Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Responding to Tim James

When campaigns attack pollsters it's almost always a sign of desperation. In the case of Alabama Gubernatorial candidate Tim James today it's also a sign of stupidity.

James put out a press release attacking our Alabama primary poll today because it showed Barack Obama with an 84% approval rating when he only got 40% of the vote in the state in 2008. That would be a valid criticism...except for the fact that the 84% approval rating for Obama was with Democratic primary voters! Reading comprehension is evidently not one of the stronger suits of the James campaign. Nor is making sure it has its facts straight before putting out a press release.

The most amusing claim from the James camp is that our numbers were intended to prop up Bradley Byrne. The general election numbers we'll be releasing tomorrow show that Byrne is easily the most formidable Republican candidate for the general election. If we were trying to prop someone up as a Democratic polling company in hopes of aiding Artur Davis or Ron Sparks, we'd be much more likely to inflate the numbers for James, who it appears Democrats would have a much better chance of defeating in the general election.

Of course in reality we're not looking to prop up anyone, just putting out the numbers as we see them. And this press release makes the James campaign look like a decidedly minor league operation.


David Schmidt said...

Wow, what an embarrassing press release by the campaign.

Unknown said...

Perhaps you didn't read the cross-tabs in your own poll where it specifically says of 869 registered voters sampled, 80% support Obama-Care. Next time when you make it personal, check your facts.

Scott Wehrenberg said...

While I'll definitely agree, that the Tim James post was not the sharpest post in the world, I do think the poll results are a little hard to read (and possibly mislabeled).

Particularly, if you look at the bottom of pages 3-7 they're labeled "survey of 869 Alabama voters," but I don't see a reference to 869 voters anywhere else (the total respondents from page one is only 864). I imagine these pages probably should have been labeled the same as page 2 "Survey of 407 Democratic primary voters", no?

Unknown said...

Well put response.

Anonymous said...

Come on Tom, couldn't you show this moron leading the primary. Pretty Please!!!

Anonymous said...

I reviewed the PDF file with the results too and noted that the 84% approval rating for Obama is based on the 869 Alabama voters, not the Democratic voters only sample.

Talk about a bush-league mistake (if it was a mistake) that could have been corrected by now (if it needed correcting).

Unknown said...

There are two sets of questions and two sets of crosstabs. The entire GOP set is labeled Republican primary voters, as is the questions page of the Dem set - I'm guessing they just put the wrong label in the bottom of some of the Dem pages on accident.

The favorable/unfavorable question appears on a page clearly labeled as being asked of Dem primary voters.

Anonymous said...

While you may think the James Campaign is showing signs of "desperation" your comment that ". . .Tim James . . . it's also a sign of stupidity" shows what little class you have in accepting YOUR mistake. When I read the poll yesterday and it said that Alabama had overwhelming approval for Obama it lead me to question the rest of your results. If you had responded in a manner that was more professional it would show that your poll was not skewed. By not accepting responsibility and making personal attacks it really shows who you are and what your agenda really is.

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