Tuesday, 17 March 2015 12:19
Pinsonat questions accuracy, validity of recent Louisiana poll

edwardsA recent poll reviewing the Louisiana electorate revealed a significant negative opinion voters have of its governor, Bobby Jindal.  It also showed that David Vitter, at this point, will be in a runoff--come October election day.


According to the Advocate, the poll "was conducted independently of any of the campaigns.' In response to a follow-up question from The Advocate Brasell said the poll also wasn’t paid for by any of the super PACs supporting various candidates in the race."

We asked Southern Media and Opinion Research, Bernie Pinsonat, to give his opinion of the poll results. 

There was a recent poll that indicated that David Vitter and Jon Bel Edwards were within three points of being tied for first.  You have had a chance to review the poll.  Another relatively recent poll had Edwards in single digits.  How can there be such discrepancies between these different polls?  It has been reported that no campaign commissioned the poll yet Edwards, the only Democrat did very well and Governor Jindal had only 23% favorable.  How do you feel about the variances in these polls? 

If you surveyed Louisiana asking voters who is John Bel Edwards and what elective office is he is running for: very unlikely fifteen percent would know of John Bel Edwards. This result might be possible if voters were prompted with questions providing description of Edwards. This survey does not reveal what questions were actually asked. The order in which questions are asked determine any survey’s reliability. Polling and news organizations developed standards to follow when releasing surveys to the media (National Council on Public Polls); I question whether this survey followed the most important standards that would enable the media to report on the poll. Who paid for survey is absolutely required to allow the public the opportunity determine the agenda of the polling firm.

This particular poll claims to have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5%. Statistically impossible because survey left out 30% of Louisiana’s registered voters. Thirty percent of Louisiana’s voters cannot be reached on landline phones. They now have cell phones only. Did this survey include calls to cell phones?  It is illegal for pollsters to call any cell phone using an automated dialer. The FCC has rules and laws prohibiting this practice. Research firms can call cell phones, only if calls are made using a phone dialed by hand. This is of course time consuming and expensive. Unlike land lines, where only the caller pays – cells phone charges apply to both. To protect consumers from unwanted callers and the charges they incur – cell phones are protected. Some tele marketers and auto dialer polls route these calls through foreign countries to avoid jail and huge fines.

Thirty percent of (and increasing) Louisiana voters can only be reached by cell phones – the future of automated only dialing polling firms is not bright! Auto dialer polls never speak to a voter – voters are asked by recorded voice to press a particular number. Most reputable campaigns and companies do not hire pollsters who only use automated dialers – too much risk associated with calling a cell phone. How do you stop automated political telemarketers from attempting to impact public opinion without disclosing their real agenda? Mention in every mailer you send out to your voters advising them calls to their cell phone for the purpose conducting a poll is illegal.

You can provide assistance to this person to connect this illegal automated call to your opponent. Your opponent will lose this election! Lazy reporters are easily used by dishonest pollsters to promote political agendas for their sleazy clients. Common sense would dictate to any competent reporter they need to ask a couple of important question before writing story on any poll. Who paid for survey, what questions were asked and in what order protects the public and reputable polling firms. Who is dumb enough to believe a pollster who claims no one paid for poll?   My company is a member of National Council on Public Polls. Below is web site and questions reporters should ask any pollster before publishing their survey!

National Council on Public Polls; Twenty Questions a Journalist Should Ask About Poll Results


pinsonat2The upcoming Louisiana legislative session, the state's massive budget hole, Governor Bobby Jindal's focus upon his own personal future career is receiving plenty of media ink lately.  

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