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NY Assemblyman Bob Reilly Releases Data From Completely Scientific, Unbiased Poll About ‘Ultimate Fighting’

(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: 

"The poll found overwhelming opposition to making Mixed Martial Arts legal in New York State. Of those surveyed, 67 percent said they opposed making MMA legal in New York. Just 18 percent said they supported making ultimate fighting legal. I believe my district is reflective of the state as a whole and am confident a statewide poll would yield similar results."

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:

[Reilly] also had some colorful comments to local reporters at a press conference in Albany, NY today. When asked about the money this would bring in, he sarcastically said that bringing prostitution to New York would bring in revenue, too.

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.


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:

“Welcome to the one question public opinion poll.

Ultimate fighting, or mixed martial arts, is currently banned in New York State. There is a current debate whether ultimate fighting should be permitted statewide.

Do you think ultimate fighting matches should be allowed in New York State?

Press 1 for Yes; Press 2 for No; Press 3 for Undecided.
Thank you!”


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%.

MMA NY poll Bob Reilly

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.


Poll Results: 468 respondents (Margin of Error = 4.6%)
1.) Yes = 85 (18%)
2.) No = 312 (67%)
3.) Undecided = 71 (15%)

MMA New York Bob Reilly


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.

Cagepotato Comments

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metergoose- December 15, 2011 at 12:22 am
Read a lot of similar articles, but only found this article to my taste, thank you canada goose
bob reilly can tongue punch my fart box- February 15, 2011 at 9:03 am
that old fart will be dead within five years and we'll be free and clear. What's another five years?
Shatski- February 24, 2009 at 12:40 pm
Another thing that is ridiculous, pro wrestling is legal everywhere, while MMA is not. I acknowledge that pro wrestlers are athletes, and while it is scripted, those guys get injured way more than MMA fighters. A big part of their job IS to fall down. I bet if you looked at the number of injuries between the two business, can't say sport for wrestling, pro wrestling will have more injures and more consistently, too. Personally I love watching MMA waaaay more now that I've grown up and appreciate the work and athleticism, not to mention the unpredictability in this sport. But My argument is that this shows that the reason for not legalizing MMA isn't because of the brutality. No, I don't have facts, but I've heard interviews from wrestlers discussing their career injuries and their far worse than most MMA fighters that I've heard. Even the number of concussions. Steel chairs!
baby eddie- February 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm
Jersey, Ive been to the prudential center for the last UFC that was there and it was expensive as hell, and nowhere in newark is safe or clean, it was ok around the arena but you go another block and it looks like beirut. Besides the majority of people who would see a fight at MSG would be local people, If you live in NYC the $2 more for a beer isnt going to make you poor. Why do you think that the UFC at the prudentiaal center was one of the crappy Spike cards? because hookers and car thieves cant afford to go to fights.
Elliot Spitzer- February 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm
Pac-Man- February 23, 2009 at 1:52 pm
"Bringing in prostitution would increase revenue too"...

You laugh Mr. Reilly, but isn't that exactly what ex-governor Elliot Spitzer spent close to $250,000 on?

The shamefull truth behind that joke, in New York of all states, just further cements the case FOR the legalization of MMA in New York.
Jack Booted Thug- February 23, 2009 at 1:19 pm
I agree that Bob Reilly seems to be an ignorant jerk, but what difference should it make to me whether NY legalizes MMA or not? I don't live anywhere near NY (Thank the Good Lord) and my PPV's cost the same no matter where they are broadcast from. If NY doesn't want MMA, screw 'em. These are the same folks that elected that carpetbagger Hillary Clinton as their Senator also...
Darkside- February 23, 2009 at 1:02 pm
It would be a shame if Reilly were to mysteriously die somehow. Just saying. Then again, I guess you could say that about most of the politicians in this country.
armfarmer- February 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm
"the police shut down a whole bunch of streets, come out in the dozens, and light up the whole town."

That sounds terrible. The last thing I want is to be surrounded by cops. Especially if I've been drinking and if I go to a ufc event I doubt I'll be sober at any point.
NewYorkerNewYorkerNewYorkerNewYorkerMatzohBalls- February 23, 2009 at 12:05 pm
I don't like New York. It has a sizable Jewish population.
Anonymous- February 23, 2009 at 10:23 am
Let me try:

Mixed martial arts competitions are sanctioned and regulated in 35 states. There is a current debate as to whether the sport should be regulated in New York.

Do you think Mixed martial arts competitions should be sanctioned and regulated in New York State?
Shatski- February 23, 2009 at 9:55 am
Another ridiculous thing they did with this poll is the time they used to do it. 6:30 to 8:30 on a Thursday night? Most people probably didn't answer because they were watching t.v. The ratings on Thursday's are pretty good numbers. Using that time to call almost guaranteed to get people outside of that target audience for prime time on that night's shows. Especially on land lines. People with caller i.d. sure as shit aren't going to answer, either, when they see something from the state this soon after an election. Most people are sick to death after the first month's worth of campaign phone calls. It almost seems like Ol' Bob Reilly's office did a study on the worst time to call and used that result.
NeW jErSeY-nEw JeRsEy- February 23, 2009 at 9:34 am
Look, I'm not saying New Jersey is some sort of tropical paradise...but it's where I live. And yes, we're in the "armpit" of the country and across the river from New York, but it's 100,000,000 times cheaper to go out here than in NYC. Trust me when I tell you since I do both states. Taxi, train, subway, cost of food, crowds, etc. It's easier to have an event in Jersey. Easier to visit and park in Jersey. Downtown Newark is a bunch of office buildings...and everytime there is an event, the police shut down a whole bunch of streets, come out in the dozens, and light up the whole town. It's safe for an event.
sean- February 23, 2009 at 9:24 am
Are u serious i just got out of a stat quiz and this is the first thing i see, im going to sherdog.
Nate- February 23, 2009 at 9:06 am
They have been plenty of UFCs already in NJ, just at the wrong end for people from NYC. Why hasn't the UFC held one in Newark? Isnt just like a short train ride from NYC?
Cap'n- February 23, 2009 at 8:27 am
@NeW jErSeY-nEw JeRsEy -

I wish you would take your tongue out of the butthole of new jersey.

But you're right. Let New Jersey host a UFC, then when NYC sees the amount of money that's in it, maybe they will change their tune.

But you sound like a tourism commercial for New Jersey.

"New Jersey. Come and see what you've been missing."
NeW jErSeY-nEw JeRsEy- February 23, 2009 at 7:52 am
***I can't tell if this New Jersey guy is serious or if he's a comic genius.***

My friend, if there was a fight in New York and then a fight in Jersey...if you went to both, you would prefer Jersey. I assure you, NYC = $$$$$$$$$$.

Really, Newark isn't what people think's changed, and the new Arena and it's location is awesome.
give it up- February 23, 2009 at 7:48 am
America's armpit if you will
give it up- February 23, 2009 at 7:46 am
well if he is serious hes retarded. the only place in new york that is expensive is NYC (which is very expensive) but every where else as in albany and other places are pretty rural and there is not much going on but the small cities surrounding big arenas. but like i said, if he is serious, its prolly just because he comes from new jersey, its not his fault, jersey is like our little slice of the middle east mixed with downtown LA right here in our backyards...
SteveXtreme- February 23, 2009 at 7:45 am
It's ridiculous that we have to defend our sport against ignorant opposition. Obviously Reilly is slow, but even his poll question is biased and stupid, "Ultimate Fighting, otherwise known as MMA." He went thru all the trouble to come up with the results and give detailed analysis, but his poll question shows how idiotic he is. I hope UFC officials can use his stupidity against him and shut him down!
Bas Rutten- February 23, 2009 at 7:33 am
“Welcome to the one question publi"

Click, THE END
Mr. Feeney- February 23, 2009 at 7:30 am
I can't tell if this New Jersey guy is serious or if he's a comic genius.
armfarmer- February 23, 2009 at 7:28 am
Yeah I find it kind of funny they say "ultimate fighting, also known as mixed martial arts.." They got that statement a little backwards. Should be more like mixed martial arts, known by some as "ultimate fighting"..
Jenna Jamesons Labiaplasty- February 23, 2009 at 7:28 am
Telephone polls are great because people over 50 are the only ones who answer landlines.
Dmonicideals- February 23, 2009 at 7:25 am
It saddens me how ignorantly hateful some people can be. Reilly has openly admitted that he is only against it because he knew it would get his name in the news. Now he hosts a "poll", only actually polling 400 people of the 15 plus million people in his state? What a fool.

The worst part of all this is people who read newspapers (old folks with no real opinion other than "something new? I hate it".) will read this and think that the poll was anything but a lousy joke. Calling it Ultimate Fighting is just ridiculous, and just proves his ignorance and bias.