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May 27, 2008

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Jim

Tom,Remember that party id and party registration are two very different things. You can have registered Democrats that if asked identify themselves as Republicans and vice versa.Since you poll using a voter file you have the party registration of each respondent at your fingertips. You probably should anticipate approximately the same turnout among each party identification on a percentage basis as you saw in 2004. (Those numbers just like African-american turnout you discussed last week are available from the SBOE.)Since you already know how those polled are registered, the interesting thing is to see what they are going to do. If you are interested in how they are identifying themselves, you could ask them whether they identify more with the Republicans, Democrats or neither party. You could also give them a generic State Legislative ballot question to determine which party they lean towards. (Since most folks have no clue who their legislator is they're pretty likely to vote the party they currently favor.) Or you could ask them if they are Democrat, Republican or Unaffiliated and see how it matches up with the voter file.In any event, you are negating one of the major advantages of polling off a voter list if you are trusting the respondents to tell you if they are Republican, Democrat or Unaffiliated when you already have that info.I'm sure there are, as you point out, many registered Repubicans that are disgusted with the Republican Party and intend to vote Republican that may no longer consider themselves Republicans and tell pollsters they are independent. And you are right, they would really screw up your sample of unaffiliated voters.Finally, it should to some extent reduce the need for weighting your poll which as you've pointed out on numerous occasions can introduce the error that causes a poll to be off in the first place.Jim

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