Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MPW Poll Round-Up

We’ve had four reader polls up recently that are worth looking back on. Yes, yes, we know they don’t mean a whole lot. But YOU disagree because they were incredibly popular! Several of them will appear in our top ten most-visited posts of the month. So what did you have to say?

Council President Poll

Who’s right on the Council President dispute?

Berliner’s side. This was just a naked power grab: 114 votes (44%)
Floreen’s side. Elections have consequences and the other guys are crybabies: 98 votes (37.8%)
Nobody. Who gives a rat’s behind about this anyway: 47 votes (18.1%)
Total votes: 259

There’s not much to read into this except that Berliner’s supporters were quicker to come online despite certain ballot-stuffing efforts. The correct answer (because your author voted for it) is the rat’s behind. NOBODY is going to care about this in 2010 except for the Drama Queens.

Senate Challenger Poll

Which potential Senate challenger has the best chance to win?

Cheryl Kagan over Jennie Forehand: 415 votes (30.3%)
Saqib Ali over Nancy King: 395 votes (28.9%)
None of the above. All three incumbents would win: 338 votes (24.7%)
Roger Manno over Mike Lenett: 221 votes (16.1%)
Total votes: 1369

This was the most-stuffed MPW poll since the infamous 2007 District 18 appointment poll, which was not set up to block multiple votes from the same IP address. Your author was convinced that MoCo Cyber-King Saqib Ali would blow away everyone, but he was barely nipped out by Cheryl Kagan. It’s easy to forget that Kagan last ran for office in 1998, back when Facebook and blogs did not exist and websites and emails played relatively minor roles in campaigns. Now Kagan has a frequently updated blog, possesses more Facebook friends than Ali(!) and even releases her website statistics to psyche out her opponent. No one has made a quicker transition to 21st Century Campaigning than MoCo’s hungriest challenger.

But the big winner here may be Delegate Roger Manno (D-19). He made no visible effort to drive his followers to the poll, and yet he held the early lead and finished with 221 votes. How many of these votes came from District 19? That’s something that Senator Mike Lenett should be thinking about.

County Council At-Large Challenger Poll

Which potential County Council At-Large challenger has the best chance to win?

Hans Riemer: 244 votes (33.8%)
Robin Ficker: 120 votes (16.6%)
Ben Kramer: 77 votes (10.7%)
None of the above. All the incumbents will win: 74 votes (10.3%)
Roz Pelles: 74 votes (10.3%)
Jane de Winter: 53 votes (7.4%)
Becky Wagner: 51 votes (7.1%)
Pete Fosselman: 11 votes (1.5%)
Cary Lamari: 7 votes (1%)
Ida Ruben: 5 votes (0.7%)
Guled Kassim: 3 votes (0.4%)
Chris Paladino: 2 votes (0.3%)
Total votes: 721

Folks, the at-large race has only three declared challengers: Jane de Winter, Becky Wagner and Guled Kassim. They combined to get just 14.9% of this poll’s votes. The top three Democratic finishers are not (yet) in the race. And “all the incumbents will win” finished ahead of each of the three challengers now in the contest. This is a big, big buzz-kill.

This poll was Hans Riemer’s coming-out party. MPW was first to report the rumors of a “Draft Riemer” movement and it proved to be especially resourceful – even co-opting one of our spies! As for Ficker, you have to hand it to him: he can stuff a ballot box as well as any man half his age. Perhaps that skill will serve him well after he gets his term limits initiative on the ballot.

County Council At-Large Incumbent Poll

Which County Council incumbent is most likely to lose?

Duchy Trachtenberg: 232 votes (49.7%)
Marc Elrich: 103 votes (22.1%)
Nancy Floreen: 80 votes (17.1%)
George Leventhal: 28 votes (6%)
None of the above. All the incumbents will win: 24 votes (5.1%)
Total votes: 467

The most interesting result here is that 95% of the readers expect one of the incumbents to lose. Your author believes that greatly exceeds the real probability of an incumbent loss, but we should note that an incumbent lost an at-large race in both 2002 (Blair Ewing) and 2006 (Mike Subin).

As for the ordering of incumbent loss potential, we believe the readers got this right. Way back in February, we picked Duchy Trachtenberg as the most vulnerable incumbent, followed by Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen and the relatively safe George Leventhal. Everything that has occurred since then convinces us that both our earlier prediction and our poll-participating readers are right.

And so you have spoken. In a few months, we may run some of these questions again to see if you have changed your minds!