Lies, Damned Lies, Polls

We’ve been given a copy of a curious Pace University Poll, which purports to show that “public apathy” is a “barrier to Albany reform.”

(The poll is embargoed until tomorrow, but since they didn’t actually send us a copy, we don’t see how we’re bound by the embargo.)

Apparently, if you ask New Yorkers what their top priority is, only six percent say “reforming Albany.” This seems an odd way to go about asking that question; you could, for example, ask people if they think Albany is broken.

And indeed, we’re told that the private polls that politicians around the state are doing on this issue are giving them the opposite result. Shelly Silver‘s leap into the “reform” camp, for example, only came after he saw the results of a Tom Kiley poll that showed reform as a hot issue.

One item we liked in the Pace Poll, lest the people who work in, and cover, politics take ourselves too seriously, was evidence that nobody in the real world pays any attention to the details.

“When asked which party controls the State Senate, New Yorkers are just as likely to identify incorrectly the Democrats (27%) as the Republicans (29%); 44% do not even hazard a guess.”