January 8, 2008

Observations

Wal-Mart continues to be a lightning rod for controversy. The retail giant is fighting opposition to building & expansion plans in both Lockport and North Tonawanda. As is usually the case, a very vocal minority is attempting to sabotage the the projects. If you don't like Wal-Mart, don't shop there.

Wegman's Supermarkets has made the decision to stop selling tobacco products because they care about their employees. They will also offer smoking cessation programs to employees. Danny Wegman said the company respects a person's right to smoke, but they understand the destructive role smoking plays in health. Major kudos to Wegmans in initiating what will hopefully be a trend in retail. Of course, since we have one huge tobacco outlet in Niagara County, the Tuscarora Reservation, smoking won't be on the decline around here anytime soon.

The stress of the Presidential campaign has gotten to Hillary Clinton. While addressing some folks in New Hampshire, Clinton was asked how does she keep up and who does her hair? The question was apparently an emotional trigger for Clinton as her eyes welled up with tears as she answered the question. If that's all it takes, how is she going to handle it when someone asks here whether of not we should drop a bomb on North Korea?

Within the past few years, there was talk of creating a public benefit corporation for the Mt. View Health Facility. Fortunately, the county did not finalize any plans for such action. In light of the scathing audit of the Erie County Medical Center by the Erie County Comptroller, we see know public benefit corporations are short-term solutions and long-term nightmares.

I had to laugh when 97Rock's number one clown, Larry Norton, stated that the Bills need to stay in-house for the new GM to maintain consistency for the franchise. Oh, by the way, the Bills haven't made the playoffs since 1999, the longest current streak in the NFL. Not sure that's the consistency we're looking for. Stick to your bad jokes, Larry.

Best wishes to Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster who was hospitalized Sunday with sharp pains in his side.

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8 comments:

Clark Griswold said...

I agree that the quick trigger of emotion from Hillary is pretty telling and a mistake. Not only does this show little confidence in herself, it sheds some light on how she may handle issues that have a much greater impact on the American people.

Pete M said...

What's next for Wegmans, no beer? No processed meats? No HoHos? They're all bad for you too. If they take everything out of their store that's not healthy, they'd have much more manageable stores. This move is about image and profitability, nothing else.

updike said...

Is Larry Norton still on the air? He sucked 20 years ago and he sucks today. Him still being around is a sad commentary on radio in Buffalo. Someone put this dinosaur out to pasture.

Phil Obama said...

Didn't you hear? Hillary has Gary Parenti working for her. She's a shoo-in.

(No, I'm not related to any of the presidential candidates.)

NY Conservative Campaigns said...

Subject: Last Night NH


Below letter is from one of Americas brightest pollsters who is explaining what went wrong with the polls with Obama & Hillary last night.

(I worked with Matt while I was the Deputy Campaign Manager on last years US Senate Race agianst Clinton, here in NY State)

Thought you would like to know since all who read this are political savvy people. Last night was an embarrassment to the media, politicians, pollsters, experts & campaigns. (Reminds you of Truman -vs- Dewey)

Otherwise, all my predictions in Iowa & NH have been on target and better then CNN’s (LOL)…….

Jim Kelly - NY Conservative Campaigns

Jim -

Just yesterday, some major media polls showed Barack Obama with a 10-point lead over Hillary Clinton. But Clinton won the New Hampshire primary by at least 3%. At the same time, John McCain posted a much stronger lead over Mitt Romney than polling predicated.

The polls were dead wrong tonight. (And so was I. I told many of you that Barack Obama would sail through New Hampshire on his way to the presidency.)

Why? In effect, the pollsters double-counted New Hampshire independents.

How does this work? In order to survey likely voters, pollsters ask a series of “screener” questions. Here is how one public pollster, American Research Group (ARG), asks their screener:

“Would you say that you definitely plan to vote in the 2008 Republican presidential primary, that you might vote in the 2008 Republican presidential primary, or that you will probably not vote in the 2008 Republican presidential primary?”

Typically, pollsters treat each party separately when conducting primary polls. One survey will poll the Republican primary (and all non-Republicans will be screened out), and a separate survey will poll the Democrats (and vice versa). This is the case for two reasons. First, most states don’t have open primaries, so cross-party voting isn’t a concern. Second is cost, doubly true in internal campaign polling. It would be a waste of money for, e.g., Chris Dodd to poll Republican primary voters.

Several well-regarded campaign pollsters will travel to South Carolina tomorrow to find themselves in hot water with their campaign managers.

So let’s think this through. Pollster X conducts his survey in the Republican primary. Independents are allowed into the poll, while Democrats are not. Then Pollster X conducts his survey among Democrats. Independents are allowed into the poll a second time, while Republicans are not.

This is the polling equivalent of being allowed to vote twice. You create a situation where a voter would say this: “Well, if you were asking me about the Republican primary, I’d vote for McCain. But since you’re asking me about the Democratic primary, I’ll vote for Obama.” In fact, it creates the bizarre possibility that the same individual New Hampshire voter could be literally polled twice.

It comes down to what we call “sampling error.” Since the same Independents were allowed into both surveys, the poll’s sample didn’t look like the actual primary electorate. The 10-point Obama lead was only a paper lead — those were actually McCain voters who were erroneously allowed into the Democratic primary polls.

Should pollsters have known this would happen? I’d argue yes. We knew that both Obama and McCain both had wide support among Independents. At first glance, none of the pollsters realized this and changed their models accordingly.

One proper way to screen would have been something like this:

“Q1. Would you say that you definitely plan to vote in the primary, that you might vote in the primary, or that you will probably not vote in the primary?

Q2. Do you plan to vote in the Republican presidential primary, or the Democratic presidential primary?”

Notice that every likely voter is allowed into the poll, and then pushed into the appropriate primary. No segment of the population has the possibility of entering both primaries.

We desperately need to re-think our turnout models in the future, or we will continue to struggle with open primaries, early voting, etc., etc…

Hope this is helpful. If you have any more questions, just ask.

Best wishes,
- Matt

Matt Dabrowski
matt@goppollster.com

NY Conservative Campaigns said...

Since I am a huge Buffalo Bills & NFL fan….Quick pun…..

In a news conference Deanna Favre announced she will be the starting QB for the Packers this coming Sunday.. She claimed she is qualified to be starting QB because she has spent the past 16 years married to Brett while he played QB for the Packers.

Because of this she understands how to pick up a corner blitz and knows the terminology of the Packers offense. A poll of Packers fans shows that 50% of those polled supported the move.

Does this sounds idiotic and unbelievable to you? Yet Hillary Clinton makes the same claims as to why she is qualified to be President and 50% of democrats polled agreed.

Jim Kelly - NY Conservative Campaigns (Not the QB)

Anonymous said...

Back to Hillary, maybe if one of our elected politicians had a human side and showed some emotion once in awhile -- or heck, I'll go out on the line here, actually CARED about the people they represent, the world would be a better place. I think it was a planned, calculated, and smart move by camp Hillary. And what do you know, she won New Hampshire after it. Boys club wake up.

Opie said...

Larry Norton sucks. Listen to Shredd and Regan and Opie and Anthony.