Everything is bigger in Texas: from the critters that roam to the size of the barbecue Texans eat. And we can of course add egregious polling errors to the list.
Later this week, Wednesday to be exact, the Texas Lyceum will release polling on the big four races in Texas (Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General).
Let’s take a trip down memory lane to see just how bad this poll has been. Dating back to 2008 the Texas Lyceum has generously given Democrats a massive house effect boost of seven (7!!!) points.
Let’s dig a bit further as to why they give Democrats such a big boost.
Look no further than their samples as they interview 1,000 adults. But, of course, all adults don’t vote. Likely voters do. But Lyceum interviewing adults leads to independents ranging from 12% to 46% (that’s not a typo — yes, forty-six percent). And Democrats varying from twenty-eight percent (28%) to forty-four (44%) percent. Finally, Republicans have ranged from twenty-three (23%) to forty-four (44%) percent. Pretty radical variance no matter how you estimate party ID in the Lone Star State.
Why stress this? Historically, Lyceum toplines offer very little information and most of their data is buried deep within the crosstabs, which they historically don’t release until after they drop the toplines. While they report the party mix of their adult sample, they don’t consistently report the breakdown of the people who actually responded to the ballot until sometimes days later.
Want another Texas sized error? The Texas Lyceum drastically overestimates the share of Hispanic voters in the Lone Star state. This of course has the impact of decreasing the white vote share under 50%.
Even other polls criticized for how they weight each party know that more than half of voters in Texas are white. Even the Democrat biased UT/Texas Tribune poll from June had the white vote share at 58%.
Given recent public polling and the Lyceum house bias, I expect they show the following: Governor Abbott around +12, LG Patrick and AG Paxton both in a dead heat and Senator Cruz around+3. We’ll see if I’m correct, but if I am, as is likey, I could have saved them thousands!
For anyone interested in reviewing Lyceum past surveys, here are convenient links: