Thursday, August 28, 2008

Attacking Walberg

The race in the 7th Congressional District between Republican Tim Walberg and democrat Mark Schauer continues to be one of the hottest in the nation.

A new poll reported the race as very tight, with Walberg holding only a slim 43-40 lead. But there are serious questions about the methodology of the poll. A previous poll on the race was skewed by using the worthless "biography" methodology, but was widely reported in the media without clearly pointing this out.

Then there is this absurd blog entry by mainstream media reporter Susan Demas. It calls Rep. Bill Sali, Republican of Idaho, "Tim Walberg's best friend" without ever giving any evidence for this assertion. Her whole case against Sali is based on unflattering quotes from his political rivals. In one of the quotes, Mike Simpson says that he would like to throw Sali out a window, which Demas seems to think reflects badly on Sali, rather than Simpson. This is the sort of garbage that MSM types blame bloggers for.


Chetly Zarko said...

I know that the EPIC poll used the biography method this time around, using a soft bio for Knollenberg and a glowing one for Peters. Don't know what they did for Schuaer, but it stands to reason if they did it for one they go the other way too.

The bio method can be mildly useful if you write two fair bios, but mostly for internal messaging, not as a public indicator of where the race is.

BTW, some link love in your blogroll for OaklandPolitics and OutsideLansing would be nice, and you should check out OutsideLansing for the first documented Proposal 2 violation expose - hot off the presses.

Fitzy said...

Sorry to disappoint, but this wasn't a push poll. The day it was released, WXYZ in Detroit had the whole thing on their website here.

You'll notice that the question on the 7th District race including biographies was asked after a straight, no bio question. With biographies, the race changes to Walberg 46, Schauer 44.

This wasn't a push poll. It has real statistical value, and it tells us that it's going to be a close race. But I think we all already knew that.

Chetly Zarko said...

Sorry to disappoint, but that is an excerpt from a newspaper, not "complete" results. A set of poll results that is "useful" includes "crosstabs" - I think it is almost unethical for a newspaper or TV station to release results of polls they co-sponsor without releasing the cross-tabs. Why? If the purpose of news publications is inform the public and provide balanced and fair information, why not subject the poll to scientific scrutiny? Very little is gained in competitive terms by witholding a poll and its cross-tabs.

I agree that it was not a "push" poll in the sense that it pushed issues for each candidate -- but you missed the last question on Peters-Knollenbeg where the "bio" presents a clearly glowing picture of Gary Peters:

...he worked to cut taxes for middle class families, and earned a reputation for fiscal responsibility and bipartisan leadership. After leaving the Senate to run for Michigan’s Attorney General, and losing a narrow election, Peters was appointed Commissioner of the Michigan Lottery where he generated record amounts of funding to help public schools.

"record amounts to help public schools" -- Lottery is the biggest scam of all, Gary Peters "taxed the poor" in "record amounts" if that is true. And I'd like to see the evidence he "cut taxes for middle class families". He was in the House and Senate during Engler and majority Republican of both bodies, so perhaps he piggybacked one of those votes, but I would hope the opposition research on the body of his votes has been done, and I'll make some guesses on that right now.

The good news is that to beat Knollenberg, the Dems have repackage their candidate as a functional Republican. I'm not drinking that kool-aid.