Category Archives: Uncategorized

Voter Turnout: Donald and Hillary, you’re not quite John and Barack

Despite the two most odious major party candidates for President in our nation’s 240-year history, and despite a California ballot longer than should be allowed by law, if not by common sense, my current turnout prediction for 2016’s presidential election isn’t as dire as you might expect. Barack Obama’s 2008 wave generated a voter turnout of 83.5 percent countywide, according to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters (1,242,907 of 1,488,157 registered voters). 77.0 percent managed to get to the polls for the less thrilling race between the now-incumbent President Obama and Mitt Romney (1,203,265 of 1,563,093 registered voters). My prediction as of November 2, 2016 is for voter turnout to reach about 80 percent for San Diego County. This … Read more

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CERC’s Inside Tips on Reading Political Polls

The respected news data site Five Thirty Eight and the website On The Media have combined their efforts this political season with a look at the media coverage including polling during the 2016 campaign season. As part of this project, the pair produced its “Consumer Handbook to Election Polls.” I couldn’t wait to read it myself. It turned out the “handbook” was a list of 12 tips on how to judge polls. In the spirit of public service, allow us to elaborate on a few of these tips. Tip Number 2 says “Ignore national primary polls – they measure nothing.” We agree. Don’t let them influence your voting choices and don’t let them cause you to place a bet on … Read more

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Going Negative

Senator Bernie Sanders has spent a lot of time talking about his positions on the topics of the day, and why he should be president of the United States. But until very recently, he hasn’t spent any time showing Democrat voters why Hillary Clinton should not be president. This is what could cost him the nomination, if he has any chance in the first place. Voters need to hear why your opponent is sharply different than you. There needs to be separation there – a real difference — otherwise, why bother to vote? Without a clear contrast, you won’t win. The easiest way to do this is by “going negative.” Sure, we hear it all the time: voters don’t like … Read more

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Don’t Be A Slave To Nothing

I ran across a Vox piece which got my full attention thanks to a big dose of wonky coolness. I know, it’s not a funny cat video and there are no YouTube celebrities involved. Give me a minute to explain why it’s worth checking out. Read more

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Polls Aren’t Pork

Frustrated Americans frequently rage about wasteful government spending, the kind of stuff we call “pork.” Pork might not have a formal definition but we know it when we see it, like this recent report about federal spending for bomb sniffing elephants and studies about pollution from barbecues. A recent study by Canada’s Marketing Research and Intelligence Association found Canadian policy and political experts believe it’s very important for the federal government to consult with Canadians and relevant stakeholders when making decisions, and public opinion research (POR) is an effective consultative tool to do this. The study also suggests government decision-making can be improved through data and information provided by research. In addition, the study finds lack of public consultation can contribute to … Read more

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