Today the campaign of Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf released a poll that shows her in a three-way tie with Wichita businessmen Wink Hartman and Mike Pompeo in the race for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas.
The candidates and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.
In answering a telephone question “If the election for congress were today, would you be voting for Jean Schodorf, Jim Anderson, Mike Pompeo, or Wink Hartman?” with the names rotated, Schodorf’s survey shows Hartman in the lead with 19 percent, Schodorf with 18 percent, Pompeo with 16 percent, Anderson at nine percent, and 39 percent undecided.
As with all polls produced on behalf of a candidate, we need to remember that surveys produced and released by campaigns are just that, and the results would probably not be released by a campaign if the results did not portray the candidate favorably. Without knowledge of the questions being asked, there is always the possibility that a survey is a “push poll,” meaning an instrument designed to influence participants and produce a desired result.
The Schodorf campaign released the text of the question asked, but other questions asked — or statements made — before the reported question can influence the response.
The difference between the Schodorf campaign poll and an independent effort conducted last week can be seen in two places: First, Schodorf — in her campaign’s results — is in a statistical tie with Hartman and Pompeo, and the number of undecided voters in Schodorf’s poll is much higher than in the SurveyUSA poll from last week. In that poll, undecided voters were nine percent of the total. That’s less than one-fourth of the undecided voters found in the Schodorf poll.
Hasn’t SurveyUSA also, though, experienced it’s own fair share of scrutiny in the past? One good example of past mistakes was the inclusion of Umaffiliated voters in Republican primary primary (that inclusion is only minimally appropriate in Democratic primary polling).
Survey USA overweighted a poll last week with Unaffiliated voters in a Democratic primary. While Unaffiliated voters are allowed to cast ballots in the Democratic primary, they have chosen not to do cast ballots in great numbers in the primary. The Goyle-Tillman poll was overweighted with Umaffiliated voters tilting the results.
I think we could all benefit from a polling standard–a set of questions that could add to the veracity of a candidate or political committee’s polling number. Using numbers, if pushed, is dishonest, in my opinion, and does not serve the greater collective good of our Democracy.
Sadly, I can believe this poll. With all the back-and-forth between Hartman and Pompeo, people are getting sick of it. I don’t get to read the Eagle terribly often, but whenever I do lately, there are always Opinion Line comments and letters to the editor on how sick people are of the Hartman/Pompeo ads and mudslinging. Several of these people specifically mentioned Schodorf as an alternative if people didn’t like Hartman and Pompeo. So sadly I can see people flocking to her if they are sick of the frontrunners.
The only thing that confuses me is why Schodorf’s campaign polls show so many undecideds. None of the other polls show nearly as many as her campaign’s polls do. I don’t see how in the world polls could show such a HUGE difference in the number of undecideds.
Maybe there are such a huge number of undecided voters, because people are finally getting the information about Jim Anderson’s positions on the issues. I’d vote for him in a heartbeat if I weren’t so afraid that Schodorf could win. No advance voting for me; I’m not making the decision about who to vote for until Election Day.
kimpot, I am feeling the same–really want to vote for Anderson, but seriously considering voting for Pompeo just to keep Schodorf from winning. Still not sure what I’m going to do.
I also really like Jim. But it’s going to take a vote for Pompeo to beat Schodorf. She is a Progressive and would vote with Pelosi. We already have Moran doing that. It is comically sad to watch these progressive shouting that they are Conservatives all of a sudden. I want to watch a debate where the candidates wear shock collars, and when they lie they get zapped!
We already (regrettably) must take discredit for Sebelius. Let’s not compound it with Schodorf!!