Monday, September 17, 2007

WISH-TV Poll: Indianapolis Headed In Wrong Direction

A WISH-TV poll reveals widespread dissatisfaction with the job Bart Peterson is doing after eight years in office. By a margin of 46%-38%, voters believe the city is headed in the wrong direction. The poll, which over-sampled Democrats, found Mayor Peterson garnering 52% of the vote compared to his GOP challenger's 39% in a head-to-head match up. When the Libertarian candidate Fred Peterson is added to the mix, Ballard's support drops a percentage point to 38%. Ballard is leading Peterson among white voters 51%-45%, while Peterson handily beats Ballard among black voters by a 71%-8% margin. Reacting favorably to the poll, Ballard said:

"Hearing these numbers confirms what I have been hearing from voters knocking on doors and going to their neighborhood association meetings: that they have had enough with the current direction our city is going in and are looking for a new direction, and Voters are responding to our message for change," Ballard said. "Whether its accountability for public safety or demanding leaner government, we need one city with one vision looking out for taxpayers, not the politicians."
According to the poll, voters gave Peterson a resounding failing vote on fighting crime. By a margin of 51%-36%, voters agreed that Peterson had not done enough to fight crime. By a 47%-37% margin, those same voters agreed Peterson's police merger had not been successful. That merger plan ceded control of law enforcement to Sheriff Frank Anderson (D). Ballard has stated he would seek to return control of law enforcement to the mayor's office if he is elected mayor.

The poll also sampled voters on their view towards eliminating townships and merging fire department. The results were decidedly more mixed. By a 38%-31% margin, voters said they supported efforts to streamline local government in this manner. Results on how voters feel about taxes both in Marion County and statewide will be revealed in tomorrow's news broadcast.

The poll claims a margin of error of 3.5%, plus or minus. The breakout of the poll's sample is as follows:

Democrats - 160 (40%)
Republicans - 132 (33%)
Other - 108 (27%)
White - 284 (71%)
Black - 92 (23%)
Other - 24 (6%


Anonymous said...

Even more interesting: go to the website and look at the details. A majority of DEMOCRATS think the mayor is not doing a good job on crime and a slight majority of DEMOCRATS say that the public safety merger has not been a success.

Anonymous said...


The poll didn't oversample Democrats. That's what is called stratification. You want your sample size to as best as possible reflect the population. Since Marion County has more registered Democrats than Republicans, so does the poll.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Okay, 6:48, been waiting for that. When the Republicans commissioned a poll a little more than a month ago which showed nearly identical results, the Democrats immediately pounced and blamed the pollster for over-sampling Republicans. I believe it was 41D, 41R. A poll samples nearly 20% more Democrats than Republicans, produces a nearly identical head-to-head result in the race, and you insist that the sample is just right.

Anonymous said...

Yes Gary. A poll that samples the same number of Republicans as Democrats in Marion County would oversample Republicans. A poll that samples the same number of Republicans as Democrats in Hamilton County would likewise oversample Democrats.

The POS poll's problem was that it gave those polled options of choosing who they would definitely or probably vote for, and it simply tallied those totals to make an outcome. The WISH-TV poll actually asked the polled to choose one candidate or choose undecided.

I'm sure you'll understand if you just think back to your first statistics course.

Anonymous said...

Gary, friend, I criticized the stratification of the 41-41 D-R poll about six weeks ago.

This county is no more 41-41 than a man in the moon.

One key question is still unanswered: did the pollster ask: "Are you a registered voter and do you plan to vote Nov.6?" If that question was answered, and only those who were affirmative stayed in the pool, I think this poll is the most-accurate reflection of the public's opinion we've seen yet.

Seven weeks out, this poll means that the sample had about 15-20% non-partisans polled. That is a tad high but much closer to the real thing.

I did a little research and found that Ch. 8's accuracy is fuzzy over recent years. They were all over the place in the 2006 prosecutor's race, for instance.

At this point in time, 15-20% of those polled may indicate they're non-partisan. A "push poll" would've asked them if they HAD to choose someone today, whom they'd choose.

Rest assured the Peterson camp has done that. And they are comfortable with the result.

All this goes to show--if Ballard had some money, maybe $200K, to get competitive on the air, he might stand a fighting chance. But he doens't, and he doesn't.

The available ad buy time for a last-two-weeks media buy is pretty much spoken-for.

Wilson46201 said...

"The available ad buy time for a last-two-weeks media buy is pretty much spoken-for."

I could understand that in a normal election year with Congressional and Legislative races along with various officials but who is going to be buying time in this municipal election? I doubt of Bart has bought up all the available TV time. City council races dont usually pop for expensive TV time. Who else would be buying political time?

Unknown said...

The Star got wind of the poll. Guess what their headline is.

"Poll: Peterson ahead in race for mayor."

Wilson46201 said...

The Star got wind of the poll. Guess what their headline is.

"Poll: Peterson ahead in race for mayor."

You Republicans must miss the good old days when the Pulliams ran the paper and the headline would say "Peterson Losing" or "Republicans Surge Ahead" (no matter what the facts and numbers were).

Anonymous said...

Let's take a look at the high rate of VIOLENT crime that has INCREASED, criminals not afraid of the revolving door "justice" system, tax & spend philosophy of the elected, corruption (no-bid contract, pea shakes connected to "the elected", "the elected" showing up at drug and vice arrests, bar in a government building co-owned by an elected official and appointee to the Airport Authority Board & approved for variance by the wife of the city council majority leader) by city elected officials, the scrappy, rusting city vehicles....and you, too, will conclude that you now live in South Gary, Indiana.

-I can't wait for them to change the signs!

stAllio! said...

read it more closely:

"The Research 2000 Indiana Poll was conducted from September 10 through September 14, 2007. A total of 800 likely voters who vote regularly in state elections were interviewed statewide by telephone.

Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross-section of exchanges was utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect the voter registration of distribution by county."

in other words, those sample figures at the bottom are across the entire state. (presumably they'll release details for statewide questions and/or other counties later in the week.)

of course, WISHtv isn't going to ask non-marion county residents whether they're voting for bart (at least i'd hope not). so the actual sample for these marion county questions is actually much smaller than 800, and we don't know how it breaks down black/white R/D etc.

Anonymous said...

"Peterson handily beats Ballard among black voters by a 71%-8% margin"

Typical when black voters go straight Democrat no matter who is on the ballot. No need for Democrats to campaign in black communities they already have the vote.

Anonymous said...

10:39...The Channel 8 poll surveyed only 400 people in Marion County. Those respondents will then be weighted downward in their statewide poll numbers. That detail was in Channel 8's on line story, which you obviously missed reading.
10:41...You fell into the sterotype trap of Black voter preference for Democrats. The real story is that a fifth of Black voters (21%) say they are UNDECIDED in a race between a two term incumbent Democratic Mayor and an unknown Republican. That means Peterson has trouble in his base. Ballard, if he had money and presence, could pull some of those votes. More dangerous, it means Blacks may not vote as heavy as whites. If that happens, it could be a long election night.

Anonymous said...

Is it too late for Ballard to switch to being an independent? That's basically what he is now anyway, I don't think he should do the Republican party any favors at this point since they're not helping him....

Anonymous said...

"Welcome to South Gary, Indiana"

Anonymous said...

I think Ballard should turn his back on the Marion County GOP as soon as possible.

It's amazing that ordinary citizens are making campaign commercials for him because his own party doesn't give him money.

Is anyone making pro-Bart commericials these days in the democratic party? I do know the democrats sent around an email yesterday to all the minority businesses as a kind of veiled threat that they will lose their contracts if they don't donate or attend a fundraiser.

Between Ballard's supporters and the undercover work being done by the activists, we can win this election for him regardless of how much money Peterson has.

I wish I had a dollar for every person who tells me Peterson's new commercial makes them want to puke.

Keep the commericials and the money flowing into our economy Bart. We're going to defeat you at every turn!