Wednesday, January 10, 2018

HoCo Executive Survey – Topline Observations

As a pollster/strategic communications counselor, I will probably be writing about survey research frequently this year.  Here are my thoughts on this new HoCo Exec Poll

-          If Calvin Ball (D) is down only 3% against Allan Kittleman (R) on an initial head-to-head ballot test, despite Kittleman leading on Name Identification by a whopping 41% margin (87% to presumably approximately 46% based on the data reported), then Ball is quite well-positioned to expand his electoral base.

-          Statistically, they are in a dead heat right now.

-          This poll indicates that Kittleman (at 42%) is far closer to his ceiling than Ball (at 39%).

-          It would have been better to release the results in mid-December.

-          I am not a huge fan of automated phone surveys conducted for political campaigns. I greatly prefer live interviewer studies.  Yes, they are more expensive, but they are worth it, especially if the interviewers are well-trained in data collection methods and best practices.

-          Sean Murphy, HoCo’s answer to Stephen Miller, tried to launch an attack, but he stumbled. Not exactly an A-game message.   Sade was not singing about him, as he is not a Smooth Operator.

-          I would love to see the geographic breakouts.  Assuming the study was conducted proportionate-to-probability, the subsample sizes for that race from each of the Council Districts are large enough to yield statistically significant data, albeit with a high(er) margin of error compared to the overall MoE (4% at the 95% level of confidence).

-         Would be great to see how the 19% Undecided broke out (by ideological affinity, by partisan affiliation, by geography, by gender, by race, by age, and by voting propensity and/or interest in voting in the upcoming 2018 elections).

-         As I said in 2013 – 2014, the County Executive race is one where the Democratic candidate can win with up to 58% of the vote, and the Republican candidate can win with up to 52% of the vote.  His path was narrower but Kittleman ran in a favorable GOP cycle.  Despite the increased Democratic registration since then, Kittleman enjoys incumbency in a (generally but far from universally) OK economy.  And 2018 (like 2014) is a non-presidential election cycle, where Democratic turnout tends to be lower. Perhaps frustration with Kittleman’s Republican Party will help send more Ds to the polls and lead more Unaffiliated (read: Independent) voters to vote D.  That said, I will stick with that 58% D – 52% R range from the last cycle.

-         Putting myself in their shoes, I would be mildly pleased with the findings if I was Ball and I would be slightly nervous if I was Kittleman.  In short, it was a good day for Dr. Ball.

In solidarity.

1 comment:

  1. Robert L. FlanaganJanuary 10, 2018 at 2:31 PM

    Sean Murphy isn't HoCo's answer to Stephen Miller. He is a low brow woman-abusing hack.