Saturday, March 1, 2008

Polling Polling Polling

The Chronicle's website has released an article detailing some sample polling on the D.A.'s race. The article is already in the advance Sunday edition of the paper, and will be in the regular paper tomorrow. It details several races and the Obama phenomenon that has resulted in so many early votes in the Democrat's primary. (NOTE: I'll address that issue after the Primaries).

The bottom line information on the D.A.'s race states:

Among the voters in the survey who are likely to cast ballots in the Republican primary, 21 percent chose Siegler, 14 percent Lykos, 7 percent Perry and 6 percent Leitner.

Now, every since I was young enough to understand what a poll was, I've been hearing people say that they "didn't trust polls". I can't say that I've ever sworn by them, but they tend to generally get the picture correct, if they are done right.

But this one is a little strange.

First of all, I've got to question the validity, or value, I guess, of a poll that leaves 52% of the vote up in the air.

And I'm stunned that Leitner would be coming in behind Perry. The fact that Perry is even running in this race is a complete farce. I tried to be polite regarding his misguided idea to run for office, but this is just absurd. The man cites his record for trying traffic ticket cases as his trial ability, for Pete's sake! This is really an insult to Jim, but it clearly illustrates what the problem has been with the Leitner campaign from the start: name recognition.

Lykos has 14% of the vote, and Kelly has 21%.

With so much up in the air, can one side win the election without a run off? The article doesn't seem to think so, although it is certainly mathematically possible.

But here's the part that I don't get. The Siegler campaign has been walking neighborhoods and meeting Republican voters in the top voting precincts, and they've gone by literally thousands and thousands of households, meeting hundreds and hundreds of people (NOTE: People aren't always home).

Based on the unofficial polling from this group, there been right around an 85% - 90% percent positive response to Kelly's campaign.

What does that mean? I don't know. I know my polling wasn't anything official.

Maybe it means Lykos, Leitner, and Perry supporters are more likely to spend their weekend days out of the house than Siegler supporters.

Or maybe it just means that we'll all have to wait for March 4th to get a real idea about how Harris County really feels about the race.

15 comments:

jigmeister said...

Alan characterized it as a "survey" rather than a poll. Survey's are informal and he isn't reporting the entire result. Assume some told the surveyor to mind their own business, some were voting democratic, and some had not decided.

That gives Alan something to write without suffering the consequences of making a bad call.

But Kelly is going to have to be ready for a runoff and I am sure she is.

By the way, what ballot position did she draw?

A Harris County Lawyer said...

She drew first, Jigmeister. The order is

1. Kelly
2. Doug Perry
3. Lykos
4. Jim

I think the fact that Perry is the first male listed is what explains the lead over Leitner.

pro.victims said...

In a runoff, do the candidates redraw for position on the ballot, or does it remain the same?

PJ said...

It's not an exit poll. It's a survey of "likely voters." The 52% constitutes those who have not decided (or would not say) who they intend to vote for on March 4.

And why should you be so surprised about Leitner? Nobody--least of all you--campaigned for him, despite his being the best qualified for the job.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

pro. victims, that's a good question. I have no idea what the answer is.

PJ, I think I've been clear that my candidate is Kelly Siegler, although I like and respect Jim very much. However, I want Kelly to win, and that pretty much precludes me from campaigning for Jim.

hcresident said...

PJ-When you said that nobody campaigned for Jim, maybe that means that the majority of interested people don't consider him to be the best candidate. I certainly do NOT consider him the best candidate. If he endorses Lykos after he loses I will certainly lose what respect I had for him.

As for the survey, I hardly think it is an accurate "poll". The Chronicle noted that an effort was made to make the survey representative. I am not trying to offend anyone here (or make a statement) but 20% of the participants in the survey were African-Americans. On a statistical basis that probably isn't representive of the average Republican primary voters (although I would encourage people of all races and faiths to participate in the primary that matters most to them). Also, the number of early votes cast so far is way over 50% of the typical turnout in the Republican primary. How can 52% still be undecided?

Kevin Whited said...

** But you're a journalist, Alan, and you know what's a story and what's not a story. **

Well, he's a political writer who doesn't know what a push poll is, so I'm not sure I would give him as much credit as you at this point.

See this:

http://www.furl.net/item/31170614

And the comments here:

http://loseaneye.blogspot.com/2008/01/prrimaries-they-are-churnin.html

I realize that most folks don't have a Ph.D. in polisci and may not know this stuff, but if you've been covering politics for a few decades at a major newspaper, you ought to know what a push poll is.

jigmeister said...

That's a great draw for Kelly. 1st or last.
§ 172.084 of the election code indicates they re-draw for ballot position in a primary run-off. I don't think it matters as much as the primary.

These damn word verfications drive an old man's eyes crazy!

A Harris County Lawyer said...

sorry about the word verification, Jigmeister. I don't request it. I think it keeps spam from being posted on all the blogspot message boards.

I recommend a couple of beers and it will make the words seem perfectly normal.

jigmeister said...

You buying?

Don't tell Pat.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Kevin,
I just finished reading the posts you suggested, and they are really interesting.
I think that a lot of my regular readers on my blog are just now getting a Baptism by Fire in the world of Harris County Politics due to the D.A.'s race. It really is a fascinating world, isn't it?
If you have the time, I'd love to hear your analysis of the whole D.A. race. I know that may be the equivalent of asking you to write a sequel to War & Peace, but your insight is appreciated.
AHCL

Anonymous said...

I would like to address the comments on people not campaigning for Jim Leitner. There are many out there on a daily basis working for Jim.

Another misconception on the Leitner campaign.

That being said. Let's clarify who is campaigning for whom.

Kelly has the staff of the DA office out there that is true. Do they want to be? Are they fearful if they don't? Some have admitted to the above explantions. Many have privately admitted they are voting for Jim Leitner.

And let's talk about the Harris County Sheriff's members... we all have heard who is behind that and why?????

Lykos has the Republican Women Organizations and member of the "leadership" of the Republican party. What do they really know about what is takes to be DA? They are just hoping she is the candidate that could beat Bradford. Again, what do they know?

Let's just hope that when the results are in Tuesday that the only candidate that isn't tied to the office or the screwed up leadership prevails.

No disrect to Doug Perry.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 12:44,
It seems like pretty damn poor form to me to make allegations like you have on this post. Those people who have been campaigning for Kelly are probably 99% Felony Twos and above.
As a matter of fact, the misdemeanor babies have been told that they are best served to keep their heads down and not campaign for Kelly in order to protect them from firing should Lykos win. In addition to the "babies", there are several other people who are either 1) extremely close to retiring and don't want to risk getting fired first; or 2) so dependent on their medical insurance that they can't risk getting fired by Lykos. I would submit to you that there are lots more people that want to campaign for Kelly but are afraid of the Lykos ramifications if they do.
Kelly has the support of the HCSO Homicide Division because of the amount of Cold Cases she has worked for them, and I doubt that the detectives would be that excited about you speaking for them and insinuating something else.
It's interesting to me that everyone else's personal life has been left out of this campaign, except for Kelly's. I know that's by design, because I guess you have to take her down personally if you want to try and take her down at all. Because we all know that nobody has led the perfectly clean life, have they, Bubba Joe Six Pack?
You know, its really a shame that posts like yours have diminished all I have always thought Jim stood for.

Anonymous said...

Whoa!!!

Didn't mean to get you so riled up on a Sunday.

I agree with what you say regarding the babies and those close to retirement. You are correct about fear of a Lykos administration and the possible ramifications of those who campaigned against her.

I am not sure of what you were referring to with regards to the deputy comments. The general comments heard of their support for KS is due to her law enforcement stance in the trials and courtroom.

There were no references made to anyone's personal life. There really isn't a place for it in the campaign is there?

Therefore, I hope you can maintain your good and rightfully so, opinion of Jim Leitner.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 2:16 PM,
If I jumped the gun, I apologize for snapping at you. Thank you for your further clarification.
Jim is a good man and is highly thought of by those who know him.