When Push Poll Comes to Shove

COSTA MESA — At the latest meeting of the Costa Mesa City Council, the Costa Mesa Taxpayers Association (CMTA) announced the results of a push poll. Colin McCarthy crowed about the results, but take a closer look. The poll doesn’t ask about the basic policy voted on by the Costa Mesa City council – outsourcing services and laying off nearly half of the City’s workforce to balance the budget.

CMTA, which has handed out a chart of the City’s highest paid workers at events, didn’t even bother to ask if it’s “acceptable” the City didn’t cut the salaries and benefits of the seven highest paid bureaucrats to balance the budget.

The survey released earlier by Repair Costa Mesa found 59% of likely voters in Costa Mesa opposed the City Council’s outsourcing scheme with 44% strongly opposed. That poll was designed using sound methodology to determine what people are thinking about the issues, not lead them to conclusions. Read it yourself HERE.

The numbers shoved out by the CMTA are the result of a robo-push poll – a methodology called into question by several leading non-partisan pollsters.

According to Mark Blumenthal at Pollster.com, a site dedicated to analyzing survey research, “A call made for the purposes of disseminating information under the guise of survey is still a fraud – and thus still a ‘push poll’ – even if the facts of the ‘questions’ are technically true or defensible.”

This is exactly the purpose the CMTA admitted to the Daily Pilot yesterday.

“The main goal of the CMTA poll was to get factual information out to residents… [CMTA co-founder Ethan Temianka] said.”

To make matters worse, the CMTA poll was conducted by a firm specializing in automated push calls for campaigns that lets the client write the questions themselves.

Simply put, the Costa Mesa Taxpayers Association’s push poll is not “acceptable.” It’s a transparent attempt to muddle the issues for a political scheme the public does not support.

  1 comment for “When Push Poll Comes to Shove

  1. April 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Dan doesn’t like me to link to my blog, but over at the Orange Juice the other day, “Mayor Quimby” wrote an excellent post demonstrating exactly how Roy Reynolds’ “poll” was in fact a push-poll. I saw today he’s been commenting here as well, under the name “Greenster.”

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