(Who would answer a phone call from a strange number and take the time to respond to an automated poll question? These people.)
Just because we haven’t heard from New York Assemblyman Bob Reilly lately, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t been hard at work making our lives miserable. On Friday, we passed along a link to a news article about the poll that Reilly had recently commissioned to gauge his district’s support for legalizing MMA. Said Reilly via press release:
Of course, the UFC immediately questioned the validity of the poll — which just 468 people responded to, out of 8,545 people who were harassed via telephone. UFC spokesperson Julie Wood called the results unrepresentative, considering the sole method of polling was through telephone, and that the poll question itself showed an inherent bias.
CagePotato reader Jeb R. sent us the official summary of Reilly’s poll — which includes the original poll question, and can be seen after the jump in its entirety — along with this note:
Potato Nation, this is the unbelievable level of ignorance we’re dealing with. But the fight is far from over. Please sign our "Lift the Ban on MMA in New York" petition if you haven’t already, and direct your friends to do the same. Another vote on the bill that would legalize MMA in New York State is expected to be held sometime this year.
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Ultimate fighting, also know as Mixed Martial Arts, is currently banned in New York State. There is legislation before the New York State Legislature that would lift this ban to allow these competitions statewide. The proposed legislative change is currently being debated in New York State government and attention has been raised about the matter by a public lobbying and media relations effort by proponents who seek to change the current law.
Gramercy Communications was engaged to telephone survey a random sample of registered voters in the 109th Assembly District to gauge their opinion about this issue.
Using a common automated push button poll, we asked a neutral question and gave participants a chance to simply push 1, 2, or 3 to register their opinion.
The following question was asked:
For this survey, we sought to gather responses from at least 400 random participants. A representative sample of 400 is common for polling New York State Assembly Districts. 400 respondents provide an ideal Margin of Error.
Margin of Error for a particular sampling method is essentially the same regardless of whether the population of interest is the size of a school, city, state, or country, as long as the sampling fraction is less than 5%. Because there are over 100,000 registered voters in the 109th Assembly District, 400 respondents is well below that 5% threshold.
The chart below demonstrates margin of as defined in sampling theory. As you can see, a sample size of 384 respondents will yield a Margin of Error of 5%.
Coincidentally, the typical response rate for automated polls of this nature is 5%. In order to receive 400 responses, we generated just 8,545 random voter phone numbers from the 109th Assembly District voter registration files to call.
These 8,545 phone numbers included all demographics and all political parties, includinf non-affiliated voters.
All phone numbers were called between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM on Thursday, February 12, 2009.
III. QUANTITIATIVE RESULTS
Poll Results: 468 respondents (Margin of Error = 4.6%)
1.) Yes = 85 (18%)
2.) No = 312 (67%)
3.) Undecided = 71 (15%)
IV. ABOUT US
Gramercy Communications is a communications firm based in Downtown Albany that specializes in public relations, marketing, and public affairs. Founder & Principal Tom Nardacci earned his master’s degree in strategic communications from Columbia University, and his bachelor’s in history from Syracuse University.
Tom has over a decade of experience as a public relations strategist, senior public affairs advisor and communications manager. Tom previously directed public relations for the Alliance for Downtown New York, lower Manhattan’s business improvement district, and he formerly managed communications and organizing for the 40,000 member retiree division of 1199 SEIU, New York State’s largest private sector labor union. Tom has served in leadership and consulting roles on dozens of federal, state and regional political campaigns, including as a field coordinator in Iowa for a United States Presidential Candidate.