Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Honduran Poll: None Of The Above Winning

Le Vote, a private market research firm has the results of an opinion poll they did on the presidential candidates for November's presidential election.  Here's what they report:

Xiomara Castro                  30%
Salvador Nasralla               28%
Juan O. Hernandez             26%
Mauricio Villeda                  16%

Le Vote says nothing about the size of the sample, the uncertainty, or the method used for obtaining the result. 
But there's an even larger problem with these numbers.  There are no undecideds or "decline to state". Reporting suggests that is significant.

According to El Heraldo, Le Vote said that 15% of the respondents didn't know or declined to state a preference, while 22.33% said "none of the above".  Further, El Heraldo reports that the real percentages reported by Le Vote differ from what's reported on Le Vote's own website, where apparently the results are rounded to the nearest integer. 

Le Vote is giving us a lesson in how to screw up reporting polling data.

Correcting using using El Heraldo's non-rounded percentages of those polled, totaling 66.77%, would look like this, organized by popularity:

None of the Above       22.3300 %
Xiomara Castro            19.8975 %
Salvador Nasralla         18.4686 %
Juan O. Hernandez       17.4003 %
Undecided/Not Stating  15.0000 %
Mauricio Villeda            11.0103 %

So, None of the Above would win if the election were held today, and by any normal polling margin of error, we cannot discriminate the placement of the next several candidates (Xiomara Castro, Salvador Nasralla, or Juan O. Hernandez). 

Undecided leads Villeda, the Liberal Party candidate, by a significant amount.  Villeda continues to show that the Liberals are definitely at the rear of the field for major political parties, but even he is leading over Romeo Vasquez Velasquez who failed to register in the poll.

Not even a majority of post coup Liberal Party supports their candidate according to Le Vote, which says Villeda has only has 39% support among Liberals.  Libre party candidate Xiomara Castro has 11% of the Liberal Party member's vote in the same poll.
This pattern is also true in the National Party, where less than a majority of those members surveyed supported Juan Orlando Hernandez, their own party's candidate for president, with 44% of the National Party members saying they support him. 

These weak levels of support for the two traditional party candidates contrast with 98% of Libre supporting its candidate, Xiomara Castro.

But the political parties are not of equal size.  The National Party forms about 32% of the electorate, according to Le Vote, while the post coup Liberal Party is less than half that size, at 15%.

Libre is slightly smaller, at 14%, while the Anti-Corruption Party of Salvador Nasralla is a tiny 6%. 

Le Vote reports that 31% of the electorate is not registered with any party.  The results reported by Le Vote show that Xiomara Castro and Salvador Nasralla are doing well among those independent voters, while Juan O. Hernandez is not.

The high "none of the above" value in the poll, though, indicates most Hondurans dissatisfaction with all of the candidates. The question is, will those citizens vote-- and if so, for whom?

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