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Wednesday, May 01, 2019

That Morning Consult Poll: MLG's Low Numbers Scrutinized by NM's Top Pollster, Plus: Jaw Dropping APD's Over The Top Overtime Cop Gets Off And The Critics Wail 

If Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's approval rating is only at 41 percent after winning election with 57 percent of the vote last November, it's a big story indeed. That's why we're still scratching our heads over that Morning Consult Poll that was taken online among registered voters from January 1 thru March 31 that had her at that meager 41% level, with 33% unfavorable and 27% in the "never heard of" category.

Political pros are cautious. The state's top pollster is Brian Sanderoff of Research and Polling who has been doing highly accurate surveys for the ABQ Journal and numerous private clients for well over 30 years. We asked him for his analysis of the poll and wound up in the polling weeds to weed out the truth:

Joe, I am curious about the 27% "never heard of" that they report. The Morning Consult methodology says it's actually respondents who say, "don't know/no opinion to their survey question. It seems high to me.

Doing internet surveys or robo calls, either way they would be forced to show the respondent the "don't know" category. Conversely, on scientific phone surveys with live professional interviewers, we would just ask whether the respondent approves or disapproves of an elected official, and allow for a volunteered response of "don't know." If Morning Consult shows the "don't know" response as a response category that the respondent sees, it will inflate the don’t knows and thereby reduce the percentage of those who approve and disapprove.

Also, they say they weight the polling sample by various demographics to make it more representative, but they don't weight on party affiliation which is the most important variable to ensure a representative and accurate sample. I would want to know the distribution of the sample by party affiliation. They don't report it, but they do show the margins of error by party affiliation. Without boring you with the math, the sample may undercount Democrats. 

Okay, we digested all of that slowly. We get Sanderoff's point. The reason for MLG's low favorable rating in this poll--in contrast to her Election Night winning percentage--is likely not due to news events, her actions or voters waiting to see what she's all about. It's likely in large part due to an undersampling of those most likely to support her--namely Democrats. That doesn't mean she's necessarily knocking the ball out of the park but neither does it mean she's whiffing.

For a better and more fuller picture we have to wait for a poll that is conducted with live interviews, reaches both cellphone and landlines and accurately weights the sample by party affiliation.

IF YOU DISAGREE

If you think the poll has it right, MLG critic Silvio Dell'Angela is your man. He says:

The Governor's allies have rushed to try to discredit the poll, but the fact remains that Michelle Lujan Grisham has pushed through a radical liberal agenda that isn't consistent with her campaign messages and is very unpopular not only with Republicans, but also conservative Democrats.

OVER THE TOP OVERTIME

What do you think would happen to you if you violated the overtime polices where you work 51 times? Rest assured, it would be more than ten lashes with the blog's wet noodle. But not at APD where abuse of overtime has been a problem for over 30 years. The officers and command protect it like an abused doberman snarling at used car lot customers. Which leads us to. . .

Officer Simon Drobik, the public information officer, who incredibly ended up being the highest paid city employee last year by pulling down immense amounts of overtime and a paycheck of over $192,000. The Civilian Police Oversight Agency (CPOA) says his violations were so egregious that Drobik should be fired.

But not only won't be fired he won't be disciplined. Chief Mike Geier and Mayor Keller want to reform the overtime system which they say is subject to abuse and was mangled by the previous administration. Not good enough, cried the critics. They said Drobik getting off reveals much about Gier and the Mayor. First, retired APD Sergent and APD watchdog Dan Klein:

Do we really think APD command is interested in doing anything more than covering the ass of a favored friend? Drobik offering to return his comp time is like a burglar offering to return the stolen goods. Geier and Keller are completely ignoring the CPOA investigation that found someone in APD manually overrode the payroll system for Drobik. The computer knew what was happening was wrong. That’s why a human had to manually change things. If that isn’t enough to call for an outside forensic criminal investigation into this matter then Geier and Keller will never look into allegations of corruption within APD. . . Taxpayers need to hold on, their money is being squandered.

Now a Senior Alligator who came on to dry land to take this one on:

APD is the tail that wags the dog. The last Mayor who attempted to stand up and reform the department was Jim Baca. But he was elected with only 28% of the vote, spent most of his term focused on “Downtown Revitalization” and was crushed in his re-election bid for. APD doesn’t answer to anybody, including this Mayor. It’s not just criminals who can make money in the midst of ABQ’s rampant crime epidemic. So can a lot of law-enforcement officers. First and foremost, Simon Drobik, APD’s “untouchable” spokesman. Membership definitely has its privileges.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2019
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