A poll release by the Josh Svaty-Katrina Lewison campaign on Tuesday was an example of what not to do when you send out such information, according to a University of Kansas political scientist.
“His press release was not only unprofessional, but it was misleading,” said Patrick Miller from KU. “It was unprofessional in the sense that, when a campaign puts out a press release about a poll, they should give that basic information like, what were the days, the sample size, margin of error, pollster. Show us the questions. Laura Kelly did that. Most Republicans running for governor have done that. Paul Davis did that in his recent poll. That is professional and it gives credibility.”
Miller also took issue with the methodology used.
“What they did that was misleading and in my mind, very much a B.S. move, was, the question that they put out was a question that was asked where they first gave the respondents some unknown information,” said Miller. “They never told us what they told respondents about the candidates. If you look at their release, it says, we said something positive about the candidates to the voters and then this is what the voters preferred.”
Survey experts call that an informed vote question.
“You typically do that to see how it alters people’s voting preferences,” said Miller. “Any professional pollster knows that one of the first questions you ask in a survey is a straight out, untainted, who are you going to vote for question, without giving any information. Then, after that, you may give some information to see how it alters the vote, but those questions are pure hypotheticals.”
Miller said you don’t typically see campaigns that think that media and consumers are that transparent. The Svaty campaign, as of this writing has still not provided us with the straight horse race question from its survey.