Kansas polls and election results

In the hotly contested Kansas Republican primary elections this year, polls generated a lot of interest. In two Kansas Congressional districts, independent polls did a good job of predicting the vote for all candidates except the two winners, and a candidate’s own poll may have been undermined by large voter turnout.

In a KWCH/SurveyUSA poll of the Kansas first Congressional district, the poll accurately (within the margin of sampling error) predicted the outcomes for all candidates except for victor Tim Huelskamp. The survey predicted 24 percent of the vote for him, and the actual vote was 35 percent. This poll had three candidates tied, so it didn’t predict a winner.

The same group also polled the fourth Congressional district. For three candidates — Jim Anderson, Wink Hartman, and Jean Schodorf, the poll predicted the exact percentage that the candidates actually received. The exception was winner Mike Pompeo. The poll predicted he would win and receive 31 percent of the vote. He did win, and his actual vote total was 39 percent.

An election eve poll by political consulting firm Singularis had mixed results in the fourth district, but is notable in that it predicted eventual winner Pompeo’s vote total closely. The poll indicated 37 percent of the vote, and the actual was 39 percent.

In the fourth district, Schodorf released four polls that her campaign commissioned. Each poll showed her support increasing, until in the third poll, she took the lead. In the fourth poll her lead increased.

When comparing this poll to actual election results, we find that Schodorf’s poll overstated her actual performance by six percentage points. The performance of Anderson and Hartman were understated by six and seven points. For winner Pompeo, the final Schodorf poll understated his performance by 13 percentage points. (These polls did not include candidate Paij Rutschman.)

In a conversation before the election with Schodorf’s pollster, he indicated several reasons why the numbers in her surveys were different than the KWCH/SurveyUSA poll numbers.

One difference between the polls was the source of the voters called by the pollsters. The KWCH/SurveyUSA polls started with a list of households. To determine likely voters, the pollster would ask respondents if they were going to vote. Schodorf’s polls used voter lists as a source, calling only on voters who had a history of voting in August primary elections.

Because many people look at voting as a positive civic duty, it is thought that people will overstate their actual tendency to vote, and this is a reason why polls might decide to use voter history as a selection device, especially in primary elections where turnout is generally low. It is standard practice of campaigns to use voter lists in their voter contact efforts.

But this year voter turnout was high. The Wichita Eagle reported voter turnout in Sedgwick County — home to about 71 percent of the population in the fourth district — was 25 percent. That’s higher than the 19 percent turnout predicted statewide, and higher than in most primary elections.

Considering Republican voters, the Sedgwick County election office reports there are 104,558 registered Republicans, and 49,967 Republican ballots were cast. That indicates a turnout of almost 48 percent, considering Sedgwick County only.

By calling only those with a history of primary voting, many people who voted in this election would not have been sampled by polls based on voter history.

The Schodorf polls were conducted by live operators, while the KWCH/SurveyUSA polls were automated response. This can lead to a difference in the types of people that respond to the poll.

In the Republican Senate primary between Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt, the final KWCH/SurveyUSA poll had Moran ahead by 49 to 39 percent, with eight percent undecided. The actual totals were Moran winning with 50 percent to Tiahrt’s 45 percent, so that poll understated Tiahrt’s total by six percentage points while correctly choosing the winner.


5 thoughts on “Kansas polls and election results”

  1. I think it would serve Mr Pompeo well if he and his campaign would eat a little humble pie and try to unite the Repulicans in the 4th district.

  2. Sorry for the typos — corrected version

    Anon
    Victory in November is all that matters. Pompeo did nothing wrong, in his campaign.
    I do not want Pompeo to make nice with Schodorf, a woman that Goyle now admits is much like him!
    For the rest of the Party? Pompeo is the winner. If you can not get behind him, because of your pride, then something is wrong with you, not Pompeo.

  3. This thread seems to fit the topic of my letter better than any other, on this Blog:

    Rajeev Goyle
    Democrat Candidate for Congress

    Mr. Goyle;
    I have serious questions about your rather hypocritical campaign advertising, most notably the commercial at this link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv7oCrClE84

    How can you keep a straight face, when you attack the “outsourcing of American Jobs” and “tax breaks” for outsourcing jobs, when so many people, who are very close to you, make their living doing EXACTLY that?

    Let us begin with Rajiv Shah, the director of USAID or the United States Agency for International Development. Mr. Shah did more than just give “tax breaks” for outsourcing jobs — Mr. Shah actually gave TAX DOLLARS, DIRECTLY, to a firm in Sri Lanka who’s PURPOSE is to OUTSOURCE AMERICAN “I.T.” JOBS!:

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/integration/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=226500202

    Rajiv Shah was appointed to his current position by President Barrack Hussein Obama. You you endorsed Obama, in many Hindu and Asian-American newsletters, long before Obama had defeated Hillary Clinton, in the Democrat Primary. You even campaigned, personally, for President Obama, in Texas and other states, during the Primary and General elections.

    Mr. Goyle, if you truly object to tax breaks given to domestic companies, for “outsourcing jobs’ — should you not be even more vocal, in your opposition, to American tax dollars being sent DIRECTLY to foreign countries, for the purpose of outsourcing jobs?

    Then we come to the White and Case law firm. Mr. Brian Miller, at White and Case, is the former senior legal adviser for USAID:

    http://www.whitecase.com/bmiller/

    Of course, Monica K. Arora also works at the White and Case law firm:

    http://www.whitecase.com/marora/

    Monica Arora’s expertise is in the area of INTERNATIONAL investments, and in “carried interest”. “Carried interest” is a kind of tax shelter, which converts ordinary income into capital gains:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carried_interest

    It certainly appears that Monica Arora is involved, directly, in raising money from wealthy Americans. She then uses that investment capital to fund FOREIGN industries. Monica Arora designs methods to convert the interest, or ordinary income, from these investments, into tax advantaged capital gains.

    Of course, Monica K. Arora is married to Rajeev Goyle:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/25/style/weddings-celebrations-monica-arora-rajeev-goyle.html

    I have presented several issues for you to deal with, of course. If I have made a mistake, in the identities or facts involved, please let me know. I will correct the record, as far as my statements are concerned, immediately, if you can prove that I am in error in any way.

    Beyond the fact that Monica K. Arora appears to live in Maryland, and she appears to work in New York, for a Wall Street, hedge fund, law office, (which raises questions about YOUR actual residence) —

    I have honest, sincere questions about your hypocrisy, and your obvious conflicts of interest. What will you do when the subject of taxation on international hedge fund investments comes up in Congress? (Should you win the election.)

    Let us not forget that Democrat Congresswoman Maxine Waters is currently under investigation, by the House Ethics Committee, for seeking favors for a Bank, on behalf of her husband:

    “CNN) — California Rep. Maxine Waters is pressing the House ethics panel to set her trial date before the midterm elections in November. —The 10-term congresswoman is accused of violating House rules by seeking federal assistance for a bank with financial ties to her husband.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/08/06/maxine.waters/index.html

    There are several purposes, to this emailed letter.

    First, I would like you to correct this letter, if any portion of it is not true. I want specific, line-by-line corrections, with facts and evidence to support your requested changes, to the honest effort that I have made in presenting the facts, as I see them.

    Second, I would respectfully ask you to stop running your misleading advertising, concerning the “outsourcing of jobs” and “tax breaks.”

    Third, I would further request that you promise the voters, immediately, that you will not use any current or future elective office to directly assist your friends, or your wife, Monica Arora, in their international investment activities.

    Fourth, I would ask that you publicly object to the deal just announced by Rajiv Shah, and the USAID, under the direction of the Obama Administration. That deal will outsource American jobs.

    Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

    Sincerely;

    Paul F. Rosell
    Wichita, KS

  4. I thought the polls did a lousy job. Huelskamp was generally behind when he ended up more than 10 points ahead of #2. Tiahrt was running 10 points behind Moran in every pre-election poll I saw but ended up in very close race.

    I will admit that polling in today’s age of phone monitoring, lack of land lines, and problems with telephone spam makes it tough to poll, but the primary results placed a lot of egg on the pollsters faces. Jean Schodorf needs a new pollster unless her numbers were simply an invention of the wish replacing the reality.

    There were other races in the Wichita area where the winner was unexpected. In fact, if you looked at the eagle’s endorsement, and chose the non endorsed candidate, you generally found the winner. Look at the county commission primaries in the 4th & 5th districts as well as Rep. McLeland’s race.

  5. PR
    Your allegiance to Pompeo has blinded your objectivity. 61% did NOT vote for Pompeo. No where did I say that I wouldn’t support him. Introspection can be very useful. I believe it would be wise for everyone especially the newly elected leader for the Repulicans so that he does win.

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