This Week in Polling: Memo-ries Past and Biased Attacks.

(Foreword: I am a Baker supporter, but I am also a fair scientist. We must hold everyone to the same standards, lest we act like Democrats)

If the Baker Campaign and their pollster, POS, want to refuse the Suffolk University Poll, it is disingenuous to just release a memo. They should release their cross tabs, weights and methodology to the media; the same standard they would demand of any other poll reported as news.

To my knowledge, POS has refused to do so. This makes the validity of their numbers suspect. A good scientist is never afraid to defend their work by releasing their data. A good scientist is also not afraid to be proven wrong if it means they will learn something. And yes this works both ways, but that conversation cannot occure if one side is afraid and only releases a memo……

In addition to this, POS has a history of releasing internal polling numbers that turnout to be less than consistent with Election Day results. In 2006, Tim O’Brien stated that Kerry Healey was within single digits of Deval Patrick.  She lost by 21%. Michael Graham was even on the record as suspect.…

Even still, I only bring it up to clearly illustrate a pattern of behavior, not to shade quality of work. Work can be judged based on methodology, if and when it is ever released.

Beyond this, campaigns need to be likeable. Everyone on a campaign directly represents the candidate.

If Tim O’Brien thinks the best way to represent the Baker Campaign and refute an independent media poll is to release a comment demeaning Suffolk University’s polling, and David Paleologos’ methodology, he may need more than a history lesson.

Tim O’Brien may need a math lesson.

Suffolk University is a school serving as alma mater to roughly 70,000 Massachusetts voters.

No, Suffolk University is not as prestigious as Catholic University. No, it isn’t situated in a location that can benefit from having a back yard of Washington, D.C.  In fact, up until ten years ago, Suffolk was mainly a middle class commuter school, attended by people like me, because we could afford it.

The fact is; polls are snap shots. No one knows which poll is right or wrong, with certainty, until Election Day. But if you are going to directly attack one poll, with your own, you have to be willing to put up or shut up.  

To take a cheap shot and run away is the act of a coward, and makes you look suspect.

But to act arrogant or dismissive simply because you do not like the results, and to hold others to a higher standard than you hold yourself, well that is defined by one word.      Hypocrisy.

I hope this explains my position, and why it matters that we are fair.

PS Spending time debating polling, in terms of who is right and wrong, is a waste of time and energy. Focus on campaigning, and the poll numbers will take care of themselves.

About Vincent Errichetti