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Following Mike Testa’s six and half point victory over Robert Andrzejczak, John Froonjian, interim director of the Stockton University Poll, offered an explanation on the other side of Election Day.
“Clearly the poll results in the Senate race were very different than the vote. The same poll was much closer on the Assembly race, with the outcome being within the margin of error. The same sampling and questionnaire was also used in the 2nd District, with the results very accurately signaling that vote.
“So what happened in LD1 Senate? I haven’t figured it out yet. The Stockton Polling Institute will conduct a close review to try to figure out what happened in the Senate head to heads. The research, as in all our polls over the last seven years, was done without bias toward any candidates. We reported what randomly called voters told us.
“I will note a couple of points. The poll was conducted more than two weeks before the election. It was a snapshot in time and not a prediction of the vote. Between the end of the poll and Election Day, there was a major event in the House vote on the impeachment process. That was a significant development that likely angered the GOP base in a region that is not supporting the impeachment inquiry. President Trump recorded a robocall after that vote. There’s no way for me to know what effect all that had, but it could have spurred Republican turnout. In a low-turnout election, that movement could have a significant statistical effect.
“Because of the big difference between the Senate and Assembly results in the same poll, I wonder if there was something of a Bradley effect (after former LA Mayor Tom Bradley) regarding Andrzejczak. Would conservative voters feel awkward saying they oppose a wounded war veteran but vote against him in the booth? Again, no way to know and I’m not saying that happened, just trying to understand the results.
“This was the first election in our seven years of polling in which the Stockton poll did not correspond to the vote.”