Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Congress is not popular. That's not news. But when Public Policy Polling decided to test just how unpopular it is, the firm may have found a way to make news at Congress's expense.
It surveyed 830 Americans, asking them “Do you have a more favorable opinion of Congress or … ” and filling in the blank with 25 different unpleasant people or things. Congress ranked lower in the following:
NFL replacement refs
DC political pundits
Used Car salesmen
So what was less popular than Congress? Go inside the blog to find out.
Washington's gubernatorial race was tied in a recent poll of state voters, while ballot measures for same-sex marriage, legalized marijuana and charter schools were all leading.
The poll of 500 voters last week as the ballots hit the mail had Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee each with support from 46 percent of those surveyed. Inslee is ahead in King County and North Puget Sound, while McKenna leads in other parts of Western Washington and in Eastern Washington. McKenna's ahead among men, Inslee among women.
In other words, it looks like your typical tight Democrat vs. Republican race.
The pollsters didn't ask a “horse race” question on the U.S. Senate race, but it did ask about voters opinions of incumbent Maria Cantwell and challenger Mike Baumgartner. Good news for Cantwell: While Congress has pretty low approval ratings in the country, 53 percent said they had a favorable opinion of her, slightly better than seatmate Patty Murray's rating of 51 percent.
Bad news for Baumgartner: Relatively few voters surveyed — 22 percent statewide and 29 percent in Eastern Washington — had any opinion , good or bad, of the Spokane legislator. The rest were either unfamiliar with the name or had no opinion of him.
Initiative 502, which would legalize marijuana for adult use, Referendum 74, which would legalize same-sex marriage, and Initiative 1240, which would allow public charter schools, all had support from more than half of those surveyed. But with the poll's margin of error of 4.4 percent, all could be close to pulling down a majority in the election.
Jon Stewart skewers the over-use of polls by the national media.
A poll purports to be able to tell whether you're likely to support Barack Obama or Mitt Romney by your preferences to things like movies, cars or pets.
Of course, it could just ask who you plan to vote for. But that wouldn't be any fun, would it?
Gonzaga junior forward Elias Harris has been named the West Coast Conference player of the week after averaging a double-double in two games last week. Harris had 19 points and 16 rebounds in a victory over BYU and came back with seven points and 12 boards in a win over San Diego.
Harris has 10 double-doubles this season. He’s averaging 11 rebounds over GU’s last nine games.
—A 2-0 week inched Gonzaga closer to the Top 25. The Bulldogs sit at 26th in the A.P. and ESPN/USA Today rankings.
Second-seeded Gonzaga opens the WCC Tournament in the semifinals Saturday at approximately 8 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Saint Mary’s, the top seed in the WCC Tournament, is No. 21 in ESPN/USA Today, 28th in A.P. Third-seeded BYU is receiving votes in A.P.
—UPDATE: Mike Hart and Shannon Reader earned WCC all-academic honors. More here.
Gonzaga, in and out of the rankings a couple times this season, returned to the A.P. and ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls at No. 24 after wins over Saint Mary's and Loyola Marymount last week.
The Bulldogs (20-4, 10-2), who face road games at Santa Clara on Thursday and San Francisco on Saturday, shares the A.P.'s 24th spot with Wichita State. Saint Mary's dropped from 16th to 21st in A.P. and from 13th to 16th in ESPN/USA Today after losing to Gonzaga 73-59. BYU is 29th, fourth in the A.P. receiving votes category.
GU freshman guard Kevin Pangos earned his third WCC player of the week award. Pangos scored 27 points in the victory over Saint Mary's and added 21 points and nine assists against Loyola Maymount. His closest competition was probably teammate Elias Harris (10 points, 10 rebounds vs. Saint Mary's and 17 points, 15 rebounds vs. LMU), but I believe teams are limited to one nomination. BYU's Charles Abouo was the only other player nominated.
Pangos hasn't committed a turnover in three games.
Programming note: Media day will be Tuesday.
Gonzaga's two-game losing streak has cost it a spot in the Top 25. GU, 23rd in last week's A.P. poll, dropped to 32nd (receiving votes category) in the A.P. and ESPN/USA Today's rankings. Michigan State, which defeated GU on Saturday, moved into the A.P. rankings at No. 21..
Here are both polls.
Pollsters ask that question quite a bit, just as they ask people what they think of the job the president is doing.
In five separate polls, disapproval rating is at 80 percent or higher. The lowest ever according to the New York Times poll; pretty near the bottom says Gallup.
You can read more about the poor polling results here.
But that's not the surprising thing. It seems that the real surprise is where the pollsters found 10-15 percent of people who say they approved of the job Congress is doing.
The Idaho Education Association has released partial results of a poll it commissioned both last year and this year, showing that likely voters in Idaho continue to have strongly favorable views of teachers, but give state schools Supt. Tom Luna considerably higher unfavorable ratings now than a year ago. “Superintendent Luna is currently on a taxpayer-funded tour to try and sell the bad laws that he pushed through the Idaho Legislature this year,” said IEA President Sherri Wood. “But Idahoans rightly remain skeptical of these laws that impose costly new mandates on our school districts and will lead to larger class sizes and lost Idaho jobs.”
The poll, conducted by Grove Insight of Portland, Ore., queried 600 registered Idaho voters likely to vote in November 2012 from March 13-15 this year; it had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. When asked about their impression of teachers, 75 percent of respondents had favorable views, compared to 77 percent a year ago. Just 6 percent had unfavorable views, down from 7 percent in March of 2010. Asked about Luna, respondents were 25 percent favorable and 41 percent unfavorable, compared to last year's results of 30 percent favorable, 18 percent unfavorable. Respondents who were neutral on Luna fell from 51 percent to 30 percent.
Asked their view of the IEA, the Idaho teachers union, respondents were 47 percent favorable, up from 39 percent a year ago; and 19 percent unfavorable, down from 22 percent in March of 2010. You can read the IEA's full statement here.
There’s some very interesting data in the Moore Information poll released today by a coalition of health groups pushing for a big cigarette tax increase in Idaho. Among the results: 47 percent of Idahoans say the state is generally headed in the right direction, while 40 percent think Idaho’s on the wrong track. That’s pretty closely divided; the poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent. Pollster Bob Moore calls that a “narrowly optimistic” voter mood.
While really big numbers favored increasing taxes on alcohol and tobacco to address Idaho’s budget deficit, respondents strongly opposed raising the sales tax, income tax or gas tax. And by even bigger numbers, they opposed reducing funding for roads, health care or education. You can read the full results here.
A new poll conducted by Moore Information shows a startling 71 percent of Idahoans favor increases in state taxes on tobacco and alcohol to address Idaho’s budget deficit, and 73 percent support a $1.50 per pack increase in the cigarette tax to preserve Medicaid funding and fund tobacco-cessation and youth prevention programs. A broad coalition of Idaho health groups, from the American Cancer Society to the Idaho Medical Association to the Idaho Academy of Family Physicians, released the poll today and launched a new push for a big hike in Idaho’s cigarette tax in the coming year.
Dr. Ted Epperly, a family physician from Boise, said smoking is the No. 1 most preventable cause of death in the United States, yet 5,000 Idaho kids try their first cigarette each year and 1,500 Idahoans die from smoking each year. “By raising the state’s tobacco tax, Idaho will reduce smoking … especially among kids,” Epperly said. “The science could not be more clear.”
That’s not all - the groups project that a $1.50 per pack increase in Idaho’s cigarette tax also would bring in an additional $52.3 million to the state’s treasury, even after accounting for the drop in cigarette sales it’d bring about. That money, Epperly said, could help shore up Medicaid, “a program that is in crisis at this time.” Epperly said the state also would see reduced health care costs as the number of smokers drops - an estimated $8 million in savings just in the first five years.
Said Epperly, “This will be a huge win for Idaho’s public health.”
Item: List of write-in names not OK: Residents: County elections workers not following rules/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press
More Info: County Clerk Dan English verified early Wednesday afternoon that polling stations have been offering a single list of write-in candidates for voters to peruse briefly, only if they requested it first and then returned it before voting.
Question: Should voters be allowed to see a list of official write-in names at the polls if they request one?
Seldom do I ever feel more proud to be an American than when I hand my ballot over to the women working at the Nez Perce County fair building on election day, tell them my name and one of them says, “Jeanne DePaul has voted.” Seriously. I’m getting a little choked up just writing that. Oh, I have my moments singing along with the National Anthem at a Lewis-Clark State College volleyball game or listening to a speech at the annual Veterans’ Day ceremonies around town. But you don’t have to be American to do those things. To vote, you have to be an American. I am glad Idaho isn’t moving the direction my home state, Washington, is in getting rid of polling places/Jeanne DePaul, Virtual Deadlines, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: How do you vote — by mail or at the polls?
A wire story from today’s S-R reports on a Pew Research Center study of polling. It seems that some polls rely on contacting people with land-line telephones and therefore may be missing a disproportionately Democratic part of the population who don’t have land lines, using cell phones instead.
Now rewind 62 years to the 1948 presidential election in which all the leading polls forecast Republican Thomas Dewey as the winner. After Harry Truman was elected rather handily, guess what they discovered. The pollsters had relied on telephone sampling when a lot of Democratic-leaning voters couldn’t afford telephones.
Idahoans are dead-set against handing over selection of U.S. senators to the state Legislature, and Idaho Republicans are even more against the idea than Democrats or the state as a whole, according to the Idaho Newspapers Poll, a collaboration of seven Idaho newspapers. Yet that move is a plank in the Idaho Republican Party platform, raising questions about how closely the leadership of the state’s largest political party reflects its members.
Meanwhile, two-thirds of Idaho Republicans, and nearly half of the state as a whole, say they generally support the agenda of the tea party movement, with the numbers in North Idaho rising to a 56 percent majority, compared to 47 percent support in southeastern Idaho and 43 percent in the Treasure Valley. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com, and see today’s full poll results here.
As Idaho voters make clear their displeasure with cuts to public education spending, the men running to lead the state’s schools for the next four years are campaigning in relative obscurity, reports Ben Botkin of the Times-News in today’s installment of the Idaho Newspapers Poll; you can read our full story here. Day 3 of the poll results examines Idahoans’ concerns about education funding - 56 percent think we’re spending too little on K-12 education, and 59 percent oppose this year’s school funding cuts - and about the race for state superintendent of schools, in which incumbent Tom Luna faces a challenge from just-retired Boise School District superintendent Stan Olson.
You can see today’s full poll results here. Coming tomorrow in the poll, a unique collaborative effort between seven Idaho newspapers, are the results looking at party affiliation, platform planks and support for the tea party movement; that final installment was my piece to report and write. All the papers are running the stories and contributing to the coverage.
In Day 2 of the results of the Idaho Newspapers Poll, Idahoans say they want the sales tax reformed, but they’re unclear as to how; they’re also very concerned about school funding. You can read a full report here, including reactions from Gov. Butch Otter and Democratic challenger Keith Allred, and see today’s full results here.
The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. of Washington, D.C., is a collaboration of seven Idaho newspapers: The Spokesman-Review, the Idaho Statesman, the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Lewiston Tribune, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, the Post Register in Idaho Falls, and the Times-News in Twin Falls.
Seven Idaho daily newspapers, including The Spokesman-Review, have joined together to commission the Idaho Newspapers Poll, a statewide poll of 625 likely Idaho voters taken Sept. 13-15 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington, D.C. Today, the first installment of poll results is out in all the papers, which include the Lewiston Tribune, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, the Idaho Statesman, the Idaho Press Tribune in Nampa, the Post Register in Idaho Falls, and the Times-News in Twin Falls.
The top news today from the poll: Gov. Butch Otter leads Democratic challenger 45-29 percent with 20 percent undecided; and 1st District Congressman Walt Minnick leads GOP challenger Raul Labrador 46-36 percent with 16 percent undecided. Minnick’s lead shrinks, however, among the poll’s North Idaho respondents to 43-40, which is within the poll’s margin of error; you can read our full story here and see today’s full results here.
The statewide poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. In the 1st CD, the margin of error is 5 percent; sixty additional interviews were conducted in the 1st Congressional District to bring the total sample size there to 400 likely voters, and 15 additional interviews were conducted in the Second Congressional District to bring the sample size there to 300, with the extra interviews covering only the congressional races. Additional installments of the joint project coming this week will look at taxes (Wednesday), education (Thursday) and party affiliation (Friday).
Obama’s new Gallup Poll job approval number is 47%. Last month it was 53%. Regular Ticket readers will recall how in this space in late November we pointed out that Obama’s closely watched job approval slide was coinciding with Palin’s little-noticed rise in favorability. And it appeared they might cross somewhere in the 40s. Well, ex-Sen. Obama, meet ex-Gov. Palin. The new CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows Palin now at 46% favorable. [A previous version of this post said that, at 46%, Palin was “just one point below her fellow basketball fan”/Los Angeles Times. More here
Question: What do you make of these polls that show favorability rankings of President Obama and Sarah Palin nearly identical?
It keeps getting harder to take the AFL coaches poll seriously.
Spokane (10-2), winners of eight straight games and the top-ranked team the last two weeks, dropped to No. 2 after defeating No. 4 Arizona on Friday. (The Rattlers were No. 4, you may remember, because they beat then No. 3 Jacksonville by 16 points on the road and managed to fall from No. 2 to No. 4 in last week’s poll.).
Wait, it gets even better. Arizona moved UP to No. 3 after losing to the Shock. Tampa Bay (9-3) is the new No. 1.
Meanwhile, the fans and writers polls actually seem to consider the previous week’s results.
There will not be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown on Friday at the Arena.
The Spokane Shock remained atop the AFL coaches poll for the second straight week, but Arizona, coming off an impressive road win over then No. 3 Jacksonville, somehow dropped from second to fourth.
Tampa Bay jumped from fourth to second, apparently on the basis of an easy home win over 13th-ranked Bossier/Shreveport (3-9). Chicago also climbed over Arizona after beating Orlando (5-6).
John Foster, spokesman for Walt Minnick (to HucksOnline): It’s long past the time for people in Idaho media to continue giving Greg Smith ink and bandwidth. Set aside for a moment his years of inaccurate predictions. On their own, his most recent two polls should provide a clear answer to anyone who is uncertain as to his accuracy. Before the primary he had Walt at 50 percent among GOP primary voters, and now claims that, in a matter of weeks, Walt has fallen to half that support among ALL voters? That is a massive drop in a very short amount of time, with no explanation. In other words, not statistically possible. (I know, Hucks readers — you were told there would be no math.) Greg’s methods deviate from widely recognized standards, his polls are available to the highest bidder (I know because he has pressured me for a year to hire him for Walt’s campaign) and of dubious value to political watchers and media organizations. People should trust their instincts and ignore him once and for all.
Finally got a chance to talk with Greg Smith today about his recent poll in the 1st CD race and some questions I had about it. Among them: Was the same sample of likely primary election voters asked about both the primary and the general election? The answer: Yes. Smith said the assumption was that likely primary voters are even more likely to vote in the general election, which certainly is a fair assumption. However, more than twice as many people typically vote in Idaho’s general election as in its primary election - sometimes nearly three times as many - so a representative sample of primary election voters may not also be a representative sample of the larger pool of general election voters. Smith called that a “good point,” but said when funding his own poll, there was only so much he could do.
Bossier Shreveport (2-1) slipped to seventh (writers) and a tie for fifth (coaches).
Gonzaga’s loss to Loyola Marymount resulted in a predictable slide in both polls. GU (22-5, 10-2 WCC) dropped from No. 13 to No. 18 in A.P. and from No. 9 to No. 15 in ESPN/USA Today. More here. Saint Mary’s (22-5, 9-3) received one vote in ESPN/USA Today’s rankings.
Gonzaga’s 2-0 WCC week propelled the Bulldogs up a couple spots in both polls — to No. 8 in ESPN/USA Today and No. 13 in A.P.
Saint Mary’s received two votes in A.P. and 11 votes in ESPN/USA Today. Two of the three teams the Zags lost to are ranked above them by A.P.: No. 5 Michigan State and No. 8 Duke. The other, Wake Forest, received enough votes to be in the top 30 of both polls.
Media day this afternoon. I’ll check back in later.
Washington Realtors released results of a poll today that suggests voters are split on cutting the state budget or raising taxes.
Of the 600 voters polled:
55 percent said the state is on the wrong track, which is up from 44 percent in a July poll
50 percent said the governor and Legislature have to protect essential services, even if it means raising some taxes, while
45 percent said the last thing the gov and Lege should do is raise taxes, even if it means cutting important services and programs
Asked “what taxes?”
62 percent said don’t extend the sales tax to business and personal services
71 percent said don’t raise the business and occupation tax
84 percent said don’t raise real estate excise or property taxes.
No word on how many people mentionedsome other tax, or had an idea of what it might raise if it were instituted or raised.
And 92 percent said they believe the real estate industry and housing market are vital to the state’s overall economic recovery. (Good thing, too, considering the sponsor.)
Gonzaga hasn’t played since the Dec. 21st poll came out, but that didn’t stop the Bulldogs from dropping out of the A.P. Top 25 and moving up a couple notches in the ESPN/USA Today. Go figure.
The newest rankings were released today. Gonzaga went from No. 25 to the first team receiving votes in A.P., and from No. 24 to No. 22 in ESPN/USA Today.
Here’s the link.
Idaho pollster Greg Smith today released results of a new poll, conducted June 15-18 of 400 randomly selected Idahoans 18 or older, and found that U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Congressmen Walt Minnick and Mike Simpson all are seen much more favorably by Idahoans than unfavorably. Gov. Butch Otter, while also ranked favorably by nearly half of Idahoans, was viewed unfavorably by 35 percent.
Here are the numbers: Crapo, 59 percent favorable, 17 percent unfavorable; Risch, 49 percent favorable, 19 percent unfavorable; Minnick, 47 percent favorable, 20 percent unfavorable; Simpson, 56 percent favorable, 8 percent unfavorable. For Otter, the comparable figures were 47 percent favorable, 35 percent unfavorable.
Idaho pollster Greg Smith today released results of a new statewide poll that showed that Idahoans are less favorable toward President Barack Obama than the nation, but they don’t feel all that strongly about it. The poll, which queried randomly selected 400 Idahoans 18 and older from June 15-18, also found that 53.8 percent of Idahoans feel the state is going in the right direction. Tomorrow, he’ll release results looking at Idahoans’ perceptions of Gov. Butch Otter and the state’s four-member congressional delegation. Click below for today’s results.