Friday, June 23, 2006

The New Weiss Poll

It looks like Patty Wiess has released one of her polls. It also appears that many of the other blog sites have had quite a stir over the results. It should be fun to analyze this poll without necessarily having a favorite on that side of the race. Here are the points I'd bring up.

1. The sample size looks low to me, and this seems to show with some of the results. I cannot believe that Jeff Latas is actually only pulling down 7% of the vote in the poll (So I won't). This would be a big signal to me that the poll may have internal inconsistencies. As I mentioned before, polls are certainly fallible, and this should be a big red flag. The only way I can see this happening is if independents were oversampled or the poll were not conducted over the entire district (I'd lean toward the poll having limited geographic reach). Certainly a gander of the demographics of respondents would help clear this up.

2. I'm also very suspicious of a poll where much of the information and methodology is redacted. It smells of trying to hide something. Patty paid for the poll, so she can release what she wants to, but it certainly seems fishy. Hopefully she will release more at a later date.

3. There are a few positives in this poll for Patty. Her strong support (the people who are actually going to show up to vote) stands at 23%, which if this poll is accurate (a huge IF) it means that adding a good 17% should be enough to nail down the nomination. She has 9% of that needed percentage leaning her way which would leave her needing to gather about one third of the complete undecideds, which is certainly doable. Gabby would need to gather more than half of the current undecideds and keep her leaners. This may be even more difficult as I believe that an underpolled Latas cuts more into available Gabby voters than Patty voters.

Obviously her name recognition is still pretty high, but the favorability is a wash as a 4% unfavorability is actually quite a good thing for Giffords.

4. There are a few good things for Giffords in this poll as well. I already mentioned the almost total lack of antipathy for Giffords (all of the Republicans are much more polarizing within their own party with the possible exception of Frank Antenori.) Also, her commiteds form a greater percentage of her entire support, which may show that Weiss's support is pretty shallow and built on name recognition alone (at least more so than Gabby.) Finally, I would still think that name recognition alone should be worth more than a 10% lead at this point. Weiss will need to start campaigning in Earnest to stave Giffords off.

5. The biggest and perhaps ONLY thing that can be concluded from this poll is that Patty has dropped her "Only Patty can beat the Republicans" line for any recent polling. I cannot believe that she has not polled for this since January (I would confidently bet that she has). Either her results (that she is hiding) are showing that Gabby can also beat the Republican (unlikely if only 40% of Democrats know who Giffords is), or that Patty has fallen behind the possible Republican candidate (a lot has changed since the poll was taken in January, with the Republicans on a slight upsurge.) The dog that is not barking is perhaps the most interesting and useful thing to be gathered from this memorandum.

But as I mentioned, I don't truly trust polls.


Kralmajales said...

To disclose, I just posted this on Arizona Congress Watch, but I thought, Framer, that you and your readers would be interested...and that it might generate discussion...Nice analysis of the poll by the way.

Latest on the poll...I hear now that most analysts of this poll, including the group at Hotline, run by the National Journal have essentially trashed Patty's poll. In fact, Hotline's take on the poll was that Patty Weiss had 63% favorability rating and a 75% recognition, but was only able to get 32% that said they would vote for her. So it turns out that people know her and like her, but still aren't interested in voting for her. The support Patty claims is not just is VERY soft....the staff of the National Journal knows it and so do local reporters as it turns out.

On local reporters, I hear that KUAT on Arizona Illustrated also trashed the poll in that she paid for it, only released certain parts of it, and that the numbers really don't look that good for her.

Consider that Giffords is 10% behind in the poll, but that her name recognition is right now much lowe than Patty's. This will of course change as the campaign heats up. Now, as Giffords closes that gap her campaign will harken back over and over again to Patty's "paid for" poll as a means of showing the momentum of Giffords campaign ...and the dive of Ms. Weiss. The press will notice this too.

I bet the Weiss camp wishes that they had not paid so much for this poll. I frankly think they did it because they needed to give their supporters a place to hang their hat. I also think it is because the FEC fundraising deadline is June 30th and they are trailing massively in funds. They could use this on the web and with their supporters to raise money.

Too bad the effort appears to be backfiring.


Anonymous said...

Five polls taken show Patty Weiss leading by between 32% to over 50%, when the undecided are factored in. They break in favor of Patty 2 to one.

The neocons at the National Review support their Gabby and are throwing their considerable bias to her.

All of this is very good news for Gabby.

She can still swamp the boat with TV ads!

Powerline and her other neocon supporters will throw some analysis her way. They are vested in her.

Kralmajales said...

Anon, or Eye of the Camel, or whoever you are:

Dude you are way off and uninformed. I said hotline and National JOURNAL...not National REVIEW. I know Framer appreciates and knows the difference.

Folks, for those who follow campaigns, Hotline is the latest up to date analysis of races around the country. It is THE place where campaign managers and analysts turn for the latest on races. Some of the top campaign analysts for the National Journal (a great non-partisan publication that follows and reports on federal politics and elections) write for and follow the Hotline.

Hope this see the latest "The Fix" in the Washington post for the latest on the CD 8 race.

Self Appointed Opinion Leader said...

Gabby's weaknesses are not to be gleaned from the Washington Post.

They can be found all around Congressional District 8.

The heat she has generated began with her, and her words, votes and positions.

It is no surprise that she is the establishment candidate and that the Washington Post thinks she has the moxie to win this one. The Arizona Star and the Tucson Weekly will probably do the same.

Check out how venomous the endorsement was for Elaine Richardson from the Star.

They went out of their way to say that EVERYONE was better qualified than Raul Grijalva.

Gabby must be the chosen one, because the corporatists say so. She deserves their endorsements because she represents their business interests more than she would represent CD 8.

Kralmajales said...

Give me a BREAK...the chosen one by the corporatists in this town is Steve Huffman. The chosen one by the corporatists...whoever they are...are generally Republicans.

Giffords support has been labor unions, teachers, environmental groups, etc...and a host of volunteers and Democratic activists...enought to make any Republican here get the "willies".

That said...she does have broader appeal that any of the other candiates in the Democratic race because she has been able to work with Republican legislators to get thing done.


phx kid said...


I went and looked at The Fix at Washington Post. It is exciting to have the number 3 race in the country.

Cillizza may be right about the Democratic race. (I think when the money starts to flow Gabby will end up in front.)

Cillizza is wrong about Huffman increasing the chances of a Republican hold. Huffman does not excite the base, especially pro-lifers. They are the one voting block that will be content to sit this one out if Steve is on the ballot. The conservative Graf crowd will still be sour about the constant “your candidate could not win.” They may be mad enough to show that Steve cannot win either. Before this race is over the hard-core Graf supporters will be convinced that what ever happened it was because of a dirty trick by Steve. The charge may or may not be justified but with his reputation for what he did to John C. Scott it may stick. A group of base supporters convinced that Steve is evil personified does not bode well for him in a race against a well-funded and dynamic Giffords.

outlander said...

If Gabby had the broad support that Roger kralmajales says she has, then she would be ahead in all of the polls, and she is not.

She is not out yet, but she is in danger and TV may not cause the undecided to break 2 to 1 for her. Its her fundamental image that has brought this about, not her endorsements nor fundraising talents.

Kralmajales said...

I think the contrary, Weiss' lead is due to her incredible name recognition. Can't begrudge her for being famous, but the people watching this race closely and those who see past the glitz and to the record, end up choosing Giffords.

The only negatives that come out on Giffords and that tarnish her as a candidate are the constant attacks by the rather desperate attacks by supporters of Weiss and Latas.

In fact, if Patty is the frontrunner, then why is no one looking into her past and record so hard. Shouldn't she be vetted a bit more than she has been? Also, why is it that even the contested endorsements are going the way of Giffords and not Weiss. If Weiss is all that people say, then she should be sweeping this thing...and she isn't.

anonymous said...

You know very well that Gabby's numbers aren't moving, and you do a Fox News rewrite in your Independent/former Republican analysis.

From a Democrat's point of view, Roger Kral's analysis is Gabbycentric and less credible with each volley.

Its a good thing that he is not a Democrat, because his analysis tends to bash Democrats without really defending Gabby in a meaningful way.

Anonymous said...

Okay, this is the thing.
Celinda is well known for narrowing down her polls to the smallest possible universe. In this case, that means that she *very* narrowly defined a "likely Democratic voter."
So. This poll is weighted towards the higher-efficacy Dems in the community. Okay.
That being the case, I'm not at all surprised that Patty is showing up as only 10 ahead.
We all know that it's those moderate- and lower-efficacy Dems who adore Patty and can hardly wait to come out and vote for her. Gabby's not going to get any of those votes.
So when you get down to it, Patty's likely support is in fact far greater than a 10 point lead in this poll would indicate.

Kralmajales said...

Not liking what I am saying I guess....but very comfortable attacking the hell out of Giffords.

I think my analysis is pretty reasonable I think.

Again, better hope there is not movement or tightening of this race.

Self Appointed Opinion Leader said...

If you're hoping there is not movement nor tightening of this race, then Patty Weiss will win.

So I agree with you on that, but it is strange hearing you hoping that there is no improvement in Gabby's numbers. Must be tired, I guess.

Kralmajales said...

First good morning SAOL, Framer, and readers...

Maybe I was tired...and didn't explain well.

What I was saying was that Patty took a risk by buying this poll and spreading these results now and this early. If the race begins to tighten, anyone here who follows politics will know how it will be read.

What Patty has done is declared herself the frontrunner with this she did with the first poll. Now, if the next independent poll shows growth of support for Giffords or Latas...a tightening of the will be read by the media and others as momentum for Giffords or Latas and not good for Patty's campaign.

That is what I meant when I argued that you had better really really hope the race does not tighten for Patty...if that is who you are backing.

Oh..SAOL..who are you backing in this race?

boohoo said...

I finally agree with Roger.

I think the poll is slanted anyway. Most do. I think there wil be some tighting and movement. It's only a matter of time. Patty's only hope that time is short, and it's not.

anonymous said...

The Weiss poll is slanted in that the undecided break 2 to 1 in favor of Patty Weiss when asked who they would vote for today. Time is short but the numbers favor Patty over Gabby by 2 to 1... if you're a gambler and not a paid media consultant trying to glean some points from the ad buys.

Kralmajales said...

Anonymous...polls are snapshots not videos...They are like taking a photograph at a single point in time. Your very powerfully wrong assumption is that things will stay the same. The could, but organization, volunteers, endorsements, and even money do have an impact on how campaigns change.

Even one of the authors of HER poll recognized and stated that it measured name recognition...and little else at this stage.

I finally agree with Boohoo (smile)...if time short and the race was tomorrow and Giffords had no chance to run adds and mobilize her support...the the snapshot would look the same. Unfortunately, there is a lot of time and Giffords has an army of endorsements and volunteers to work on her behalf.

I still think that Latas is making a bit of an error. Weiss is shadowing him and his issues. He is barely going to creep past her shadow if he doesn't consider that he might split or even loose the Deaniac voters in the party to her.

Anonymous said...

Things are not staying the same. Patty has momentum, having expanded her HQ, added volunteers, and received press for this Clean Elections issue.

Gabby is on the defense, not offense. She is playing safe, and she is losing primary voters.

anonymous said...

Blogger press, that is.

The Tucson Citizen ran a story about Patty's polls. They still like to call Gabby the frontrunner though.

Kralmajales said...

Yes...they ran a story and much of it did not hold out Patty as being as strong as she did. Even one of the pollsters who did her poll likened her support, at this stage, to a measurement of name recognition only.

The mantra was that it was HER poll...and that it was too early.

Not blogger press at all. And did you see how it was fairly dismissed by Nintzel, Portillo, and Kimble on Az Illustrated on Friday?

Kralmajales said...

Not sure that is true anon...each time Gabby responds it boosts her name rec. I agree that she shouldn't respond all day and I don't think after the negativity began by Weiss that it will stay positive on Gifford's side. She is a fighter and won't take it for very long.

outlander said...

Gabby more or less runs from fights, and prefers back room compromises to the street brawls of modern primary campaigning.

She would rather take a $300 check from Rip Wilson than ask 60 voters for the same.