By Tim Hibbits of Portland, Oregon. Tim Hibbitts is a partner in the opinion research firm Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall, Inc. Conducting political research is one of Mr. Hibbitts’ specialties. He has been doing survey research for candidates and ballot measure campaigns since 1978 and his list of clients include mayors, member of Congress, and governors. Recently, his work was the subject of discussion on BlueOregon here: "So...What's with Hibbits?" and "Lies, Damn Lies, and Writing Poll Questions"
Since I have been under discussion here lately a one time visit to BlueOregon seems like a good idea.
Thanks in advance for considering this and I apologize that it may be longer than usual, but if you want to provoke discourse,I hope you'll consider my thoughts.
1. I haven't gotten sour,as some of your posters suggest, I've been sour for maybe 45 years or so. I prefer curmudgeonly, it sounds better.
2. Nobody in this biz gets 'em right all the time (and Jack Roberts has his favorite story of one I got wrong), but we are very proud of the record our shop has established over a 30 period as campaign pollsters and consultants, as interpreters of political trends in Oregon and beyond, and in our public record of pre election polls and election nite projections.
3. I believe a public vote on the campaign finance law in Portland would lead to a sound defeat (at least 60-40 no) if it were to be placed before Portland voters within the next 18 months. There may be an effort to refer it, don't know if it will happen or not.
4. With due respect to those who think I have been harder on the Dem party and candidates, I have dumped equally on both parties over the years. I said from March on last year that Kerry was likely to win Oregon. It did not endear me to the R's that I downplayed Bush's chances in a state they wanted badly. We called Kerry for OR right after 8PM election nite, a full hour ahead of the national networks. I have said repeatedly on air on K2 that the Sizemore passed 'double majority' law on taxes was one of the dumbest things I have ever seen because it gives weight to those who do not vote, and even encourages non voting. I have said repeatedly, including in front of conservative groups that the Republicans are not going to win in Oregon running people that are too far to the right, yet they keep doing it. Movement conservatives don't like that but the last 50 years of election results in Oregon back me up. I could go on but trust you get the point.
5. Speaking of Sizemore,this paragraph is directed especially at poster LT, who seemed unhappy that I said in the mid 90's that Sizemore was a power broker in the state. Well, duhhh, wasn't he? He has passed ballot measures that have created havoc for policymakers in the state, was asked to the table by BOTH parties at the Legislature to help redraft one of his flawed measures after it had passed, forced the OEA and public employee unions to spend millions to oppose his measures that they would rather have spent on Democratic candidates, and was challenged by Kitzhaber to a debate about public policy in 1999, the year AFTER Kitz had beaten him 2 to 1 in the Gov race. If that is not political power, what is? And LT, I don't think Bill likes me very much, but you'd have to ask him.
6. In the words of Oliver North's attorney, I'm not a potted plant, I've got opinions. Sometimes I piss off the Dems, other times the Repubs. To set the record straight and not leave my good friend Paddy McGuire hanging (thanks for saying all those nice things in your post,the check is in the mail Paddy)I did tell the Slate reporter that Portland has lots of rich, left wing whackos and latte leftists. I will stand by that. I do not include classic liberalism within that definition.There are very real differences between leftist politics and liberal politics. FYI I also told the Slate guy that the state has plenty of tin foil hat conservatives, but for whatever reason he didn't use that line. Respectfully,anyone who thinks that Portland is not way to the left of center has not been paying close attention to the political/demographic trends in the city over the past 20 years. The country has moved right a bit, PDX has moved left. It is now a one party, one ideology town, and that tends to naturally lead more toward the outlier poles of the political spectrum (eg. when there is only one political ideology is functioning in a geographic area things will tend to gravitate toward the further reaches of that ideology, as there is no effective pressure from the other side to act as a moderating influence).Why do you think so many of the Congressional R's are out on the extreme right; they come from districts that have no ideological competition, and of course they think they are in the mainstream, just like leftist whackos do. From a purely partisan view BlueOregon loyalists ought to be thrilled at PDX's move from center left to further left,it means more votes for your side. One thing I do want to clear up for Mr Bull is his link to the WW article where I supposedly said "liberals hate the police" That is a falsehood. WW got the supposed quote from one of your contributors, the one true bix. I provided a transcript to both WW and thru my attorney to the bix blog and asked them to print what I actually said. They both did so and I appreciated that. You can judge for yourself but I don't have any respect for a guy who invents a quote to fit his own political agenda, and I think that kind of behavior represents the worst of what this new medium has to offer. I don't mind being pilloried for what I do say, but not for what I don't.
7. Charlie Burr, I appreciate your comments and respect your point of view,even if I don't agree. Reasonable people can disagree over the same day Kerry/Bush appearances. I thought Kerry looked tired and it was not one of his better appearances. Just my take. I am extremely skeptical of estimated crowd sizes, always when provided by event organizers and even when provided by neutral sources like the cops. Some guy actually once (or more than once, maybe he got a federal grant for his research for all I know) had photos taken of large crowds and actually counted the number of people by blowing up the photo and sectioning it off. I am not making this up. What he found was that organizers tend to exaggerate crowd size many times over, but even the neutral sources tend to substantially overestimate crowd size, so I am not buying that JK had 50K here. But I do agree that it was a big and enthusiatic crowd that energized the base. And Charlie, the last thing I said on air that day was that the two came in with Kerry leading in Oregon, and they will leave with Kerry leading in Oregon,so I don't think the idea that I was trying to help Bush holds much water.
8. Kari Chisholm, I wrote the poll question on public financing. In this case your dislike of the question should be directed at me. In my view, any question wording that makes clear to voters that they are going to pay for political campaigns in the city is going to get a negative response in the current political climate.
9. That's it, sorry for the length, permanently signing off, discuss among yourselves.