Here’s a shocker!? State Representative Todd Book (D- Portsmouth) has a problem with name recognition in the more populous western part of the district.? This is news to absolutely nobody, but, apparently, the Krikorian campaign who has spent money on yet another poll on the race in their public relations blitz to make his candidacy seem unbeatable.

Whenever I get a campaign poll, I’m already suspicious,? but when all I get is a press release with not even a redacted or abridged version of the poll data, I’m downright distrustful.? It leaves me having to parse the word-choice carefully to see what the poll does and does not say.

For example, David Krikorian’s campaign press release says:

In extensive polling of over 3,000 Democratic party voters who participated in both the 2006 and 2008 primaries,? 56.48% of respondents across the second congressional district have a favorable opinion of David Krikorian as the candidate to beat Jean Schmidt.

What does that mean?? Does 56% of Democratic primary voters hold a favorable opinion of David Krikorian or that that they have a favorable opinion as he is a primary candidate to beat Jean Schmidt?? If the poll question included Jean Schmidt (and we’re not given the wording of the question and the press release curiously includes the language about Schmidt in reporting the results), then it’s not hard to see how any Democratic candidate could get a favorability rating over 50%.

In comparison, neither Ted Strickland, Lee Fisher, or Jennifer Brunner polls above 50% among registered Democrats in the latest Quinny poll because a majority of registered Democrats said they don’t know enough about them to form an opinion.? These are candidates that have actually won statewide elections.? Therefore, it’s rather odd to see David Krikorian, who came in a distant third as a conservative Independent who only campaigned mostly in the eastern part of the district two years ago really getting above 50% favorability ratings throughout the sprawling Second Congressional after getting less than a quarter of the general election votes, so stunning you have to assume question bias.

Here’s what Krikorian’s poll found about Book:

26.62% of those polled responded that they had ?never heard of? Todd Book.? Book?s greatest issues with name recognition are in the two most populated counties in the district; 32.46% of respondents in Clermont County and 33.61% in Hamilton County did not recognize his name.

That’s it.? Not a single word about Book’s favorability ratings.? No indication that this poll even did a head-to-head matchup asking primary voters who’d they’d like vote for if the primary were held today.

Anyone really believe that Krikorian’s campaign was so stupid as to not ask that question?? Me, either.?? Therefore, the only conclusion is that it gave them a result they don’t want to disclose.

Looking at what the campaign did release, it’s entirely possible that Krikorian’s got the same name recognition problem that their press release claims Book has AND that Book has the same or better favorability ratings.? Because the press release doesn’t include both the data about Krikorian and Bookk on the same questions, you have to wonder why they’d consciously choose not to.

After all, if 26.62% of respondents have said that they’ve “never heard of” Todd Book, then that leaves 73% of Democratic primary voters who may have.? That’s not that bad of a name recognition problem.

When you actually take a step back and realize that the Krikorian campaign so carefully cherry picked what data to disclose that it doesn’t give the reader any way to really compare Book and Krikorian on favorable voter sentiment or name recognition, and that’s the only two issues the campaign was willing to disclose their results, you really have to wonder why the campaign even bothered issuing a press release.

This is the second time the Krikorian campaign issued a press release where the polling data they disclosed did not back up the wild assertions they made.? (Ironically, today’s press release actually PROVES my criticism of their last poll by proving that their claim that Book and Jim Parker share only 5-7% of the vote in their home counties.)

In today’s press release, the Krikorian campaign boldly claims that Krikorian has “Significant Fund-raising [sic] and Polling Advantage over Challenger.”? How can a campaign who’s candidate had to donate 80% of its money to get a whopping $60k cash-on-hand advantage, and whose own poll doesn’t show him winning in a head-to-head matchup can claim this is beyond me.

The Krikorian campaign promises that it’s different from the usual political campaign, but it’s been systematically engaged in some of the most intellectually dishonest spin I’ve ever seen.

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  • anastasjoy

    Your math is off. It's actually 73% who have heard of Book, which is pretty still pretty staggeringly high for this type of race this early. I'd like to know what Krikorian's name recognition is. Did Ohiobama write this release?

  • modernesquire

    Will correct, thanks Ana. No, it wasn't written by Geoffrey Sea, but his post on DailyKos should be up in 3 … 2….

  • Bemused

    On the subject of “intellectually dishonest spin,” here are some factual inversions of Brian Hester's post:

    1. David Krikorian pulled 18% of the district-wide vote in 2008, which was the HIGHEST percentage of any Independent congressional candidate in the nation.

    2. Somehow, Hester manages to twist the fact that Krikorian polls with HIGHER favorability in OH-02 than Strickland, Fisher, or Brunner do statewide into some kind of negative for Krikorian. Then again, it would take some doing to poll lower than Ted Strickland these days.

    3. Hester says Krikorian “only campaigned mostly in the eastern part of the district two years ago.” The exact opposite is true. Krikorian NEVER VISITED the eastern part of the district in 2008, and his very low results in the east (less than 5%) bore that out. He didn't campaign in the heavily Democratic east so he wouldn't draw votes from Democrat Vic Wulsin, and in fact, he wound up drawing more votes from Schmidt.

    4. Hester's contention that Krikorian campaigned as “a conservative Independent” precisely contradicts Hester's other contention that Krikorian hurt Wulsin's chances. How did a “conservative” who campaigned only in Schmidt strongholds wind up hurting liberal Vic Wulsin?

    5. If Book's low name recognition is “no surprise,” and Book has no money to correct that situation, and the race is now crowded with TWO Independents running, and a Schmidt challenger in the GOP, how and when is Todd Book's inevitable overwhelming triumph going to take place, as predicted by Hester?

    The only one spinning like a top here is Brian Hester. Look for the Book campaign to shortly end.

  • modernesquire

    Bemused (aka Geoffrey Sea):

    Thanks for the new screenname, but I didn't think you read me and yet, you followed me to my blog? I'm touched.

    Yes, you're right, I meant to say Krikorian campaigned exclusively on the western, not eastern, part of the district in '08. And that is why Krikorian's poll numbers are laughable. It's impossible for Krikorian to have such high favorabilities in an area where he's never seriously campaigned before. The result must be the result of question bias. The language of the press release suggests the bias because it suggests the question including comparing Krikorian to Schmidt. If it did, that explains how Krikorian could get such a high favorability number in counties he's never campaigned in.

    As to your fourth point, a simple comparison of the 2006 and 2008 results shows how one could reach such a conclusion. Krikorian took away “anti-Schmidt' votes from people who would have voted for a Democrat one election to get rid of Schmidt and then voted for a Republican the next cycle to get rid of Wulsin.

    It's no surprise that Book would have name recognition problems this early on the western party of th district. He's not competiting right now against the Independents. He's competiting for the Democratic primary voters. And he can solve that as he continues to do what he's been doing: campaigning in the western part of the district, introducing himself to Democratic activists, attending their events, etc. That hardly requires a major bankroll and he has sufficient funding to do that.

    Primaries in the Second have been won on retail politics, not big ad buys etc., because there's not a unfied media market that makes such a campaign effecient.

    Gee, could Schmidt be wounded by a GOP primary fight allowing the Democratic candidate to win? Yeah, it's really that easy.

  • Bemused

    Brian, Brian, you're all in a tither. I understand, what with having to make a crappy argument hold water.

    Here's why you are wrong:

    1. You say “It's impossible for Krikorian to have such high favorabilities in an area where he's never seriously campaigned.” But no! He only neglected the east in 2008! He's paid quite a lot of attention to the east in 2009! And he has gotten TERRIFIC FREE PUBLICITY in the east do to YOUR little stunt — I mean you and the Pike-Scioto mob. Don't you get it, Brian? By getting those dick-head cronies in Pike and Scioto to endorse Book, YOU gave Krikorian the BEST publicity he could hope for — front page coverage of him standing up to the mob calling their cronyism. Now EVERYONE in the east knows Krikorian and he's thrashing Book by a mile in Pike County. THANK YOU, BRIAN!

    2. Your little stunt also caused Jim Parker to withdraw from the Democratic race. Jim now says he'll run as an Independent, but that's only to protect against Book winning the primary — to punish the Democratic mob here. So if Book pulls off a nomination, he has Parker as an Independent siphoning votes in Pike. Parker will not, however, challenge Krikorian.

    3. Anastasjoy's math is NOT correct. 27% saying they don't know Book from Schmidt does NOT mean that 73% do. She and you forget that another response category is “don't know/don't care”. So out of that 73%, a whole lot just don't care to respond, and another big chunk knows Book but has an unfavorable view of him. His actual support numbers in 95% of the district are miniscule.

    4. You're not connecting the dots, Brian. Your other post yesterday was about how incumbent Portsmouth mayor Jim Kalb is “the most humiliated man in Ohio” after placing third, behind a write-in candidate. Don't you realize that Kalb and Book are best buddies in voters' minds? The two of them were the lead backers of the defeated City Center scam. Jane Murray won the mayor's race in OPPOSITION to that Kalb-Book scam. Book is irrevocably tied to the machine, which Scioto voters have now rejected twice.

    Krikorian will win ALL OVER the district. By the way, just what support in Scioto County do you think Todd Book has? I know he has Jim Kalb's endorsement. Who else?

  • modernesquire

    Yet again, you ignore the truth to push nonsensical arguments that inflate the importance of unimportant things. Geoff, you're either delusion or a pathalogical liar. Either way, your adversion to the truth in this race as finally led to revealing that you are, in fact, an advisor to Krikorian's campaign, and therefore, not the objective observer you've been parading around as.

    As to your points, I must first note, that as always, you've never addressed any of the actual criticisms raised. You go on one guilt by association rant after another.

    The poll numbers about his favorability included the eastern counties. If you think my posts were RESPONSIBLE for that, then you really are insane and have delusions of my grandeur. I don't have that kind of readership in SEO.

    Regardless, actual events betray your completely fantasized spin. You seem to forget that my posts about Krikorian threatening to run as an Independent was generated by people in Scioto County who were OFFENDED by his arrogence and actively sought me out to let me know about it. You also conveniently forget that Krikorian's “stand” was so inspiring, that it brought member of the Scioto County Democratic Party to come out, in force, and endorse Todd Book at the very next meeting.

    I like Jim Parker, but he's a non-factor, even in Pike County. He only carried Pike County in 2006 with 700 some votes in a five-party field in which the rest of his opponents came from the Western part of the district. Jim is not going to carry the general election in Pike County, regardless of who the Democratic nominee is, nor is he going to cost the county for the Democratic candidate, particularly if that candidate is from neighboring Scioto County.

    Krikorian's OWN POLL shows that he won't carry the district. His OWN poll shows him losing to Jean Schmidt beyond the margin of error and LOSING GROUND. His OWN POLL shows him losing counties Jean Schmidt has NEVER come even close to carrying. Your own campaign disproves your ridiculous assertions.

    “Don't Know/Don't Care” response is a joke. The point is that the only reason Krikorian's campaign wouldn't release how their own candidate does on the same responses as they selectively released about Book so we have a basis of comparison shows that their joke of a press release was nothing more than just spin, which is why no media outlet has reported on his poll spin.

    Given that you're with the Krikorian campaign, instead of making conjecture about what the results regarding Book “may have been” why don't you get the campaign to release the data?

  • Bemused

    Mr. Hester, can you have a conversation without immediately engaging in ad hominem attacks and calling someone who disagrees with you “insane” or a “pathological liar”? It's really unbecoming your station, y'know?

    Fact is, you pretend to know something about this area, when all you are really doing is pumping the failed candidacy of your friend. I have disclosed only that I advised the Krikorian campaign on Piketon issues, as I have advised MANY candidates, of BOTH parties on Piketon issues, since I happen to have expertise and experience with those issues.

    And you? What is YOUR role in the Book campaign? Care to share? We know you advise him, since you did so publicly on BSB and then actually boasted: “Todd Book has taken my advice.” So your accusations about advising are rather funny.

    Now, as to the facts that you continue to avoid by a resort to name-calling:

    1. No campaign releases all internal poll data. In the OH-02 campaign, only one candidate has released any poll data and that candidate is David Krikorian, who has released selective data from three polls — one head-to-head with Schmidt, one survey of all candidates' standing, and one head-to-head with Book in the primary. If either Schmidt or Book dispute those numbers, they are free to conduct and release their own poll data. Where is a single number from the Book campaign?

    2. You continue to mischaracterize the second poll by saying it shows Krikorian losing to Schmidt. Well yeah, but it also showed Todd Book losing BY MUCH MORE. It was a survey of all candidates ranking while Schmidt had no primary opponent. Now that Schmidt does have a primary opponent, those numbers would be different.

    3. You keep attacking poll numbers on the basis of what you think must be true. You mistake your assumptions and fantasies for facts. The reason to do polling is to accumulate facts that may challenge preconceptions. If you already know everything, Brian, why bother with any campaign or an election? Just tell us what the result in 2010 must be, according to the Hester fantasy, and we can all stop right now.

    4. No media outlet has covered the latest Krikorian poll? I'm surprised at you. Just today the Portsmouth Daily Times carries an article: “Kirkorian reports favorable polls.” )Sorry it appears to not be posted to their website yet.) It's quite complimentary to Krikorian. You ought to know the Daily Times — you were a reporter for them. Care for some salt on your hat or do you want it unflavored?

    5. Instead of ranting maniacally, just please divulge what support in Scioto County you think that Todd Book has. Not your fantasy or reference to anonymous “friends” or “people.” Name the entities in Scioto County, Book's home county, you contend support Todd Book. We already know Jim Kalb is on the list. Any others? Thanks in advance.

  • modernesquire

    Yes, I can have a conversation with someone without calling them a pathological liar when the other person doesn't have a documented history (which your last comment added to) of consistently and unapologeticly LYING. Given your history of resorting to name calling and guilt by association, you are ill-equipped to tsk-tsk me.

    1) Nobody is asking them to release all their polling data. This point is the classic red herring. ALL I've said is the campaign does not included any results on an actual head-to-head primary matchup and it selective picks data without ever once stating what the responses were on both candidates so the reader could have an actual basis of comparison. This press release reeks of a campaign trying to dress up their own poll results to suggest a narrative that the ACTUAL results of the poll does not actually suggest. That's why they didn't release the percentage of the people who had a favorable opinion of Book or what Krikorian's actual name recognition is. Because if their data on those issues supported the claims they're making in this release, it would have been political malpractice NOT to.

    Um, no. Again, you are completely making shit up when there's demonstrative evidence contradicting what you say. Krikorian did not include any of the other primary candidates in his second poll, it was really nothing more than another head-to-head general election matchup between Krikorian and Schmidt. To date, Krikorian's campaign has NEVER released any polling data saying who Democratic primary voters would vote for if the primary were today if the candidates were Krikorian and Book. The campaign has NEVER released any head-to-head data regarding Krikorian and Book. What they did was released selected portions of their favorability numbers in such a manner that they deny the reader what percentage the other candidate received of the same type of response on the same question so that a true comparison could be made.

    2) Again, you lie. The second poll by Krikorian NEVER included Todd Book's name on ANY QUESTION. For your statement to be true, the poll would have had to ask “If the Democratic nominee is State Rep. Todd Book and the Republican nominee is Congresswoman Jean Schmidt and the general election were today, who would you likely vote for?” Or something of like that.. No, what the Krikorian campaign (and you) have done is suggest that because a small percentage of respondents when asked a similar question of your candidate responded that they would prefer to vote for someone else. Taking “none of the above” for that question and saying ti represents Todd Book's support in the district is just intellectually dishonest and fraudulent.

    You conjecture that because Schmidt has a primary opponent, her general election numbers would be worse, but there's no real data to support that. What we DO have data is that Krikorian campaign, in ITS own poll, shows that Krikorian would most likely lose to Jean Schmidt and his poll numbers have gotten substantially worse since this summer.

    3. Yet again, you completely misrepresent what I've said and the basis of my criticism. My point is actually the one you make here. By cherrypicking their data, the Krikorian campaign is attempting to create a preconception. My point, which you've never addressed, is that the cherrypicking is so obvious it begs the question of whether the actual poll even supports the inferences the press release is making. Actually, that's too polite. The selective cherry picking down right screams that the results of the poll, in fact, contradict the campaign's assertion, which is why nobody should treat it seriously.

    4) The Portsmouth Daily Times does what it always does and run any press release that's faxed to it? I'm stunned. Regardless, even the headline they used shows just about how much respect Krikorian's selective data is getting. Did the Cincinnati Enquirer report it? Nope? And radio or TV? Nope. So you got one, maybe a few of the weeklies, to run your press release. Congratulations. Nobody, though, is actual reporting this as credible data.

    The PD doesn't put the content where they just ran a press release on its website. That's why it's not there.

    5. You're the one ranting maniacally, trying to dress this crap poll as if it's objective data.

    Um, well, we already know that Book has been endorsed by the Scioto County Democratic Party and several unions for one. We also know that nobody has endorsed Krikorian for another. And yet, you're NOT the delusional one? Whatever, Geoff.

  • modernesquire

    Sorry, I missed the rest of your rant. Todd Book is NOT my friend. As I've told you (REPEATEDLY), I almost challenged him in his first primary campaign. We don't talk. We don't send each other Christmas cards or do events together with our families. At best, he knows my name and remembers meeting me. That's it. It's barely an acquiantence. And yet, you've gone around the blogsphere falsely saying that “we grew up together” and all other nonsense. You really need to cut it out.

    LMOA. I don't advise the Book campaign, nor have I ever CLAIMED to. I've never had a single conversation with Todd Book where I gave him any political or campaign advice at all. It's never happened.

    What you are referring to is this post on BSB: http://www.buckeyestateblog.com/oh_02_state_rep

    In which I referred to my earlier post in which I said Schmidt's comments suggesting that she's sympathetic to the birther movement is prime fundraising material– something so completely obvious that a rationale mind would have seen my later claim of credit for it for the “tongue-in-cheek” intent I had.

    Did you honestly think that *I* believed Book did that fundraising pitch because I wrote he should? LOL. No, sorry, I didn't. The comment you referred to was a joke because my “advice” was to do something that was so painfully obvious that Krikorian did the same thing… Do I deserve credit because Krikorian also sent out a fundraising solicitation citing Schmidt's birther comments. No.

    Equating my giving unsoliticited advice publicly on a blog with your consulantacy and private converations with the actual candidate on policy matters is just silly, Geoff.

  • Bemused

    Hey Brian, you might want to check this out before stuffing any more feet into your mouth:

    http://www.progressohio.org/page/community/post

    Yeah, Book shafted his union buddies in Scioto County, they shafted back, and Book will soon withdraw. Retail politics, taking your advice, uh huh.

    So now, Brian……….whose trench or you in? Schmidt's?

  • Bemused

    Hey Brian, you might want to check this out before stuffing any more feet into your mouth:

    http://www.progressohio.org/page/community/post

    Yeah, Book shafted his union buddies in Scioto County, they shafted back, and Book will soon withdraw. Retail politics, taking your advice, uh huh.

    So now, Brian……….whose trench or you in? Schmidt's?

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