Monday, October 25, 2010

Bitching and Polling

So here is the (incomplete) poll just posted on the OWH’s site for the Nebraska 2nd Congressional District race

It says:

Lee Terry (R): 44%
Tom White (D): 39% 
Undecided: 12%
Won’t Vote: 5%

But...those are “Registered Voters”, and not “Likely Voters”.
(Which is sort of skewed, considering they included the “Won’t Vote” part.)

But then when they just poll “Likely Voters” -- and if they have this data then why even bother with this "Registered Voter" part in the first place? -- then say:
"Terry’s lead grew to 8 percentage points among more committed voters — those who said they had already voted or definitely planned to vote."
Wait, his “lead grew”? Where did that lead grow from? Undecideds? White’s voters? So is that Terry 47% and White still at 39% and UD’s up to 17% with the Won’t Votes subtracted? (Or whatever scenario you want to skew?)

And who the hell cares about those who “Won’t Vote”?????
Last time we checked, “Won’t Vote” doesn’t end up in the final tallies.

Anyway, know this: This race ain’t 44-39, and there is no reason to even publish that.

But it may motivate some voters to get their butts to the polls (you know, other than those “Won’t Vote ones), so there you have it.

(And just as an aside:  At this time of year, lots and lots of interneters will be searching to see what the polling is in this race.  And they will come upon this poll.  And then they will say, "What the hell is this piece of crap?"    Publish a real poll next time.)

(And a note regarding the other OWH story on this race:  That poll does not indicate 12% "of voters" are undecided.  A voter is someone who votes, not who registers to vote.)

So kids, if you would like a little better indication of turnout, look at the best recent comparable midterm election -- 2006.

In that NE-2 race, turnout looked like this:
R: 88,787
D: 67,952
I: 25,743

That year had 20,000 more Republicans than Democrats turning out.
And in 2010, you can bet that 25K I's aren't going to go D.

Just to give you a little better idea.


And the new Lee Terry spot:


And woe is Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle.

Did the OWH catch him after a few Dr. Peppers the other day?

In case you didn’t read to the end of their article on the poor, poor Mayor, catch this quote:
“I'm running through the gantlet and can't see the end,” he said.
“We're in a period of bitch, moan and complain. We need ideas, answers and solutions.”
You got that, every Omahan who is upset with the Mayor’s actions and may sign the recall petition?

All you are doing is bitching, moaning and complaining. And the poor, poor Mayor just can’t see the end to his woes.

Now you can feel free to argue the merits of what Hizzhonor is...well...bitching about. And you should.

But politically, really? Those are the words he is using while sitting down with a reporter? Bitching?

Savvy, Mr. Mayor. Savvy.

And, while we are at it, “running the gantlet”?

(Wait, isn’t it “gauntlet”? Like the Clint Eastwood movie, “The Gauntlet”? You know, where Clint decks out the buss with steel plates, then has to drive it down the city street with about a hundred cops firing at him, until he reaches City Hall and punches the Mayor? Or something like that. It’s been a while. But great movie. And whatever happened to Sandra Locke? She was in, like, all of his movies. He couldn’t find a role for her in “Gran Torino”? Wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah...)

So, again, what "gantlet" is the Mayor running through? A political one?  Or is the City is running the financial gantlet (or gauntlet)? Or Clint Eastwood is coming after him, like in “The Gauntlet”?

Because as far as not being able to “see the end”, well the Mayor is taking care of that with the tax increases. As he has told us allllllll along, he is an engineer. Identify the problem, then find the solution. And the Mayor found the easiest solution -- for him anyway -- higher taxes.

Didn’t take much thinking. End found. Done and doner.

Gantlet run.

But if it is a political gantlet to which he refers.  Well, then that's a “can’t stand the heat...” situation.

 Can’t handle the criticism? Don’t take the gig.

 This isn’t the City Council. It’s the Third Floor.


And then, about that poll the OWH is running about Suttle.

It says 47% say keep him in office, versus 39% who say throw him out and 14% undecided.

Yet, as we saw in more detail on the Terry-White poll, this is a poll of Registered Voters -- not Likely Voters.

And that is -- or can be -- a big fat difference.

Not to mention, what kind of a question is that right now anyway? The question should have been, “Are you going to sign the petition?” There is no vote right now, so until hurdle #1 is crossed, their question doesn’t matter.
[Correction: This question WAS asked -- with 31% saying they would sign -- statistically enough for a recall vote.]

And we will tell you this: Those that are involved in these matters say that if The Suttle Recall Committee gets the needed signatures, Suttle will be out on the vote. There is a LOT of confidence in that.

Oh, and that is where your Likely Voters versus Registered Voters really comes into play.


Anonymous said...

By mentioning a poll that includes "won't votes", the OWH produces propaganda. But why?

Why make White artificially look closer to Terry? - To sell more newspapers? (greed) Because the OWH prefers White and hopes he wins? (bias) Or by showing Terry closer to White, is the paper motivating Terry voters go to the polls? (bias)

Is the OWH issuing this bullcrap for Terry, White, voters, greed or on a cub reporter's idiot whim?

It is hard tell what's going on when a newspaper publishes polls of people who won't vote.

Anonymous said...

"Terry is way ahead of White, this thing is over" won't sell papers.

"Oh, hey, the Whites still have two time-outs and just need to drive the length of the field for the go-ahead score, so this one ain't over yet" might sellll some papers.

I'm going with greed.

And Sweeps seems a bit surly today. Get some Bold Nebs over here talking about someone's voter registration status and we might have some fine entertainment worthy of popping some popcorn. (I'll start the betting with five bucks on Sweeper to deliver a first-round knock down.)

Street Sweeper said...


Anonymous said...

I think some republicans are a bit nervous over an election they called months ago. Not just in the 2nd CD but Nation wide. I can't see Americans voting for the same old can't shoot straight gang that caused the problems in the first place. You saw it here first. Democrats hold on to both the House and the Senate. Close but no cigar for the tea party and their GOP sidekicks. Don't worry Republicans you are still allowed to hate Americans and keep saying NO!

GeosUser said...

Here's the scoop CD2 fans...
Terry beats White by at least same margin as Terry vs. Esch 52% to 44% in 2008. Tom White won't get close to 50%.

As for the OWH piece on Mayor Moron. They left out at least half of his known screw-ups in their "missteps" listing. The recall petition will succeed with well over the minimum required signatures...and Suttle will lose the recall vote if he doesn't resign first.

Anonymous said...

Here's a scenario:

Republicans win 51 Dem seats and take the House.

Republicans end up with 49 seats in the Senate.

But, Joe Lieberman votes to organize as a Republican... meaning joint control.

Jamie said...

I dunno, man. I can't speak for Omahans (the race between Terry and White is close, according to a headline I saw on a friend's OWH), but I can honestly say I haven't seen a single ad for a Democratic candidate. No Stewart, no Stoj, no Harper, not even Meister.

Besides an interview with Boyle on Drive Time Lincoln when she announced her candidacy, I have seen no promotion of these candidates besides yard signs. The NDP has to step their game up, unless they enjoy being politically irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Voters aren't gonna reward Obama and Pelosi for pushing unemployment up to nearly 10%, adding 3 trillion to the debt in just 20 months and trying to take over 1/5th of the economy w/their failed healthcare bill.

Anonymous said...

Terry's ad hits the bulls eye here--the issue is White has already endorsed the big ticket items of Obama/Pelosi (stimulus, healthcare, 8 tril in new debt).

That's not gonna go over well in NE2.

Anonymous said...


When a privately held poll is conducted showing the mayor to be as popular as swamp fuzz? It's gospel.

When a media poll is conducted showing White within striking distance of beating Terry? It's bogus.

Johny can't read said...

Great headline on

"Mercury not malicious, OPS says"

Really, OPS. I was taught in elementary school that it was poisonous. This statement is kind of like when you stated that it was recently discovered that there is a correlation with a students grades and their attendance. I think Dr. Mackiel needs to be tested for lead or mercury poisoning. I know my IQ goes down a dozen points when i hear OPS' excuses

Anonymous said...

Terry must be desperate to throw out a garbage ad like this. Nancy Pelosi - that's all he got?

Reading Comprehension said...

The World-Herald poll *did* ask "Will you sign the petition." It found 61% of registered voters said "No."

RWP said...

At this stage in the cycle, using RVs instead of LVs is unusual. Anyone who disagrees is invited to check out the polls on I suspect that this year the RVs are especially inflated, since they include a lot of people who registered to vote for Obama and are unlikely to come out for a midterm.

Liberal bias, or just an newspaper looking to exaggerate the closeness of the election to sell more papers? Probably a bit of both.

Husker Mike said...

After you've spent all summer and fall trying to tell us this race was over, the World-Herald comes back with real data that shows this race is anything but.

Dance, Sweeper, Dance.

BTW, if you looked at yesterday's paper, you also would have read the article that shows that polls have developed a GOP-bias due to the increasing number of people who use cell phones only.

Anonymous said...

Oct. 9 - # Alabama falls to #19 South Carolina
Oct. 16 - #1 Ohio St. falls to #18 Wisconsin
Oct. 23 - #1 Oklahoma falls to #11 Missouri
Nov. 2 - #1 Terry falls to #2 White

Anonymous said...

@ aon 12:48
White must be desperate to have the Nebr. Dem Party send out garbage mailers like the last two I received about the supposed comely lobbyist story. Talk some real issues White...

Anonymous said...

Then those cell phone users should grow up, get a stable roof over their heads and join the poll party.

People that only have a cell phone tend to not want to be bothered by telemarketing calls whether they are for political polls or siding. It seems unlikely that they would want to answer 10 to 30 minutes of questions for a political poll.

Everyone should just ignore the polls, learn all they can about the candidates (if you are undecided, then stop by their campaign offices and check them out yourself) and get their butts to the polls on election day.

It really is just that simple.

Street Sweeper said...

We missed the "Will you sign?" data by the OWH, and have updated the post.

So You're Saying There's a Chance! said...

Let us ASSUME for a moment that surveying RVs at this stage is relevant. NE2 has just over a 1% GOP registered voter advantage. Yet, Terry’s lead is 5% meaning he is either drawing a HIGHER percent of GOPers than White is among DEMs and / or he is capturing more than 50% of Independents. With a lead of 5% and a Margin of Error of 4% that means we are 95% sure that if RVs turn out in equal proportions Terry will win by between 1 and 9%. Conversely, there is a 5% chance this is not the case and Terry could win by More than 9%, Less 1% OR White could even win.

If we go with Likely Voters (and not taking respondents at their ‘word’ they will vote even when they haven’t in recent history), the GOP has closer to a 10% advantage. Add to this that Terry is ‘pulling’ more than just his party’s share in this survey and the probability of a White victory is akin to the line from Dumb and Dumber: “1 in a Million? So you’re saying there’s a chance!”

Street Sweeper said...

It was my understanding that there would be no math on this blog...

Anonymous said...

Really? Accusing the Omaha World-Herald of liberal bias? Isn't that like accusing Fox News or Rush Limbaugh of liberal bias?

Now, selling newspapers? You're probably on to something there. But the last thing Terry Kroeger's newspaper could be accused of is painting a rosy picture of Tom White.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone hear the Ashford for Mayor radio ad yet....I mean the "Forward Omaha" anti recall ad. Typical Brad. He says he's against the recall while letting everyone understand he knows and understands ALL the issues.

Ashford is just setting himself up for a run at the 3rd Floor after the signatures have all been collected and Mayor Toboggan is sent downhill.

"I wasn't for the recall, but 'hey' it happened and now I am here to save the day"...I can hear him now.

Anonymous said...

White is for the stimulus--a total failure w/unemployment at 9.6%.

White is for the healthcare takeover that slashes Medicare by $500 bil.

White & Pelosi...

Enough said--Terry will win.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the OWH has a bias for Lee Terry. Is that why they have run the same retread story about Lee Terry how many times now? At least three, 4 if you count 2 stories in one edition?(still can't figure out that one)

When they run at least 3 stories about Tom White and his disrespect for working folks (punching a guy in the face in a parking lot, not paying a painter, causing a contractor to close shop), then I will call them "fair and balanced".

There is still a week of news time left, maybe they will find something even more disrespectful that Tom White did.

Anonymous said...

Brad Assford is quite clever. He will make a great mayor.

Anonymous said...

IF Ashford runs for Mayor I will vote for him! Then the Gov can appoint a Republican to the Legislature, giving him a solid 2/3+ majority!!!!!

Buh Bye Giese, Wallman, Rogert, Conrad, and Ashford. (11 D's plus Cornett) The dirty Dozen.

Anonymous said...

Annon 3:48,
Do the math,the R's are 1 seat from a super-majority. All they need is one seat!

Anonymous said...

GeoUser is correct on the Herald leaving out MANY of the mayor's missteps, one of which was the hiring and subsequent firing of his pervy campaign consultant/chief of staff.

Which begs the question: Who's giving the mayor all of the bad advice he's acted on in the past year? Someone else? I doubt it, but it would have been nice if Paul Goodsell had at least pretended to ask around.

Anonymous said...

Brad Assford is a Republican? Prove it!

Anonymous said...

12:48--you don't need anything else.

White was a fool to buy into Pelosi's agenda so quick last year--he should have waited and held back--in essence, be a little independent.

White didn't do so--and that's gonna cost him the election.

Anonymous said...

To 2:53PM: You must either be in love with Tom White to know so much or stalking hoping to get his attention. Wah. Wah. Wah.

Macdaddy said...

I'm a little surprised by 2 things: 1. Terry with less than 50% support. As an incumbent, that's not where you want to be at this time in the race. 2. Sweeper not getting contacted by Terry's campaign to refute the data with some of their own.

Having said that, I don't believe that 12% are actually undecided. Nevertheless, I strongly suspect the undecideds will break Terry's way. I predicted a 10 point win for Terry 6 months ago (I may have upped it to 15% a couple months ago but I can't remember). With Terry 8 points up among likely voters and that many undecideds, it looks like my prediction is still doable.

Anonymous said...

Sweeper, do you have any idea what the demographic breakdown among poll respondents was in terms of party affiliation?

I've seen a lot of polls over the last couple of years that tilted strongly in favor of democrat voter registration. Anytime CBS or NBC touts a new poll showing increased support for Obamacare, for example, check the party identification breakdown of respondents and it's almost always skewed heavily in favor of the "spend like rich guys are bottomless money pits" party.

Street Sweeper said...

I have none of the crosstabs.

RWP said...

Husker Mike

Gallup calls cellphones.

Anonymous said...

I miss the old World Herald, the one with the editorial page that was just to right of Frederick the Great.

I also don't understand why the Republicans are so angry with Suttle. The tax increase allowed the golf courses to stay open! Golf is the most important thing to you corporate types, isn't it? Much more important than governance.

Anonymous said...

I can understand why Democrat non "corporate types" wouldn't like golf-It takes focus and concentration.

Macdaddy said...

Yeah. Lots of corporate types over at Elmwood. And I once ran into Warren Buffett over at Warren Swigart. (Not really). Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

While the repubics need only one seat to have the super majority, it is really only on paper.

See you still have Ashford, Cornett, Coash, Krist, and last but never least the little guy Adams the Super Public Education Nut.

By picking up Conrad, Wallman, Rogert, and Giese's seats they are pretty much nulified. Heck there can even be reform to the State Aid formula.

Imagine a world where vouchers were used so there was competition for education dollars. Never going to happen with Adams in the chair.

Imagine if they made the University and Colleges have to provide a P&L sheet on each professor like they do in Texas.

Or even a grade sheet on how many students quite college before graduation, wasting the tax subsidies.

Then all the saving could be used to help those who are in need. Heck you could even let people keep their money?

Ricky said...

Likely voters undecided voters leaning voters... I am confused.
With the parsing by Mr Street Sweeper.
It looks to me that despite all the certainty by Mr Sweeper and fivethirtyeight and all the rest Mr White has made this a contest.
Seems like Mr White has run a good campaign.
And it seems like the "comely lobbyist" angle has resonated.
Mr Terry is one worried and bothered politician.
So now, with one more good ad and one more weekend of getting out the vote, White may just pull out a big upset.
Boy will the Republicans have to crawl in a hole when the recall of Mr Suttle fails and Mr Terry gets unemployment insurance.

ricky from omaha

Anonymous said...

Lee Terry has done exactly nothing in 6 terms as congressman. He might get elected, but he will only continue to do nothing for Nebraska.

Only one bill hes has sponsored has ever become law.


Anonymous said...

103 of the 105 bills sponsored by Lee Terry never even made it out of committee.

And we want to give this guy a 7th term?

Anonymous said...

Anyone know how to get ahold of Tom White the civil rights lawyer?

I feel the need to sue our President for his racist, public, campaign comments given while on the taxpayers clock.

Tom White is no different than Barack Obama-he spends all his effort trying, desperately to be something that he isn't.

Barack Obama has not been the great uniter that he promised all the Land he would be and Tom White is not the great-anything, that he has spent $78,000 of his family's money trying to convince you he is (and that's just his lawsuit money!)

Macdaddy said...

Keep dreaming guys. Terry's lead is 8 and the margin of error is 4. If you look at registered voters, Terry's lead is 5 and the margin of error is 4. Now I was public school educated, but I think 5 is greater than 4 and 8 certainly is.

My prediction: when Terry beats White by 10, the Lefties on here will start screeching about vote fraud based on their misreading (deliberate or otherwise) of this poll.

Anonymous said...

You can't claim that the comely lobbyist mailers are resonating, they came out AFTER this poll was conducted.

Anonymous said...

Ricky--if the poll was accurate, then you'd be seeing DCCC TV ads right now in Omaha.

How many have you seen?

Anonymous said...

Did everyone read Terry's stupid response to the "comely lobbyist" story in Sunday's OWH? Could he have sounded any more guilty?

"I mean, uh, well, it's not true, I mean, uh...." Sheesh.

Also, what about his horrible showing on Becka's show last night?

Do NOT send Lee Terry back to Washington! 103 out of the 105 bills Terry has sponsored have NEVER EVEN MADE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE? Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Well I sure as heck am not going to send White to DC to support the Obama agenda and Obamacare. I'll take 103 failed bills over the intrusion over my choices in health care and the fleecing of my hard earned dollars!!

Anonymous said...

11:27--you must have failed congress 101 in college.

Terry has crafted multiple pieces of legislaton (Hill-Terry, geothermal energy, etc.). The full list is on the issues section of the web page.

He's also voted to cut spending over 7 trillion bucks--Tom White, meanwhile, wouldn't fulfll his duty to balance the state budget last fall.

Anonymous said...

1:05 - snort! What's your definition of "crafted"??

Even Lee choked on Becka's show last night when he was asked what has he accomplished in his years in DC.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Congressman Terry said that the story was false garbage in another language if any of you White Followers would understand it any better.

It's nice that you pick and choose what stories from the OWH you wish to believe. Do you believe that Tom White punched a farmer in the face in a parking lot and then took off when the guy called 911? Do you believe that Tom White refused to pay a contractor for work done on his pretty house? Do you believe that on at least 2 occasions Tom White threatened individuals while at work in the State Capitol building? Do you believe that Tom White wants a double standard for his relationships to lobbyists? Do you believe that Tom White thought he was being too cozy with Lobbyists when he flew 6 of them on his private plane to a field hearing in Scottsbluff? Do you believe that Tom White should be inviting Lobbyists to field hearings ANYWHERE?

Tom White has NEVER denied any of these incidents. Lee Terry has vehemently denied that he has ever gotten drunk with a lobbyist and that the gossip columnists story was false garbage.

Seems pretty clear to me.

Anonymous said...

1:47--you can listen to Becka's show on-line right now--Terry did a very good job going over his accomplishments--including being ranked one of the most bipartisan Republicans in the house, Hill-Terry and others.

You really have nothing, don't you...

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious why White has gone in the gutter--

He can't talk the real issues like unemployment (9.6% on their watch) and the healthcare law (something he endorsed that voters don't want.)

Anonymous said...

White's endorsed Obama's economic plan--the one that has hiked the debt $3 trillion in just 20 months.

It is on track to go up 8 trillion under Pelosi and White.

No wonder White isn't talking issues.

Anonymous said...

Does Tom White think that all people that disagree with him should "sit in the back" of the bus too?

Shame on President Obama for inciting racism.

Anonymous said...

If the OWH poll was legit, then where are the DCCC ads?

RWP said...

Shame on President Obama for inciting racism.

That was just his white half talking.

Ricky said...

What's interesting is that nationally prognosticators have odds on the Terry - White race and all the others.
But what do they know? As far as I know the only data they they have to go on right now is the OWH poll, which certainly shows no sure thing for Terry.
People at the Wash Post and the NY Times don't know what is going on in Omaha.
But I know what I see and so does everybody else around here.
And that is a groundswell of support for Tom White.
I was at the campaign headquarters last Sunday and there were volunteers coming and going.
Look at all the signs for White in the yards about.
We might have an interesting outcome one week from today.

ricky from omaha

Anonymous said...

Ricky--you wouldn't be crowing about White's op had you gone over to Terry's HQ or DCRP--they have 30phone stations--constantly busy. They've done lit drops that are about 5-10 times what White's campaign has scrounged up.

Anonymous said...

Ricky--the DCCC polled here twice. The ###s were bad and that's the reason they are not here for White.

The DCCC poured $1 million into NE2last cycle for Esch. Ths year they are doing nada.

I think that's worth alot more than your survey of yard signs down in East O.

Anonymous said...

One of those polls was on September 9th. That's when Tom White sent the DCCC slightly more than ten large.

So, they made Tom White pay for his own poll, the numbers were so discouraging that they won't spend to play here for Tom White. And, to top it off, Tom White had to shell out another $14,000 to the joint fundraising committee that the State Democrat Party opened in order to do the Vice President Joe Biden event and he only got $34,000 in return.

$20,000 to hitch your wagon to a failed, race-baiting administration? Hell, that even less than what Tom White just gave to his campaign last Thursday.

Tom White, "Must be nice to have" $78,000 of the taxpayer's money to blow trying to buy the Democrats a Congressional seat!

Anonymous said...

Ricky--to be honest, you strike me as one of the more sophisticated posters here from the Dem side.

That's why I think you know very well that NE2 is not close--if it was, the DCCC would be spending $250,000 to $300,000 to pull White in.

White really seemed to be out of it all summer--Terry's campaign on the other hand was all over the district canvassing 25,000-30,000 targeted homes.

Anonymous said...

oops, I was wrong, the DCCC sent Tom White $2500 on the same day that he gave himself $25,000.

my bad!

Anonymous said...

White & Pelosi

Not the team NE2 voters will want...Terry's TV ad is a killer.

Anonymous said...

Intersting that White does not mention his support for the healthcare bill at all...why is that? Same with stimulus--the one that has given us 9.6% unemployment--thanks, Dems.