We mentioned the debate between state rep. Charlie Collins & columnist John Brummett last week. I attended the debate and wrote a review for The Arkansas Project.
Here’s an excerpt:
Today, one day after the debate, Brummett has set fire to the blogosphere, demonstrating his ability to play fast and loose with facts by publishing this dazzling analysis of the debate that reads more like a red carpet review, with a tinge of Brantley-esque Koch conspiracy. He managed to make at least two demonstrably false statements in the article; they deserve to be corrected. So let’s do that!
Read the full story at The Arkansas Project.
Why do they say this? They ran a poll. Why is the poll crap? I’m about to tell you, because this so called “poll” is an insult to poll-lovers and statisticians everywhere. I would accuse them of being ignorant, but they have been proven to be much more deliberate at their attempts to influence opinion for me to believe they are really just this stupid–or that they think the people of White County are this stupid.
(I know the paper is trying to hide behind a local university political science professor that they mention in their story to loan credibility to their poll, but I can almost guarantee he would agree with my analysis below. He may have drafted the questions, but I am highly confident that he didn’t endorse this methodology.)
I ran this poll by a Republican political consultant who has worked on gubernatorial campaigns, ran targeting on congressional campaigns, and has run a targeted 527. Needless to say he has done more than a few polls. He agreed that the poll “has multiple issues with accuracy, and cannot be used to conclude that Lincoln has any kind of a lead.”
The alleged results of the poll:
- Lincoln: 49%
- Haynie: 34%
- Undecided: 17%
And that huge “15 percent” number the paper tosses around can be a little deceiving. The margin represented by that 15% is only 63 votes. They called 410 folks, who we can only assume are actually registered voters, but based on the rest of their “methodology,” I’m not sure that’s a smart assumption.
1. They didn’t poll ‘likely voters.’ This is kind of a big deal. The paper, according to their own story, didn’t make any effort to identify people who were actually likely to vote in the primary. Sure, they asked people ‘do you definitely plan to vote,’ but that’s essentially crap. There is much more that goes into determining likely voters than asking people on the spot, who will almost all say yes out of fear of being considered a ‘bad citizen.’ “Likely voters” should only be defined as people who, based on their voting history, are actually likely to vote. I know, I’m a conspiracy theorist.
2. They didn’t poll identified Republicans, meaning those who are either registered as Republicans or have consistently voted in Republican primaries. Oh, I’m sorry, you’re doing a Republican primary poll and including Democrats? I’m sure my ‘ultra-partisanship’ will blind me to why this is a good idea. But seriously guys, this is crap. You aren’t getting meaningful results here and, once again, you are misleading the public by purporting crappy poll results as credible.
3. Lincoln’s name was placed first in the poll question. See, the paper knows this is shady because they preemptively defend any attacks by saying, “Well, he’s going to be first on the ballot!” More bull. This isn’t the same as someone going into a polling booth and looking at two options. The results will be slanted heavily towards the first person identified because people want to get off the phone. The order of the names should be randomized. Lincoln easily gained 5-10% from this trick.
Now, just because the results are ‘crap,’ that doesn’t mean we can’t still glean something from them, both statistically and politically speaking. What have we learned?
1. Despite the attempts to slant this poll, Lincoln doesn’t even receive 50%. This is the real story here. Think about this: a 6-year incumbent judge cannot even break 50%, despite being listed first on the poll which easily gave him 5-10%. Subtract 10-points and a nearly 5% margin of error, it is very possible that this race is actually tied (Lincoln -15%, erasing his “+15%”). As an entrenched incumbent, Judge Lincoln should be easily polling above 60% right now, and my consultant friend agreed.
2. This is a very close race. Look, if this wasn’t a close race, the paper wouldn’t be running sketchy polls in an attempt to help out their favorite judge. It’s really that simple.
Despite what you’ll read in the paper, these poll results are very good news for lovers of liberty & transparent government in White County.
Anywho, have no fear, The Arkansas Patriot isn’t going anywhere. We will still be covering Searcy/White County issues here and producing our video series Patriot Talk. However, most of my more analytical & state/national commentary will be posted at The Arkansas Project. And I’ll try to link back to the posts here at The Patriot for your viewing pleasure.
I am grateful for the opportunity as it fits masterfully into my plan to colonize the entire Arkansas blogosphere. Watch out Tolbert, you’re next!
Hope you enjoy The Project.
Happy to be able to share this video of my appearance on The Paul Harrell Program yesterday afternoon.
I wish I could embed it and let you view it right here on the site, but unfortunately WordPress isn’t currently supporting embeds from UStream. (So does this make me a “failed city council candidate with a failed WordPress account?”)
Anyway, jump to the 1:05:00 mark and check out Paul’s awesome intro. I pop in right afterwards and stay on thru the whole segment. Hope you enjoy.
I very much enjoyed getting to visit with Paul & appreciate him having me on the show. We were able to discuss some of our recent coverage here on the blog, including my article on welfare drug testing, my thoughts on Congressman Rick Crawford’s millionaire tax plan, and the unveiling of the Arkansas House Republicans’ platform.
You can find the full interview here.
I will be appearing as a distinguished guest on The Paul Harrell Program today at 5 p.m. to discuss our work here at The Patriot, and Arkansas politics, including all of the tomfoolery that goes with it.
You can tune in live at AnswerTo.Us or listen on 1230 AM in northeast Arkansas.
(apparently Paul is as ‘sufficiently patriotic’ as we are and chose a great URL for his show’s website as well!)
If you can’t listen live, I believe we’ll be able to share some in-studio video after the program.
Hope you’ll tune in.
I’ve had an email conversation with TMZARK’s news director, Austin Kellerman, and he confirmed that he had spoken with Arkansas Business about his organization’s newly adopted social media policies–the ones where they use pictures of dead & injured people for self-glorification. But Kellerman declined to answer any of my questions.
Now Kellerman’s comments to AB have been published, and here’s what we have learned:
1. TMZARK has heard me, they just don’t care.
From the article:
“I don’t think it’s fair for people to say we’re benefiting from it in any way,” Kellerman told Outtakes in an email. “This doesn’t help us grow our base or gain new fans…We’re simply giving an opportunity to people who already like our page to express themselves.”
And as AB’s Kate Knable correctly points out, that statement is not exactly true, regardless of Kellerman’s intentions. We have documented how TMZARK is benefiting from their strategy. Sorry you don’t think it’s fair, dude, but it is what it is.d
2. Kellerman is actually the one making these posts!
Seeing as how he is the news director, that probably explains why he hasn’t been fired.
“I posted a story on our Facebook page about a state trooper being shot outside of Hope. I was amazed by the response from people wishing him well in his recovery and sending their thoughts and prayers,” Kellerman said.
I’m so happy he amazed himself. Are the families of the deceased impressed?
3. “Kellerman doesn’t see the need to ensure that clicked thoughts and prayers reach the parties for whom they were intended.”
“In this day and age, I have no doubt friends and family of those involved will inform them about all the support they’ve received online,” he said.
Summary: this is all about supporting the families, but we don’t really care if they actually see the support.
Kellerman’s comments essentially confirm all of my suspicions about TMZARK: they don’t really care about the insensitivity or the people they’re hurting.
Don’t believe me? Think about it like this: the main goal is to ‘support the families,’ but nothing is done to let the families know about the ‘support & prayers?’ Because in the middle of their grief, the first thing a suffering family wants to do is wander out to TMZARK’s Facebook page and see a picture of their deceased loved one with 4,000 ‘likes,’ right?
I think if Kellerman were to be completely honest with us, he would admit that he’s not being completely honest with us or that he lacks a basic understanding of how social media works. Either way, for your sake, I sincerely hope none of your family members tragically die and you’re subjected to TMZARK’s compassion.
The Arkansas Patriot (found at ArkansasPatriot.us, because ArkansasPatriot.com was reportedly insufficiently patriotic) was honored over the weekend by the fine folks at the White County paper as a ‘frivolous blog.’ Editor Nic Horton was also honored as a ‘local conspiracy theorist.’
Regarding the honors, Horton said:
I’d like to thank the Searcy paper for their editorial on me in Sunday’s paper.
Many of you have asked to see the article. We typed up some of the more flattering excerpts for you here.
That’s all the time we have to comment on this matter. Irrelevancy is very time-demanding.
A sufficiently patriotic failed city council candidate with a very powerful WordPress account