Green-Rainbow Polling Group Proposal.

  • CO-SPONSORS: Brian Cady & Elie Yarden

  • VETTING COMMITTEES: To Be CommComm & CDLC

  • FLOOR MANAGER/SHEPHERD: Brian Cady

  • SUMMARY: Create an in-house telephone, etc. polling organization of volunteer active members to serve our campaigns and party regularly and consistently.

  • BACKGROUND: The lifeblood of politics is knowing our constituents’ wants, needs and understanding. Regular and consistent polling can provide us with both a better understanding of our immediate base as well as improved knowledge of those just beyond the party’s edge – the next to recruit as we grow. And it could be a great service for our candidates. We could, through polling, keep abreast of our constituents’ top issues in life, as well as learn the level of Green understanding of both our immediate base, our broader green supporters and the Massachusetts general population we intend to serve. In this way we can understand what to learn next, what to teach next, and how we should represent our base and constituency. I do not intend to use a panel of respondents, as self-selecting respondents would bias polling. Polling samples would be selected randomly from each database; members, 'U' voters, general public - as far as is possible, as limited by phone numbers available.

  • TEXT OF PROPOSAL/IMPLEMENTATION:

  • CommComm will co-ordinate the group, supplying one co-ordinator to build the monthly question bank, set up the software, answer questions and guide poll operation.

  • Each chapter will nominate a team of members to poll their own region’s constituents, in collaboration with the other chapters’ teams polling their own constituents. Teams would be invited to telephone poll together with the rest of the polling group once a month for overlapping six month intervals. In this way pollers will get to know their direct constituents and build local relationships.

  • As co-ordinator, Brian Cady will build each month’s question bank in consultation with CDLC and CommComm, to serve both our candidates and party and will analyze results.

  • Once a month at a regular time, group members will meet via Zoom while telephoning either GRP members, ‘U’ voters or people in general in their chapter’s region of the state. Pollers will poll about two hours per month.

  • Each polled person will only be asked five questions, selected randomly from a question bank, so as not to annoy our respondents with unnecessarily long polls.

  • As these questions are randomly selected each call, through an evening’s polling, we will learn answers across the many topics selected for that month’s poll and record them. By examining answer correlations statistically we will learn how different issues or understandings accompany each other in our constituents’ minds.

  • FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: Callhub / Hubdial subscription payments of ~$300/yr. will incur.


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  • Roni Beal
    commented 2021-01-12 09:59:04 -0500
    Polling is a dedicated task that I am not sure that GRP members have the time and resources to handle. Another option is to seek an issue based polling organization that does polling and become a member the polling org. First step is to recruit candidates to run for office.
  • Roni Beal
    tagged this with Good 2021-01-12 09:59:03 -0500
  • Elie Yarden
    commented 2021-01-11 15:01:08 -0500
    I believe that John Andrews observation are of value, and should be added as an internal document to which reference may be made by chapters and state subcommittees charged with building chapters that run candidates for public off I am sure that well-trained campaign managers will be better informed on the use of polling in campaigns for elected office.
  • Elie Yarden
    tagged this with Important 2021-01-11 15:01:04 -0500
  • John Andrews
    commented 2020-12-10 16:12:01 -0500
    >> My comments follow the double bracket symbol “>>”. I tried using red font, but the website did not allow this.
    Green-Rainbow Polling Group Proposal.
    • CO-SPONSORS: Brian Cady & Elie Yarden
    VETTING COMMITTEES: To Be CommComm & CDLC
    FLOOR MANAGER/SHEPHERD: Brian Cady
    SUMMARY: Create an in-house telephone, etc. polling organization of volunteer active members to serve our campaigns and party regularly and consistently.
    • >> Do you intend to create a panel of respondents? This is the current trend in polling. It would make sense for state-wide questions. A separate approach could be used for district polling.

    BACKGROUND: The lifeblood of politics is knowing our constituents’ wants, needs and understanding. Regular and consistent polling can provide us with both a better understanding of our immediate base as well as improved knowledge of those just beyond the party’s edge – the next to recruit as we grow. And it could be a great service for our candidates. We could, through polling, keep abreast of our constituents’ top issues in life, as well as learn the level of Green understanding of both our immediate base, our broader green supporters and the Massachusetts general population we intend to serve. In this way we can understand what to learn next, what to teach next, and how we should represent our base and constituency.
    TEXT OF PROPOSAL/IMPLEMENTATION:
    • CommComm will co-ordinate the group, supplying one co-ordinator to build the weekly question bank, set up the software, answer questions and guide poll operation.
    • >> Weekly is probably too frequent and will result in people dropping out. Also, properly writing a weekly poll will exceed our volunteer resources. Monthly might be better to start out.
    • >> The question of who is responding is critical to the validity of the poll.
    • >> For good statistical validity, you should have 400 respondents. Maybe as few as 200 could be useful. [This comment doesn’t apply if you are sampling all the members of a small group, e.g. all StateCom members.]
    • Each chapter will nominate a team of members to poll their own region’s constituents, in collaboration with the other chapters’ teams polling their own constituents. Teams would be invited to telephone poll together with the rest of the polling group once a week for overlapping six month intervals. In this way pollers will get to know their direct constituents and build local relationships.
    • >> Chapters should be asked what fraction of their current volunteer resources would be required to carry out this effort. Then whether they think the chapter would be willing to provide the needed resources.
    • >> Some questions may be relevant to only one chapter or only a few chapters.
    • >> Building personal relationships will probably bias the polling.

    • The co-ordinator will build each week’s question bank in consultation with CDLC and CommComm, to serve both our candidates and party.
    • >> I think it is highly unlikely that we have the volunteer hours needed to write a weekly poll.

    • Once a week at a regular time, group members will meet via Zoom while telephoning either GRP members, ‘U’ voters or people in general in their chapter’s region of the state. Pollers will poll about two hours per week.
    • >> Again, weekly is probably not supportable.
    • >> How will the sample be pulled? Are we creating a “panel” of people who have agreed to be called? (That is advisable because it is difficult to pull numbers from a database of the general public.).

    • Each polled person will only be asked five questions, selected randomly from a question bank, so as not to annoy our respondents with unnecessarily long polls.
    • >> Just follow good practice. More than five questions will sometimes be needed to make the poll useful. Sometimes you have to ask questions about the person’s party, gender, voting likelihood, income level, employment, etc. in order to interpret the polling results.

    • As these questions are randomly selected each call, through an evening’s polling, we will learn answers across the many topics selected for that week’s poll and record them. By examining answer correlations statistically we will learn how different issues or understandings accompany each other in our constituents’ minds.
    • >> Who will do this analysis? What software will be used for the analysis? Should we budget for professional assistance? Professional assistance is highly advisable in formulating a valid survey, although it may not be needed in all polls.
    >> Reducing bias is a major concern if the poll is intended to guide the party on priorities and messaging. GRP members may be biased in a way that makes their answers misleading compared to the general electorate. The level of knowledge of the people being polled should also be considered. GRP members may have strong opinions on proportional representation while the general electorate doesn’t know what you’re talking about. If you try to educate people during the call, you have to work very hard on what information you provide and the exact words you use so you don’t bias their response.
    >> It would be useful to have a survey capability that could be applied to the election of a GRP candidate in a particular district. Right now we are flying blind and acting upon erroneous intuition. The timing of the survey would be critical. To pull this off, resources would have to be provided by the candidate in conjunction with the chapter.
    >> Online polling is proving useful when done right. It is cheaper than person-to-person. We might want to experiment with it.
    >> There are some statewide questions of long-term interest that we should ask every year. The results of successive years can be merged to provide increased statistical validity. You can also look for trends across the years.
    >> Polling on message is a critical need for the GRP. Right now our message is mostly derived from guesses and biases. We often “preach to the choir” using language that the choir likes. This appeals to the 2% of voters who are in our camp, but it may fail miserably with the 50% of voters who are potentially Green voters but have not yet accepted Greenthink. Polls that “find out what our members think” have a certain value, but they can be disastrously misleading in formulating an outreach message.

    FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: Callhub / Hubdial subscription payments of ~$300/yr. will incur.
  • Brian Cady
    published this page in 2021 Winter Proposal 2020-12-03 15:50:27 -0500