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Sun Sep 16, 2012, 02:42 PM

 

Exploring what motivates Foster-McCollum-White-Baydoun to make terrible polls


This information is interest as it regard the worst pollster in the United States, which has Romney ahead in Florida by 15% right now, and who underestimates Obama's support in Michigan.

Eric Foster's bio is here: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Eric/Foster/us-35-Greater-Detroit-Area

Besides working for Foster McCollum, he works for "Belle Maer Associates".

A campaign donations website lists only one Eric Foster of Michigan. This same Eric Foster is listed as "Belle Maer Associates, Llp/Executive." This confirms we're talking about the same guy. http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/eric-foster.asp?cycle=12

Foster donated once in his life to a political candidate. This donation was made to Candace Miller, a Michigan Representative.

Miller, according to her Wikipedia page, "spoke on behalf of Senator John McCain and was a vocal supporter of Governor Sarah Palin. She was a member of Gov. Palin's "truth squad" leading up to the 2008 presidential election."

The Baydoun person of this poll is Tarek Baydoun.

Baydoun has never made any political donations to a candidate. He has donated to an Arab-American group who endorsed Bush in 2000, Kerry in 2004, and nobody in 2008; therefore it can be said to be a neutral organization.

I cannot find information on the McCollum or White. If anyone can get access to that information we can continue to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

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Reply Exploring what motivates Foster-McCollum-White-Baydoun to make terrible polls (Original post)
Blue Yorker Sep 2012 OP
efoster40 Oct 2012 #1

Response to Blue Yorker (Original post)

Tue Oct 9, 2012, 10:06 AM

1. Eric Foster of Foster McCollum White & Associates Response to your post

Hello Blue Yorker.

I hope this response finds you well. I wanted to take a moment to respond to your post and provide you with some information about our firm, how we conduct polls and clear up any issues regarding our professional ethics.

Foster McCollum White & Associates and Baydoun Consulting are two Michigan based small businesses. FMW provides political consulting, analytics and polling, organizational development and governmental affairs consulting. Baydoun Consulting provides telemarketing, robo-dialing and other telecommunications services.

Our polling call list for Michigan and Florida are weighted to the historical weights for age, gender, race, region and congressional district area. Our list is also comprised of voters with previous voting histories in Presidential, state and local elections. We include the moderate and low performance voters, but the call files do contain a significant portion of voters who have a likely history to participate. Our PVBA model reviews election statistics for age, gender, voting participation pattern, gender and socio-economic factors to determine the likely voting universe for an upcoming election. Our turnout models are based on state based historical turnout statistics provided by the municipal and county clerks and secretaries of state’s office of a state for age, gender, party, ethnicity and voting method (early, absentee, poll location) instead of exit polls.

When we call through the list, we report the demographics of the respondents without weight. If our demographics match the likely voter demographics for the polling study. If there are underrepresented groups within our aggregate respondent universe, we use our weighting model to adjust for their representative weight and the groups reflected polling preference for the baseline questions. We still will report the un-weighted demographics of our respondents because they reflect the prevailing interest level of the voting groups at the time of our polling survey.

The reason why it is difficult to contact people via cell phones is The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (47 U.S.C. 227 , 47 CFR 64.1200) prohibits the use of an “automatic telephone dialing system” to contact “any telephone number assigned to a cellular telephone service” without “express prior consent” from the party being called. Automatic telephone dialing systems (known as “autodialers”) are an essential tool of survey and opinion research. Almost every telephone research call requires them, in order to reduce both the time it takes to dial a number manually (a significant cost) and the chance of error. Automatic dialing also synchs better with the industry standard “computer-assisted telephone interviewing” (CATI) software that helps researchers properly execute and conduct calls. Based upon this federal law and the fact that many people with cell phones haven’t opted in to be called for polling and other soliciations, we call landlines

Our PVBA model reviews election statistics for age, gender, voting participation pattern, gender and socio-economic factors to determine the likely voting universe for an upcoming election. Our turnout models are based on state based historical turnout statistics provided by the municipal and county clerks and secretaries of state’s office of a state for age, gender, party, ethnicity and voting method (early, absentee, poll location) instead of exit polls. We trust the reliability of the election statistics from the clerks’ offices to give us value data reads on future elections. For example, Michigan has a historical Presidential participation variance of 18.4% from the baseline voter model and has an -18.08% historical gubernatorial participation variance. The swing is equal to 2.3 million moderate and low performance voters in Michigan for every given Presidential election who primarily leave the participation rolls for the gubernatorial election. The difference between a Governor Snyder and Governor Bernero was the complete absence of the low performance voters and a 15% participation rate among moderate participation voters. If Bernero gets the participation rate of Granholm’s re-election in 2006 (85% moderate performing voters and 25% low participation voters) He defeats Snyder by 200,000 votes and wins 40 counties. This model allows us to help our political clients understand their election audience more clearly than exit polling. We then use it in assessing our polling models to help us gauge data quality and participation models. For Michigan and Florida, our PVBA factors in election statistical performance over a minimum of 20 elections to determine a baseline for the 2012 election.

When we conducted our Florida poll in August, based on the self identified respondent universes, we made the adjustment weight for the five underrepresented groups in Florida based on our PVBA model. We analyzed the respondent’s participation rates to our data models for Florida and also considered the recent spike in Presidential election rates for the younger age groups and the representative portion that each group makes up of the registered voting base. Even though our model projects a lower turnout among primarily voters under 50, we weighted the voters ages 18 to 30 at 12% of the possible election universe and voters ages 31 to 50 at 15%, for a total of 27%. When tracking historical election statistics that are compiled by the clerks and Secretary of States offices, re-elections for Democrats tend to draw fewer younger and Minority voters then their initial election, per our historical analysis models. We believe that these groups tend to feel that they accomplished the major task of placing their change agent candidate into office and those they should have built enough of a base to sustain themselves.

In our Florida poll, we have made weighting adjustments to the aggregate baseline responses based on the following five groups who were underrepresented in our aggregate polling respondents:
• Male respondents – 42.38% of respondent universe versus 45.2% of (FMW)B PVBA model projections for 2012 November general election and Florida’s overall registered voter base, with a final weighted determinate 45.0% of the aggregate baseline universe.
• African American respondents – 6.32% of actual respondent universe was weighted to reflect the 10.1% of (FMW)B PVBA model projections for 2012 November general election, 13.2% of Florida’s overall registered voter base and 13.7% of Florida’s adult population, with a final weighted determinate 11.5% of the aggregate baseline universe.
• Latino American respondents – 4.06% of actual respondent universe was weighted to reflect the 7.0% of (FMW)B PVBA model projections for 2012 November general election, 12.5% of Florida’s overall registered voter base and 21.1% of Florida’s adult population, with a final weighted determinate 10% of the aggregate baseline universe.
• Voters ages 18 to 30 years old – 1.33% of actual respondent universe was weighted to reflect the 1.8% of (FMW)B PVBA model projections for 2012 November general election and 16.3% of Florida’s overall registered voter base, with a final weighted determinate 12% of the aggregate baseline universe.
• Voters ages 31 to 50 years old – 7.65% of actual respondent universe was weighted to reflect the 10.1% of (FMW)B PVBA model projections for 2012 November general election and 21.6% of Florida’s overall registered voter base, with a final weighted determinate 15% of the aggregate baseline universe.

Now, I am a partner and President of FMW. I am not a part of this other firm that you mentioned. My personal voting history (Democratic primarily) is something that I keep out of our review of the data and our reporting of the findings. We work extremely hard to build a model of unbiased polling analysis to provide viewers detail, open and quality information. We over report information to ensure that people will have enough detail to assess our processes. Please reply back if you have any additional questions, comments or feedback. Thank you.

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