To: Interested Parties
From: Jason High
Campaign Manager, Wagner for Governor
RE: Franklin and Marshall Poll
The Franklin and Marshall poll released today regarding the 2018 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race is inaccurate and misleading. Recent polling by McLaughlin and Associates, a nationally recognized polling firm, shows Scott Wagner within 7 points of Tom Wolf. The Franklin and Marshall poll should not be taken seriously by anyone who has an interest in this race, let alone by members of the media, who should be verifying information, not just reporting on what a left leaning pollster gives them.
The poll is fundamentally flawed on several levels, but one that our campaign wants to highlight is the most basic component of the survey – the partisan breakdown of the participants. The self ID portion of the poll has Democrats at 51% and Republicans at 41% (Democrat +10), with the registration at 48% Democrat and 39% Republican (Democrat +9). Democratic turnout has never outweighed Republican turnout by 9 points in recent Pennsylvania history
If you look at the chart below, the biggest turnout disparity that has occurred in the last three midterms was in 2006, which gave the Democrats a 2.26 point advantage in partisan turnout. In fact, the biggest Democrat advantage in turnout was 6.62 points in the 2008 presidential election. The 9-point partisan difference in favor of the Democrats has no basis in history and renders the poll completely inaccurate. The pollster should be discredited for putting out this information and the media acted irresponsibly in not doing a full analysis on the poll before running with the numbers.
ACTUAL TURNOUT BY PARTY
The Franklin and Marshall poll asked respondents who they voted for in the 2016 presidential election. Among respondents who voted, 51% are Clinton voters and 43% are Trump voters. As we all know, this is huge difference from what we saw in November of 2016, therefore skewing the poll in favor of Democrats.
There are a total of 6% respondents in the Franklin and Marshall poll that claim they did not vote in the 2016 election. While there will of course be new registrants voting for the first time this November, a record 6.1 million voters turned out in 2016, and the turnout for the midterms is historically lower. Such a notable percentage of poll respondents saying that they did not vote in 2016 suggests that there are unlikely voters in this poll. Furthermore, when these voters were asked their likelihood to vote this November, 13% indicate that their chances of voting are 50-50 or less, or they admit to being unlikely to vote, yet they are included in the poll. This is yet another example of this poll’s poor methodology and how it is sampling non-likely voters.
McLaughlin and Associates’ polling is quite different. Unlike the Franklin and Marshall poll, McLaughlin surveyed likely voters who have a history of actually turning out. Our poll sees a single digit race among folks that have definitely made up their mind and shows a significant portion of voters still up for grabs. Perhaps more importantly, among voters who have formed an opinion of both Scott Wagner and Tom Wolf, Scott Wagner leads by 8%.
Franklin and Marshall predicted victory for President Clinton and Senator McGinty in 2016 by double digits, and now they are publishing skewed numbers to help America’s most liberal governor. The Wagner for Governor campaign will continue to be laser-focused on the issues, and we will not let phony polls distract us from our mission – electing Scott Wagner Governor so that he can improve the paychecks of workers across Pennsylvania.