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About those new polls

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014

* Sun-Times

Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday dismissed a recent poll giving his Republican opponent Bruce Rauner a 14-point lead as “phony-baloney” and suggested it’s a bit early to write his political obituary. […]

“A lot of these polls are supported by my opponents supporters, so you gotta be careful there.” […]

Madeleine Doubek, chief operating officer of Reboot Illinois, said she stands behind the poll and its methodology.

“I am completely comfortable with the results. The firm doing polling for us is reputable,” Doubek said.

She said the race is in its early stages and cautioned that the poll only represents a snapshot in time.

We got a lot of comments yesterday (many of them deleted) flat-out claiming that We Ask America is intentionally altering results because the company is owned by the Illinois Manufacturers Association, which has endorsed Bruce Rauner.

That’s ridiculous. I’ve worked with that firm a long time. No way are they doing that. The Quinnbots are hereby on notice to stop it right now or face permanent banishment.

* But the governor’s campaign is clearly not happy with the new WAA poll and sent this along yesterday…

Applying 2010 Exit Poll Party ID to today’s crosstabs gives

Rauner 42.83
Quinn 38.73
Undec 18.44

* And there are some other polls out there. For instance, a CBS/New York Times YouGov online poll found this

Rauner 46
Quinn 43
Other 2
Won’t vote 6
Not sure 1

* As can be expected, the move to an online poll has produced some sharp criticisms, but also some praise. Washington Post pollster Scott Clement…

Amy Walter, national editor of the Cook Political Report…

* Another poll taken by Mike Mckeon’s outfit found this

Rauner 40
Quinn 34
Undecided 26

But that poll also found Attorney General Lisa Madigan leading her totally unknown GOP rival by just nine points 46-37.

And the YouGov poll had Sen. Dick Durbin leading Jim Oberweis by just 48-41.

* Meanwhile, in the mayor’s race

The survey of 600 likely Chicago voters was conducted July 24-27 by San Francisco-based pollster David Binder Research, a firm known its work for President Barack Obama and numerous West Coast politicians, including mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In a head-to-head matchup, the poll found that 45 percent of those questioned are committed to or leaning toward Mr. Emanuel, compared with 33 percent for Ms. Lewis. That’s a near reversal of a We Ask America poll taken for the Chicago Sun-Times this month that showed the mayor losing to Ms. Lewis by 9 points.

Just 27 percent of those sampled said they were “certain” to vote for Mr. Emanuel. And 22 percent are undecided.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wndycty - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    Rich the interesting thing is the only reason I didn’t dismiss that poll is because I know that you have used ” We Ask America”

  2. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    If Rich says they do good work, I’m paying attention.

    The best Illinois pollster I have seen, from a technical POV, is Fako. But I doubt he is on this race.

  3. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    So the message is, “our incumbent is behind to a guy who’s never held public office before, BUT NOT THAT MUCH.” Good. Go with that.

    Methinks they doth protest too much.

  4. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Sorry - not buying that there isn’t bias. Big stake in the governor’s race.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    Run like your behind, then the polls in your race don’t matter(?)

    Rich has been over what happened in 2010, and Rich’s word is good. Period.

    I totally believe, in the snapshot polling “today”, Quinn is down double-digits. “Maybe/Maybe Not” the 14 points, but at least 10.

    GOTV, is going to be beyond critical for Rauner to “finish”, or for Quinn to “close”…

    It’s July. It’s a race. It’s not over, both sides!

  6. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    ==Sorry - not buying that there isn’t bias.==

    You can’t argue bias when the question was “For whom would you vote for today?”

  7. - PMcP - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    Having met America, I’m not sure their opinion is valid, regardless of sample size and methodology.

  8. - Snucka - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    I hope Quinn’s people don’t really believe that the 2010 party ID breakdown is relevant to 2014. Party ID can change just like anything else, and you need to run the 2014 campaign — not 2010.

  9. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    =Rich has been over what happened in 2010, and Rich’s word is good. Period.=

    I’m not trying to troll, but how do you justify, We Ask America Polling in 2012 Congressional races, and the 2014 Republican Gubernatorial Primary? I’ll question this poll until there is some consistency. The fact of the matter is polling is behind compared to the technological advancements the past 10 years. Many people do not use land lines anymore, and it is hard to obtain cell phone numbers. Just a guess, but I’m sure more rural and older white individuals still have landlines compared to residents in urban areas and younger individuals. I’m not saying I have a correct answer, but it seems nobody has found the correct formula, to polling in the 21st Century.

  10. - Chi - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    Inaccuracy and bias are separate issues. We Ask America has not been very accurate lately.

  11. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    It’s early and Quinn has not yet been able to get out the message that taxes are going up whether you elect Rauner or Quinn. It was a mistake for Rauner to call for $677 million in new taxes in his economic plan for the state.

  12. - Marty Funkhouser - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    What ^this guy^ says. We Ask America has had accuracy issues.

  13. - Dave Fako - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Walker, thank you. After 18 years, we are very proud of our record of providing quality, accurate and reliable polling data and successful strategic advice to hundreds of Illinois political and public policy clients as well as nationwide clients.

    We began adapting to new technologies more than a decade ago and continue to do so. Cell phones are relatively easy to get now and can compose a small % up to 50%+ of the interviews in our polls now.

    We are not working directly for the Gov. but we have clients with an interest in the election and have conducted our own polling, which obviously is internal and confidential.

  14. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    I do think it’s relevant information to note that We Ask America is owned by the Illinois Manufacturers Association, which has endorsed Bruce Rauner. Let the people decide whether or not there might be a bias. Personally, I highly doubt RM would use the company if he thought that they played games with their results. That said, it seems unusual for a trade association with an agenda (that engages in political activities and lobbies) to own an independent polling operation.

  15. - Richard S. - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    A lot of different methodology in these polls, that’s why it’s best to take the Nate Silver approach and average out multiple polls over time. We Ask America has a pretty good track record, but that doesn’t mean their methodology isn’t showing a bit of a pro-Rauner bias.

  16. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    I learned from the 2012 presidential election that poll aggregation matters. Taking polls together gives a more accurate picture than just one poll. Even still, Rauner is leading in the polls. Based on the gubernatorial primary, the true polling numbers will of course be based on turnout.

    I was of the opinion that Rauner should have tried to reach out to public unions, because they may play a huge factor in the upcoming election. He could have tried to neutralize their vote a bit (see Quinn hatred), but it’s probably too late now.

  17. - Jechislo - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    Yet - something is definitely in the wind for Rauner. Rauner is no Brady. He can throw $$$$$ at Quinn on every issue; and at every turn. Rauner IS getting a ground-game put together regardless of what a lot of posters here want to believe. It’s going to be close - heck, Illinois IS a Democratic State. But, there’s something in the wind. Rauner could very well pull this off and win. My vote is for Rauner.

  18. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    Never mind. That McKeon poll was paid for by Schimpf. It also sounds as though some of those questions may have been leading ones.

    That poll is no longer so interesting or crazy at all.

  19. - FormerParatrooper - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    The only poll that matters is the votes in the election.

  20. - Gooner - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    For all the talk about the statewide stuff, I think the more interesting poll is the one Crain’s reported on for the mayoral race.

    The one point in that poll that caught the attention is that Karen Lewis is only getting 36% of the black vote. That may be why she’s doing an “informal exploratory” thing rather than getting into the race.

  21. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    I’m not sure who Bias polling is in the best interest of. It would make you look stupid too often.
    The swings in these polls is representing sharp mood swings in the electorate. I am personally observing that this makes sense. People are in a disgruntled mood in a lot of the places I’ve been canvassing.
    I have a policy of not looking at the exact numbers nearly as much as looking at trends. This early you can follow the movement one way or the other without getting hung up on the exact numbers. It can tell you where to be i.e. Cook County Suburbs, to shore up or try to win back support.
    I think the statistical samples are hard to gauge right now and the polls are showing it.

  22. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Dear Team Quinn:

    See the reference to Shakespeare. I agree there is still a lot of baseball to be played. But you are the incumbent yet every single poll has you behind and you are going to be outspent.

    Democrats are worried not only because you are in a jam, but also because you are acting like everything is going according to plan. This is your plan?

    Dear Sun-Times/Early & Often/We Ask America:

    Chicago Municipal races are notoriously difficult to poll.

    Even more so when you poll all registered voters.

    Try sticking to just people who have actually voted in a municipal race before.



  23. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    The Quinnbots are overreacting. They’ve got enough other polls that show the race tighter, and they can use this one poll to their advantage to claim momentum / Quinn coming back.

  24. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    CBS says only 1 percent are undecided….in June? I seriously doubt that. When compared to other polls, I’d say a lot of the gap Quinn closed in the CBS poll is as thin as a razor

  25. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:34 am:


  26. - Willie Stark - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    As one of yesterday’s deletees, I’ll restrict today’s comment to a portion of yesterday’s: WAA has Rauner up by 17 the Sunday before the primary. Rauner wins by 2.7%. In past pollster rankings, WAA has been far from the worst, but far from the best. Maybe the problem is modeling who is actually going to turn out, vs. who is answering the phone and punching in their answers. However, it seems legit to raise the point of WAA’s accuracy and acknowledge that what’s seductive about their approach is its low cost and the ability to get fresh numbers on a regular basis. More expensive polls, with better screens and live dials are showing the race a lot closer. If I were the one making decisions about how to deploy campaign resources, no way would I rely on WAA guidance.

  27. - SAP - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Gov. Quinn needs somebody like Duke Evers to tell him “This chump doesn’t know that this is a show. He thinks it’s a damn fight!”

  28. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    “Likely voters” support Emanuel.


    The question is, how angry and Rahm & the Stamps are the rest of the voters.

    If everybody votes, Rahm loses badly.

    Rahm is going to try to sell himself as inevitable, and the Laura Washington’s of the world will buy it.

    In a high turnout election, Rahm is toast. The drama will be how many alderman get taken out by the wave.

  29. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    ==Maybe the problem is modeling who is actually going to turn out, vs. who is answering the phone and punching in their answers==

    When looking back, knowing what we do know that there was substantial crossover, it would’ve been virtually impossible to get an accurate turnout sample for the primary. That we’re still pretty accurate on Rauner’s percentage though. Remoe the crossover, and by the numbers I’ve seen they would’ve been pretty close with how they were trending. General election polls dont have the separate orinatio selection problem, and you can get a better idea.

  30. - ZC - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    We Ask America was actually not bad on Rauner’s final numbers in the primary, is my recollection. It was basically saying he’d be in the lower 40s, and he was. It whiffed on polling Dillard. But the latter may have been classic last-minute surge.

  31. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    “Decided” now isn’t “decided” then.

    A lot of attack ads between now and E-day.

    The most frequent question I am getting from (suburban Cook) neighbors is “Do you know that Rauner guy? That’s his name right?”

    No one remembers anything specific about him, or really about Quinn, but name recognition is Rauner’s first hill to climb. Neighbors generally feel we are not emerging from the tar pit.

    Barring dramatic turns of event [think Feds], the general perceptions of economic health will determine how many voters will show up to oust any incumbent.

  32. - ZC - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    >> In a high turnout election, Rahm is toast. The drama will be how many alderman get taken out by the wave.

    OK but define “high turnout election.” You mean high like a presidential, or high compared to the typical municipal-only turnout in Chicago?

    Because the former is arguably a really high bar to set. Maybe a big wave of turnout can wash away Rahm, but talk is cheap. CTU had better get ready to start registering.

  33. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Something not even discussed here is that “polling” is at a point where it’s replacing real campaigning. There are nights where there are multiple polls coming over the phone lines (or cells). Some larger blocs of folks are purposely trying to “game” the polls and some folks who are sick of it are just gaming them out of frustration. Just think if 10-15% of people are doing this how it affects a small sample (under 1000 responses?) The only group with a true sample sometimes is 65+. It’s a tricky business these days.

  34. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    ==Something not even discussed here is that “polling” is at a point where it’s replacing real campaigning==

    Mitt Romney learned that the hard way.

  35. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    None of this should be a surprise. Complaining about it is ridiculous.

    The Quinn ship is taking on water. HOW MUCH water? Who the freak cares? When you are taking on water - you pump harder until the water is gone.

    I can’t stand the spin over these polls. It is stupid. Quinn is down. No surprise. His team needs to get this governor resold to the same people who bought him in 2010. While they do that, they will also be bringing in additional voters.

    Quinn has just began selling himself. Lets see what impact some basic campaigning like that has before arguing over poll numbers.

  36. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    ==Something not even discussed here is that “polling” is at a point where it’s replacing real campaigning==

    ==Mitt Romney learned that the hard way.==

    So did Eric Cantor.

  37. - AlabamaShake - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    **You can’t argue bias when the question was “For whom would you vote for today?”**

    Sigh… that isn’t the point. The issue often isn’t what the questions are that are asked (though this can be an issue), but how the screens and turnout models work. Who do they consider a likely voter? What is their universe they’re sampling? Etc.

    A Dem pollster, for example, could adjust its screen so that it has a slight lean towards the Dems, and in turn skewing the numbers to make the Dem candidate look better.

  38. - Lovecraft - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    I can’t stand Rauner, but people I know are responding to him much more positively than they did to Brady. Sadly this is based on things like, “he seems like one of us” and “a take charge kind of guy” and ” he looks like a govenor.” Unless Quinn can win by a bigger margin in Chicagoland than he did last time, he is toast.

  39. - E town - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    Any way you slice it, if election were held today Quinn loses and chances are undecided will go more towards Rauner since they have known Quinn as Governor now for 6 years

  40. - Frank - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    Question: Why wouldn’t WAA use the 2010 exit poll turnout numbers to project turnout for this year? Using those 2010 numbers makes this a 4 point race and would bring the WAA poll more in line with the CBS/NY Times and McKeon numbers.

    I don’t think WAA is intentionally cooking the books, but their methodology might be causing a slight “house bias,” as Nate Silver accused them of having in 2012. (Which, by the way, he says almost all pollsters have.) Let’s see what the next couple of polls say. If they are closer to the CBS/NY Times and McKeon numbers, then the WAA survey will have to be considered an outlier.

  41. - Crazy Like a Fox - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    I’m buying the 2010 cross tab interpretation of the poll. There isno doubt that Rauner is up - he spent millions in the Spring, has been on Chicago TV for a few months, and the Trib and Sun-Times have been hammering Quinn in free media. The question is how do those 18% undecided break and where are they from?

    Rahm wins. Everyone needs to stop pretending he’s going to lose.

  42. - ash - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    Quinn thinks public workers will let their fear of Rauner trump their rage over pension theft. I know many who won’t — no vote for Rauner, but nothing for Quinn either. He needed that block last time around and likely will again.

  43. - Why Guy - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    In my heart I think Quinn loses but I can see a massive same day registration push by the Dems coupled with early voting. The repubs just don’t have that kind of ground game because most of them are already registered. I can’t picture bus loads of repubs being hearded to the poll for weeks before the election. This could be a major game changer for Quinn

  44. - Researcher - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    As Richard S. points out, we should be looking at polls in the aggregate. Like this from Pollster:

  45. - Michael Westen - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    God forbid we should question the accuracy of a poll in the Governor’s race done by an outfit that was 15 points off in their last poll in the primary for Governor. Not only that, but they also claimed to have tracked Dem crossover votes several times in polls leading up to the primary and found no evidence of that trend. Kind of makes it difficult to blame their inaccuracy solely on crossover votes they denied were happening. I say question away.

  46. - Rod - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    Since folks are posting about the Emanuel vs. Lewis theoretical race and high turn out related issues. In order to get a high turn out Lewis needs troops on the ground big time. It is assumed those troops will come from Chicago’s labor movement and maybe African-American church/community organizations.

    Mayor Emanuel is anything but stupid, like him or not. Just look at the video yesterday of his press conference supporting the $13 an hour minimum wage. Standing next to him were numerous liberals and pro-labor people.

    On Emanuel’s Minimum Wage Working Group we can find Matt Brandon, SEIU Local 73, Sol Flores, Executive Director, La Casa Norte, one opposition Alderman, one pro-CTU Black Alderman, and John Bouman, President, Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law. If Emanuel can convince part of the labor/progressive movement not to hit the streets for Lewis because he is not all bad, effectively he wins.

  47. - Common sense - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 8:36 pm:

    Remember 4 years ago when l told you that the Governor will win. Take it to the bank. The Governor will win again with larger margin than 2010.

  48. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 11:04 pm:

    Absolutely, Common Sense.

    Brady was a much better candidate than Bruce Rauner is and ran a much better campaign.

  49. - modest proposal - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 3:00 am:

    Common Sense: I took your advice to the bank, but they don’t accept BS as currency. They would let me open an account based on your statement.

  50. - WindyCity - Thursday, Jul 31, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    Still plenty of time for Illinois’ citizens, middle-class families and voters overall to look past the self-absorbed, self-love Rauner is dropping millions to have them hear to recognize what a creep this guy truly is. It shouldn’t require one to personally have had a senior family member fall victim to GTCR’s ways the “business guru” somehow knows not a thing about. Nine million-dollar residences scattered across the country but illegally claiming three homeowners’ exemptions in Illinois? Classic! Ties to Bain and shipping jobs overseas? Flip-flop “flippancy” on the minimum wage? No wonder The Schrimpf does all the talking for the guy.

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    * We drove to McHenry this Sunday to support striking teachers in District 156.
    * Party, and Decorate, and Trick-or-Treat, All In Sheridan Park on Halloween
    * Hebru Brantley Mural Completed On Broadway
    * East St. Louis teachers walk out.
    * Sunday posts, pics and tweets.
    * Meet Uptown's "Gangsters and Ghosts" On October 29th
    * You’re Invited – Illinois REbarcamp Powered by YPN!
    * Next 10 general admission registrants for Vertex 15 Conference get extras

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