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Eye On Boise

Of polls and samples…

Finally got a chance to talk with Greg Smith today about his recent poll in the 1st CD race and some questions I had about it. Among them: Was the same sample of likely primary election voters asked about both the primary and the general election? The answer: Yes. Smith said the assumption was that likely primary voters are even more likely to vote in the general election, which certainly is a fair assumption. However, more than twice as many people typically vote in Idaho's general election as in its primary election - sometimes nearly three times as many - so a representative sample of primary election voters may not also be a representative sample of the larger pool of general election voters. Smith called that a "good point," but said when funding his own poll, there was only so much he could do.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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