Vote Now: USD PhD Candidate Polling South Dakota Political Views

USD political science Ph.D. pursuer and SDDP communications director Aaron Matson is studying non-probability polling—e.g., Internet polling, which takes all comers and does not seek a representative sample. This blog has traditionally tagged its non-traditional polling results as having a margin of error larger than the broad side of your barn, but with a large enough sample and rigorous analysis, non-traditional polling could provide useful data in understudied areas where traditional polling costs too much… like South Dakota!

Matson thus posts his “August State of the State” survey and invites all of us to bang away at the questions. I’m happy to help… and to provide a list of the correct answers!

  1. President Obama job performance? Approve a moderate amount.
  2. Hillary Clinton favorable/unfavorable: Somewhat unfavorable.
  3. Donald Trump favorable unfavorable? Strongly unfavorable.
  4. Country right direction/off track? Right direction.
  5. South Dakota right direction/off track? Right direction. (I just focus my blogging on identifying the things that aren’t so we can get them back on the right track!)
  6. Presidential pick: Hillary Clinton.
  7. U.S. Senate pick: Jay Williams.
  8. U.S. House pick: Paula Hawks.
  9. PUC pick: Henry Red Cloud (Commissioner Nelson! COmpete with Red Cloud’s whiskers and grow back your classic ‘stache!)
  10. “If the election were held today for state legislature, would you vote for the Democratic candidate?” Democratic (but note the flaws in the question: several races have no challenger, meaning the answers should include a “none” or “no contest” option, and in contested races, voters have three seats to fill, meaning the answers should include “3 D,” “2 D + 1 R,” “1 D + 2 R,” and “3 R).
  11. Most important issue: Education (I answer from a state-policy perspective, choosing education over the listed options of terrorism, corruption, agricultural issues, environment, jobs/economy, health care, immigration, foreign policy, and “other”).
  12. Support Amendment T? Yes.
  13. Support Referred Law 19? No.
  14. Support Referred Law 20? No.

Matson also includes seven demographic questions. I’ll note that on a seven-option Likert scale for political self-description, I choose the second option, “moderately liberal,” below “extremely liberal.” I can see how my extremely conservative readers will say I’m understating my liberal nature (can I be “South Dakota’s True Liberal Media” if I’m not extremely liberal?), but I can also see my diehard Berniecrat readers arguing that my willingness to vote for Clinton pushes me further center than even “moderately” liberal. I invite your self descriptions and challenges to the accuracy of my own label choice based on your read of the positions I take here.

Now let’s get some data—go take Matson’s poll, and share it with your South Dakota friends!

5 Responses to Vote Now: USD PhD Candidate Polling South Dakota Political Views

  1. Bill Reynolds

    Good job, Cory! You got most of the answers right!

    I too ponder a moment when called upon to qualify my liberalism. By local standards I’m a flaming left-wing extremist, but by any wider definition I’m pretty moderate. The short answer to such queries almost always I “it depends,” but that’s never one of the responses.

    Thanks for sharing the link.

  2. Bill, we seem to be thinking along similar perspective lines. Compared to our neighbors—at least to the noisy ones—we seem like the most liberal people in town, but folks in more liberal states and nations would find us remarkably conservative.

    I check my bona fides on some online quizzes (click to try them yourselves!):

    Pew Political Typology: “Solid Liberal” along with 15% of the U.S. population (23 questions).

    PBS NewsHour Political Party Quiz: “Liberal Democrat” (11 questions, lots of overlap with Pew).

    NBC News Political DNA Test: “progressive/real liberal” (16 questions, but 5 or so just on demographics)

    Political Atlas Test: “moderately leftist” and “socially libertarian” (27 questions, better spread and detail, addressing more important principles) “strongly Left-Wing”, siding with Jill Stein 97% of the time and with Hillary Clinton 97% of the time, Gary Johnson 50%, Darrell Castle 23%, and Donald Trump 6% (on dozens of questions); side strongly toward socialism, slightly toward decentralization, strongly toward populism (rather than elitism), moderately toward privacy over security, moderately toward Keynesian over laissez-faire, moderately toward “progressive” over “traditional”.

  3. All surveys present some opportunity for mischief, as did this one;-)

  4. We should always make time for a little mischief. Perhaps Matson could do some thesis research on exactly that feature and come up with a formula that would define a distinct “margin of mischief” in non-probability polling!

  5. Just giving him some fodder for his study. The mischief can be obvious or subtle. When the mischief is obvious, he may want to exclude all of the answers from that person. I don’t know; he’s the Ph.D candidate. I’m sure he’ll address it in his paper.