Monday, June 11, 2007

GIRFOF News Part II: The Polls

As I teased last week, a Scott Stephens story over the weekend regarding a poll by Baldwin Wallace showing strong support for the amendment. As you may guess from the story, I got wind of it when Stephens called the Exec. Director of the agency I contract with last week. You may have caught the AP pickup running in today's ABJ. Stephen's piece is the most detailed explication.

Detailed being a relative term. Trying to limn the significance of the result from the news reports is more than a little frustrating. First off, the actual number I heard is 63 percent in favor. Stephens only say “More than two-thirds.” Meanwhile, the poll itself is available no where online. The B-W Public Interest Research Center as yet has no online presence. It apparently is new, but now much work does it take to host a pdf on the College website? And as of now, there is nothing on GIRFOF Central.

Without the poll, it’s hard to evaluate the results. Issue polling is considerably more tricky than candidate polling. The first question to ask is whether the poll summarized the amendment and asked the respondent for an opinion or whether it just referenced the Getting it Right amendment.

Probably it was the former. According to Stephens only about 20% of respondents said they had no opinion. A KnowledgeWorks poll released at the end of May found that a whopping 46% of respondents had neither read nor heard anything about the amendment proposal. If the pollsters just asked for opinion about the amendment it’s unlikely they would get 20% “Don’t Know.”

It’s also possible that B-W just filtered out the people who hadn’t heard of the issue. That being the case, the sample gets much smaller – probably around 400. And by the way, we have no MOE or confidence interval either.

Assuming the 63% figure is solid, it doesn’t leave GIRFOF proponents much room to fall. Recall that the minimum wage issue polled in the high seventies before the launch of the No campaign. And that’s an issue that people understood before the yes campaign, and that is fairly easy to get a brain around. The proposal itself was considerably less complicated than GIRFOF.

With all that, support for the minimum wage dropped around 20% during the No campaign. GIRFOF supporters will need a hell of a Yes campaign to hang on to enough of that 63% to win.


k-pho said...

There was a report on WKSU this morning about it, which said something like '49% agree, 14% strongly agree ' but didn't say what they were agreeing with. But there's your 63 %. I can't find it on their site, only the one from Friday about the petition drive.

The one this morning also said they thought they'd make the number of signatures needed because they were gonna get zillions at county fairs this summer. Mm Hmmm...

Ryan said...

To be fair to BW - and more importantly to my profs - the PIRC is still a work in progress. I would suggest calling the Dept of Political Science if you'd like to inquire further into the numbers, I'm sure a student office assistant (such as this former BW PoliSci office assistant) will be more than willing to help you out. (Err... if there's one working during the summer.)

Anonymous said...

Regarding "Pho's" comments about the survey I recently conducted for the Public Interest Research Center at Baldwin-Wallace College:

1. You can see the FULL report, including data sampling, etc. at

2. The Public Interest Research Center is a new initiative started by Mark Mattern and me. The website is a page developed three weeks ago...

3. I appreciate your comments, but please don't bandy about regarding the survey approach until you have actually read the survey!

4. Thanks to Ryan LaFountain for the tip-off. I don't usually read blogs, but was glad to learn about this one. Keep at it, Pho!


Tom Sutton
Associate Professor, Political Science
Baldwin-Wallace College

Scott Piepho said...


I've written a new post about the survey. Thanks for stopping by with the link. BTW, I tried to email you after you posted, but your spam filter sent it back.