Thursday, February 14, 2008

Is Franken really the "Front Runner" for the DFL US Senate endorsement?

This fall it's Al Franken vs. Norm Coleman -- Mike Ciresi and Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer just doesn't have the support to win the DFL US Senate endorsement. That appears to be the proclamation from the legacy media based upon Survey USA's KSTP sponsored poll and the TV station's online post about the poll. According to KSTP Franken is the "front runner" But if you take some time to dig into the numbers, and know a little bit about the political process, you know that outcome is far from certain.

First, the poll was done among Republicans, Independents and Democrats. Republicans and Independent voters don't determine the DFL endorsement, Democrats do. And when you look at just the Democratic voters numbers, Al Franken pulls 79%, and Mike Ciresi 75%. That's closer than the margin of error in the poll (when you narrow the sample to just Democrats).

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer polls just 58% among Democrats, but there are nearly twice as many undecideds (18%) as there are in matchups between Franken/Ciresi and Colman. That's not surprising since Nelson-Pallmeyer's campaign is not very well known in the general public. Adding in just half of those undecideds puts Nelson-Pallmeyer just a few percentage points behind Franken and Ciresi.

Second, it is now delegates, not voters, who are going to determine who the DFL US Senate nominee is going to be. All three candidates have agreed to abide by the endorsement, which means there's only going to be one major candidate running in the DFL primary this September. This poll was done among the general public not delegates.

The three DFL candidates are better known to the delegates than the general public. And as noted above, even among the general population of Democrats, the race is too close to call or even a three-way race.

So for KSTP to use this poll to call Franken the "front runner" is not based on fact, not based on their own poll, and takes a real stretch of the imagination... or just a lack of attention to detail to do. KSTP should stick to the facts on this one -- that is Franken does better in this poll in a head-to-head matchup with Coleman than Ciresi or Nelson-Pallmeyer do -- and leave deciding who the DFL "front runner" is to the delegates.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Al Franken will easily get the nomination at the DFL state convention in Rochester in June. He is the clear front-runner today and will remain so, through early June, when the question will be closed.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Michael M said...

That is your opinion and it certainly may turn out to be a correct prediction. But KSTP is in the business of reporting the facts, not promoting a candidate as the front runner among Democrats... particularly when their own poll doesn't even support that.

10:51 PM  
Blogger dinkydorr said...

I agree with Michael's analysis of the survey results. One other important thing to be aware of is the wording of the survey. The earlier survey done in late Jan/early Feb by the HHH Institite & MPR (I hope I recall correctly the survey sponsors)asked: "if the Senate ELECTION were held today, who would you VOTE for" This is a throw-away question, since the DFL has to get thru the party endorsement first.Voters do not determine the endorsement, party members do.We are not even close to the election,yet. So for the Franken campaign to boast that their candidate would win the endorsement based on this survey results, is an incorrect interpretation of both the wording of the question & the survey results. Furthermore, it was bad survey methods on the part of the sponsors(who ought to know better)to use such wording in the question, especially this far ahead of the DFL endorsing convention.It created confusion in the citizens minds by blurring voting for a candidate in election with having that candidate endorsed by their party.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Okay, gotcha, thanks for the clarification. Blog on!

9:59 PM  
Blogger X said...

I'm not sure how Franken will fair. He doesn't have the Ventura following and some people can't take him seriously.

4:39 PM  

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