Thursday, January 24, 2008

Attacking the Messenger

Bob Orr wrote quite an attack on PPP on his blog last night.

Attack #1:
PPP doesn't really have any business clients, so it's not really like a legitimate polling company whose accuracy and professionalism drives its income. No, PPP is just out there doing its thing, messing around and pontificating over the results that its polls come up with.
PPP may not be looking to get rich but our accuracy and professionalism sure do drive our income, and even more importantly drive our reputation. We'll stand by our record any day. Take this column from the N&O's Public Editor in 2006 about how the N&O's pollster completely botched the Wake County School bond election while PPP got it right. Or the fact that we called the US Senate elections in Missouri, Montana, Tennessee, and New Jersey almost to the number in 2006. Or that we called the Raleigh and Cary municipal elections last fall. You would be hard pressed to find a poll PPP has ever conducted that proved to be way off.

Attack #2:
This kid and PPP have a political agenda, and the mainstream media acts like the poll was performed by the twelve disciples.
The media always identifies us as a Democratic polling company, and we certainly do not deny that we are Democrats. But the numbers we put out are the numbers we get. It doesn't make us happy when Kay Hagan or Jim Neal go down by greater margins to Elizabeth Dole. It doesn't make us happy when John McCain leads all Democrats in the state. But if that's what public opinion shows when we conduct our polls, that's what we put out.

Orr's idea:
Sometime soon you may see the creation of ORR Polling, a family operation in which my three older children, who actually are professionals in market research and polling, and I have fun doing our own polls. Then I'll pontificate on what those polling results that I've created really mean. I can see it now. "Orr leads by 30 as other candidates fall by the wayside!" And I'll be counting on lots of press coverage.
If PPP was the only polling company that showed Orr in the tank then maybe his polls showing him up by 30 points would get some press coverage. But we're actually giving him better news than some other companies. For instance the right leaning Civitas Institute had him at 5% in their poll yesterday. Survey USA had him at 6% two weeks ago. We had him at 8%.

Bottom line here: Bob Orr's campaign is not going well. We are one of the messengers bearing bad news. So he is attacking the messenger. We have a strong track record and the polls we put out are fair and legit, whether we always like the story they tell or not.

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