Wilson on Oklahoma poll failure; Fair on Askins v. Fallin

| | TrackBacks (0)

A couple of interesting items on our recently concluded Oklahoma governor's primary and the upcoming general election battle -- Dem. Lt. Governor Jari Askins vs. Congresswoman and former Republican Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin.

Political opinion researcher Chris Wilson has some thoughts on why the polls were so far off, predicting a comfortable win for Attorney General Drew Edmondson over Askins and a solid first place finish for Kevin Calvey over James Lankford in the 5th Congressional District Republican primary to replace Fallin.

We are reminded, more than a little, of the discussion in the wake of another major polling failure--the failure of many outlets to correctly model the New Hampshire Democratic primary of 2008.

AAPOR, the professional organization of the polling community, conducted a major investigation of the New Hampshire polling and released a multi-hundred page report of findings.

We think that many of those findings apply in a substantial way to the failure of the public polling in Oklahoma to correctly analyze the outcome of this week's primaries. But the biggest one is this, primary elections require very well-crafted likely voter models to find the population of actual primary voters and sample from them.

Although the polls' predicted outcome in the Republican governor's race was correct, they were way off on the margin. Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates's Sooner Survey, taken July 18-20, said that Fallin had a 50-22 lead over Brogdon, beating Brogdon 40-25 even in the Tulsa area. (Brogdon won every county in the Tulsa metro area.) The Tulsa World - SoonerPoll.com poll, taken July 16-21, had Fallin over Brogdon 56-18. The actual result was 55-39.

It's worth noting that at least some of the data in each poll was over a week old by the time election day rolled around. That's bound to make the results look worse than they are, especially for SoonerPoll.com -- the Tulsa World waited until July 25 to publish the results, four days after the poll was concluded. The information about the polling date was there in the story, of course, but readers are apt to assume that a poll released two days before the primary should match the result pretty closely.

It would have been nice to have more polls for comparison. For some odd reason, Rasmussen Reports did two polls comparing each Republican contender with each Democrat in a general election matchup, but never bothered to poll the primaries. I wish Survey USA or WRS had run a poll -- both outfits are good about releasing crosstabs, something that neither SoonerPoll.com or Sooner Survey made available. Given that Oklahoma is an early presidential primary state in 2012, I'd have thought national polling outfits would have wanted to show off their skills at reading Oklahoma Republican voters for prospective clients.

Looking ahead to November, Steve Fair, the 4th Congressional District Republican Party Chairman, saw Mary Fallin and Jari Askins at their first post-primary joint appearance, the Oklahoma Grocers, Wholesale Marketers and Petroleum Marketers convention. He warns, "Askins will not be a pushover!" and draws some comparisons to 2002.

As I entered the hall, I saw Lt. Governor Jari Askins, (D-Duncan). She hugged me and I congratulated her on her upset victory last night. Jari Askins is one of the most gracious people in politics- no matter what your party affiliation is. That demeanor has served her well in Stephens County and across the state. It will get her some 'swing' votes in the upcoming general election. She softens her liberal views with a sweet dispensation. She ain't Nancy Pelosi!...

After the press conference, Fallin shook hands with a half dozen people and left. Askins hung around for three hours, getting pictures made with exhibitors in the MIO [Made In Oklahoma] booth and other booths and several retailers....

Fallin should have stayed at the show and met the 'regular folks.' That gets votes, it's fundamental and it's also the right thing to do. Askins interacts with people well! Several "R"s in the MIO booth remarked how much they liked Askins. VIRTUALLY EVERY PERSON IN THE MIO BOOTH HAD THEIR PICTURE MADE WITH HER! She will get consideration from people that Fallin should have locked up. Many Stephens County Republicans will vote for Askins in November, not because of her politics, but because of her gracious nature. Fallin should soften her image, not hurry through campaign stops and discuss more than issues with those she meets on the campaign trail....

[In 2002, I invited [Republican gubernatorial nominee Steve] Largent to come to the show and meet the grocers, exhibitors and manufacturers at the show. Largent came, addressed the crowd and left just like Fallin. He didn't engage anyone and unless I took him around to each booth and introduced him, he just stood around. I remarked to a friend that had Frank Keating been in that room, EVERYONE WOULD HAVE KNOWN HIM. Keating is engaging- he has great interpersonal skills. Fallin is not Largent, but on the first day after her nomination, she made a strategic error reminiscent of Largent's gaffe.

Fair's blog entry is also worth reading for his perspective on the decline of independent grocers in Oklahoma and how government policies "unlevel" the playing field in favor of major chains and big box realtors.

MORE of interest from the same authors:

Chris Wilson: How to Kill Twitter: Charge for It. Wilson notes that the USC/Annenberg report from which this insight came is itself inaccessible unless you pay $500, which means the report is unlikely to have the circulation or influence it would have if available for free on an advertiser-supported website.

Steve Fair, who also serves as Stephens County Republican Party chairman, explains how the county party works, where it gets its funding, and why it needs your support.

Finally, the Oklahoma Republican Party is asking Republicans to donate $20.10 for 2010. Every dollar donated stays in Oklahoma to help Oklahoma candidates.

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Wilson on Oklahoma poll failure; Fair on Askins v. Fallin.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.batesline.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/5735

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 2, 2010 5:22 PM.

Links elsewhere 2010/08/01 was the previous entry in this blog.

Satchmo: Basin Street Blues and Blue Yodel No. 9 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Contact

Feeds

Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
Atom
RSS
[What is this?]