Monday, August 13, 2007

Peterson Support Plummets In Latest Poll

Only 26% Think City Is On The Right Track
A Public Opinion Strategies poll conducted the first of this month shows that Mayor Bart Peterson's public support has dropped dramatically in just the last two months according to the Howey Political Report. Asked in June whether the city was on the right track, voters were almost evenly split 41%-42%. Now 64% of the voters overwhelmingly agree the city is on the wrong track compared to only 26% who think it is on the right track. The Mayor's favorable rating has also dropped significantly from 64% to 52% while his unfavorable rating jumped from 28% to 42%.

How do those number translate for his Republican opponent, Greg Ballard? As you can imagine, Ballard's support has also risen dramatically. In the last poll, Ballard trailed Peterson by 36 percentage points, 61%-25%. In this month's poll, Ballard has cut the Mayor's lead down to 13 percentage points, or 50%-37%. However, on the question of whether voters think Mayor Peterson deserves to be re-elected, the Mayor's support dropped from 54% in June to 41% in August. That movement cannot be understated when you consider Ballard hasn't spent one dime on media advertising, while the Mayor has pumped in hundreds of thousands into a media blitz this summer. During an interview on WXNT's "Abdul In the Morning" today, Brian Howey compared Mayor Peterson's re-elect numbers to those of former Rep. John Hostettler (R) during last year's congressional election, which Hostettler wound up losing to Brad Ellsworth (D) by a wide margin.

The Public Opinion Strategies poll was commissioned by the Marion Co. Republican Party. It sampled 41% Democrats to 40% Republicans. The poll's respondents were 70 percent white and 23 percent black. Democrats will no doubt charge that the poll over-sampled Republicans and under-sampled Democrats. That should take about one minute to happen. An interesting side note to the poll results. Only 18% of the respondents knew who Greg Ballard was. Among those who knew of him, he led the Mayor with over 50% of the vote. The news for the Democratic- controlled city-county council in the poll was also bad. By a margin of 46%-22%, voters said they intended to vote for a new council member rather than their current council member.


Wilson46201 said...

So do you think the local Republicans will be able to afford to hire Karl Rove? He's available by the end of this month!

Anonymous said...

I gotta admit, Wilson got off a funny one, there.

I've been involved with commissioning and reading polls, my candidates' and the opponents', for years.

I'm a Peterson supporter, but I've got to admit this poll is not good for the Mayor. But not panic-mode bad, just discouraging.

Here's why it's not horibly bad news: (and a hat tip to you, AI, for being the first media person to report the stratification of this poll. The background numbers are helpful):

If you want a true snapshot of where your candidate is, particularly if you're the challenger, you can either sample a true "likey-to-vote" group, or, in this case, you can skewer it another way.

A 41-40 D/R sample is unrealistic. Hell read the blogs. If this is such a heavily Democratic-tainted city, that's an unfair sample from the get-go.

For sheer political strategy, unless you're trying to discover strengths/weaknesses, you'd sample a group that most-closely resembled the electorate. And in most cases, that'd be a down-ballot race from the last election.

Indiana often uses the SOS race, or the county surveyor/assessor race, depending on the year.

A decent review of those Marion County races would have the sample be somewhere near 54-46. Maybe shave a couple points off each for undecideds. Altho I neve rudnerstood that--"Undecided" never geets any votes in the general.

At any rate, this sample group did under-sample Democrats AND Republicans.

I think the mayor has taken some strong hits in the last seven weeks. Some of them deserved, some of them not.

I'm not surprised his numbers have dropped.

But trust me, they're nowhere near what this poll suggests.

Now, if I were a Democratic councilmembmer is a close district (think Angela Mansfield), I'd be worried as hell. And the antics of fellow council Dems for the last four years are going to come home to roost.

Which is one more reason the Mayor and County Chair must get on the stick and be proactive, and push Patrice to remove himself from the ballot. Such a move would be viewed as proactive and strong.

Barring more nonsense, Bart still wins, 54-46. Maybe more.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with 7:27 on the prediction and some good analysis. There is an additional stratification problem in race. I'm cross-posting my comment from Abdul's blog here to add my two cents.:

One of the things that surprised me when Jill Long Thompson released her poll was the release of the toplines, not just a press release. I called the campaign, and they mailed be a complete polling document.

While POS is a good polling firm, this appears to have been done (slightly) on the cheap. It is disproportionate stratified sampling, and while that isn't a big problem (just a small one), when the stratification errors are taken in cojunction with the very small sample size, you reach a MoE or ~ +/- 7.

Let me explain, the margin of error is calculated considering the homogenetiy of the population, the confidence level and the sample size. Out of caution, statisticians typically assume that the population is completly homogeneous (remember this is on opinion). Confidence level is assumed to be at least 95%. (Some academic projects will use a confidence level of 99%, but no one will go below 95% for a credible poll.) So, using sample size to figure the margin of error (I can't enter the formula in this box), gives the poll an MoE of +/- 7.

I'm sure the Mayor's folks aren't thrilled with this, but if they are still using their pollster, they've got good data, and this poll here isn't great data by any means.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Of the 42% that "think the city is on the right track," how many have an IQ above 80?

Anonymous said...

Still, polls serve two purposes:

1. To find out what voters are REALLY thinking (those are almost never released)

2. To pump up the faithful.

For result No.1, you're a fool of a candidate if you don't stratify as exactly as possible. Misjudging the electorate's mood is risky.

For result No.2, all bets are off. You can skewer the sample group any old way you want.

I think the Republicans scored with this poll. It might help their fund-raising, and it should make some council Dems nervous. And it is representative of a growing discontent out there, from DC to Haughville.

But unless there's a political earthquake, it won't make a huge difference in November.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least Tom John released his numbers first.

Mike O'Connor, wherefore art thou? I'm sure you're going to be spinning John's numbers like a top, so lets see YOUR numbers! C'mon, you and Peterson and the Council have no worries..right? right?

Anonymous said...

To Johnny and Janie Lunchbucket who vote, these poll are not percieved in the same manner as they are by inside politicos.

When a poll like this is released Johnny and Janie don't read something like "stratification". They simply look at the poll and decide where their own views are in relation to what the polls show. If the poll shows Peterson down then it may reinforce their negative feelings and in most cases move undecideds off the fence.
Over analyzing a poll is very common amoungst those in the game but Johnny and Janie take them for what they percieve them to show not what they really show.

Of course the easist way for Peterson's group to combat this latest poll is to show one of their own. I'm not certain that will happen.
If Ballard gets just enough money to run good media in late September thru November then he has a shot. If not, Peterson is back in.

Anonymous said...

The most interesting thing to me is that when the person surveyed knows both Ballard and Peterson...

Ballard beats Peterson with 51% of the vote.

This means that we MUST make sure that Ballard has the money to make himself known to the voters. If we all get together and five a little bit, we can BEAT BART!
You can donate online at:

Wouldn't it be wonderful for Ballard to be able to report that after the Poll, contributions are pouring in and not from just a few rich contributors (like Bart), but from hundreds if not thousands of regular citizens who have HAD ENOUGH!

Wilson46201 said...

From that same poll, only 18% know who Ballard is - they'd likely be predominantly Republicans. It'd be logical that in that small subset of voters, Bart & Greg might be supposedly tied today... no biggie!

Anonymous said...

Wilson 10:14am - I am disappointed in you. What a lame retort!

Anonymous said...

Having only 18% know Ballard is exactly what should scare the Peterson camp. Ballard has only one way to go and these new numbers may indicate the path is clearer than expected.

Wilson46201 said...

Kinda like all the folk that knew that nice Greg Jordan and how his numbers had no place to go but up?

Anonymous said...

Wilson 12:52pm - If you cannot see that the environment this time around in Indianapolis is nothing like it was four years ago, then you really have gone senile.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Wilson has the first word when it's something bad about the dems?
He thinks that by posting first, it will make Barts numbers go back up?
Bart is setting himself up for failure every time he opens his mouth.

It will be tough for both Ballard and Peterson. They both have shortfalls to overcome.
Barts is the way he has run this city into the ground overthe last 8 years.
Ballards is the lack of $$$$$

Anonymous said...

Why is it I keep thinking that Mayor Bart Peterson is the reincarnation of the late Detroit Mayor Coleman A.Young?

Anonymous said...

Bart Peterson's numbers along with the members of the Ghetto Mafia on the City-County Council are decreaseing, while Greg Ballard's numbers are increasing in the polls.

Looks like the votes in this community have awaken from a deep sleep.

Anonymous said...

Wooo Hooo, I just got my yard signs for Mayor Ballard. Time to start passing them out and get Mr. Ballards name out amongst the public.

Anonymous said...

Bart's support plummets?

-What about The Machine's support?

The Democrat Machine has a problem with delinquent taxes, it seems their elected officials ignore taxes. The list has Carl Drummer, Billie Breaux, Tony Duncan, Patrice "Dishonorable" Abdullah, Lonnell Conleym & Rozelle "I forgot my name" Boyd. Notice that Democrats cannot pay their taxes as required by law but they sure can TAX AND SPEND our money!

The Machine will probably rename our city "South Detroit, Indiana".

Anonymous said...


All of the comments about Indy being "South Detroit," "Little Detroit," or Peterson being reincarnated as the late Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young, are little more than code talk to thinly veil your racism. Would you like Martinsville to be dubbed "CrackerJack City?"

Anonymous said...

7:43 Divert the thread, but the reality is here.

What happened to Detroit from 1970 thru 1980?

The collar counties have all the population and tax base, the central city of Detroit, heck, Wayne County, MI is a place nobody would live in!!!

That happened because TAX & SPEND DEMOCRATS taxed the working people out of town...and the collar counties now have the tax base, population, and better way-of-life!

When Democraps took over Indianapolis, we experienced the HIGHEST TAX INCREASE ever in our history! We also NOTE that the Tax & Spend Democrat elected officials are on the list of delinquent taxPAYERS! It is morally wrong for those that gave us the TAX INCREASE to refuse to pay the increase they imposed. It is also morally wrong to TAX & SPEND for 3 Center Twp Buildings (One has a bar owned by The Machine) inside, and to appoint all those patronage hire-ons, while refusing to hire basic customer service is morally wrong for the corrupt Center Twp Trustee (delinquent on his own tax bill) to have a patronage payroll over 100+ employees on the public dole.

Why does the City Council President have a make-work, do-nothing job as an executive on the fire department with no meaningful responsibility and a city car? Why does another Machine councilman have the same? Why does the president of the city-council own a bar in the Center Twp government building? Why did the city council president get a "no-bid" contract for work at the airport?

Why is the Airport Authority Board Member also part owner of the bar with the city-council president in the Center Twp government building?

-It STINKS! Putrid!

7:43 throw the race card all you want, Abdullah does it, but the reality is that we taxpayers will not stand for the corruption that is The Democrat Machine!!!!!!!!

Where's the feds? RICO laws?

Anonymous said...

7:43, I've been to Metropolitan Detroit...and Indianapolis has changed. It is most appropriately called "South Detroit, Indiana".