Crushed into silence by wave of criticism that cut to the firm’s credibility, Georgia-based Strategic Vision on Monday issued its first statewide poll in six months.
We’ll get to the numbers in a second. The return of the GOP-oriented firm to polling is news in itself.
“We just decided to take a hiatus while the controversy detracted from our poll numbers,” said David Johnson, CEO of SV. “I’m not going to pursue it. I’m sure I’ll be hounded by somebody. We’re releasing the crosstabs and everything.”
Last year, Strategic Vision was censured for failing to cooperate in an investigation, conducted by the 2,000-member American Association for Public Opinion Research, into New Hampshire polling in the 2008 presidential primary.
Afterwards, Nate Silver, a prominent political statistician, publicly suggested, in a series of posts on his much-read blog, fivethirtyeight.com, that Strategic Vision might be making up its results.
Johnson made noises about filing a libel lawsuit, which he conceded today was a mistake.
“You know the old adage – lawyers should never represent themselves? I guess a P.R. person should never be their own publicist. That was me speaking in anger because I was really outraged at the time,” Johnson said.
Instead, the small company went dark. It still conducted polls for private companies, the CEO said. But it didn’t publicize its work.
With Monday’s release, Johnson provided much more data than he has in the past. Read his polling memo here. Johnson also sent over, for the first time, a set of crosstabs on a zip drive – which you can download here. You’ll need each set of data to make sense of the other.
Silver, who became Strategic Visions chief critic last September, isn’t backing down. This from Politico.com:
“Until Strategic Vision is willing to reveal even the most basic facts about their polling operation — including information as fundamental as where their calling center is — the presumption should be overwhelmingly that their polling is fraudulent and any newspaper or Web site editor who lists one of their polls should be fired for gross incompetence,” Silver [said].
Ah, well. Strategic Vision puts the Republican governor’s race at:
– John Oxendine, 30%;
– Karen Handel, 17%;
– Nathan Deal, 13%;
– Eric Johnson, 9%;
– Austin Scott, 2%;
– Ray McBerry; 2%;
– Jeff Chapman, below 1%;
– and undecided, 27%.
And the Democrat side:
– Roy Barnes, 44%;
– Thurbert Baker, 22%;
– David Poythress, 2%;
– Dubose Porter, 2%;
– Carl Camon, 1%;
– and undecided, 29%.
According to Johnson, the most interesting numbers are the favorable rankings of three statewide Republicans: Gov. Sonny Perdue, at 50 percent; U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, 49 percent; and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, 43 percent.
Isakson has no primary opposition, and no well-funded Democratic opponent (R.J. Hadley has declared). So the Republican incumbent doesn’t necessarily need to be worried.
But Johnson said Isakson’s drop is something for all incumbents, whether Democratic or Republican, to watch. “People are angry out there,” he said. Believe it or not.
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