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Luntz Focus Group Over-Weighted With McCain Supporters

Reported by Ellen - February 25, 2009 -

Pollster Frank Luntz conducted a focus group that provided reaction to President Obama's address to Congress last night. Luntz announced that the group consisted of 27 people, half of whom had voted for McCain, half for Obama. Putting aside the question of which side got the extra person, because 27 is an odd number, the breakdown does not reflect the American electorate which is more pro-Obama. With video. Updated: Response from Luntz received.

The votes in the 2008 presidential election did not split 50/50 but 53% for Obama and 46% for McCain.

FOX News' latest poll weighted its respondents as follows:

Polling was conducted by telephone February 17-18, 2009, in the evenings. The total sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points... Democrats n=375, ±5; Republicans n=319, ±5.5; Independents n=166, ±8

Luntz' 50/50 division can only be seen as an attempt to stack the focus group with extra Republicans. As Media Matters has noted, Luntz' credibility has been a recurring issue.

UPDATE: Frank Luntz left the following comment on this thread that I thought worth highlighting:

It's Frank Luntz here.

Actually, 33 people were invited to participate, and only 27 of them arrived on time. Of the six people who didn't show, 4 were Obama voters and two McCain voters. I can't help it if Obama voters promise to arrive and then don't.

As for those who participated, we had 14 Obama voters (52%) and 13 McCain voters (48%) -- which is pretty damn close to the actual vote.

And as for what went on the air, I didn't even mention the GOP response as it wasn't worth responding to. If I had covered it, you undoubtedly would have attacked me for giving it equal time.

You occasionally raise legitimate points on this website. This isn't one of them.

Thanks for the response, Frank, and the sort of props.