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A polling lesson for the future

Thursday, Mar 22, 2018

* From March 11th…

Interested parties:

I expect to release final polling results before the election. In advance of the inevitable wailing and gnashing of teeth from whichever candidates are behind in the poll, let’s cut to the chase.

I checked. There are other organizations that have compared my final polling numbers in previous elections against both those of other polling companies and against the actual election results. I think you will find that our numbers stack up very well against both other companies and final election results.

These comparisons are of the final polling numbers, not polls done weeks or months before the election, before millions of dollars of advertising and endless campaigning change the numbers.

As some of you know, I began in the polling business more than thirty years ago with the late, great Mike McKeon as my mentor. To many who know about polling, McKeon was the gold standard for a long time when it came to polling in Illinois elections. I learned from the best.

I have no polling client in the Governor’s race, and indeed have never even met any of the major candidates of either party. I have no polling client in the Attorney General race, or the Cook County Assessor race. When I have a polling client for a released poll, I am not shy about saying so. Please allow the historical facts in the attachments to guide your decision about whether to cover or not cover my final polling results, not irrelevant garbage strewn about by whichever candidate wishes they had done better in the poll.

And as always I’m available to answer any questions.

Rod McCulloch
Victory Research

* His poll was released on March 18th, two days ahead of the election. I didn’t post it, tweet it or anything. Others did and some folks I know asked me why I didn’t. I had my reasons, but mainly I just didn’t feel right about it. Plus, I was told some off the record numbers from various people I trust (and their numbers all turned out to be incredibly accurate), so I figured I’d wait. If he was right, I’d apologize for not posting the polls. If he was wrong, I’d post his results…

In the final Illinois poll before the March 20th primary, Governor candidate J.B. Pritzker remains the front-runner to win the Democratic nomination, according to the poll. Pritzker holds a nearly six point lead (32.0-26.1%) over nearest competitor Chris Kennedy. State Senator Daniel Biss is third with 21.7%. Three other candidates combined for 3.8%.

Pritzker ended up winning 45-27-24. Not even close. Biss placed second. He got Kennedy almost right, though.

Glad I didn’t write about it.

* There was also this

The race for Cook County board president is shaping up to be closer than expected, a new poll by Victory Research of 701 people from Cook County March 13-March 15 shows. The pollster is employed by candidate Bob Fioretti. Toni Preckwinkle: 42 percent. Bob Fioretti: 41 percent. Undecided: 17 percent

Preckwinkle won 61-39.

* Meanwhile, from March 19th…

I have no idea who those people are, so I didn’t share their “results” with you. And instead of losing by a small margin, Erika Harold won by 18 points.

Unless you totally trust the source, don’t fall for late polling results.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      

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