Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Numbers Racket

Ladies, gentlemen and operatives, we suddenly have a white-knuckle dragger of a horserace in the 8th Congressional District. Only a week ago the Bean v Walsh v Scheurer mélee à trois was essentially over. Roll up those yardsigns, it will be Melissa Bean in a cakewalk. As reported on this blog,
Crazy Eighth
Nate Silver was spotting Joe Walsh an infinitesimal 2.2% chance at emerging victorious in the 8th CD.

Well a new poll, just released by We Ask America, has the race in the eighth now closer than mac'n'cheese.
Illinois: 8th Cong. Dist. Poll Report
How close? This close:
Your eyes do not deceive you, the contest between Melissa Bean and Joe Walsh is tighter than the Dave Matthews Band on New Year's Eve.

Your LakeCountyEye can't help but wonder what deus ex machina could possibly explain this remarkable and sudden turnaround. What are the chances that the voters in the Eighth are so evenly split that just one vote will make the difference between the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat?

Your LakeCountyEye knows how easy it is to manipulate poll results, particularly when the poll is based on responses to robo-call recordings. Especially when the equipment is capable of dropping its connections until it gets the results it wants. This is the gist of a Bill Foster complaint relayed to the Daily Herald, regarding a March 2010 robo-poll in the 14th Congressional District:
"We Ask America admits to technical errors in their polling technology, which completely compromises the accuracy of their polling," said Matt Snodgrass, political director of Foster's campaign. "Why should we trust the data from an organization that neither identifies themselves nor uses functional polling technology?"
Firm behind Foster health care phone poll won't apologize
Hawk-eyed operatives will observe that this pollster -- We Ask America -- is the same outfit responsible for the new Eighth CD poll.

Your LakeCountyEye already mentioned it is easy to game poll results. Pollsters, don't wait another minute -- your LakeCountyEye has a team of trained operatives working round-the-clock waiting to take your call!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

We know what they say about polls, especially polls from the conservative far right. Even the conservative Rasmussen can't manipulate stats like this. My swami says Joe will get more than 21%

Barney Baxter said...

hi Anon,
I haven't seen anyone predicting that Walsh gets 21% of the vote in Nov. The Republican base in the 8th CD is around 35%-40%. With a good turnout, expect Walsh to get around 45%.
-BB-

CatMan said...

We received one of these polling calls and answered the three specific questions that were asked:

1) If the election were held today who would you vote for in the 8th District? (candidates names then followed and you could answer verbally or by number)

2) If the election were held today who would you vote for governor? (again, all candidates were then mentioned)

3) What is your sex? (male or female were the only options, as if there were any others).

It will be interesting to see if Melissa Bean will show up Saturday at the Round Lake Civic Center at 3:00 for the 8th Congressional District Town Hall Forum, with Mayor Rich Hill moderating. My money is that she will once again be a no-show, hiding behind her prescreened tele-calls and absence at Jewel Stores where she claims you can ask her questions.

LC Truth said...

catman...because of the rowdy immature Walsh crowds who are obnoxious and ignorant why should she show up to be heckled, and is it fair to down ticket candidates who can't get a word in edge wise because of constant audience disruptions. As far as Jewel, again because of hecklers and people who just want to disrupt, prudence calls for other ways of talking to people, like knocking on doors. There are no tele-calls, robo-calls being conducted by the bean Camapaign, just Walsher pretending to be from the Bean campaign.
BB..I disagree, while the 8th may have R numbers in the 40s, the fringe conservative base numbers run in the low teens, and the 8th is far from fringe. They are moderate and even Republicans vote for Bean. Walsh is a turn off to moderate Republicans and Independents.

Anonymous said...

LC...seems dyed in blue is thinking along the same lines
http://bluelakespecial.com/

JustSayNoToJoe said...

If you use yard signs as a gauge. I see plenety of Walsh signs in the right of way, on empty pieces of property and the sorts. Very very few in the District on someone's actual lawn.

Barney Baxter said...

hi CatMan,
It's nice to know you can attest for the poll. Also I wouldn't expect any candidate to knowingly walk into an ambush. I think Bean is scheduled for a League debate at Grayslake HS, Oct 20.
-BB-

Barney Baxter said...

hi LC Truth,
The McSweeney/Greenberg 44%/39% showing the polls is probably the generic Republican baseline. I'll give Walsh a couple points because the economy is bad which helps Republicans. And deduct a couple points because of Walsh's high negatives. Either way, I'm taking any bets against Bean.
-BB-

Anonymous said...

In the 10th, Democrats would routinely show up and try to heckle Kirk over the decade he served us. When Kirk announced from the porch of his childhood home his intention to run for U.S. Senator, there were five groups of Democratic hecklers, each mentored by one or two handlers with clipboards, carrying signs and carrying on.

Why is that OK and the Walsh supporters behavior not?

In my humble opinion, its wrong behavior no matter who is doing it.

Louis G. Atsaves

CatMan said...

LC Truth wrote: "There are no tele-calls, robo-calls being conducted by the bean Camapaign"

The tele-calls I am referring to are the ones that invited you to participate in her teleconference call but about all you got to do was listen to maybe three screened questions that she used up all her time answering with the same old answers she continues to use. Why does she say that she hasn't made up her mind on ANY issues when asked, yet follows the Obama, Pelossi, and Reid demands when it comes to voting? Why won't she show up ANYWHERE to answer questions? If she is going to be in Grayslake I'd love to know the exact date.

As far as Bean goes, she is MIA. Today I received the first negative flier from her camp which is probably just the beginning of her multi-million dollar last minute campaign.

No matter what anyone thinks about the recent poll showing a virtual tie, when the newspapers and blogs start picking up the story it forces her to come out of hiding and recognize her competition. My feeling is that she didn't want to even acknowledge Joe Walsh and thus give him any credibility at all. As far as the debate Saturday, do you really think that Mayor Rich Hill would let it get out of hand without ejecting disruptive behavior? I know the Mayor well enough to tell you that it WON"T happen on his watch!

CatMan said...

Even on Bean's website you CAN'T find out where she will be appearing next. But you will find that she just loves avoiding her constituents by using teletownhalls and eNewsletters. When it came to the health care debate she openly admits to meeting with just about everyone except her constituents. Here are excerpts from her site:

"Over the past two years, over 178,000 people have joined to listen and ask questions during my Eighth District teletownhalls. I’ve sent over 1 million e-newsletters, updating people on legislation in Washington and my activity across the District, and soliciting their feedback."

"During the House’s health insurance reform efforts, I hosted roundtables with Eighth District hospitals, patient advocates, small business owners, and doctors and nurses." (but NOT the average voter!)

FoxLakeCaddy said...

I saw Bean out walking today in my neighborhood. This is where a winning candidate spends their time. Knocking doors, talking to constituents first hand. I have yet to see Joe Walsh, nor have any of my friends seen him in our neighborhoods and I don't have a D or R tied to me.

Barney Baxter said...

hi Louis,
Mr Dooley said politics ain't beanbag.
-BB-

Barney Baxter said...

hi CatMan,
FYI...
www.d127.org/Pages/CandidateForumatGrayslakeHighSchool.aspx
-BB-

CatMan said...

Thanks, Barney - I hadn't seen anything official that said she WOULD show up. I will be there, wouldn't miss it!

Anonymous said...

Louis G. Atsaves offering a "humble" opinion? What? Are the planets out of alignment? Humble and Louis are two concepts that are generally hemispherically displaced. But it's nice to see the Team America blow-hards over here. They must be worried. With Walsh on the ticket, I'd be worried too! Mortgage defaulter candidates -- yeesh!

CatMan said...

Louis G. Atsaves wrote: "Mortgage defaulter candidates -- yeesh!"

Based on your comment anyone who has been hit by the housing downturn and defaulted on their loan should never run for office. That would put about a third of the nation on your "Do Not Run For Public Office" list. CoreLogic's recent estimate is that some 11 million borrowers, or 23 percent, are underwater and Pew Research, nearly half, 48 percent, of all homeowners say the value of their home declined during the recession. Pew Research Center also found that more than a third – 36 percent – of Americans believe the practice of “walking away” from their mortgage payments and their home is acceptable