The Sweep: Sexual Tar Heeling

Q (and A) Branch

With one more week to go, I just want to take a moment to thank all of you for reading this quirky little campaign newsletter. We wanted to give you something beyond horse-race punditry—a peek behind the curtain of how campaigns are run and the strategic decisions campaign operatives think about when they see the same news you do. 

In that spirit, I get wonderful emails from a lot of you with great questions that I try to answer. So this week, I’m going to share some of your most frequent questions (some of which I have combined/edited) and my best attempt to answer them!

  1. Do you trust internal polls vs. public polls? I would think an internal Pepsi poll would say it is more popular than Coke but we know that’s not true. Aren’t internal polls inherently biased?

First, let’s understand why internal polls exist. While campaign pollsters will always ask the question ‘who do you intend to vote for,’ this isn’t why campaigns pay $20-$50K for a poll. Internal polling is a tool a campaign uses to make strategic decisions about money and time. If strategists just wanted to know who was winning or losing, they could rely on all these great public polls.

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