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McKeon upset by “hatchet job”

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

* From pollster Mike McKeon regarding my opinion of yesterday’s Sun-Times poll story…

Rich, hadn’t seen your hatchet job before I talked to you. If you even bothered to check the cross tabs you would have seen that the reporter was referring to the Southern Illinois section of my poll (below) and not downstate out side the collar counties. If you are calling an area that has St Clair, Madison and Jackson counties in it a traditional Republican strong hold then - I fear- you are snorting pixie dust..

If you believe that social issues - which is all the Dem super pacs are pushing -are more important to women then jobs, good luck. And you think Frerichs is a much more traditional ballot name than Cross? Also the Rauner spokes person is a moron, he has a chance to say Rauner is doing well with women talking jobs and he blasts the down state numbers instead?

As for the “controversial” women’s vote I go with what is there. Whether it is Madigan (see attached) to LaRouche, to Duke in Louisiana, to the recall elections in Colorado last year or showing that Rahm was not viewed favorably - that is what I do - show what’s there when I poll. I know I will take heat when I come out with things like this. Been taking heat for a long time, no problem.

As for your offer to kiss my ass if I am right I will pass- would not be able to tell if your mooning or

All the best Mike

* OK, first of all, I excerpted the Sun-Times story on the Downstate numbers. If he has a beef with that, he should take it up with the Sun-Times.

Secondly, here’s how McKeon explained the highly unusual poll result showing women favored Rauner 55-38

But McKeon stands by the numbers, saying the high percentage of cellphone interviews in his polling captures a better cross-section of women of all ages than other surveys that are more dependant on traditional land lines.

And McKeon said women want to hear more about good-paying jobs and the economy and believe that the Democratic message has been too focused on social issues and the minimum wage.

“Women are in bad shape in the work force and the Democrats, all they’re doing is pushing social issues, overwhelmingly,” McKeon argued.

* Thirdly, notice how he never explains why Quinn is supposedly leading Rauner among men by 23 points, 53-30. I mean, that’s more unusual than the women’s preference. By far.

From the 2010 exit poll

* And lastly, I did indeed tell him yesterday that I would publicly kiss his behind if the exit polls show Quinn winning men by a huge margin and losing women by a huge margin while still managing to win the race. I figured it was a safe bet.

* Also, the attachments he sent are here…

* Regions defined

* 1983 letter from Mike Madigan

* 1980s era article on the LaRouchies

* 1991 articles on David Duke race

* 2013 Colorado recall press release and article

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    Who was the last Democratic candidate in any statewide election anywhere that won the male vote by 23 points?

    In Rhode Island or Hawaii, maybe? But I doubt it.

  2. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    ===I would publicly kiss his behind===

    I need to spend the rest of the day drinking to get that mental image out of my head.

  3. - The Captain - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    Yes, we have found my favorite thing so far in this campaign cycle. I would like to subscribe to an RSS feed of this blow by blow.

  4. - walker - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    I like a guy who stands behind his work.

    The last personal shot was off-base.

    We shall see in 6 days(hopefully), and all this mustard will be for our hotdogs.

  5. - the Patriot - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    ==more dependant on traditional land lines==

    If you deal with people on a day to day basis in professional or civic organizations there is a major tech shift going on. We are at or near a shift where the tech generation is more relevant than the boomers. Land vs. cell lines?

    I don’t know the split as of yet, but have tried to analyze it multiple levels. Obama won in part by a push in young tech savey people. 6 years later many of those engergetic college kids are living with their parents. At some point, traditional and typically reliable historical methods are going to be turned on their head.

    From a political science perspective, major shifts are typically largely un or under detected until they happen.

  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    ===major shifts are typically largely un or under detected until they happen. ===

    Dude, I will kiss your behind on Michigan Ave. if Pat Quinn gets 30 percent of the male vote more than Rauner. [Had to rewrite this because the hastily written original would’ve lost me the bet.]

  7. - LizPhairTax - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    Help me out here. Not sure I get the closing line. The premise is that Rich’s face looks just like a butt? Was that one poll tested?

    Costanzian level of dedication to “jerk store”

  8. - Amalia - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    this is the biggest laugh of the day, on two counts, McKeon’s explanation, and the whole behind kissing gate.

  9. - Under Further Review - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    The letter from Mike Madigan is so old that it was produced on a typewriter.

  10. - Old News - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    1. No way Rauner that much with woman, if so Quinn is toast.
    2. If Rauner only leading by that slim margin downstate then Rauner is Toast.
    3. So if both can’t happen in the same election then it’s Grimm in a squeaker.
    4. So here’s my for sure 100 percent prediction, keep the bet Rich your lips are safe .

  11. - Soccermom - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    47th — Happy to help you out with that. My pleasure. :)

  12. - walker - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    UFR: since Magic Mike won’t touch a cell-phone, who knows if he’ll touch a modern keyboard?

  13. - Jimmy CrackCorn - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    This is a polling firm that touts and endorsement from Ann Coulter on its landing page. Yea, a real torchbearer for the analytic and political scientist community that one is.

  14. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    I think the poll is a joke. But I’m enjoying the hell out of the Miller-McKeon exchange. Keep it going!

  15. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    I think something went wrong in the voter data collection. When someone clicked women it must have registered men and vice versa. That’s my explanation for it… It’s so unbelievable it has to be a mistake.

  16. - tonya harding - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    what an absolute joke this poll and mcKeon is in general. When this poll is proven wrong on all the gender and geographic breakdowns I offer up my rump as the behind McKeon has to kiss. Chapstick on me!!

  17. - Gator - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    I can feel the love!!!!

  18. - Under Further Review - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:46 am:


    The Madigan letter was dated December 14, 1983.

    High schools and colleges were still registering students for typing classes back then.

    Steve Jobs may have been still soldering circuit boards in a garage at the time.

  19. - Dave Fako - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    Not commenting on the results / pollster but regarding the major shifts discussion above:

    According to CDC (major tracker of cell phone use)

    Nationally 41% of households are now wireless although this varies by state and region

    In IL: The most recent estimates are ~ 38% of all IL households are wireless only. Once you factor in wireless mostly (have landline but don’t use it) this number approaches / exceeds 50%

    On a personal side note, I went wireless only in 2002 (which deviated from the norm of my age group), which is why back in 2002 we were one of the first firms in the country to begin actively and legally conducting interviews via cell phone.

  20. - Yak steaks - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    Wasn’t it Steve Neal (rip) that dubbed McKean the happy pollster after his polls showed Dick Phelan beating John Stronger in 1994?

  21. - Been There - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    ===I think something went wrong in the voter data collection====
    You have to wonder where some of these firms get their numbers from. Just last night I was called on our little used land line asking if I planned to vote for Ann Callis. I at least knew who she was but the caller was confused when I told him that I live in Chicago and not central Illinois. He asked if I lived in the 13th District (I live in the 3rd). Probably a typo but if I didn’t know who Ann was I probably would have just said no and would have been marked down as such.

  22. - Lunchbox - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    “And McKeon said women want to hear more about good-paying jobs and the economy and believe that the Democratic message has been too focused on social issues and the minimum wage.”

    So in McKeon’s world, men are supporting Quinn by a large margin because we welcome the focus on social issues and the minimum wage? Haha!

  23. - Old News - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    Also lets not forget the point on cell phones. It’s against the law to call cells without permission in a poll. Therefore you must call and ask to be put on list to be called. Some pollsters will argue that means it’s not random but more selective.
    That is why Rasmussen doesn’t use cell phones.
    So with that amount of cell phone samples the poll is garbage and like I said earlier ( Rich your lips are safe)

  24. - Pat C - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    It might be worth another 4 years of Quinn if we can all be invited to see the kissing :)

    But those results really do look like some bad data somewhere…..

  25. - Cadillac - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    === - LizPhairTax - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    The premise is that Rich’s face looks just like a butt? Was that one poll tested? ===

    Yes, it was an “exit poll”. Duh.

  26. - Just Thinking - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    Old News-spot on way way to many cell phones

  27. - Black Ivy - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    I am anxious to see if this poll’s predictions ring true on Tuesday night. That being said, all this talk about kissing ass*& is making me nauseous :)

  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    === if the exit polls show Quinn winning men by a huge margin and losing women by a huge margin while still managing to win the race.===

    This is the reconcile I can’t make either.

    At some point, the realities will have seen these two polar opposite crosstabs were inherently flawed, and if they are flawed, how can the rest of the poll be figured as accurate?

    It can’t.

  29. - Dave Fako - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    “Also lets not forget the point on cell phones. It’s against the law to call cells without permission in a poll. Therefore you must call and ask to be put on list to be called. Some pollsters will argue that means it’s not random but more selective.
    That is why Rasmussen doesn’t use cell phones.
    So with that amount of cell phone samples the poll is garbage and like I said earlier ( Rich your lips are safe)”

    This is incorrect. Pollster do not need to ask permission to call a cell phone. They are legally required to initiate the call with a human interviewer who must hand dial the number without any computer / predictive dialer, etc. assisting the dialing. Once contact is made via a human interviewer it may be transferred to an automated system like a robo poll.

    I am not intimately familiar with Rasmussan, but their IVR (Robo) polls legally cannot call cell phones unless it is initiated by a live interviewer. Their reason for not using cell phones (when they don’t) would more likely be cost / budget related since a cell phone interview on average costs 3 - 5+ times as a land line interview costs to conduct. And cell interviews are massively more expensive than IVR poll (pennies vs. dollars). many IVR robo pollster supplement cell phones either by initiating the call with a live interviewer or using Internet panels augment their landline only sample.

  30. - A guy... - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    All I know is that if McKeon winds up having to kiss Miller’s behind, he’ll need a snow plow to push Willy out of the way! lol/snark/#poll-loopy.

  31. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 12:23 pm:


    Quinn won Jackson County by a couple hundred votes, St. Clair by about 1300 and LOST MADISON COUNTY BY 11,000.

    He lost every other county in the region to boot.

    If McKeon doesn’t believe the region is traditionally Republican, I have to wonder how much time he has spent there.

  32. - J - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    Every time Mike McKeon pops up, I feel the need to remind everyone of the time he did a poll showing Obama could lose Illinois in 2012.

    This guy is a joke of a pollster.

  33. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Question for Fako if he wants to answer it - do you use random digit dialing or go off of voter rolls and number matching? I’m just curious how you may account for folks who are wireless only but have a cell area code from out-of-state.

  34. - Anonymoiis - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    For all his supposed knowledge of polling, it’s stunning he can’t admit even the possibility his may just be an outlier. When every other poll is showing huge differences in the crosstabs, it’s not a stretch or an insult to imply it may be flawed.

  35. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    Is there a chance that it was a database /reporting mistake (someone thought 1 was men, 2 was women, and really it was the other way around)?

    Easy to fix if they kept the tapes of the calls - just listen to them and recount.

  36. - Dave Fako - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    RE Q About RDD vs. Lists: For almost all political surveys we use voter lists, and have done so for the 18 year Fako Research & Strategies has been in business. They are more reliable, accurate within defined political jurisdiction and efficient than RDD. Additionally, voter lists are among the best sources for quality cell phone lists.

  37. - ??? - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    I can hardly wait for “Hatchet Job, Part Deux” to published after the election results are in, and to see how Mike McKeon defends his numbers then.

  38. - Soccermom - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    I am so uncomfortable with the visual of pushing a Willy away so you can kiss a butt… eeeeuuuuwww….

  39. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    - Soccermom -,



  40. - The Captain - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    Maybe he’s still using the weighting from 1983.

  41. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    Ok.. Seriously? You people! I need to gouge my eyes out! Rich, it’s hallowen tomorrow.. I think the gist is, you should have a hatchet for whatever costume you choose! Pics please!

  42. - The Captain - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    Also, J, that link you posted is hilarious. In that poll he had Romney getting 29% in the City of Chicago, a number so high it would be downright shocking. No Republican statewide candidate has done that well in the City of Chicago since at least before 2000.

    Of course in the end Romney got less than 15% in the City of Chicago.

  43. - David Ormsby - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    –Wasn’t it Steve Neal (rip) that dubbed McKean the happy pollster after his polls showed Dick Phelan beating John Stronger in 1994?–

    Not Phelan, Aurelia Pucinski Not Stronger, Stroger”.

    She was until she wasn’t.

  44. - chi - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    I don’t get the cites to Madigan, LaRouche, Duke, CO. That just shows he’s right once every 7-8 years… at that rate we should consider Arizona Bob an expert too :)

  45. - 1776 - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    If he did such a great job for the Speaker, why is he not used anymore?

  46. - SAP - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    Mike: Here’s a free grammar lesson. It should be “would not be able to tell if you’re mooning or kissing it”

  47. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    Grammar, smammer, it’s a GREAT line, gotta admit

  48. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    I was more surprised by Rauner polling 15% of the black vote

  49. - Mike McKeon - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    First of all I wrote the note to Rich to have fun was not trying to explain everything. I like that Rich posted it. As far as the male vote goes Rauner has very high negatives among men, I have said for quite a while this race is being decided by whether voters dislike Quinn more than they distrust Rauner.
    Also in term of the gender numbers these are cross tabs with large margins of error they are viewed as trends not as hard numbers. It tells a client keep an eye on this not this is it.
    Most pollsters weight and stratify data to make it look tidy. I don’t.It is more important to see what is coming then what looks good. That is the case here.

  50. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Oct 30, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    Hey Mike,

    Don’t worry about criticism of your polling. Polls have not been accurate on Quinn’s elections against Hynes, Brady, or even Rauner in the primary. Your polling is no worse than the others.

    I don’t need a poll to know that Rauner is campaigning more effectively in urban areas and woman are not afraid of him on their issues. Hence Quinn has problems.

  51. - low level - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 12:06 am:

    Dude - a letter and a Newsweek article from 32 years ago? Seriously? God I’m glad im not in the business anymore.

  52. - Mike McKeon - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 12:38 am:

    a few things to clear up
    1.The exit polling makes my case, Q got 44% of male vote if you deduct 2 % of the remaining 8% to another candidate and split the 6% Q got47%of male vote - survey says 53%well within the cross tab margin of error same applies to women

    2. Obama. That was a poll of Cook County months before the election. The poll showed O not running strong in Cook County. My point was if Romney ran like Brady downstate it could be a problem. I know O’s polling was tracking the same thing.After the poll either O or M were in Chicago pushing turn out till the election.
    The brilliant R response was totally avoid Illinois, sell yards signs for a 1$ and have his state chair announce the day before the election R could not win.
    In spite of all these events, in the states he won in 2006, O suffered the biggest drop of support in Illinois. There were trends at the time I did that poll. Smart people like O see trends and respond not so smart people never see them at all.

    3. It was Auri v Stroger - Steve ripped me for having the race to close. The problem was Steve next column praised Stroger’s pollster for his accuracy and the guy had the race much closer then I did.

  53. - Mike McKeon - Friday, Oct 31, 14 @ 12:46 am:

    The odd thing about all this is when Steve was trying to destroy me the only person that defended me was Rich Miller. I respected him for doing it then and still do.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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