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April 29, 2013

Is Mark Sanford Really the Favorite?

Most South Carolina political observers still see former Gov. Mark Sanford (R) as the special election favorite over Elizabeth Colbert Busch, despite a poll showing the former governor trailing by nine points, The State reports.

Harry Enten: "Over the past ten years, there have been 30 non-candidate/party sponsored polls conducted in the final two weeks before 18 off-cycle special congressional elections... 27 out of 30 times, the candidate leading in the poll won most of the votes in the special election. In 26 of the 30 special election surveys, the polling error was less than 9pt - Colbert Busch's lead. The polls' average error was only 4pt, and the median even lower, at 3pt. These margins leave little room for Sanford. He would need an error of at least 9pt, which has happened only 13% of the time. He would also need that error to be in his favor, which means he's looking at a 7% likelihood. That's not outside the realm of possibility, but it's a long shot."


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