Wednesday, March 7, 2007

POLL: City Council District 8

Official Disclaimer: Internet polls are NOT scientific and anyone who suggests otherwise is a fool.


Anonymous said...


This poll reminds me of when Herb Rubenstein blew Ed Perlmutter and Peggy Lamm away on an internet poll.

I would appreciate it if you show the total number of votes so we can have a laugh at how furiously people are stuffing the ballot boxes.

I just cast my vote for Darrell Watson, who is the obvious leader in this race for good reason, but I think I will now vote for Mitchell (who never even returned his petitions)a few times to show how easy it is to play games with these things.

I think this says more about the integrity of campaigns, and perhaps a bit of their net awareness, then about their support in the community.

Please do netroots service and integrity a service by letting us know how big a spike over your actual average readership the ballot stuffing is creating.

Dave Burrell said...

Dear Anonymous,

I agree with you that online polls aren't scientific, especially for such a minor site as this one. However, I think it is unfair to suggest at face value that the current standings are about "campaign integrity" or "stuffing the ballot boxes."

In fact, you don't sign your name to this comment, which could well lead one to assume that you are a member of the Darrell Watson campaign... or perhaps even the candidate himself. Please note that I am neither asserting this nor assuming this. Yet I have as much basis for believing this as your suggestion that certain candidates have "integrity" problems.

(Which, frankly, is the kind of negative campaigning that I thought was pretty rare in City Council races. But then, I'm pretty naive and lack that sort of insider's view.)

As for keeping tallies on vote counts, Vizu polls don't show them, presumably unless you get a paid subscription. I'm was surprised and a bit disappointed about this myself. But since this site is totally ad-free and self-supporting, I'm not shelling out the dough.

Finally, the current polls will expire in about two weeks, and we will certainly have further opportunities to see how this informal Internet polling is shaping up.

Darrell said...

Ok now,

I just gave Josh Mitchell enough votes to get tied with Sharon Bailey. It was really very very easy, and well within the skills of the webmasters for all the campaigns.

I am not saying anything against any particular candidates in this race, and at the time of my first comment, it was not clear who the front runner would be when it all shook out. As far as I knew, Darrell's campaign might well have come blasting in with a ton of votes from their lists, and as far as I know they still will.

What I do know is that campaigns are liable to report these numbers as gospel, and unless you put something up front that disclaims their use for that purpose you are contributing to an erosion of credibility for the political netroots.

Let me be clear that unless a campaign tries to make political hay out of an informal net poll, then I mean to cast no aspersions on their integrity even if they get 99.99% of the votes. If they are not stuffing ballots, and if they don't try to make an issue out of it, then bless them.

But I hope that this website is more dedicated to the good reporting of information about these campaigns, then it is about pushing bad information out there to muddy the dialog.

Darrell said...

By the way,

Let me make my identity clear.
I am Aaron Silverstein and I do indeed work on Darrell's campaign.
I am now blogging under his login to demonstrate that, but my comments are not intended to reflect his views.

Dave Burrell said...


I appreciate your comments and agree with your concerns. I have added a disclaimer to this poll.

My intention is simply to provide a forum for information, and if scientific polls exist, I would be happy to receive copies and post them for the general public.

In lieu of that, I realize that people enjoy both providing their opinions and sussing out the current status "horserace." Informal polls provide that opportunity.

I appeciate the suggestions, and thank you for helping to improve the quality of the debate.

Carla For Council said...

Mr. Silverstein,

I take great umbrage to your statement "I think this says more about the integrity of campaigns" and your implication that Carla's campaign has 'furiously' stuffed the ballot boxes. Carla's integrity is absolutely beyond reproach. No one on Carla's campaign needed to 'stuff' as you freely, anonymously and masquerading as the candidate, admit you did.
We do agree that this poll may only show that Carla's supporters have a bit more sophisticated "net awareness" as you suggest.

Please visit Carla's website to see why.

Do you have any other data that indicates someone other than Carla "is the obvious leader in this race for good reason"?
Carla supporters throughout District 8 are certain that she is far and away the best candidate. Heh?

Paul Weiss
Carla Madison For City Council District 8

Dave Burrell said...

I was going to interject something here like "now, now boys... calm down," but the truth is, the last thing this forum needs is a Net nanny.

So have at it...

My only thought is that it's a legitimate question as to who "the obvious leader in this race" is. I guess that's why folks employ such otherwise-useless tools as media reports, candidate endorsements, and online polls.

Darrell said...

"So have at it..."

Left to our own devices, I am sure that both Paul and I are well prepared for aggressive campaigning, but the truth is that nothing would be more distasteful for our candidates.

I think that both Darrell and Carla are more concerned about building their communities then they are about internet infighting. I can't speak for Carla, but I suspect she shares Darrell's commitment to Denver, and his respect for all of the candidates who have put so much of their time and energy into making it a better city.

When I talk about ballot stuffing, I am not talking about the candidates or the campaigns. I just have been involved with online campaigning long enough to know that somebody's supporter somewhere will take advantage of the holes in the system. It is almost random which candidate will be on the receiving end of that 'support' and I don't think that in itself reflects one way or another on a candidate. It only reflects on the integrity of a campaign in the use they try to make of it, if any.

I am satisfied that Paul has a reasonable view on this, and isn't trying to make anything more of this than what it is.

As to guessing the front runner, our fundraising total is a little more than every other candidate's combined, and the vast majority of donors have been $50 or less and neighbors within the district.
Like all the candidates, we have been endorsed by many prominent community members, but we also have received the endorsement of the Denver Area Labor Federation, Progressive Majority, the Victory Fund, and a growing list of other organizations. It is a matter of record that we have nearly all of the endorsements from organized groups. Paul can correct me if I am mistaken, but I don't think Carla has gotten a single one.

What proves what? Well, I guess reasonable people can disagree, but fortunately this sprint won't be a very long one and we can stop debating the obvious soon enough. Just over 50 days from now we'll see the proof.

Dave Burrell said...

Ah yes, I forgot the "money primary." Add that to "media reports, candidate endorsements, and online polls" as another useful way to gauge frontrunner status.

From my outside perspective, it appears that Darrell Watson has the wallets and Carla Madison has the keyboards.

The only question is: who has the votes?