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September 11, 2013


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Marcos Anderson

"That finding made me think that respondents may not have understood what they were being asked, so I decided to hold onto it. I would have done the same thing if we'd found 33% of Republicans saying they opposed the recall."

That's the same nonsense you used when you testified in court for Morse/Giron to throw out these recall elections.

Considering your deep partisan behavior in these recalls, your judgement not to release this poll should be called into question.

Dr. Sheets

As a scientist, I can understand validating your results.

The issue seems to be in the way you presented your statement. "But the NRA won the messaging game and turned it into something bigger than it was- even if that wasn't true- and Giron paid the price."

This sort of statement implies a significant bias on your part. Your poll results do not tell you the NRA won a messaging game. They tell you that voters in the district have a favorable opinion of the NRA. You drew the conclusion that NRA's messaging was the source of this favorable view. Like any opinion in the gun debate, such a statement is bound to draw scrutiny.

I agree that the results of your poll are interesting and that there is something there to investigate. More polls, combined with other evidence may provide sufficient evidence to your claim of NRA messaging. However, in light of the massive funding disparities, and the fact that the Pueblo recall was initiated by a local plumber, I find it difficult to ascribe all the results of the poll and outcome of the recall election on the actions of the NRA.


Dear PPP-

A year ago, the republicans declared the polls were way off.

"They're biased."

"They're not factoring in this... or this."

Then come election day, come to find out, the polls were very accurate, despite there being such a skew.

The left mocked, ridiculed, and laughed at the republicans after the fact. "What's the matter? Truth hurt?"

And for some reason, you believed your arrogance over reality.



Don't let the crybabies make you second-guess your decision, holding the poll was the right call under the circumstances. Special elections are so unique and tricky that polling them is a process beyond complicated and the fact that PPP is even willing to try it at every opportunity speaks volumes to the service you provide.

The assumption made based on the findings would have been dead on if we were looking at a traditional election. As we all know, special elections don't follow what happens in traditional elections.

Charlie Martin

Look, you made a fool of yourself; admit it and move on. But trying to fob this off on the NRA, when the pro-recall forces were outspent 7-1 by the anti-recall groups -- hell, the NRA was outspent by Bloomberg personally -- is getting a little pathetic.

I grew up there. Pueblo was -- and to a great extent still is -- a Democrat machine town. It's clear that a large number of Democrats voted for the recall and for George Rivera, who is a very respected man and may have been the only honest cop to stay on the force.

Failing to recognize that this was an actual vote by actual voters who actually thought Giron was wrong is just denial.


Partisan hacks who released the results of the poll to support their Democrat masters - the same people for whom you testified on behalf of during the recall court process. But you're objective, right?

James Booth

@Charlie Martin BINGO! You are my new hero.


Upon reading your write-ups and the responses, I think you can safely dismiss most of the criticism as "PPP is biased because they don't validate my personal viewpoint". The implied I-told-you-so opening of your write up was bound to stir up this group more than normal.

But I might offer that the tone of your "Reflecting on the Colorado recall" write-up was a tad more interpretative than usual. I wonder, for instance, if the reason to recall was as focused on guns as you indicated.

I completely understand your inclination to withhold the initial polling. I was recently asked by a client to analyze some data, and the results did not seem reasonable. I had the luxury to recompute the results before I passed it on to the client.

However, it is more popular to be wrong before the election than correct afterwards. People prefer apologies to gloating.


Valiant effort to explain, but ignoring facts is a conservative principle. You are correct though.


If this were the first time you did this it would be understandable but it's not. You have held up release of polls unfavorable to Democrats until the last minute so as not to draw headlines. It was done in a special election in NY a while ago. PPP should release polling in an unbiased manner. Everyone knows its a Democratic outfit and you make no bones about it in your editorializing. However, when you hold back poll results that are of interest to the public to effect the final election results you are crossing the line on what reputable pollsters are supposed to be doing. It's unconsciounable.


The "abuse" you are receiving is well deserve. How about you actually try listening to the people commenting to these posts. You might learn how to be a better pollster.

It would be foolish to believe the gun issue wasn't the major issue. So it is obvious that you are asking the question poorly. It wasn't that the NRA used its power. Gun rights groups spent about $500k vs the $3 million spent by the gun grabbers and you have no proof to back that assumption that you made. Use this as a learning opportunity and fix your questioning.

You might like to believe that everyone is as partisan as you are, but this poll proves otherwise. Try to be a little more open minded, no every democrat wants to rubber stamp a liberal agenda.

Morgan Whitacre

I can't believe people are being so childish and rude. I personally appreciate all the free polling you do and release to the public. As someone said earlier - if these people are so hell bent on the results being released - then they could have paid for it!

bill clinton warned you

The "fascinating disconnect" is the huge mistake you continue to make of blaming the tried and true media and gun banning group talking point of "the NRA" - while ignoring they were hardly a factor in the election, and were easily outspent by 6 to 1 by Bloomberg related people - instead of realizing that maybe, just maybe, having an automated call asking about a theoretical argument translates into supporting a policy in reality.

Again, the best example I could use from the other side would be the amount of people who say they want government spending cut - yet would surely vote out of office or recall someone who cut their medicare or social security. What you are doing is essentially the same as someone running a poll result that says people want government spending cut, and then being shocked that they were voted out for actually voting to cut spending, while also assuming the people must be confused and did not understand the question.


To go along with all these comments, I'm sick of the overly frequent NC polls. We get it, the state government is controlled by Republicans, and some of their policies are not positively received. But to do it over and over hoping to scare people of the GOP or something is overkill. Maybe if you also frequently did a poll in IL or one of the many other states dominated by Democrats, we can also see how they are at least as despised as the NC GOP. That is if the question wording is neutral.

Todd Dugdale

JM: PPP is based in NC. That's why they do "overly frequent NC polls". It's not that they are trying to send a message or to "scare people". They have an interest in the trends of their home State. Also, PPP asks people to vote every week where they should poll. Which other pollster does that, and why aren't you voting instead of bitching?

Finally, I'm a little sick of people like you bitching about the *huge* amount of *free* polling that PPP does. And bitching about it on the comment board that no other pollster provides. Go ahead and tell Rasmussen how you feel about their polls. Oh yeah. Rasmussen doesn't want to hear about it. Neither does Q-poll or Gallup.

PPP: Your big mistake here was to be transparent. No other pollster would have done that, because it opens them up to the abuse of the genuises you see here. I'm amazed that commenters here are telling you to listen to the comments, when the comments throughout the election were telling you that Romney is going to win, that you are going to look stupid, and that your polls are skewed.

To the other commenters: EVERY pollster does what PPP did, you morons. They just don't tell people about it. That has nothing to do with "partisan bias".

Ed P

Put me down for completely understanding your decision not to release but agreeing with a couple other commenters that it was a mistake to editorialize so much about the reasons for the disconnect, specifically with regards to the NRA. I am not not an NRA supporter in any way, shape or form, and I wouldn't argue that the NRA had an influence in the race. But there really is little evidence that it had the outsized influence you describe here, and in fact the massive spending disparity suggests it couldn't have (granted a lot of the left money was on TV ads, which have very little influence these days).

If you look at many places around the country, voters support specific laws such as background checks, magazine limits and AWB. On the other hand, if you ask a more general question about gun rights, you'll fund much less support for restrictions. Although I'm sure there were other factors, this is likely to have been the single biggest reason the recalls succeeded.

I'm sure you're aware that gun rights are not the only issue where voters send conflicting messages. And you're right that disconnects are interesting to look at. But usually these disconnects have roughly the same explanation, which is that voters feel differently about things generally than they do specifically.


Most of the comments are from whining right-wing nuts who just want a reason to bash any pollster who refuses to feed their narratives anyhow. That said, you might have had a clearer position if you'd stated it along the lines of "We were taking a poll to test a new methodology so we could see if that technique for polling under these special-election conditions would work. We're releasing those poll results now to demonstrate that this new technique worked."


Although I wish you would've released the polling, I can understand your reasoning in being hesitant to release the poll after reading your commentary. Tips for the future: Start polling gun issues better, I'm sorry but people in Wyoming do not support gun control, so you need to find a new way to ask these questions on gun control. Additionally, ENOUGH with the North Carolina polls! It's very annoying! It's not going to be a competitive or even interesting state to watch anytime in the next few years. Start doing more polls in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, you know, REAL swing states!

Alan Snipes

On balance, you should have released the poll ahead of time. If it proved to be wrong, so what? Honest people sometimes make mistakes. You undermine your own credibility when you err on the side of not disclosing something. You give your conservative opposition unnecessary ammunition, which you held at bay because of your previous accuracy and professionalism. In the future, either don't do a poll, or be honest and publish it, even if it gives you egg on your face. This was a totally unnecessary problem that you brought on yourselves.

Kevin Ryan

"We decided to do a poll there over the weekend and decide whether to release it publicly depending on whether the results made sense or not."

And you also said that the results didn't make sense because it showed Giron down. So what you are really saying is you were only going to release the results if it showed Giron ahead.

Shirley Valdez

Maybe 1/3 of democrats did not like this person and voted for the person, not the party.

Crazy concept? Not really, especially when you combine her contempt for her constituents, the monkey business in Denver (changing hearing dates/times with little to no notice); her comments about gun owners, and general disdain for the people.

Hickenlooper is next.

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