Friday, October 26, 2007

Becker wins in flawed U student straw poll

The Tribune is pointing out the narrowness of Becker's straw poll victory-- 45 to 42 over Buhler among U students-- which one might assume is Becker's base.

However, a couple of things to keep in mind.
  1. An equally unscientific poll--an online poll on the Chony's website-- has Becker winning 57% of voters with Buhler only garnering 12%.

  2. The University of Utah is a commuter school (2,300 out of 28,619 students live on campus), meaning a large segment of their student population does not live in Salt Lake City.

  3. According to the Utah Daily Chronicle, in 2006, "Only 12 percent of the student body (3,461 students) voted in the [student body] elections, which is down 6 percent from last year's 18 percent (5,111 students)." That is, those students who do live in SLC are also not that likely to vote.

  4. According to the article, this was the partisan breakdown of the straw poll:
    Thirty percent of the U. students identified themselves as Republican, 29 percent as Democrat and 33 percent as unaffiliated or independent.
    That's not the makeup of voters in SLC city elections. Dan Jones, who repeatedly has accurately polled this and other races notes that in his last mayoral survey, "Thirty-four percent of city voters said they are Democrats. A third said they are political independents. Only a quarter said they are Republicans." Ergo, this straw poll is skewed against Democrats like Becker.

Yet despite all of this, Becker won the straw poll. To me think this further shows that Dan Jones' numbers--Becker 51-Buhler 33--seem to be holding steady.

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