Riley Poll: Here's your roasting, Mike.

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

On the heels of the release of the latest Riley Report by pollster Mike Riley -- discussed at length by Jeff Alworth here -- Riley appeared this morning on Outlook Portland with Nick Fish.

Asked to make a prediction near the end of the show, here's how he disclaimed:

You know, I'm going to be roasted on BlueOregon. Every time I make a prediction -- if it's not correct, I get completely roasted.

Well, Mike, it's not just that you're making incorrect predictions. None of us have a perfect crystal ball. As they say in sports, there's a reason you play the games.

No, Mike, the reason I'm roasting you here and now is that you're making predictions in the absence of any data. There are lots of armchair pundits out there (and I'll plead guilty to doing making data-less predictions every single day), but there's a higher standard for pollsters. Y'all are the people who are supposed to be data-driven, with a hard focus on the numbers.

What was the prediction Mike made without any data?

The Democratic Senate... I think it's still more likely to be Jeff Merkley. Steve Novick - there's still a lot of life left in him. There may be others that come up.

Now, I happen to agree. But I'm not the guy with a polling operation - offering up analysis that's supposedly based on hard numbers.

Of couse, Nick Fish didn't let him get away with it. He asked:

So, at this point, not having tested Steve Novick, we don't know whether he'd poll ahead of or behind Jeff Merkley, is that right?

To which Riley answered -- with the most honest response of the show:

We honestly don't. In fact, we don't know any more based on these results.

That pretty much says it all, doesn't it Mike? You did a poll, and managed to create confusion where you could have created clarity. Some crystal ball ya got there, buddy.

Oh, and Fish dug further, wanting to know why Riley didn't bother to ask about Novick. Riley's pathetic answer?

Well I had to make a judgement call there. I pay for these questions myself, and so I wanted to ask as few questions as possible. I thought to myself: What's the most likely scenario? With Jeff Merkley, with his prominence as Speaker of the House, he's going to have the greatest name recognition, probably the inside track for the seat to be determined in the primary next year. So I said, between Smith and Novick, or between Smith and Merkley, it's probably going to be Smith and Merkley.

And the best part? Check this out:

I also threw in John Frohnmayer, who is the brother of former Governor Frohnmayer, who was the head of the National Endowment for the Arts in the first Bush Administration. Because he's purported to be a likely candidate as well, with that kind of name familiarity I might as well toss him into the mix.

We're supposed to trust the predictions and punditry of a guy who thought Dave Frohnmayer was the Governor? Sorry, buddy, but Dave lost that race in 1990 to Barbara Roberts.

So, you didn't bother to test Steve Novick - who is in the race and running hard - but you did throw in an undeclared candidate who isn't campaigning? And you also didn't even bother to do a straight Smith/Merkley head-to-head? That's just ridiculous.

And then, to offer up predictions about the U.S. Senate primary, without having asked a single question about it, well that's just not cool. It is, frankly, absurd. It's giving pollsters a bad name.

Next time you go on TV, Mikey, decline to answer the questions you haven't tested. That's your responsibility to the profession.

It may be August, but sing along with me: Pollsters roasting over an open fire...

  • (Show?)

    I'll go ahead and offer my usual disclaimer: I'm building Jeff Merkley's website, but I speak only for myself.

    ...especially when I'm defending Steve Novick. :)

  • (Show?)

    well you can hardly blame some people in Oregon for thinking Dave should have been governor. that golt-durn religious nut screwed that one up but good. of course Frohnmayer got off easy in the end. it was BabaWawa what got stuck with M5 as her congratulations present from the voters and a single, heinous term. Dave got to go to his box seats at Autzen and a lot less grief.

    still, leaving Novick off the poll is the kind of irresponsible nonsense that makes a lot of people trust neither pollsters nor the media what hires & reports them. who is any pollster or writer to tell the voters their candidate, who has raised a bunch of money, is not even worth a damn poll question? sheesh.

  • (Show?)

    I haven't decided who I'm behind for the US Senate, but it seems to me the responsible thing would to be do a head to head poll for the two primary candidates(Merkley vs. Novick) and then head to head for each of them versus Smith (one for Merkley vs. Smith and one for Novick vs. Smith). At least people would have a bit more information.

    This is just another example of Merkley being cast as the hand picked nominee even before the primary. If I was on Team Merkley, I would want to dispel that myth and distance myself from an obviously bias poll.

    Why I don't want to take this thread off-topic (Kari, you have permission to flog me if I do), this is similar to the post Jeff made about Hillary Clinton being the eventual nominee based on polling, which pisses me off. We should be (in both cases) judging people on the ideas and what they can bring to the race rather then BS polling.

    Kari was right to roast Mr. Riley, clearly he has no idea what he's talking about.

  • (Show?)

    I want to just say, I have nothing against Merkley or his campaign. In fact, I met both Jon and Carla at DL and liked both of them.

    By the way Jon, if your reading this, I'm still waiting for that email!

  • Rick H (unverified)

    Thank You so much for recognizing that Steve Novick is in this to stay..... and WIN! Nothing against J. Merkley. Good man, good job at the house but would like to have seen him stay there for one more term to do a lot more good. Steve Novick is the real deal. Smart, understands the system,knows most issues and when he doesn't, he says so! Imagine! Has paid his dues, speaks clearly and truly and has a sense of humor. Even David Rheinhard said some positve things about Steve in Sunday Oregonian. Gad, sorry Steve. With Rheinhards help you will need that sense of humor. Or, maybe an exorcism.

  • Ted Gleichman (unverified)

    Thoroughly char-broiled, Kari. And with apologies to Tony Bennett:

    Pollsters roasting on an open fire, Deception nipping at your nose. Conventional wisdom being sung by the choir, And distortions dressed up by your foes...

    Everybody knows Some folly and some blowhard blow Help make politics more lite. And cheesy pollsters with bad data to show Will try to craft a lie tonight.

    That's 'cause voting's on its way, Bringing lots of games for sleezy pols to play. And every hustler's aide is gonna try To see if errors of ommission will fly.

    And so we offer up this simple gift To truth-seekers all across the Blue. Although it's been said many times, many ways: Caveat emptor to you!

  • (Show?)

    Wow, Ted, that's fantastic! Thanks!

  • (Show?)

    The part of Mike Riley's interview that everyone seems to be missing is that he's paying for these polls himself. If this were the Oregonin paying Tim Hibbits to do a poll, then the complaints about leaving Steve Novick out would be legit.

    As it is, we should just be thankful that Mike is willing to do some polling on his own and make the results public. Cut him some slack!

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)

    I did catch that Jack. He "wanted to ask as few questions as possible" since he pays for the questions himself which is the LAMEST excuse... evaarrr. And which also begs the question why Frohnmayer was put in the mix. Riley mentioned something about name recognition and i wondered if he meant name confusion instead, 'cause i was thinking about Dave F. And did someone already bring up how he's having "second thoughts" about his push poll and leaving Steve Novick out? It was worth the early hour just for the sheer comedy of it all.

  • KYJurisDoctor (unverified)

    The "Log cabin" MUST be filling up!

  • KYJurisDoctor (unverified)

    The "Log cabin" MUST be filling up!

  • Stevie James (unverified)

    Life mimics art.

    The Man Who Tapped His Foot


connect with blueoregon