional idstrict, even though Bentivolio’s name is the only one on the ballot.
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How could Bentivolio survive? Easily! He won 65.5% of the vote, helped by $500,000 of spending from the Ron Paul-inspired Super PAC Liberty for All. The EPIC poll was off by a mere 30 points.

Our lesson: Do not believe surveys that ask people what they think of candidates that aren't on the ballot. Additional lesson: Follow the money.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.