The sign outside a Sacramento voting center. (Photo: Tim Foster, Capitol Weekly)
Since 2015 Capitol Weekly has been conducting polling to inform readers about policy and politics in the Golden State. This latest installment is an exit poll of voters done by Capitol Weekly using data and tools from Political Data, Inc. This polling focuses on early voters who cast ballots in the mail or at early voting centers. The full survey includes more than 11,000 respondents surveyed over a three-week period of ballot returns.
Illustration by Tashatuvango, via Shutterstock.
Is something wrong with public polling in California? The 2018 election season has been raucous, even weeks before the first votes are cast. And one of the contributing factors has been the seemingly erratic public polling, particularly in the top-of-the-ticket races. The veteran political observers at CalBuzz have called this year’s polling a “muddled mess.”
An image of voters on a digital information background. (Illustration: Maksim Kabakou, via Shutterstock)
With all the headlines about Cambridge Analytica and the potential that millions of Facebook users had their data leaked to third parties, there is one obvious question on the minds of candidates and consultants: What will this mean for continued use of digital ads in my campaign? The answer: Probably nothing.
Board of Equalization Chair Jerome Horton chats with colleague Diane Harkey in the Capitol. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)
Whether you liked it or not, the state Board of Equalization successfully blocked a gas tax increase. This saved Californians 4-cents-a-gallon at the pump, but handed Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers a $617 million hole in the state budget. What caused this rather dramatic policy move? I keep being drawn to the extraordinary events surrounding the 2011 redistricting of the BOE, which has four directly elected members.
The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo SchnepfDesign, via Shutterstock)
Clearly, Washington, D.C., and Sacramento share many things in common — including such negatives as a hyper-heated political culture, insularity and a pervasive sense of entitlement. And California’s Legislature is obviously based upon the federal legislative model. Nonetheless, their legislative rules are different, so let’s take a look at some of the major distinctions.
Investigators probe the London premises of Cambridge Analytica last week, after a search warrant was issued by a High Court judge. (Photo: Yui Mok/Press Association, via AP)
It hasn’t been long since we learned of a presidential campaign that used personal information gleaned from Facebook apps to enhance voter files, and target voters and their friends with political messaging. This campaign was so sophisticated that they could identify people who would be swayed by particular messages, were more persuaded by messages about immigration, education, or health care, were likely or unlikely to vote, or even were likely to volunteer or donate money.
An image depicting the varied responses in political polling. (Illustration: Tim Foster/Capitol Weekly),
ANALYSIS: The public opinion polling industry in many ways is at a crossroads. For years public polls were run with live telephone interviews using a system of “random digit dialing” or RDD, which allowed a poll to be based on samples which would be naturally balanced since all potential voters had the same probability to be administered a phone survey.
An illustration of the electorate. (Image: M-SUR, via Shutterstock)
ANALYSIS: Pew Research recently released a report titled Commercial Voter Files and the Study of U.S. Politics, which initially looked like a really interesting piece for someone like me who works in voter files every day. But one paragraph in, I nearly laughed out of my chair. The reason? There is a big difference between voter files and panels.
The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Kris Wiktor)
The burning question of the day: Should Joint Rule 10.5 be changed? If you, like most normal people, have little interest in the Capitol’s battles, then this question prompts a big yawn. But if you engage in the interminable wars over legislation, then this issue is a very, very big deal. So pay attention, you may be tested on this later.
Assemblymember Melissa Melendez at a Capitol Park rally supporting her whistleblower protection bill. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law whistle blower protections Capitol staffers. Now, legislative employees in California will have the same protections as all other state employees. But a question arises: Will the new law, which passed both Democrat-controlled houses without a dissenting vote, really make much of a difference?