#ncpol: About those Civitas polls …

*”Hey, if the flagship political organ of The Pope Empire says things are bad for Republicans, THAT IS NEWS.”*

Something like that runs through the mostly-empty heads in driveby media newsrooms (and Democrat campaign offices) across the state every time Civitas releases something that might not be considered music to the ears of Dallas and his grandpa.

The latest piece of “joyful” news the drivebys are trumpeting is a Civitas poll showing Mark Harris — vanquisher of the despicable Robert Pittenger — down by SEVEN POINTS to his pre-pubescent Democrat challenger.

I’ll have to admit — given who his top campaign advisers are — I am amazed Harris is still alive in this race.  Sometimes the skill and charm of the candidate can overcome weaknesses in the campaign team. 

I am sure the hope out there on the left flank is that Harris fans will become dispirited and just surrender.  But, before everyone gets too excited, let’s look back at the history of Civitas polls.

In 2014, the final poll Civitas issued in the US Senate race had Kay Hagan defeating Thom Tillis.  (Though most everyone else got it wrong, too.  One obscure poll — the Harper Poll — was the only one to pick ol’ Thom. And they came within a whisker of nailing the victory margin.) 

In 2016,  the final poll Civitas issued in the governor’s race had Pat McCrory knocking off Roy Cooper.

Late in the 2018 primary season, Civitas released a poll showing Robert Pittenger defeating Mark Harris by a whopping 32 percentage points.

If Civitas polls had any connection to reality, we’d still be dealing with Senator Kay Hagan and Governor Pat McCrory.  And Robert Pittenger would be currently slogging through another reelection battle.

These days, with the abandonment of land lines and the adoption of unpublished cell numbers and caller ID, and automated polling systems that can’t tell if an actual registered voter is on the line, it’s harder and harder to get a representative, accurate sample of the electorate.  I know a handful of consultants out there who don’t even bother with polling.  It offers little to no useful information, they tell me.  

If you live in the 9th congressional district, my advice to you is to pay NO attention to polls.  Research the candidates.  Question them on the issues.  Go into the polling place INFORMED.