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Dueling polls

Monday, Oct 30, 2006

Two different media companies, two different Cook County Board president polls, two widely different results. The reason? Most likely it’s because the Tribune poll is recent and has a reasonable sample size, while the Daily Herald/ABC7 poll is ancient and has a tiny sample size.

First, the Tribune poll of 484 likely voters conducted Thursday through Sunday:

Stroger leads Peraica 48 percent to 33 percent with 17 percent of voters undecided—a significant gain for the Democrat since a similar poll about three weeks ago showed the contest a virtual tie.

While Stroger has surged, Peraica’s support has slipped among voter groups who are key to his chances, according to the poll of 484 likely voters conducted Thursday through Sunday. The poll has an error margin of 5 percentage points.

The new poll shows Todd Stroger increasing his advantage among city voters beyond what had already been a significant margin. The survey found 62 percent of city voters back Stroger, compared to 50 percent almost two weeks ago. At the same time, Peraica’s support in the city was essentially unchanged at 24 percent. […]

The survey found 63 percent of Democrats now say they support Stroger, up from 59 percent in the previous poll. Stroger’s support among African-American voters increased by 4 percentage points, to 79 percent.

Peraica’s edge among suburban Cook County voters has slipped to 44 percent from 48 percent, while Stroger’s suburban support rose to 32 percent from 28 percent.

Meanwhile, the latest Daily Herald/ABC poll is of just 300 voters taken Oct. 16 to 22, meaning the margin of error is plus-or-minus 6 percentage points and some results are more than two weeks old. So, the poll doesn’t take into account many of the ads that have been aired by Stroger or much of the field work by the Democratic machine.

Even though many don’t know him, Republican board member Tony Peraica led Democratic pinch hitter Todd Stroger by 9 percentage points, 51 percent to 42 percent, the Daily Herald/ABC7 Chicago poll found.

To know Stroger apparently is to not love him, poll results show. Stroger, a Chicago alderman chosen to replace his father on the ballot after the primary, was known to 87 percent of those surveyed, but supported by less than half of them. On the other hand, Peraica was unknown to 42 percent, but still favored by more than half of those polled.

“If people know Stroger and not Peraica, they’ll vote for Peraica,” said Richard Day, whose Evanston-based firm conducted the poll. “It’s remarkable.” […]

Stroger was viewed unfavorably by more than half of those polled, 53 percent, and favorably by 24 percent - a 2-to-1 negative margin. Peraica was thought of unfavorably by 24 percent and favorably by 39 percent, with 42 percent unfamiliar with him.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Establishment Republican - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 10:36 pm:

    Which set of results is closer to the internals in *both* campaigns?

    Are there really that many undecided voters?

    Which way are they likely to break?

    Interesting questions to ponder.

  2. - raul - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 10:39 pm:

    from what i can see on the streets todd stroger will win by seven percent he has the momentum and the party is finally coming to his aid. I hear he just got a half million dollar loan that will keep him on television thru election day.

  3. - archpundit - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 10:59 pm:

    Why would you do a poll of 300 voters for County Board President which has far more people in it than the two Congressional races which you polled 500 people?

    Statistically it doesn’t matter much what the population is if you have good sampling techniques, but it’s a bit odd to not at least reduce the reduce the numbers polled for the Congressional races by say 75 and add them to the other poll if cost is the reason.

  4. - JakeCP - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 11:07 pm:

    This is why I don’t take polls seriously.

  5. - fedup dem - Monday, Oct 30, 06 @ 11:28 pm:

    The Chicago area is notorious for candidate polls that have blown up in the pollster’s face. A lot of people, when asked to respond in a poll, will lie or give a misleading answer.

    Remember the poll 10 years ago that said Jack O’Malley would crush Dick Devine in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s race? It turned out that Devine toppled O’Malley fairly easily.

    All I can add to this is that there are too many people (including normally strong Democrats) who are saying “No way!” to Toddler as County Board President. (I’m one of them.) I can also note the total lack of signage on Stroger’s behalf throughout a number of Democratic strongholds, such as Democratic County Chairman Tom Lyons’ own 45th Ward.

    I suspect that in two weeks time if you want to see that Tribune pollster on the job you’ll have to call for pizza delivery.

  6. - Nickname - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 1:06 am:

    People aren’t voting for Todd. They’re voting against Dan Proft’s HIDEOUSLY EMBARASSING hair style.

    No man out of college should have the hair style Mr. Proft has. He’s a great guy, but, brother, you need a haircut.

  7. - Deck Marker, Potluck & Roly Poly - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 2:24 am:

    One of these 2 polls is very wrong. What we need to see is some crosstabs. Cook county is very difficult to randomize.

    I am leaning towards the ABC7 poll. From what I understand Peraica’s internals had him up by 8. Stroger’s internals had Peraica up by 6. Both campaigns had it a dead heat about 6 weeks ago.

    I think the undecideds are breaking for Peraica. No one can really vote for Stroger. And Peraica isn’t known enough to turn them away.

    This is going to be very interesting.

  8. - Real Clear - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 8:12 am:

    Well in 7 days all the hype will be over.

    There has been so much confusion in this race, I think a lot of people in Chicago especially don’t even understand that Peraica’s a Republican yet. Once they do, this race breaks wide open.

    Cook is just too hard core Dem for a Republican to win countywide these days, especially in such a Democrat year. Of course Peraica has done little to remedy that over the years, as he’s gone back and forth, back and forth, changing his party affiliation.

    Now he’s landed on “Republican” but there’s no Republican Party to help him.

    Stroger wins by double digits, and I bet it will be more like 15. Whether that will be good for Cook County is another question. But that’s reality.

  9. - The Picolo Player is a... - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 9:06 am:

    Todd will win. Tony better start thinking about Gomolinski. Word has it that are more signs in peoples yards for Gomolinski in Peraica’s District that there are Peraica signs on public property (which is saying something), must less in people’s yards.

    An interesting note: I saw about 7 Peraica signs in a North Riverside forest preserve yesterday. The irony? Not only does that violate the law, Tony is also the guy who led the fight against the Board President’s name being on forest preserve signs.

    Sorry, but that is funny beyond words. Same kind of funny as when he loses on Tuesday.

    GO TODD!

  10. - Caveat Eligorum - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 9:48 am:

    The Peraica poll is a farce! 300 voter sample! This is a disgrace by any metric! Where did they get this sample? Barrington? Hinsdale (the Cook part)? Palos Heights? Tony’s losing and needs these newspaper stories to prop him up. He is even losing in the 16th District!

  11. - Northern Man - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 11:10 am:

    The Tribune hires a pollster who uses “random digit dialing” instead of working off of voter lists. It’s cheaper but a lot less accurate. I don’t know why they don’t just spend a little more money and get a real pollster.

  12. - Archpundit - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 12:53 pm:

    ===The Tribune hires a pollster who uses “random digit dialing” instead of working off of voter lists. It’s cheaper but a lot less accurate. I don’t know why they don’t just spend a little more money and get a real pollster.

    RDD isn’t an uncommon practice or necessarily less accurate. The problem with voter lists are unlisted numbers can’t be identified and included. In fact, that could be one problem with the CD/RT poll that works from voter lists. RDD reaches unlisted numbers though one has to determine if the person is registered.

    The choice of list or RDD is a methodological one that involves balancing the pros and cons of each. It’s simply not true to say that those who use RDD are not real pollsters.

    The effectiveness of registration based polling is still be tested in comparison to RDS because of the challenges related to the quality of the lists and unlisted phone numbers.

  13. - KPO'M - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 1:29 pm:

    Todd will win in a landslide. The Democrats have their drones (aka the staunch “my Democrats, right or wrong” city and county workers) in force. So much for reform in Cook County.

  14. - Tim H. - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 1:58 pm:

    This just goes to show how horrible of a candidate Peraica is. He’s had the full arsenal of the Chicago media tarnishing and disrespecting Ald. Stroger’s good name. All summer long it’s been corruption this, toddler that while the ultimate shyster, Comm. Peraica, got a pass from the media. The bull has been piling up a mile high…

    Todd misled everyone about his dad’s
    health - BULL!

    Todd held back his dad’s resignation
    so that a third party candidate would
    not be able to get on the ballot - BULL!

    Todd has never been elected to any
    office - BULL!

    Finally, the time is near for the day of reckoning.

  15. - Sammy Esposito - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 2:28 pm:

    Another problem with the Herald/Ch 7 poll methodology: They were “in the field” seven days, Oct. 16 - 22. Seven days to survey 300 voters? C’mon! That’s not a “snapshot” of voter attitudes, it a choppy 8mm home movie. And why the week-long wait before the results are published/broadcasted?

    The Trib’s 15 point margin for Stroger seems a little generous, but there’s no arguing with the poll’s science.

    Attn. Fed up dem: the Devine 1996 example you brought up should give no solace to the Peraica forces. If anything, that election proved pollsters sometimes underestimate the sheer strength of the Democratic vote in Cook County.

    If Stroger wins this thing as comfortably as the Trib poll indicates he might, there can be no debate that Cook is the most Democratic county in America. Why even bother with a general election?

  16. - What? - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 2:46 pm:

    I think if you average the Trib and Herald, that’s probably where the race is really at right now.

    By the way, anyone seen that photo of Peraica with Pat Buchanan on his website? Nice ’stache.

    Why in the world would you put that on your own website?

    If it was Stroger with Al Sharpton, he’d be tarred and feathered.

  17. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 4:47 pm:

    I held out my hand at the Orange line station (Washington Street) during rush hour going home to take a Peraica flyer. When the Peraica volunteer saw I was African-American, he snatched it back. Is this representative of Peraica?

  18. - KPO'M - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 6:14 pm:

    General elections are basically just coronations in Cook County. That’s why I (unlike the vast majority of voters) actually went to the polls back in March and took a Democratic ballot. Unfortunately, that meant I didn’t have a say in who the GOP nominated for governor. We really need to just skip the election in November and just hold a non-partisan primary in March and be done with it. If no candidate wins a majority, then hold the runoff between the top two a month later, or better yet, use a “second choice” voting system as they do in Europe.

  19. - Nickname - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 7:52 pm:



  20. - Ignatius J. Reily - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 8:56 pm:

    Calling Rich Miller– Calling Rich Miller–Come In Rich– How do you Read?

    Is this post about blogs or can we let loose like the confederates above and not get censured?


  21. - Ignatius J. Reily - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 9:16 pm:

    This post is apparently not about Dueling Poll Numbers. At any rate what’s really eating away at some at the chumps/dunces is that an immigrant might beat the pliant little twerp and put in motion the following:

    May 10, 2006 on Illinoize

    At 11:48 PM, Ignatius J. Reily said…

    If history is prologue then what about this screenplay:

    Peraica will loose but Daley will have to mobilize all of his imperial guards to ward off the insurgency in the provinces. All tolled, the campaign to defeat Peraica, retributions against Daleyites in the GOP, a softened populace, insubordination amongst elected appointees, internal squabbling and mounting loses from Fitzgerald’s advances will prove to be insurmountable. In the end, a last stand defence by women, adolescent boys and old men will be overrun by opportunistic invasions of Hispanics and African Americans lead by 2 charismatic congressmen who will restore the republic. One from the north, the other from the south.

  22. - Ignatius J. Reily - Tuesday, Oct 31, 06 @ 9:44 pm:

    Correction: Scratch the “2″ and “north” above (that one’s been bought off) and replace with “1 ..from the south”

  23. - Bobby Douglas - Friday, Nov 3, 06 @ 1:32 am:

    Ya know polls are interesting. Spend some time knocking on doors and actually talking to voters from both dem and rep areas of all races(like 6 months of it), that will tell you where the voters stand. If anyone wins the Peraica / Stroger race by a large margin it will be Peraica.

    I remember what Judy Topinka did to the Republican Primary voter in 2004…..she turned her back on them in choosing Alan Keys. The Democrat party did the same thing to the Democrat Primary voter in 2006 in choosing Todd Stroger.

    Primary voters are few and far between, we have long memories. Politicians should never turn their back on their primary voters.

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