WTF is Up with These Mandel-Brown Polls

Its science.
  • It's science.

You armchair political observers out there trying to handicap the upcoming Senate bout between Sherrod Brown and Josh Mandel are probably getting a little dizzy. Just yesterday we heard reports the race between the deep-pocketed Republican hopeful and sitting Senator was dead even. Now, over the Wheaties today we see another poll puts Brown ahead by double digits. We're talking a game-change gulf in these two results, so what gives?

Well, it's a difference between the polling, a pretty common difference in the polling, as it turns out. Today's data set was courtesy of poll power house Quinnipiac University. As reported in the Plain Dealer, the incumbent leads 46 to 36 percent among 1,246 possible voters. Monday's poll was done by Rassmussen, which put both candidates at 43 percent of 500 voters.

But the difference between the two studies goes beyond the larger net Quinnipiac cast for the sample. Rassmuseen has a history of overshooting the odds of Republican success.