Perhaps most notable about the results here is, frankly, just how poorly this poll is tapping into vote intentions. Undecided voters going up? Almost every candidate losing support? Combine these oddities with the fact that a couple of weeks out from the primary election a third of the electorate, with almost half of blacks, remain undecided, these results tell us either we are seeing a once-in-a-lifetime contest, or people just aren’t responding well to this polling.
(This explanation certainly is more valid than the one offered by the pollster, who claimed it was an artifact of “negative” campaigning. That guess defies much of what we know about the impact of political campaigns; typically, undecided respondents’ numbers drop, particularly this close to an election – and in one where there was little negative advertising up to the time of the polling. It was unusual to have a third undecided almost a month ago; it’s incredible to have even more undecided only days away from the contest. A far more plausible explanation is that many prior, older responses were given only on the basis of name recognition and did not indicate any real intention of future voting, which is especially apparent among black respondents. It’s only now, reflected in the results of this poll, that you are registering serious vote intentions.)
Let’s do assume for the moment that we do have a good poll (meaning the sample does in fact represent the views of the population polled; a standard in the industry is that one out of twenty times it won’t). If so, what was predicted in this space last month is coming to pass; specifically:
So really there’s just one question left now over the next ten days: can either Glover or Bradley seize a majority of the black vote and thereby put himself in the runoff with Jones? The odds favor Glover succeeding in this quest, but Bradley’s not out of it. And if one of the black Democrats does get the upper hand, it likely makes Jones Shreveport’s next mayor.