[Ads-l] here's a bit of a surprise

David K. Barnhart dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM
Thu Jun 7 13:28:01 EDT 2018

Dear Allan,


Hollis found a cute cartoon in the June 4-11 issue of The New Yorker on p.


Earlier this morning I heard a commentator on the radio refer to _generic
polling_ and that he wasn't sure what that meant.  In light of his
uncertainty, I did some digging and found enough to produce the following:


generic poll, {w}  a survey of public opinion concerning the popularity
among the electorate of candidates, issues, etc., especially based upon
poliitical party affiliations.  Standard (used in contexts dealing
especially with U.S. politics; frequent?)


Gallup's "generic poll", which asks how people will vote in the
congressional race, shows the Democrats ahead 52-42. This margin has held
steady since last month's Democratic convention. Martin Walker, "US
Election: Why Clinton Could Lose By Winning In The Parallel Race For
Congress; The fight may be on for the Democratic succession...," The
Guardian [London] (Nexis), Sept. 20, 1996, p 10


But Democrats are showing a resurgence that has more life that experts would
have predicted even a few month ago.

Several generic polls, which ask simply if a respondent will vote Democratic
or Republican in the congressional races, are now showing wide leads for the
Democrats. Republicans led those polls in 1994. Jeanne Cummings, "CAMPAIGN
'96; House-keeping battle; Down to the wire: GOP is fighting to retain the
power of its new-found majority," The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
(Nexis), Oct. 20, 1996, p 19A


When asked about a generic Democrat-Republican matchup, voters gave
Democratic candidates an 11 percent lead over Republicans. Nationally, the
average of generic polls is closer to 6.5 percent, according to Real Clear
Politics. Nicole Radzievich and Emily Opilo, "Survey shows Dems leading in
7th District," The Morning Call [Allentown, Penn.] (Nexis), May 6, 2018, p 1


[1982]  Composite (compound): formed from generic (OED: 1676), meaning "not
specific," + poll (eOED: 1902), meaning "A survey of public opinion ..."


generic polling, (common): Once these obstacles had been cleared, internal
party polling was depressing.

As one senior Liberal put it, while generic polling showed the Coalition had
a shot at winning in March, "it was wrecked when Collins's name was attached
to it". Tracy Sutherland, "Plotter's sacrifice: personal loyalty for a team
victory," The Australian (Nexis), Dec. 7, 1998, p 1 


Colorado political analyst Floyd Ciruli said that in recent elections in
which control of Congress changed hands, generic polling showed that party
as a heavy favorite. The fact this year's numbers are so close is a good
sign for those already in office, he said. Sara Burnett and Kurtis Lee,
"Three races make Colorado a congressional battleground," The Denver Post
(Nexis), July 18, 2012, p 1A


A shift of a Democratic majority in the House seems more and more likely, as
there has been a jump in Democrats' lead in generic polling.  Jennifer
Rubin, "GOP scrables to save seats as numbers fall," The Chronicle-Telegram
[Elyria, Ohio] (NewspaperArchive.com), Aug. 4, 2017, p C9


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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