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Gary Langer, Director of Polling, ABC News Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2006

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					Gary Langer, Director of Polling, ABC News BMI - Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2006

Good Data
• • • • • Are powerful and compelling Rise above anecdote Lend credibility and authority Imply precision & scientific method Expand our knowledge and improve our reporting

Bad Data
• Are manufactured to promote a product, client or point of view • Can be intentionally manipulated by unseen interests • Are increasingly prevalent (cheaply produced via Internet, e-mail) • Misinform, even disinform our audience

The Challenge
• Know the difference • Report the good • Shitcan the bad Break the wink-and-nod pact between a data-hungry and math-phobic media and the spin industry that exists to feed it with manufactured misinformation.

The Good Stuff
Probability samples

When They Differ Differences represent complexity – not contradiction Peel the layers and we learn more (e.g. death penalty, abortion, immigration, many more) Differences also can reflect timing, populations, options

Games People Play
Internet click-ins Internet opt-in panels Blast-fax or e-mail “samples” Street intercepts Listed surname samples Urban-only samples Census-density samples Robo-polls Leading or unbalanced questions Fake trend False significance Opaque weights Biased, selective or hyped analysis Axe grinding, wishful thinking… and plain old-fashioned b.s.

The Shape of our Politics

Source: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/

2004: Why?

70%

Views on Terrorism
54% Yes 49% Only Bush 41% No

60%

50%

40%

31% Only Kerry
30%

20%

10%

0%

Country safer

Trust to handle terrorism

100%

90%

Views on Terrorism: Impact on Vote
79%

97%

80%

70%

Bush
60%

Kerry

50%

40%

30%

20%
20%

10%

3%
0%

Country safer

Trust only Bush

And now?

High: 92%
ABC News/Washington Post polls

Career Approval: George W. Bush

Low: 33%

Today: 37%

4/ 22 8/ /01 12 9/ /01 2 11 7/ 0 /2 1 7 3/ /01 10 5/ /02 19 7/ /02 15 9/ /02 26 11 /02 /3 1/ /02 20 /0 2/ 3 1/ 0 3/ 3 2/ 0 4/ 3 3/ 4/ 03 30 8/ /03 11 9/ /03 3 11 0/ 0 /1 3 12 6/0 /2 3 1/ 0 3/ 3 7/ 6/ 04 20 /0 8/ 4 1 9/ / 04 2 10 6/ 0 /1 4 12 6/0 /1 4 9 3/ /04 13 6/ /05 2 10 6/ 0 /2 5 9/ 0 1/ 5 8/ 0 4/ 6 9/ 8/ 06 10 6/ 0 /2 6 2/ 06
20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%

100%

6/ 22 8/ 11 /0 3 03 9/ 7/ /1 3 /0 3 /0 3 /0 3 /0 4 /0 4 /0 4 /0 4 /0 4 /1 6 /2 1 /0 3

4/30/03: 70%

10 11 12 2/ 11 4/ 18 6/ 20 8/ 29 9/ 26 12 /0 4 3/ 13 /0 5 6/ 5/ 06 8/ 28 /0 5 12 /1 8/ 05 1/ 26 /0 6 4/ 9/ 06 6/ 25 /0 6 9/ 7/ 06 10 /2 2/ 06
20% 30% 40%

War Worth Fighting?

ABC News/Washinton Post polls

/1 9

Today: 40%
50% 60% 70% 80%

Correlations
Bush approval and price of gasoline: .22 Bush approval and “war worth fighting”: .95

The concerns
• Costs/casualties • Lack of a persuasive rationale • Perceived lack of progress in establishing civil order or a stable gov’t • Lack of a clear plan (Rep. or Dem.) • Sense of having been misled • Pessimism for the future • And more…

100%

Impact of War
ABC News/Washington Post polls

90%

80%

76%

74%
Now June

70%

68%

60%

50%

47%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%

Damaged U.S. image

Improved Iraqis' lives

War “not worth fighting”
Democrats: 78% Independents: 64% Conservatives: 40% Evangelical white Protestants: 35% Republicans: 24%

Leveling Blame for Problems in Iraq
Democrats in Congress: Share blame: 35% Little/no blame: 62% Republicans in Congress: Share blame: 55% Little/no blame: 43%

The Rubber and the Road
Democrats in Congress: Approve 48% Disapprove 50% Republicans in Congress: Approve 35% Disapprove 63%

70% 65% 60% 55% 50% 45%

2006 Vote Preference
(Among registered voters)
ABC News/Washington Post poll

Dem candidate Rep candidate

54%

55% 52% 52% 52% 50%

54%

54%

42%
40%

40% 38%

40%

41%

41%

39%

39%

35% 30% 25% 20%

1/26/06

4/9/06

5/15/06

6/25/06

8/6/06

9/7/06

10/8/06

10/22/06

Vote Preference by Party/Ideology
ABC News/Washington Post poll 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40%

95% Dem candidate Rep candidate 88% 80% 68% 59% 61%

31%
30% 20%

35% 29% 14%

10%
10% 0%

4%

an s

s

oc ra ts

ra te s

nt s

en de

ub lic

be ra l

od e

D em

de p

R ep

C on

In

se rv a

Li

M

t iv es

30%

Most Important Issue in Your Vote
27%
ABC News/Washington Post poll

25%

20%

19%

15%

14% 13%

10%

8% 7%
5%

0%

Iraq

Economy

Terrorism

Health care

Ethics

Others

100%

Vote Preference by Top Issue
ABC News/Washington Post poll

90%

80%

76%

Dem candidate Rep candidate

80%

70%

60%

57%

50%

40%

39%

30%

21%
20%

17%

10%

0%

Iraq voters

Economy voters

Terrorism voters

Economic Ratings
Economy’s good: 55% But… Getting ahead financially: 24% Falling behind: 23% Treading water: 52%

100%

Vote Preference by Financial Situation
ABC News/Washington Post poll

90%

80%

Dem candidate Rep candidate 64%

76%

70%

60%

56%

50%

40%

39% 34%

30%

20%

18%

10%

0%

Getting ahead

Maintaining standard of living

Falling behind

100%

90%

Voting More For the Candidate or Against the Opponent?
ABC News/Washington post poll

80%

For the candidate Against the opponent

70%

70%

60%

55%

50%

43%
40%

30%

25%

20%

10%

0%

Voters supporting the Dem candidate

Voters supporting the Rep candidate

70%

Trust to Handle
Democrats Republicans
(Among registered voters)
ABC News/Washington Post poll

60%

50%

48%

50%

48% 41% 40%

47% 44% 43% 40%

40%

35%
30%

20%

10%

0%

Ethics

Economy

Iraq

North Korea

Terrorism

Compared to 1994
Then Now “Wrong track” 69% 68% Approve of Congress 19% 31% Approve of own rep. 49% 59% Approve of president 44% 37% Change of control “a good thing” 31% 45%

That makes this a protest election

Turnout?
“More important than other congressional elections in your lifetime?” All reg. voters: 58% Democrats: 69% Republicans: 49%

State of play
53 competitive House districts 5 Democratic 48 Republican (+15 Dem for control)

Competitive GOP Held Seats (48) AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth (R) vs. Harry Mitchell (D) AZ-08: Randy Graf (R) vs. Gabrielle Giffords (D) + CA-04: John Doolittle (R) vs. Charles Brown (D) CA-11: Richard Pombo (R) vs. Jerry McNerney (D) CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave (R) vs. Angie Paccione (D) CO-07: Rick O’Donnell (R) vs. Ed Perlmutter (D) + CT-02: Robert Simmons (R) vs. Joe Courtney (D) CT-04: Christopher Shays (R) vs. Diane Farrell (D) CT-05: Nancy Johnson (R) vs. Chris Murphy (D) FL-22: Clay Shaw (R) vs. Ron Klein (D) FL-13: Vern Buchanan (R) vs. Christine Jennings (D) + FL-16: Joe Negron (R) vs. Tim Mahoney (D) + IA-01: Mike Whalen (R) vs. Bruce Braley (D) + ID-01: Bill Sali (R) vs. Larry Grand (D) + IL-06: Peter Roskam (R) vs. Tammy Duckworth (D)+ IN-02: Chris Chocola (R) vs. Joe Donnelly (D) IN-08: John Hostettler (R) vs. Brad Ellsworth (D) IN-09: Michael Sodrel (R) vs. Baron Hill (D) KY-02: Ron Lewis (R) vs. Mike Weaver (D) KY-03: Anne Northup (R) vs. John Yarmuth (D) KY-04: Geoff Davis (R) vs. Ken Lucas (D) MN-01: Gil Gutknecht (R) vs. Tim Walz (D) MN-06: Michele Bachmann (R) vs. Patty Wetterling (D)+ NC-11: Charles Taylor (R) vs. Heath Shuler (D) NH-02: Charlie Bass (R) vs. Paul Hodes (D) NJ-07: Mike Ferguson (R) vs. Linda Stender (D) NV-02: Dean Heller (R) vs. Jill Derby (D) + NV-03: Jon Porter (R) vs. Tessa Hafen (D) NM-01: Heather Wilson (R) vs. Patricia Madrid (D) NY-20: John Sweeney (R) vs. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) NY-24: Raymond Meier (R) vs. Michael Arcuri (D) + NY-25: James Walsh (R) vs. Dan Maffei (D) NY-26: Tom Reynolds (R) vs. Jack Davis (D) NY-29: Randy Kuhl (R) vs. Eric Massa (D) OH-01: Steve Chabot (R) vs. John Cranley (D) OH-02 Jean Schmidt (R) vs. Victoria Wulsin (D) OH-15: Deborah Pryce (R) vs. Mary Jo Kilroy (D) OH-18: Joy Padgett (R) vs. Zack Space (D) + PA-04: Melissa Hart (R)vs. Jason Altmire (D)

NY-29: OH-01: OH-02 OH-15: OH-18: PA-04: PA-06: PA-07: PA-08: PA-10: TX-22: TX-23: VA-02: WA-08: WI-08:

Randy Kuhl (R) vs. Eric Massa (D) Steve Chabot (R) vs. John Cranley (D) Jean Schmidt (R) vs. Victoria Wulsin (D) Deborah Pryce (R) vs. Mary Jo Kilroy (D) Joy Padgett (R) vs. Zack Space (D) + Melissa Hart (R)vs. Jason Altmire (D) Jim Gerlach (R) vs. Lois Murphy (D) Curt Weldon (R) vs. Joseph Sestak (D) Mike Fitzpatrick (R) vs. Patrick Murphy (D) Don Sherwood (R) vs. Chris Carney (D) Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (R) vs. Nick Lampson (D) + Henry Bonilla (R) vs. 6 Democrats Thelma Drake (R) vs. Phil Kellam (D) Dave Reichert (R) vs. Darcy Burner (D) Steve Kagen (R) vs. John Gard (D) +

Competitive Dem Held Seats (5) GA-08: Mac Collins (R) vs. Jim Marshall (D) GA-12: Max Burns (R) vs. John Barrow (D) IA-03: Jeff Lamberti (R) vs. Leonard Boswell (D) IL-08: David McSweeney (R) vs. Melissa Bean (D) VT-AL: Martha Rainville (R) vs. Peter Welch (D) +

11 competitive Senate seats 7 Republican 4 Democratic (+6 Dem for control)

Competitive GOP Held Seats (7) MO: Jim Talent (R) vs. Claire McCaskill (D) MT: Conrad Burns (R) vs. Jon Tester (D) OH: Mike DeWine (R) vs. Sherrod Brown (D) PA: Rick Santorum (R) vs. Bob Casey (D) RI: Lincoln Chafee (R) vs. Sheldon Whitehouse (D) TN: Bob Corker (R) vs. Harold Ford (D) + VA: George Allen (R) vs. James Webb (D) Competitive Dem Held Seats (4) MD: Michael Steele (R) vs. Ben Cardin (D) + MI: Mike Bouchard vs. Debbie Stabenow (D) NJ: Tom Kean (R) vs. Robert Menendez (D) WA: Mike McGavick (R) vs. Maria Cantwell (D)

And for 2008?
...Tell me about terrorism …the economy …and the war Not necessarily in that order!


				
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