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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why no media polls on Portland school tax ballot measures?

Here Portlanders are, voting in the largest bond election in state history, and yet apparently no one in our local media has bothered to take an unofficial poll to see how the dual bond measures are doing. Could it be that the press is just too broke to afford these kinds of straw votes any more?

With a seven-figure war chest, the proponents of the measures surely have taken a poll or two. Wonder what they've learned.

Comments (34)

I'm sure the polls are not in favor of the bond. Otherwise, you'd be gettting another 26 pieces of glossy mail to throw out saying how much Portland supports it.

They are looking for cover from this debacle. Maybe next time we can have an adult conversation about the school issues before we get to this point.

I was wondering the same thing, and I think we all can figure out why, “most likely voters,” smell rats!

obviously it's not what they want to share...

I've thought the same thing. I don't think the "yes" campaign is hearing what they want to hear.

It's completely anecdotal but I've seen many comments between the O, WW, and even the Mercury along the lines of "I'm a liberal,and I have always voted for these things, but I'm voting no this time."

I love fishing for spring chinook this time of the year. Nothing much like catching a world class fish with the Portland cityscape in the backdrop.

The many days I spend out on the river include a diverse group of Portlanders, who are often invited along on the daily trips. Business leaders, attorneys, doctors, the unemployed, stay at home dads and moms. All of them with varied cultural backgrounds, with Oregon fishing as our most common bond.

When the fishing gets slow the conversations often turn to local politics. Having the opportunity to talk with so many Portlanders about this and other local issues I can only offer my very own unofficial fishing poll (sorry)

Based on this very unscientific survey I would predict this bond fails (59% to 41%). Understand however that the results of this fishing poll may vary + or - 20 points.

I have to wonder about the theoy that the TV stations are "..too broke..." to do a poll. While the current bond and levy election within the PPS district isn't generating ad revenue like a November statewide general election, the stations in PDX are reaping some ad revenue from the contractor financed pro side.

Yesterday (Saturday) one of the stations (? 2 or 8 cant remember which) had a repoter interviewing a door to door "pro" canvasser. The canvasser said, without citation to any actual polling results, that"...we know we're ahead..."

It is certainly curious that there are no polling data out in the public view.

Sort of like the Sherlock Holmes' story about the race horse, with the line about the significance of the barking dog. Watson says, the dog did not bark, and Holmes replies to the effect "Yes, Watson, that is what is so significant."

We will all know by Wednesday night.

Looking at the list of contributors to the pro-vote side, I see that Davis, Hibbits and Midghall have contributed north of $20,000. I would guess they would be doing some focus groups and polling for the PPS bond.

All the usual corporate suspects can be seen supporting the bond. Part of the gravy train.

Please know that most of our News Professionals have aspirations of becoming a media contact person (spin/pitch) with a governmental agency at some point in their career and don't wish to burn any bridges.

Thanks, Gibby, for the fishing poll.

Unofficial eastside friends & neighbors poll: The nays have it.

The pro bond people know they're ahead by a slight margin. They're keeping it quiet because they want to suppress turnout against the bond.

I'll bet if Jack ran a poll it would be 90% no on the capital & 50/50 on the operating levy.

Steve is right. If the polls were running in favor of the bond, we'd be getting flooded with glossies saying how much Portlanders love school bonds.

Pdxmick seems to be pretty close. This site says 81% against the bond and 65% against the levy.

I've known Mike Riley of Riley Research for many years; and the simple fact that Channel 8 (or any other organization) didn't hire his company to do a poll speaks volumes about the "popularity" of these school bonds.

My take:
It is much easier to play with the election machine returns when no polls have been reported.

Do the research on elections in our country, also on link below,
click: Go to your State.


PDX Mick is right about a poll result on the bond issue here. It would be 90% against.

We all need to remember that this group self selects, and we are in a number of ways listening to echoes of our own opinions.

We are not representative. We are correct, but not representative.

Talk about prophets without honor in their own country.

I'm not sure the levy would get 50% yes in a poll among folks who post here.

I think the levy will get 50% in the distict wide vote.

My fishing poll out around Fred's Marina to the beginning of Multnomah Channel is 89% against both. But then I didn't look at their precinct cards to know if they are even valid voters because we were being harassed by seals. Next door boat lost a springer to a seal and tore up his net, but he saved his rigging after a 45 minute battle. He said he saved over $100 dollars by saving his rigging. That's determination. Now we need that kind of tenacity to defeat PPS's bond and levy.

Please vote because it sends a message on several regional money and policy issues. Lower voter turnout benefits PPS because they will certainly be having many PPS personnel, unions, contractor unions, public employees out in force. Watch the phone banks rigging your phones. Wouldn't it be nice to have phone banks from these same groups that are opposed to the bond and levy making calls? I did receive a call a few days ago doing exactly that.

The absense of reports on polling is not only bad news for the yes vote it is very bad news.

Because it would have been easy for, and expected, the yes campaign to concoct a poll that provided favorable results unless it was failing my a large margin.

I suspect there has been polling, push polling and anything else imaginable.

But the silence reveals it did not go well.

What a waste of money the campaign and ballot has been.

Heads should roll.

Perhaps they, too, have children being held hostage and don't want to do anything to anger the power mongers and decision makers.

Or thinking more deviously, perhaps reporting nothing is meant to keep it out the average voter's consciousness and encourage a very low voter turnout, except from the supporters, of course, who'll be there 100%, similar to the election of our ignominious mayor.

If there are no polls, there is no reference to which to compare the outcome, therefore no way of knowing whether in fact the vote count is accurate.

DHM Survey, Between September 1 and 6, 2010, DHM Research conducted a random scientific telephone survey of 400 likely voters (those who have voted in at least 2 of the last 4 general and primary elections) living within the PPS District

The Portland Public Schools may ask voters to approve a bond measure sometime in the near future. Let me read the wording of that proposed measure to you. It reads: Portland Public Schools bond to update local school buildings. Shall Portland Schools restore, rebuild, increase safety of public school facilities; issue $500 million in general obligation bonds, with citizen oversight? As of today, would you vote for a bond measure like that, or against it?
62% for, 30% against, 9% undecided

This bond measure would amount to about $2 per $1,000 of assessed valuation of a home. This would be about $30 per month for the average homeowner in the district over the next five years, and would pay to renovate school buildings that are 50 to 60 years old. Knowing this, would you vote for or against the bond measure for Portland Public Schools I just described?

Suppose the district asked voters to approve a less expensive bond measure than I just read you. It would read: Portland Public Schools bond to make repairs. Shall Schools make urgent repairs, increase safety of public school facilities; issue $300 million in general obligation bonds, with citizen oversight? As of today, would you vote for a measure like that, or against it?

This bond measure would amount to about $1.25 per $1000 of assessed valuation of a home. This would be about $18 per month for the average homeowner in the district over the next five years, and would fund only the most urgently needed repairs to schools. It would not fund the upgrading or modernizing of schools that are between 50 and 60 years old. Knowing this, would you vote for this measure or against it?

The Portland Public Schools may also ask voters to renew a local option levy in the near future. The measure would read: Portland Public Schools levy for teachers, classrooms, educational programs, learning materials. Shall schools protect class size, restore teaching positions, levy $1.70 per $1000 of assessed value for five years, require oversight? If this levy is up for renewal in the next year or so, would you vote for it, or against it?

This levy would provide funding to retain about 350 current teachers, and also restore additional teaching positions and educational programs that have been cut, at a cost to the average homeowner of about $25 per month in property taxes over the next five years. Knowing this, would you vote yes, to renew the levy, or no, against renewing the levy?

Income of respondents -

25-50 - 21%
50-75 - 24%
75-100 - $13%
100+ - 20%
refused - 9%

There's poll on KATU's site (I'm sure it's not scientific) that's got the bond losing by a large margin.


Gosh Nick,
PPS should publicize that one sided 9 month old poll that was taken before all of the public discussion.

Just think how convincing it would be for others to wanna get on board. :)

There might be something to the wisdom of not biting the hand that feeds the local media.

From today's Fish Wrapper the "O"
Leaders of the campaign, which has paid for $50,000 worth of polling from a top-drawer firm this year, won't say what those polls have shown. But it's clear from the sustained vigorous campaign they're mounting in the final days that they expect the vote to be close -- much closer than for a separate tax increase to retain teaching jobs in Portland. The campaign is barely mentioning the reasons they think voters should support that tax, presumably because polls suggest it's a sure bet to pass.

On Friday, a man with a clipboard knocked on my door and said he was with the "Irvington Elementary School". He asked whether I'd turned in my ballot yet. I said no, but that election day is Tuesday and I planned to turn it in myself by then. He told me that Sunday was the last day I could turn my ballot it and that he did not know anything about Tuesday being election day. The man was heavily tattooed and pierced, shabbily dressed and traveling on a bike that appeared to carry all his worldly possessions. When I asked if he was a paid canvasser, he said he was a volunteer. Seriously?

"Perhaps they, too, have children being held hostage and don't want to do anything to anger the power mongers and decision makers."

And to avoid that hostage feeling, they could take their kids out of public school to private or home school. Problem solved.

There is a poll happening on Portland Business Journal if anyone is interested:


Hi there. We're having an unofficial poll on The Oregonian Facebook page.


Check it out and vote!

I saw a lot of yes signs on people's lawns in Irvington the other day.

This one might be close.

If the PPS Bonds pass tomorrow, it will just be one more let down, for it does not bode well for the health of our city.

No matter how it goes, some parents and children who want it will feel awful if it fails. They need to put pressure on decision makers around here who have used up our resources on pet projects and let the children's needs go unmet.

At any rate, I see this as a very divisive matter in our community. This has happened as a result of horrible leadership. Citizens who cannot afford this should not have to make up for unwise decisions.

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