GOP pollster says generic ballot is 'misleading'

Polling experts prefer to measure voter intensity instead of information gleaned from the generic ballot, Republican pollster Ed Goeas said in an interview that aired Tuesday on "What America's Thinking."

"The generic ballot is kind of misleading," Goeas, president and CEO of the Tarrance Group, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on Monday. "We've always known that a three, four, five-point deficit is even for Republicans because there are so many minority districts that are included in that that are 80 percent Democrat, but there's no 80 percent Republican districts in the country."

"So what we've always tried to get them to focus on is the intensity in the vote, and for the first time this year you heard them talk about the intensity gap that was there," he said.

Goes told Hill.TV in October that the news media tends to be attracted to the generic ballot for headlines, but that strategists tend to look more at voter enthusiasm.

"The thing we really look at as pollsters is the intensity of the vote, it's not where the generic ballot is going," he said this week. "That's kind of good for the press but not where we as strategists kind of look at."

— Julia Manchester