Thursday, October 09, 2014

Probing the Liberals

In today's Winnipeg Free Press, Dan Lett suggests the Liberal party is "soaring" with more than 20 percent public support.  He also suggests this is "rarified" air for the Liberals.

We have to admit, we had to first Google the word, "rarified".  Who other than physicists and mountaineers use this word anyway...?  In anycase, what we think Mr. Lett's trying to say is it is "rare" for the Liberal party to be in the range of 20 percent public support.

We checked the annals of Probe Research.  Over the last 57 or so quarters going back to 1999, the Liberal party has been at 20 percent or greater support 14 times.  This includes a two year stretch from September 2000 until September 2002 when the Liberals never fell below 20 percent support.  And just recently, the Liberals were at 23 percent in March 2014, and have been as high as 27 percent at times.

If we applied a margin of error of 3 percent to Mr. Lett's 20 percent threshold, the facts would even more strongly suggest how out to lunch Mr. Lett's suggestions are.

The Liberal party, Mr. Lett, despite your best wishes, is not "soaring", and it is not "rare" for them to bounce around in the 20 percent range.

We hate to say it, but the headline writer got it more right than the reporter this time.