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Andrew camp: Internal poll shows us ahead

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: September 16, 2013 - 6:50 PM

Mark Andrew's campaign is touting an internal poll which shows them ahead of the pack in the mayoral race, following a Star Tribune poll with opposite results.

The campaign e-mail blasted supporters Monday morning about internal numbers from their pollster, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, showing Andrew leading over other candidates. That's in stark contrast to the Star Tribune poll from this weekend, which placed Andrew at 10 percent -- behind three other candidates.

The Greenberg poll of 500 people showed Andrew with 27 percent support, followed by 25 percent undecided and 18 percent favoring Betsy Hodges, according to campaign manager Joe Ellickson. Another 10 percent opted for Don Samuels, one of the leading candidates in the Star Tribune poll.

Both polls asked about the same eight candidates: Andrew, Jackie Cherryhomes, Dan Cohen, Bob Fine, Betsy Hodges, Don Samuels, Cam Winton and Stephanie Woodruff.

Internal polls deserve extra skepticism because they are funded by the campaign and often used in a way that promotes the candidate. But only these two polls have been made public in the mayoral race.

Here is what we know from the Andrew campaign: The sample size was 500 people, 15 percent of which were surveyed via cell phone. The margin of error is +/- 4.38 percent. The party breakdown was DFL: 68 percent, Republican: 8 percent, independent/other: 22 percent.

The Star Tribune poll, which was automated, had the following breakdown: The sample size was 800 people, 10 percent of which were reached via online surveys because of laws against automated cell phone calls. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent. The party breakdown was DFL: 53 percent, Republican: 12 percent, other: 36 percent.

The campaign told supporters via e-mail and Twitter that "Mark Andrew is 10 points ahead of his nearest competition." That's only the case with the Greenberg poll if the RCV process is simulated and ballots are reallocated.

Several people who were called as part of the poll (including some non-news Star Tribune employees) said that pollsters read positive biographical details about Andrew over the course of the conversation. The Andrew campaign said that the numbers provided above reflect the split before any biographical information was read. Here is the exact question: 

Q. As you may know, Minneapolis uses Ranked Choice Voting for its municipal elections, including elections for Mayor and City Council. When you vote on November 5th, you will fill out a ballot with three columns. In the first column, you will select the candidate who is your first choice for Minneapolis mayor. In the second column, you will select the candidate who is your second choice for Minneapolis mayor. And, in the third column, you will select your third choice for Mayor. You can enter the same candidate's name two or three times, but it will only count as one vote. Second choice and third choice votes will be counted as candidates receiving the smallest number of votes are eliminated.

With that in mind, if the election for Mayor were held today and some of the candidates were Mark Andrew, Betsy Hodges, Jackie Cherryhomes, Don Samuels, Cam Winton, Bob Fine, Dan Cohen and Stephanie Woodruff, who would be your FIRST choice for mayor, Mark Andrew, Betsy Hodges, Jackie Cherryhomes, Don Samuels, Cam Winton, Bob Fine, Dan Cohen, Stephanie Woodruff, or another candidate?

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