Questionable polling firm promoted 'Run, Tommy, Run' during '06 campaign | Wis.Community

Questionable polling firm promoted 'Run, Tommy, Run' during '06 campaign

Strategic Vision, the controversial (some say phony) polling firm that perhaps should have called itself Virtual Reality, has been a major factor in Wisconsin media's political coverage.

As we noted earlier, the media, particularly the Journal Sentinel, were all too happy to report the results released by Strategic Vision, which always claimed it had no clients paying for the polling and was somehow doing all kinds of expensive polling as a public service.

Reporters never asked to see the cross tabulations -- the breakdown of underlying responses that produce the bottom line numbers.

Remember the 2006 stories about how Tommy Thompson would beat the pants off Jim Doyle if Tommy decided to run for governor again? Here's the JS report, by Patrick Marley and Steve Walters, to refresh your memory:

Madison — Former Republican Gov. Tommy G. Thompson would trounce Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle by a nearly 2-to-1 margin if he jumped into the race, according to a poll released Wednesday.

In recent weeks, Thompson has called former aides and other Wisconsin political power brokers, soliciting advice as he considers taking on Doyle or U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl...

In the general election, Thompson would beat Doyle, 58% to 30%, with 12% undecided, the poll says.

The poll, by Atlanta-based Strategic Vision, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The poll of 800 likely Wisconsin voters was conducted April 28 to 30.

If, in fact, it was conducted at all. That's a huge sample, a very, very expensive proposition. But it's very cheap if you don't actually call anyone and just write the press release, which many believe is the real methodology the firm uses.  That would astromically increase the margin of error, however.

The JS did a small blog item acknowledging the controvery and that it uses Strategic Vision numbers, but seemed to take at face value the firm's claim that it has a secret Madison phone bank at a secure location, apparently to keep it safe from Democratic vandals. Cary Spivak is no bulldog on this one.

But we probably have not heard the last of this story yet, although the JS and other media outlets would probably not like to find out for sure, let alone report, that they've been had, and have been giving their readers a lot of bad information for several years.


September 30, 2009 - 11:32am