Monday, February 2, 2009

Early Polling Worthless?

Early Polling Worthless

Despite a history of poor track records of accuracy each year the media and the pundits report poll results on who is ahead or behind in a given race. Coverage of polls often is the only discussion of a given campaign that the media covers. Forget about issues or analysis on how the challenger differs from the incumbent.

You get a warning that the poll might be off by 4% either way, but never warned that early polls are mostly wrong. It is clear that both issues and the way in which a candidate campaigns has more to do with who wins than an early poll.

Giuliani Has Best Chance of Defeating Clinton
Oct. 25-28, 2007, Gallup Panel survey said Giuliani is the only candidate that a majority of Americans say has an excellent or good chance of “being elected president”.

Clinton Leads Obama by 27 points in new poll
Nov. 11-14, 2007, poll, 48% of Democrats say they are most likely to
support Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination in 2008, followed by Obama at 21% and Edwards at 12%.

Giuliani Inches Ahead Of Clinton October 31, 2007

McCain could pull out of race by autumn
Presidential hopeful drops campaign staff as Republican consultants predict he'll be gone by September – June 24, 2007

Mayor’s Race November 21, 2000 Bloomberg Favorable 11% Unfavorable 4% Mixed 8% No Opinion 76%; Green Favorable 48% Unfavorable 12% Mixed 15% No Opinion 25%.

October 24, 2001 - Green Leads Bloomberg 51 - 35 Percent In Mayoral Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds.

Poll for mayor August 26, 1977
Koch 12%; Beame 17%; Abzug 17%
Koch won the primary in September and the general election in November.

Even when finally in office, issues and governing style count more than polls. When Spitzer took the governor's office he had a 77% favorable rating in the polls, based on his pledge that everything changes from day one. It is increasingly the modus operandi for local candidates to order a poll early in their campaign on what their district might be thinking. Old time pols think these polls are jokes and a waste of money. They say that if a candidate does not have the basic understanding of the issues affecting his or her district without a poll, they will never win no matter how many polls they pay for. The old timers also say there is no way to find the common issues in a given district, since most districts in NYC are made up of vastly different neighborhoods, with different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

One of the biggest polling consultants in NYC: Global Strategy Group LLC, did a poll for Elizabeth Crowley in her special election race for city council that she lost last fall, spending $26,000 dollars on the poll which amounted to over 25% of her total spending in that race. Crowley ran again in September and won the primary and general elections without a poll or the help of her first special election consultants the Parkside Group – she won with a grassroots "listening to the voters" campaign. Sometimes candidates authorize polls in the middle of their terms in office. John Liu spent $16,000 on a poll from Global in 2003 even though he was not up for reelection until 2005.

Albany DEMS PUSH RENT CONTROL *** GROANS AT GOP PICK FOR GILLY SEAT *** GOV TO TYCOONS: TAKE TAX GRIPES TO SILVER *** Gillibrand Discusses Stance On Immigration *** Gillibrand Hints at a Change of Mind on Immigration (Times) *** Gill can't sell Hispanic pols (News) *** Paterson Taking Heat for Health Care Proposal *** Benjamin: Gillibrand's vacated seat mess for Dems***Give back those bonuses! Cuomo expected to demand $4B *** Paterson didn't chastize "Saturday Night Live" for mocking him a second time *** SEIU 1199 and the GNYHA will unveil a bruising anti-health care cuts ad campaign today that features nurses and patients - including a blind man - asking Paterson: "Why are you doing this to me?"

City Hall Bloomberg Says Prayer For 'Doomsday Budget' *** MIKE'S DOOMSDAY BUDGET? IF ONLY - asking for far greater sacrifice from the public and the ailing private sector than from the outsized public sector *** No joke - I'll fire 23,000, Mike warns ***Hebrew charter school to open in NYC next fall *** Timing of big donation & sweet deal plague Bx. beep *** Something else that will never get built From 1010 WINS: - Westside Rail Yards *** Talks To Resume Monday On Rail Yard Project *** Talks to continue on Hudson Yards contract *** Trouble in StuyTown *** Hebrew charter school to open in NYC next fall *** DN Ed: Turning OSHA's 10-hour construction safety training into a 2-hour joke puts lives at risk *** Mayor wants Fed crackdown on bogus safety classes *** Political Junkies Gather At Annual Memorabilia Show *** Obama really pushes buttons *** Bloomberg put $1.2 million in the housekeeping account of the Independence Party, giving him significant influence *** Picture Darkens for City's Museums *** Costs Soar at Brooklyn Bridge Park ****Brooklyn Leaders Urge MTA to Sell Empty Building *** Paterson Restores School Attendance Policy.

Washington GOP leaders doubt stimulus bill will pass Senate... *** In Daschle’s Woes, a Peek Into Washington *** Bailout plan will address bonus pay *** It's Not Worth Compromising for GOP Votes - E.J. Dionne, Washington Post *** Obama Should Fix the Flawed Stimulus - Washington Post *** The Needed Stimulus Needs More - Philadelphia Inquirer *** Schumer Predicts 60 Votes on Stimulus Bill - Politico *** Stimulus: Too Little Bang for Bucks - Robert Samuelson, Washington Post *** Bam to GOP: Need help to spend $819B *** Lupica: Game no quick fix for economy *** Jockeying for Power in the White House - Peter Baker, New York Times *** America's Failure to Foresee - Colin McNickle, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review *** A History Lesson for Rush Limbaugh - James Carville, CNN *** Obama Seeks Assessment on Gays in Military *** A State With a Wish List for Stimulus Spending - California *** Blago taps 'flamboyant' father-son legal team.

Wall Street Mess Welfare Aid Not Growing as Economy Drops Off *** A foreclosure freeze would ease their fears *** How two N.Y. workers see their futures *** It's all Bernie's fault, sez charity *** Post-Madoff, a Support Network *** Now Hiring: Lehman *** States Weigh Tax Breaks to Woo Jobs *** Opinion: Policies Prolonged Depression - WSJ *** Protectionist Wave Could Reduce Lending *** Chrysler Is Hobbled By Former Finance Arm ***

Media Mess PENSION TENSION: GRAY LADY'S $625M DEFICIT ADDS TO PUBLISHER'S WOES *** The L.A. Times is cutting its California section. Now it’s just like every other newspaper, but with a better tan. [Romenesko] ***Plus, coming soon: layoffs at The Wall Street Journal. [Mixed Media/Portfolio] *** It would cost the Times about half as much money to send every single one of its subscribers a brand new Amazon Kindle instead of a physical newspaper each day.