U-T San Diego publishes questionable mayoral poll

From LGBT Weekly / October 21, 2012

The San Diego U-T published a poll suggesting that Carl DeMaio is ahead in the mayoral race by ten points. Shocking. You mean Doug Manchester and the U-T have conducted a poll that supports his candidate, DeMaio? No other poll has shown DeMaio in the lead. So I guess the cheese stands alone, as the old nursery rhyme goes. We in the LGBT community know that the U-T coverage of the mayor’s race has been cheesy at best.

Let’s analyze the actual U-T poll. First the margin of error is +/- 4%. That means that you can subtract 4% from DeMaio and add 4% to Filner. That would mean DeMaio could be as low as 42% and Filner as high as 40%. Hmm, that would make it a 2% lead for DeMaio. Of course, there are more issues with the headline and the poll.

The U-T does reveal the party affiliation of the 614 people they polled; 42% were Democrats, 31% were Republican and 27% were independent or other. The underlying registration of San Diego is 40% Democrat, 28% Republican and 27% Independent or other. That means that Republicans were over sampled by 11% and Democrats were over sampled by 5%, simply the survey clearly favors Republicans. Shocking that DeMaio is in the lead.

Is the company that performed the poll inept? The Glover Park Group is a reputable firm but it is not known for its polling. They describe themselves as a strategic communications firm that delivers research-driven, targeted campaigns that draw attention, shape opinions and inspire action. Hmm, is the Glover Park Group trying to inspire voters to cast their ballots for Manchester’s choice DeMaio? Of course, USD Center for Education Policy and Law is also headed by two conservative Republicans and they were co-sponsors of the poll.

Admittedly, the U-T acknowledges that the 18% of undecided voters are leaning toward Obama. That means that it is likely these voters will break toward Filner. Over 58% of the undecided voters are voting for President Obama, 20% for Romney and 22% are undecided in the presidential race.

The net of all this is simply that Doug Manchester and the U-T are trying to build a narrative that DeMaio is in the lead. Okay. Thanks Doug, Filner supporters are more motivated than ever. I am sure Filner will use your data to ensure that his supporters vote early and often. In the end, the U-T will be totally discredited. Already those who are progressive in our community have stopped paying any attention to the U-T editorial pages. Is Manchester trying to drive the U-T out of business to develop the land its offices sit upon? This questionable poll definitely moves Manchester closer to that goal.


  1. avatarJudy Swink says

    The article pretty much sums up my reaction when I saw the headline as I walked past a newspaper dispenser earlier this morning. How bizarre that a poll would show a trailing candidate not only catching up but surpassing his opponent by 10%! And all in a matter of a couple of days. Not even the swinging back and forth of the presidential polls have shown this degree of change. Ridiculous and probably will be accepted only by those who are going to vote for DeMaio anyway.

  2. avatarVox Populi says

    If you still read the UT or even consider it worthy of inclusion in any discussion of informational outlets, then you can probably believe just about anything the right wing koolaid drinkers might throw on the pages…and there in lies the disconnect. When will America start holding these worthless purveyors of narrow-minded conservative-claiming muckrakers with the responsibility for creating a misinformed, intolerant and unprepared electorate?

    • avatar says

      We read the UT (so you don’t have to) so we can work to counter the damage they do. As for your question, we want to know the answer to that, too.

  3. avatarMike James says

    Another USD Center for Education Policy and Law/U-T San Diego Poll shows Republican Bilbray leading Peters in the 52nd Congressional District race by 9? Are these polls biased?

    It is understandable to have the University of San Diego as co-sponsor, it adds to the legitimacy having a top-ranked university associated with the poll.

    So what is the connection with the University of San Diego’s Center for Education Policy and Law and the UT and why would USD co-sponsor this poll.

    Co-sponsor USD’s Center for Education Policy and Law was established by a grant from the William D. Lynch Foundation in 2007. Current Director, Scott Himelstein was handpicked by Lynch.

    Bill Lynch and Papa Doug Manchester are major donors to USD and Papa Doug is a former trustee. Both are prominent members of the Lincoln Club. Public campaign filings show “San Diegans for Reform” in opposition to Bob Filner received nearly 70 percent of its donations – $276,000 since June – from the Lincoln Club of San Diego.

    Manchester, Bill Lynch and UT CEO John Lynch are also closely associated to The American Ireland Fund where Lynch and Papa’s ex-wife Betsy were past honorees. The San Diego office of the American Ireland Fund in La Jolla is owned by the Copley Press.

    You can just see this “Good Old Boys” network in a cigar-filled backroom plotting ways to fool the people of San Diego. “Papa” Doug must believe he is a modern day “Boss” Tweed.

    Below is link of DeMaio and Bill Lynch at Lincoln Club event.


  4. avatarbob dorn says

    Just to add to the history of “conservatism” at USD… the original U-T promoted USD as a correction to the start-up UCSD, feared as a local Berkeley on-the-grow. The owners of the original U-T, Jim and Helen, and even the hapless David, their son, contributed money to and made noise about USD, gathering large contributions from the real estate and development monsters of San Diego. The model for the Educational Policy and Law Center would be Stanford’s Hoover Institute, which is dedicated to the growth of top-down elitism. The other model, obviously, would be the Catholic one, a hierarchical system of monsignors and moldy opinion molders implying eternal damnation to those who believe all people were created equal and that church and state should be separated. Doug Manchester is Catholic. So were the Copleys.