Tag Archives: polls

Election Day 2013

5 Nov

This is it. Some of the races being decided today began way back in February. Sergio Rodriguez, the 33 year-old Marine running for Mayor of Buffalo on the Republican and Progressive Party lines announced on February 6th. He’s worked hard, and his candidacy has transcended partisanship and honed in on issues that affect every resident of the city of Buffalo. 

I don’t expect too many surprises today. There are a handful of close races, from what I hear, but it’s up to you now to go out and cast a vote for the candidates whom you support. 

Yesterday, Chris Smith, Brad Riter, and I had great fun recording an hourlong podcast discussing this year’s election cycle and WNY politics in general. As you might expect, it’s as profane as it is funny, so all you delicate flowers who were shocked by this post will want to stay away. The rest of you will likely enjoy it. 

http://www.trendingbuffalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/TB11-04-13electionday1.mp3

My recommendations (not Artvoice’s – just mine) for today’s election are: 

BUFFALO MAYOR:  SERGIO RODRIGUEZ (R)

COUNTY COMPTROLLER:  KEVIN GAUGHAN (D)

COUNTY SHERIFF:  DICK DOBSON (D)

ERIE COUNTY LEGISLATURE:  

DISTRICT 1: TIM HOGUES (WFP)

DISTRICT 2: BETTY JEAN GRANT (D)

DISTRICT 3: LYNN MARINELLI  (D)

DISTRICT 4: BILL CONRAD (D)

DISTRICT 5: TOM LOUGHRAN (D)

DISTRICT 6: ALAN GETTER (D)

DISTRICT 7: PAT BURKE (D)

DISTRICT 8: WYNNIE FISHER (D)

DISTRICT 9: MIKE SCHRAFT (D)

DISTRICT 10 & 11: NO ENDORSEMENT

AMHERST SUPERVISOR: MARK MANNA (D)

CLARENCE TOWN BOARD: PAT CASILIO (R), TRACY FRANCISCO (D)

NORTH TONAWANDA TOWN ATTORNEY: JOSH DUBS (D)

ALL PROPOSITIONS: VOTE YES

Whichever way you vote, please make sure you do. Polls are open 6am – 9pm in Erie County.

I’ll post reactions tonight on Twitter, and follow the #WNYVotes hashtag. 


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Might Want to Stop Digging

16 Oct

Courtesy Marquil at EmpireWire.com

Siena Polls Buffalo, Looking Good for Brown

18 Aug

The Buffalo News and Channel 2 commissioned a Siena poll of 966 Buffalo registered voters, and 620 likely (D) voters. 51% think New York State is on the right track, and 56% of respondents think Buffalo is going in the right direction. 

The one thing that was interesting about the mayoral race was how differently younger respondents felt about people and issues than older voters. The candidates for mayor have a built-in disadvantage, given the way that City Hall’s patronage system has turned it into a piggy bank and volunteer database for mayoral re-election campaigns. But Democratic challenger Bernie Tolbert and Republican nominee Sergio Rodriguez really need to get their messages out more effectively, but it’s very difficult when you’re a marginally funded or unfunded challenger to an incumbent with a million bucks in the bank. It’s especially difficult when the local media abrogate their civic duty and choose Jeopardy and Entertainment Tonight over a lengthy, substantive mayoral debate. Reddit AMAs and YouTube-only videos are no substitute for direct mail and TV advertising, and given the results of the News’ poll, it’s tough to see how Rodriguez especially is going to be able to overcome his financial disadvantage and defeat Brown. 

At least we have the crosstabs to look at. 

If Donn Esmonde wants to throw challengers to Byron Brown under the bus, he’s ignoring the fact that Tolbert’s numbers are similar to the “wrong track” figure. That makes any challenge against a sitting, well-funded incumbent who has an entire corrupt political machine at his disposal an extraordinarily difficult prospect. Add to that the fact that 58% of respondents have a positive view of Byron Brown. – especially people over the age of 35. Younger voters support Brown by a minimal margin of 49 – 43, with 9% not being sure. 

When asked about Tolbert, the winner is “not sure”, with 44%. 39% of people have a positive view of him, and he is unpopular with younger voters, 23% of whom like him, 29% of whom don’t, and fully half of whom have no idea who he is. 

The poll tells us that County Executive Poloncarz has a 60% favorability rating, and Brian Higgins’ is 77%. But with Poloncarz, too, voters under the age of 35 have no clue whether they like him or not. 

Alas, it’s uglier for Sergio Rodriguez – fully 55% of respondents have no idea who he is. Of the people who do, 22% like him and 24% don’t.  That’s pretty devastating. Older voters are more ignorant of Rodriguez than younger voters – 56% of voters over 55 don’t know who he is, while 47% of voters under 35% are clueless. 

Carl Paladino has done a good job polarizing the populace, and making himself unlikeable. 91% of people are aware of him, and 47% don’t like him; 44% do. His popularity is stronger with Republicans, as you might expect (68%), and independents/other (55%). His support is evenly split among older people who know him, but younger people disapprove of him 49 – 34. White respondents are far more supportive of Paladino than African-Americans, only 24% of whom like him versus 63% of whom who don’t. Most respondents think that Paladino has only been “somewhat effective” on the school board, and generally oppose a state takeover of city schools.

Most respondents think that Byron Brown is doing a “good” or “fair” job as mayor. Only 28% of likely Brown voters think he’s doing an “excellent” job – is that grounds for a third term? 49% say yes, while 43% would prefer someone else.

Of likely voters, just a bit over half have made up their mind. 48% are open to alternatives. More voters think that Byron Brown would be better than Tolbert on the issues of crime, education, neighborhood issues, economic development, jobs, and taxes. 

Chris Collins Polls NY-27

17 Jul

Hey, I got mail from my Congresscritter, Chris Collins. I was very happy to receive it, because it made me feel important – like Collins really wanted my opinion!  Brad Riter and I discussed the letter in a podcast we recorded for Trending Buffalo

I Got a Letter from the Government

Anyone who has paid even casual attention to Chris Collins’ political career knows that he’s looking out for only one type of person – the taxpayer. He even started his own minor party line called “Taxpayers First”, and has carefully staked out a position whereby he is perceived to be the grand protector of the tax dollar. 

That’s why our Spaulding Lake millionaire congressional nobleman spent taxpayer money to mail this survey to me! He’s protecting my tax money by spending my tax money! It’s ingenious

The cover letter doubles down on the whole taxpayer theme – “Dear Taxpayer” isn’t just profoundly impersonal, it reduces my identity to a chore. “Dear Laundry-Folder”. “Dear Grocery Shopper”.  

Collins figured he eked out his defeat of incumbent Kathy Hochul by staking out a strong anti-Obamacare position. Indeed, the district isn’t one that’s thrilled with Obama or with health care reform, so there isn’t a breath that leaves Collins’ lungs without denigrating and calling for the complete repeal of Obamacare. He says he’s fought to reduce government regulations, but he’s also voted for massive farm subsidies in an effort to protect your “tax dollars”. 

So, he sent a survey along. Note the registration barcode – more on that below – it all looks so important and official. DO NOT DESTROY. OFFICIAL FEDERAL DOCUMENT. The only thing missing is the imprisonment threat you find on mattress tags. 

But what it really amounts to is a written push-poll. The questions are carefully crafted to mirror GOP talking points, so that Collins can lend himself a smidgen of extra legitimacy as he’s promoting the interests of the very wealthy at the expense of the middle class.  This is a document that represents true class warfare – the wealthy manipulating the aspirations of the poor and middle class to get them to support policies that are against their best interests. 

Is the country on the right or wrong track? Well, gosh, I like Obama, and he’s President, so I’ll put “right track”. But I can’t stand Republican obstructionist nihilism, so I think the country is also on the wrong track. What to do? Some questions were self-explanatory, but then you get to the “vouchers” question, and again – there’s nuance there. I think vouchers should be available to parents of children in failing schools. I do not, however, think that they should be standard for all public school districts. The Republicans are pushing vouchers because they do not believe in public education, and would just as soon pull money out of the system and into vouchers because it would have the joint effect of (a) destroying public education; and (b) busting teachers’ unions. After all, that’s what it’s all about for the millionaire party – making sure the working man and woman know their place and stay quiet; class warfare. 

Then you get to the questions about fundamental changes to Medicare and Social Security.  I’m under 55, and I’ve been paying into both programs towards my retirement since the mid-80s. How on Earth is it fair to anyone currently in the workforce to so fundamentally change a program that people have been paying into? Why is it ok to weaken Social Security and Medicare for someone 54 years old who has been paying into the system for almost 40 years?  

By the way – that important-looking barcode? I scanned it. It’s the barcode for the number 1. 

So, we turn to the second, perhaps stupider, page of this intern-drafted excreta. I don’t agree with private social security accounts because, among other things, I don’t want the government to be called upon to bail out people who do so when the happen to retire during a financial market meltdown such as the one that occurred in late 2008. Do I support Obama’s use of Executive Orders?  Only insofar as they are lawful, which they are. Do I think Congress should expand government, limit government, or keep everything the same? Well, because I’m not a cretin, I think that the issue is far more complicated than that, so I marked “unsure” and annotated my answer. 

Now, admittedly, I mis-read the “energy” question and marked two instead of one, but both of them are ones that I think the government should pursue, and no one’s really looking at this anything, they’re just harvesting email addresses. The United States is drilling more oil now than in 2005, and natural gas exploitation is booming thanks to hydrofracking. Fukushima and BP have shown us that off-shore drilling and nuclear power aren’t perhaps the best solutions to our energy needs, and while it’s important to exploit what we have, it’s also important to find alternatives and use less. 

I annotated another question by adding an answer.  In a question asking what the government should do to help stimulate the economy, there was only a simplistic binary choice – spend more, or reduce taxes on “private businesses and families” as opposed to what, public businesses and single people? So, I said – tax cuts on the middle class. Put more money in regular people’s pockets. 

There are two questions relating to non-scandal scandals. Benghazi and the IRS.  The 27th District is unaffected by either one of those things, and we live in a community with real problems that affect real people. These are partisan distractions by any measure, but to suggest in a push-poll that Congress should do more of that is just sad. 

On immigration, notice the wording – should illegals with no criminal history be allowed to “pay a fine and become a taxpayer?” I annotated that. Everyone on American soil – documented and undocumented – is a “taxpayer” in that they have a legal obligation to pay tax on income. Undocumented aliens are already “taxpayers” – the word he was hunting for was “citizen”. But in the very next question, he uses that term – asking whether undocumented aliens should be able to buy themselves a Green Card, but not citizenship. 

Should the government devote more attention to enforcing immigration law and securing borders? How do you say no to that? Yes, the government should do its job. Hurray. 

I enclosed a note.  

When your Congressman doesn’t have a care in the world, it must be difficult for him to manufacture empathy for people who do. His singular goal is to repeal Obamacare. I have asked him and his staff many times – on Twitter and elsewhere – two things: (a) does Chris Collins believe that every American should have access to affordable, quality health insurance; and (b) if Obamacare is not the good solution to the crisis of uninsurance and underinsurance in this country, what is his solution? What does CollinsCare look like? I have yet to receive an answer to either of these questions.

Furthermore, I don’t know whether Collins and his family are recipients of one of the federally subsidized health insurance plans that exist for the benefit of Congresspeople. I asked it on Twitter, but also placed a call to his Washington office July 11th at 9:38 and left a message for his press person to contact me. It’s now July 16th and I have not been granted the courtesy of a reply.

Is quality, federally subsidized health insurance something to which Collins and his family are entitled, but not us plebes? Does my Congressman think that people should have access to quality health care, and that the cost should be subsidized depending on ability to pay? Does he even think 50 million uninsured Americans who use the emergency room for primary care is a problem? 

Frankly, I don’t think Obamacare is the solution, either, but the status quo is worse. I now think Obamacare was a Democratic sellout to conservatives who turned their backs on their own idea in order to harm the Democratic President and, by extension, the country. Republican obstruction and attempts to kill Obamacare have served to condense my opinion into something different altogether. 

Health insurance in this country should not be tied to employment. Employers should be free from buying private insurance for their employees, and people should not have to choose employment based on whether or not they will receive health insurance. The solution is Medicare expansion to all Americans. Everyone joins, everyone pays. You want to use a private clinic and pay a private insurer for something extra? Knock yourself out – as long as every American has a guarantee of access to health care they need. 

I wish that my Congressman took his office seriously. It’s not just about protecting “taxpayers” from whatever he wants to demean as socialism. It’s about helping people who are in need or powerless. It’s about finding solutions to longstanding problems that the private sector can’t – or won’t – solve. I wish that I had a Congressman who thought that it was important for me and my family to have access to the same quality of healthcare as he. I wish that I had a Congressman who didn’t wage class warfare against the poor and middle class, instead holding onto an anachronistic and unproven “supply side” theory of trickle-down economics. I wish Batavia was as important to him as Benghazi. 

The Republican Rift, the PPP Poll #NY26

23 May

Is Phil Corwin Pissed?

That’s the claim being made in this blog post that was emailed to me yesterday. While the facts are a bit sloppy (e.g., the Channel 2 debate was held at 9am, not 12pm), it wouldn’t at all surprise me if the Corwins were caught unawares by the dirty trickery of the Collins brain trust, and blew their chance to prevent the Mallia fiasco from becoming a 2 week-long story.

Corwin’s Chief of Staff Mike Mallia’s weak attempt of a video ambush of Davis on the night of May 11th occurred without Corwin having any knowledge of the plan. The scheme was hatched by Chris Collin’s COS Chris Grant and endorsed by Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy. The video was then put on YouTube and hit the late news, but Corwin had gone to bed early due to the noon debate on Ch 2 the next day. Phil Corwin saw the video clip but failed to tell his wife in the morning, fearing it would distract her. Corwin was clueless when she was approached by reporters in the Ch 2 parking lot after the debate because not one staff member had bothered to tell her what had transpired.

and

Corwin is also coming under fire for not cutting loose Malia and separating herself from such a frat house stunt. The issue there is that Malia was just following orders and would probably go public on Chris Grant with all of the sordid details if he were to be fired.

It goes on to allege that Phil Corwin may begin publicly excoriating Collins and his minions should Jane lose on Tuesday.

The rift in the Erie County Republican Party is deepening, and while they’re putting on a very thin front of unity for now, it looks like Collins has become the Republicans’ Steve Pigeon – another tinpot Machiavelli looking to grow and consolidate power at the expense of the old guard, embodied by people like Tom Reynolds.

First Siena, Now PPP

Another poll was released last night showing Kathy Hochul with 42%, Jane Corwin with 36%, and Jack Davis with 13%.  The results of this poll very closely mirror the Siena poll released on Saturday.  Hochul is up 7%, Corwin is up 5%, and Davis is down a whopping 11%.  Also similarly to the Siena poll, Hochul’s favorability is +14 while Corwin’s is -18, down 15 points in just two weeks. Whereas Davis’ favorability/unfavorability was even at 43/43 two weeks ago, he’s now -39!

Corwin’s camp knew it would have to deal with a Tea Party line Jack Davis in this race, and assumed that if they hammered away at him for being weak Tea, those voters would break for Corwin.  But because Corwin has run a campaign that is only competent at incompetence, and because she has adopted extreme and radical positions not followed by voters in the district, those people have instead gone to Hochul in droves.  Hochul is drawing more Republican support than Corwin is drawing Democrats, and independents are relatively evenly split, with the advantage going to Hochul by +2.

PPP says that voters it surveyed think the Republican majority in Congress is doing a worse job than its predecessor.  It also found that, while NY-26 doesn’t like Obama, it dislikes John Boehner more. That’s a huge Corwin miscalculation, bringing him to town to campaign with her. Every time someone links Hochul with Pelosi, that isn’t as bad as it would be to link Corwin with Boehner.  Finally, Democrats in the district are more enthusiastic about voting for Hochul  than Republicans are about Corwin.

Probably because Hochul hasn’t been running a relentlessly negative, extreme campaign of dirty tricks. Davis would probably be doing a bit better if he had better advice and wasn’t being advised by sycophants and guys who never won a race.  The PPP results show huge dissatisfaction with Washington. Davis is making little headway on what should be – but isn’t – his big issue.

Hochul’s in the lead, but there’s no guarantee she’ll win. It all comes down to turnout and whose get out the vote effort is better.

 

DiPietro’s Poll and Unintended Consequences

8 Jul

Yesterday morning, David DiPietro – Tea Party candidate for State Senate SD-59 – sent an email to an unknown number of people, including me. There was no text or other explanation for why I received a grammatically incorrect, poorly spelled poll report that showed DiPietro trailing Pat Gallivan.

DiPietro has never before seen fit to send me an email or otherwise correspond with me in any way, and although the complete list of recipients was hidden in a bcc block, I imagine I wasn’t the only one to get it.

So I printed it, and simultaneously emailed him back a list of questions about the sourcing of the poll. We discussed it yesterday afternoon on Brad Riter’s radio show on WECK 1230. Today I discovered why I received it.

From Allen Coniglio from the Ostrowski wing of the local Tea Party:

In any case, in recent days, pressure has been put on Dave DiPietro to leave the 59th district senate race. Polls show Domagalski far behind, gathering only single digit support, while Dave and the pension padding Gallivan are neck and neck. Dave refuses to get out of the race and this is really upsetting the folks at the TeaGOP machine as Domagalski is their major line of support within the Republican machine. Langworthy, who as you may already know, is the guy who was appointed by Domagalski to replace him when he stepped down to run in the 59th race, is an errand boy who will find nothing to support him when Domagalski, TeaGOP, and the Republican machine inevitably crash and burn. Langworthy should do the honorable thing and step down now but he won’t as he has no honor. Thus, TeaGOP is in a very difficult situation. They cannot release their endorsements as the 59th race is a true burden for them. Remember, it is the fact that Rus Thompson tried to force Domagalski in as the tea party candidate in the first few days of April and Jim Ostrowski’s and my refusal to go along with such an obviously phony candidate, that caused the original breakup of the TPC. And, it was from this thwarted move that RT said to Langworthy 10 days later that he has a plan to take us out at the knees. Why take us out at the knees? Because we were in his way and he needed us destroyed so that he and the GOP could control the tea party in Buffalo and Western NY. You have seen much of their work right here on ReformNYS as they tried to blacken our names and they have done the same thing on other blogs as well. Well, they are still busily at work, trying to thwart the will of the people and trying to establish the TeaGOP machine as a subsidiary of the Republican machine.

Notice how “subtle” these people are. In printing Dave DiPietro’s request for petition help on their TeaGOP newsletter, they took the special step of misspelling Dave’s name in order to send a very clear and compelling message. It is copied and pasted below for you to see. Instead of writing “DiPietro”, they wrote “DiePietro”. The subliminal intent is quite clear and as crude as everything else they do. “Die Pietro”.

So, DiPietro is being pressured to leave the race so that what – Domagalski has a shot against Gallivan? Stepping gingerly through Coniglio’s self-righteous conspiracy theories, that’s what seems to be going on. That would explain why DiPietro would send an unsolicited email showing one poll answer from a greater poll.

But commenter Fat Tony says – not so fast.

…now that DiPietro publicly released these results to you, state Election Law requires that he release the full poll, including all questions and results, cross tabs, sample size, demographics, margin of error, etc. The law is in place to specifically prohibit what he is trying to do, which is selectively release information. For all we know, the preceding questions leading up to the one he sent you might have been pushes to kill Domagalski Furthermore, I doubt the question was open-ended as it appears in what he sent you so how they identified each person really matters.

The question would normally be: there are three Republican candidates running in a primary election for State Senate: former Erie CountySheriff Patrick Gallivan, former East Aurora Supervisor David DiPietro and former Erie County Republican Chairman Jim Domgalski. If the election were held today, for whom would you be voting.

I looked into it and confirmed that Election Law Section 3-106 requires the BOE to set up a “Fair Campaign Code” as part of their rules. Rule 6201.2 of that Fair Election Code applies here.

Click to enlarge

So, 24 hours down, 24 hours to go for DiPietro to release the poll – in its entirety – to the Board of Elections. If he doesn’t, there is a complaint procedure to follow.

In the words of political philosopher Ke$ha, Tick tock.

Mermel!

25 May
Horny horse protest of Carl Paladino
Image by WNYMedia via Flickr

While Carl Paladino celebrates a three-point rise in the polls at least partly at the the expense of NYGOP chair Ed Cox’s favorite, Steve Levy, the real story is that 41% remain undecided or have no opinion. Paladino’s Bushesque 16% support in the polls translates right now into 6.93% of the weighted vote at the Republican nominating convention in a few weeks.

But watch out for Mermelmentum!

National Poll Reality Check

20 May

Using the Pollster.com Trendline of all polls, this is a pretty solid representation of where America is at on current issues of import, party identification, policy, and candidates.  Just thought it would be cool to do a semi-regular check of the national sentiment and open it up for discussion.

2010 National Congressional Ballot – This poll is essentially an approval rating of the two parties in Congress.  It’s a good pre-cursor towards national mood and direction of the general voting electorate.

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National Job Approval Rating, President Barack Obama – Seems to be trending upwards

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National Job Approval Rating, President Barack Obama, Economy – Isolating the way people view his managing of the national economy

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Favorable Rating, President Barack Obama – A little different than job approval as it more directly measures the President’s popularity with the voters

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National Party Identification – Independents are trending downward as they normally do as we approach a national election season.

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An interesting picture of developing sentiment.

Drop

12 Mar

Courtesy Marquil at Empirewire.com

Obama One Month Out

24 Feb

The other day, the Buffalo Bean’s Matt Margolis tweeted that Obama’s approval rating had dropped 19% per Gallup.

I asked for a link, and went to Gallup myself.

There, I found that Obama’s job approval rating had sunk 6% since Inauguration Day, but his job disapproval rating had risen by about 12%. Margolis posted a screen shot of his source, which said that Obama’s “favorability” had dropped. When confronted with the fact that, a) the poll didn’t measure “favorability”, and that b) it didn’t show a 19% drop, it became an argument more about semantics.

But what about Obama’s poll numbers since Inauguration Day?

If you were one to pay close attention to the news, you’d figure that the country was on the verge of all-out revolt, what with dillweed Rick Santelli calling for the traders at the Chicago Merc to join him in a “tea party”, and the Dow down to 1997 levels, unemployment up, banks not lending money, people not buying stuff, manufacturing collapsing, a housing and mortgage market spiraling ever-downwards, why you’d figure that people were calling for Obama’s head! After all, some of his cabinet appointees turned out to be tax cheats! ZOMG! Roland Burris! Other dumb shit!

Well, it’s true that Obama’s support is fading. Among Republicans. It seems that the party now apparently led by Santelli, Limbaugh, Palin, and Plumber found the best way to thwart bipartisanship is to not be bipartisan, and complain that Obama’s not being bipartisan. This has resonated with some Republican voters, who no longer like what Obama’s been doing.

The Washington Post notes that Obama’s job approval rating is at 68%. The Democratic Congress’ job approval rating is at 50%. The Republicans in congress get a measly 38% approval rating. It seems that the people recognize that this is an almost unprecedented economic crisis, and they’re reacting positively to the people proposing solutions, and negatively at the people grandstanding and saying no to stuff. A New York Times survey gives Obama a 63% job approval rating, and respondents credited Obama for attempts at bipartisanship, and fault Republicans for talking the talk but not walking the walk.

As TPM notes, the Gallup numbers that Margolis said represent a “19% drop” for Obama, show that his support has grown in that time among Democrats and Independents, and dropped only among Republicans.

Between the polling sample from January 21-25, compared to February 9-15, Obama’s ratings went from 90% to 94% among self-identified liberal Democrats, from 87% to 88% among moderate Dems, from 80% to 84% with conservative Dems, and from 47% to 50% among independents. On the other hand, his approval fell from 53% to 47% moderate Republicans, with a plummet of 36% down to 22% with conservative Republicans.

So, no. Most Americans think the Republicans are the ones thwarting bipartisanship and standing not on principle, but political considerations. They’re betting that the stimulus will fail and that they can make political hay from it in the future. Some are unabashed in expressing their hope that Obama fail and that more Americans suffer.

On the other hand, I hope that the stimulus works and that Obama succeeds. Not because I want Obama or Democrats to be re-elected, but because I want the country’s economy to improve and grow.