Yesterday was municipal election day where I live. When I arrived home there were 10 messages on my answering device from mayoral candidates or their supporters. Actually, the messages were from a computer. No candidates personally called me. These messages were simply one manifestation of how technology is playing a more dominant role in local politics. Technology is also playing a role in political polling and research. If you’ve been following my blog lately you may have noticed that I have been posting Brad Chism’s Zatapulse surveys. When I posted the first one I received a couple of e-mails from people who told me how the validity of this type of polling was questionable. Well, the mayoral race is over and Brad is probably smiling. The Zatapulse polls proved more accurate than others. Judge for yourself:
Candidate 5/2 Zatapulse survey Actual Primary Results
H Johnson 26% 27.6%
Crisler 26% 27.2%
Melton 18% 18.0%
Hohrn 11% 17.6%
Fair 4% 3.7%
Candidates 7% 5.9%
Undecided 8% 0.0%
Total 100% 100%
The following is from Brad Chism’s report:
Why we did this: We had several friends in the Jackson Mayor’s race but no candidates who were clients. We were intrigued by the dynamics of this race and decided to do some survey work for public dissemination.About the surveys. These five samples of 500+ voter phone households were rough approximations of historical voter registration and turnout. While we did not track the respondents self-identification by age, race, and gender we did not weighted the survey by these demographics or by voter frequency.
Methodology We used an interactive, automated call with keypad responses to record results. The numbers were scrambled and randomly dialed with a quota of respondents by ward. As the name suggests, our ZATAPULSE takes the pulse of the electorate. It is not an “MRI”. It is a useful tool for short surveys of this nature and we have used it for more than 200 races across the country. We employ a similar methodology as Survey USA or Rasmussen.
About Zata3 Zata|3 is a political consulting firm for Democratic candidates and progressive causes. Company President Brad Chism splits time between his Washington, DC and Jackson, MS offices. For each of the last three years, Zata|3 had won more awards by the AAPC for its telephone voter contact programs than any other firm in America. For more information, go to http://www.zata3.com.