Politics Leave Out the Bad News
posted by April 17 at 13:57 PMon
There’s a poll out there. (I think I’m sparring with Goldy about it.) But I’m not sure we’re disagreeing. I’m not even sure what he’s saying. I’m saying: I think it’s unfair and self defeating to be required to vote for roads to get mass transit.
Anyway, the whole thing started cuz Goldy published the results of a Sound Transit poll on the joint light rail/roads measure (61 percent in favor) to disprove the notion that it would flop in November.
Problem is: The data isn’t so solid. When the pollsters tested the negatives (see questions 54-60), they basically just toss out some boiler plate anti-government, anti-tax stuff like “Taxes are too high already, we can’t afford another $16 billion,” rather than offering up the real negatives like: Oh, despite this $16 billion package, there’s not actually enough money earmarked here to finish the 520 project. Oh, and, if you knew that mainstream environmental groups were coming out against this package, would you still vote for it?
If they had asked those kinds of questions, the positive numbers would have surely come down.
Additionally, they don’t test the real ballot title. Here’s the real ballot title: “Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID) and Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Prop. #1 Regional Roads and Transit System.”
Go to question #15 to see the title they tested. It’s all about the great projects the measure would fund. Pollster wonks tell me testing the real title makes a big difference.
More important, I’d like to see stand-alone polling done on a light rail ballot measure and a roads ballot measure. My guess is that light rail would do just fine and roads would not. So, why are we voting for roads?