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The conventional wisdom going into yesterday’s Colorado recall votes was that Senate Prez John Morse was in trouble, but Angela Giron would most likely live to cast more anti-gun votes. Her district leaned much more to port than Morse’s, voting heavily for Barack Obama in 2012. And organizers collected relatively fewer recall petition signatures in her district than they did in Morse’s. So why didn’t polling reveal how deep a hole Giron had dug for herself with her gun-grabbing advocacy and unapologetically hoplophobic voting record? It did, actually, you just never saw the results. When left-leaning polling shop Public Policy Polling surveyed the electorate in Giron’s district, the results showed her under water by 12 points. But, but, but that just couldn’t be! Or so PPP concluded. Surely a dutiful bunch that marched in lock-step to reelect The Disarmer In Chief by almost 20 points wouldn’t boot poor Angela just because of what PPP called, “pretty unobtrusive laws that Giron helped get passed.” So they took the only course of action open to a lefty polling firm that comes up with numbers it doesn’t like: they stuffed their fingers in their ears, shut their eyes and shouted, LA LA LA LA LA . . .

That’s right, they spiked the poll results. Only one problem…their data turned out to be dead…on…balls…accurate. Giron did, in fact, go down by 12 percentage points last night. Instead of gleefully thumbing her nose at Colorado gun rights supporters and the NRA today, she’s cleaning out her office and giving tearful hugs to former colleagues. Holy cognitive dissonance, Batman! And now PPP’s Tom Jensen has put this wonderful explanation up on their web site, bless his heart:

Reflecting on the Colorado recalls

We did a poll last weekend in Colorado Senate District 3 and found that voters intended to recall Angela Giron by a 12 point margin, 54/42. In a district that Barack Obama won by almost 20 points I figured there was no way that could be right and made a rare decision not to release the poll. It turns out we should have had more faith in our numbers becaue she was indeed recalled by 12 points.

What’s interesting about our poll is that it didn’t find the gun control measures that drove the recall election to be that unpopular. Expanded background checks for gun buyers had 68/27 support among voters in the district, reflecting the overwhelming popularity for that we’ve found across the country. And voters were evenly divided on the law limiting high capacity ammunition magazines to 15 bullets, with 47% supporting and 47% opposing it. If voters were really making their recall votes based on those two laws, that doesn’t point to recalling Giron by a 12 point margin.

We did find on the poll though that voters in the district had a favorable opinion of the NRA by a 53/33 margin. And I think when you see the final results what that indicates is they just did a good job of turning the election more broadly into do you support gun rights or are you opposed to them. If voters made their decision based on the actual pretty unobtrusive  laws that Giron helped get passed, she likely would have survived. But the NRA won the messaging game and turned it into something bigger than it was- even if that wasn’t true- and Giron paid the price.

John Hickenlooper won the district overwhelmingly in 2010 but is only tied at 42 with Tom Tancredo in a hypothetical match up there, so it’s something Democrats will have to figure out how to deal with before next year.

Here’s our poll from the weekend.

45 Responses to Gun Tweet of the Day: These Aren’t The Numbers You’re Looking For

    • Exactly. What these libs fail to understand is that this recall was not ultimately about those two specific civilian disarmament laws, but about elected representatives openly stating that they would not, and other senators and representatives should not, pay attention to their constituents when considering “gun control” legislation promoted by the national Democrat party.

      They were booted because they thumbed their noses at the people who elected them and said openly and repeatedly, “Sit down and shut up. We’re smarter than you and we know you can’t be trusted to make important decisions on your own.”

  1. The Leftist Revolutionaries must reach a point of open blatant intolerance for the US Constitution and America before the tipping point is reached by the electorate and it will take action.
    Perhaps Obama’s speech, on 9-11, the annerversary of Bengazi and the WTC et al Attack demanding that America fight FOR AL QUEDA to establish his personal Caliphate will awaken those useful fools who have been his Toadys in the past.
    And maybe this SOB will be impeached and tried for treason

  2. Step 1 – Take a poll using scientific and statistical reasoning
    Step 2 – Ignore the results based on one’s own partisan emotions and feelings
    Step 3 – Don’t publish, see step 2 for reason

    Obviously the folks at Public Policy Polling are science deniers and faith-based wackos.

    Illustrating Chicago Crime, Murder and Mayhem at heyjackass.com

  3. Here’s a clue for your dimwits at PPP… unless your polls can predict how many bullets I need to protect my family, you had better focus on actual solutions to actual problems.

  4. Reading this guy’s letter, it’s pretty clear that he’s a partisan believer. Like most partisans of any stripe, when faced with evidence contrary to his beliefs, he chose to ignore the inconvenient facts rather than question his own assumptions.

  5. The deeper issue, which they seem to miss, was the decision to turn a deaf ear to the pro gun folk and then bragging about how they were doing it. They polled people about the laws, but not about Morse and Giron’s despicable behavior and how they trivialized their constituents. That’s what brought people out to vote.. Not to mention how people feel about “The Littlest Emperor”, Bloomberg treading on other peoples’ turf.

  6. Progressives were warned, by none other than Clinton.

    ETA: what “messaging game” anyway? the Dems outspent the R 8:1. The only clear message is that based on the gun laws in other states it’s VERY CLEAR the progressives have no intention to stop at background checks. That’s not really a “message,” thats an empirical fact.

  7. He’s quite right, I would much rather swim with pirhanna than a shark because pirhanna take “actual pretty unobtrusive” nibbles while sharks go after me in one bite.
    Let’s keep our bang sticks for the big one and use elections like a dip net.

  8. The possibility exists that by suppressing the negative poll numbers, fewer Giron supporters made the effort to vote. Thus, they did influence the election, just not the way they hoped!

  9. There’s a good analysis of the recall on The Volokh Conspiracy (http://www.volokh.com/2013/09/11/colorado-recalls-explained/). There is more to it than just the actual gun control laws – it’s the way they were pushed through.

    The last paragraph:

    “The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was the second most important reason why Morse and Giron were removed from office. The first reason was the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment principle of Due Process of Law. The opportunity to be heard is the fundamental to Due Process of Law, and not solely in adjudications. When Morse and Giron squelched the testimony of law-abiding citizens and of law-enforcing Sheriffs, they grossly abused their constitutional office of being law-makers. And so, for abuse of office, John Morse and Angela Giron have been recalled from office by the People of Colorado, to be replaced by legislators who will listen before the vote.”

  10. But the NRA won the messaging game and turned it into something bigger than it was – even if that wasn’t true – and Giron paid the price.

    The NRA won the “messaging game”? Okay, how about reporting that Morse and Giron spend nearly $3 million on their hold-their-seat campaign (with $300,000 from Bloomberg’s MAIG) while their opponents spent only $652,000 (with ~$300,000 from the NRA)? Yeah, the NRA money really tipped the scales.

    And, now Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, head of the DNC, is claiming “voter suppression” at the Colorado polling places. Of course there was.

    I hope that Giron gets stuck with the bill for this PPP poll.

    • Voter suppression? Like what – claiming places were too packed to allow more voters in, or something? Or lines blocking entrances?

      From all the pictures I saw, voting locations were mostly empty, and the support/protest sign-holders were well away from the entrances and politely standing on the grass near the sidewalks.

    • And, now Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, head of the DNC, is claiming “voter suppression” at the Colorado polling places. Of course there was.

      So, this is just a talking points spin to connect the pain of losing (OMG, we lost one OMG!) with the voter ID suits still pending. She / they are litigating that one in the court of public opinion, or rather the court of a limited, closed subset of the public & media.

      The right answer, I think, is: “OMG, I hope not. Let’s find out. How can I help with the investigation, suit, prosecution, etc.”

      When they try to backpedal on that, don’t let them off the hook. “No, no. If there’s any question, any suspicion of shenanigans we need to work on that, so people can believe that their vote counts. We saw confusion in the run up to this recall vote, and of course some people are still convinced that the GWB presidential and Al Franken congressional elections were stolen.

      We need voting to be fair, and clean and utterly transparent for all elections. Let’s start working on that right now!”

  11. With polling, modern electoral politics often have similar situations play out. The funny thing is (and the delicious irony), is by not releasing the numbers, they made Giron’s supporters more overconfident than they should have been facing the recall vote. Hindsight is 20/20, but if the opposition really knew it was down 12 points, they probably would have asked Big Money Bloomberg for more campaign cash.

    The gun community of Colorado ought to send PPP a thank you card and a coupon to a lesson at the local shooting range for their unintentional blunder in aiding the struggle to protect the 2A. HA!

  12. I’m betting that they never asked what respondents thought about their representatives ignoring their constituents and/or whether or not they felt out-of-state interests were being given higher priority than the interests of the voters.

  13. I find this rather ironic, in that if they HAD released the polling data showing their candidate was facing a loss, it may have girded their forces into working even harder (and consequently withstanding the recall vote).

    Oh well, sucks to be them.

  14. “We did a poll last weekend in Colorado Senate District 3 and found that voters intended to recall Angela Giron by a 12 point margin, 54/42. In a district that Barack Obama won by almost 20 points I figured there was no way that could be right and made a rare decision not to release the poll.”

    HAHAHA!!! How to blow your career credibility in 2 sentences or less……DONE!

  15. Actually, folks, PPP did exactly the right thing in releasing this statement. That poll would have been discovered sooner or later, and this way they get out in front of it with a mea culpa and get to set the tone of the discussion. Very smart of them.

    Oh, and stuff like this happens on both sides. Pollsters really don’t like to tell their customers that they are utterly fscked all out of proportion with how well those politicians think they’re doing.

      • (Note that I am no expert in this area, I’ve just followed the inside-baseball side of politics rather closely for the last ~10 years…)

        It depends on the desired sample size and the timeframe (faster results == more expensive) but I’d be surprised if this poll cost a penny under $5K to run. That cost would be made up by the profits on all of the other polls run by PPP in the same general timeframe.

  16. How does a poll end up with 58% female to 42% male split unless it is slanted? (yes, this is only a rhetorical question since we already know the answer)

    • People decline to participate, tell the pollster not to call back, etc.

      This is why pollsters adjust the figures. They classify people who respond according to various demographics (I have a vague impression that age, income, education, and ethnicity are the primary ones) and then try to project from the respondents to the poll to get numbers in proportion to those demographics according to the last census.

      Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Pollsters who don’t get it right often enough go bankrupt, so there is pressure to get it right, regardless of what the client wants to hear.

  17. Ummm, isn’t DOJ putting the screws to Gallup for much less than this? So where’s Holder’s pitbulls on this one? (crickets) Yeah I thought so…

  18. “We did find on the poll though that voters in the district had a favorable opinion of the NRA by a 53/33 margin. And I think when you see the final results what that indicates is they just did a good job of turning the election more broadly into do you support gun rights or are you opposed to them. If voters made their decision based on the actual pretty unobtrusive laws that Giron helped get passed, she likely would have survived.”

    The “broader message” of the NRA was that the “pretty unobtrusive laws” supported by Giron were part of the Bloomberg/Soros/leftist incremental approach to banning all guns and trashing the 2nd Amendment. The voters were not fooled.

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