Lessons from 2010 Primary …..Whose Polls can you Trust?

Jim SillsJim Sills 8 Comments


In the last month before the June primary, Barry Jantz reported a poll showing a close race between Howard Wayne and Lorie Zapf in SD city council district 6.

Soon after, I reported on polling which showed Juan Vargas leading Mary Salas outside SD County and would likely win the 40th senate Democratic primary.

Barry Jantz took flack from some in the local MSM, who demanded documentation and sourcing on these polls. Barry replied that many posters here are political professionals and, as such, “hear” breaking info which doesn’t reach traditional media, and which are told us on the basis of no attribution.

That was true for Barry’s info about council district 6, and for me about the 40th senate primary. I determined my sources were reliable and wrote the story.

To put it charitably, these journalists were “skeptical” of our reports and put more stock in the favored Howard Wayne and Mary Salas.

……………………….Checking the Scoreboard

Both Lori Zapf and Juan Vargas won upset victories, but they were not surprises to SD Rostra readers and believers in Barry “the B-Dog” Jantz.

Barry’s prediction: Lorie Zapf was not just competitive, she won the primary by double digits, and heads to a Fall runoff with the “big Mo” against Howard Wayne.

Sills’ prediction: Juan Vargas did win outside S.D. County, while trailing here, but in the end he won his race with Mary Salas. OK, OK, it took a while for my prediction to get there, but even a 22-vote win is a win.

I hope this review of Rostra’s primary poll reporting is useful to our readers. But I’m also writing it so Barry Jantz can point to it, the next time someone questions insider Poll data reported on SD Rostra.


Comments 8

  1. Thanks, Jim, where do I send the check? Kidding aside, I appreciate it. Great job to you on the Vargas polling.

    For the record, I believe it was Sunshine that first cited the Zapf poll, with me simply providing support in the form of a comment by noting that I had seen the poll and knew it was real, although I was not open to discussing the source. I did have some concerns about the low percentage of undecideds, and noted that to some of the MSM that questioned the veracity of anyone at Rostra using insider, but non-attributed information, while still noting that we are in the business of doing just that, as bloggers. Sunshine caught most of the flak, by the way.

    I also noted at both the “Conservative First Friday” prior to the election and I believe on the online live CityBeat blog election night my opinion that Zapf would surprise many folks.

    At any rate, thanks for the kudos!

  2. Barry:

    Thank you for those valuable details, and a tip of
    the Hatlo Hat to, “Sunshine” for a job well done.

    And I was there and heard you the Friday before
    the election preparing people for a surprise in
    District 6.

  3. SD Rostra accurately foresaw Lorie Zapf doing much
    better than expected by the MSM and by those on the
    Left. Conventional wisdom had Howard Wayne
    way ahead of her, and maybe winning outright in
    the primary with 51%.

    That’s why Barry Jantz was grilled over our reporting
    of that survey showing a close race….. wish-fulfilling
    scribes thought the attacks on Lorie Zapf’s personal
    integrity were working, and that she would do well to
    even Make the Runoff. I heard that belief stated
    many times in the closing weeks.

    As to the “moron’ remark , that is beneath you.

  4. Did Wayne and Zapf make the runoff? Yes. Many had Wayne in an outright victory, and some had Wayne and Hadley in a runoff, with no chance for Zapf.

    And, we won’t even respond with unneeded name-calling.

  5. You write in your image “SD Rostra called these upsets.”

    That’s a blatant falsehood. Sunshine published a poll that showed Wayne taking first place, which was not the outcome.

    Second, I don’t know a single person who thought it would be a Hadley-Wayne run-off.

    I stand by moron remark. If you’re going to post, get your facts straight.

  6. Below is the Final Totals Vs (Poll in Question)

    Howard Wayne – 24.7 vs (35)
    Lorie Zapf – 36.2 vs (31)
    Steve Hadley – 17.7 vs (9.5)
    Kim Tran – 13 vs (9)
    Ryan Huckabone – 8.3 vs (6)

    Looks to me like the “undecided” 9 from the poll was split between all the candidates and Howard lost just about 10 points to Hadley and Zapf. So basically, the poll was very accurate but didn’t account for Howard Wayne being such a terrible candidate and having him lose so much support to superior candidates.

    What is so funny is months ago Labor/Dems were talking about how Howard Wayne will win outright, now Labor leaders are saying Zapf wasted her money getting through the “sure thing” primary.

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