At Slog, Erica “Party Crasher” Barnett, who showed up to the Yes party just as things got ugly (not meant as a comment on her looks), points to some Sierra Club rubbish that “proves” that Pro-Rail lefties somehow swung the vote.

But the Sierra Club’s sample is way off.

  • They counted 1,250 Seattlites of their 5,004 voters. That counts Seattle as 25% of the region instead of 20% as it is. And, in turnouts, Seattle performed worse than other areas.
  • Their “rest of King County” did not show where they came up with those 1,998 voters. Were they all in Federal Way or Bothel? It’s a big county.
  • They only counted 646 Snohomish County voters, half as many as Seattle voters, when far more Snohomish County folks voted than Seattle folks.

I’m not sure whether ST2 could have passed on its own. It would have been a smaller tax increase, which would have made voters more receptive, and some pro-environment voters could have voted for it. I am sure a lot of pro-roads folks would have voted no, though. This exit poll, however, was performed poorly, and is not statistically accurate. It does not give us that answer conclusively.

What we do know, though, is that they are going to build many of those roads projects anyway, just as we said they would. Pierce County may write their own roads package, which would suck because Pierce County Executive John “boots” Ladenburg gave the best speech of the night Tuesday at the Yes Party. And we know the 520 rebuild is critical, and will be done anyway. That Lindblom piece does bring up the possibility of a rail only package, but notes the legistlature in Olympia might stop it.

On the other hand, our Governor spoke thusly:

Gregoire said the defeat of the initiative was a “significant” blow for Sound Transit and the transit agency now has to decide whether to proceed with plans to extend light rail first to Tacoma or Everett.

When it came to Sound Transit, Gregoire said some of the voters sounded like they were from Missouri, where the state motto is “show me.”

Good job Sierra Club of swinging the 11% away from rail and onto roads!

Update:
There’s someone running around the internet slandering my math, I already wrote this in the comments, but I want to put it at the top here in case anyone is looking.

You can’t compare the numbers from the Washington State site and the counties’ sites, they are not the same thing.

In an apples-to-apples comparison on Washington State’s election site, there were 103914 Yes + 129151 No votes in King totalling 233065, and 38780 + 51939 totalling 90719 in Snohomish.

Then go to King County’s site, they say that in total 286607 people voted in King County. That’s 53,000 MORE people than the state says. In that context, the 90,000+ Seattle voters makes sense, Seattle being about a third of the county’s population. The County has about 25% more voters listed than the state does. So if you compare the King County number for Seattle against the State number for the whole region like they were the same, then the number looks 25% higher for Seattle. Seattle is really 20% of the voters, and 25% (the factor by which the County’s number is higher)of 20% (Seattle’s portion of the region’s vote) is 5% which shows why it looks like Seattle was 25% of the vote when you compare across the sites. Sorry if it’s a bit technical.

Moral: you can’t compare the two numbers like that slanderer is. They are completely different. The same goes for the Snohomish County number.

I’m not arguing that ST2 can’t win on it’s own. I’m sure it can’t and it will some day. I’m just not sure I buy that study.

18 Replies to “Sierra Club’s Exit Poll is Bogus, Roads are being built anyway”

  1. The sad part is, I wish this poll wasn’t bogus — it would mean we could come back with ST2 right away.

    The only part of the Sierra Club spin I don’t appreciate is the question stacked to make LR to Tacoma less popular than it is.

  2. Daimajin, you’re doing the math wrong.

    RTA District (Portions of King, Pierce & Snohomish Counties) = 381,860 ballots cast to date
    http://vote.wa.gov/elections/W EI/Results_Prop1.aspx

    Seattle = 94,848 ballots cast to date
    http://www.metrokc.gov/electio ns/200711/resPage17.htm

    That works out to be 24.84%. The RT Strategies survey had it at 24.98%.

    Seems pretty close to me.

    How are you coming up with 20%?

  3. “far more Snohomish County folks voted than Seattle folks.”

    Well, that’s a pretty easy statement to fact check. Let’s go to the fabulous interwebs…

    Snohomish County General Election Results
    SOUND TRANSIT (RTA)
    Total 62,728
    http://www.snoco.org/elections/results/ecurrent.htm

    King County General Election Returns (City of Seattle)
    Total 94,848
    http://www.metrokc.gov/elections/200711/resPage17.htm

    Wow – you weren’t even close to being right. In fact there were a lot MORE votes out of Seattle than Snohomish Co.

    Maybe you were confused that the entirety of Snohomish County was not in the RTA district…

  4. 20% is based on population.

    Your numbers are completely off, because you are comparing official ballots counted versus unofficial ballots counted.

    Stupidest mistake ever.

    Go troll somewhere else.

  5. Population? You’re kidding right?

    You think they should have sampled this poll based on overall population – instead of registered or likely voters?

    Please go do some basic research about political polling.

  6. so, is our wonderful governor ever going to do anything to go to bat for our transit system?

  7. Seattlites vote less often than folks in other parts of the county.

    Whatever, I’m tired of arguing anyway.

  8. Don’t listen to anonymous, he’s comparing two completely different numbers by cherry picking whichever county’s website makes the numbers look correct for him.

    In an apples-to-apples comparison on Washington State’s election site, there were 103914 Yes + 129151 No votes in King totalling 233065, and 38780 + 51939 totalling 90719 in Snohomish.
    http://vote.wa.gov/elections/W EI/ResultsByCounty_Prop1.aspx? RaceID=100217&CountyCode=%20&R aceLevel=County&ElectionID=0&R aceTypeCode=M

    Then go back the county’s site, they say that in total 286607 people voted in King County. That’s 53,000 MORE people than the state says. In that context, the 90,000+ Seattle voters makes sense, Seattle being about a third of the county’s population.

    Moral: you can’t compare the two numbers like anonymous is. They are completely different.

    I’m not arguing that ST2 can’t win on it’s own. I’m sure it can’t and it will. But I am arguing that 25% of the voters in the region are not from Seattle

  9. Andrew, sorry but you’re slandering your own math.

    It’s ok, you made 2 very understandable mistakes:

    1) You assume that everyone in King County lives in the RTA (Prop 1) district. That’s incorrect. Here’s the map:

    http://www.soundtransit.org/x3 064.xml

    And here are the numbers:

    997,798 registered voters in King County (286,607 voted so far – as you pointed out)
    http://www.metrokc.gov/electio ns/200711/resPage2.htm

    861,620 registered voters in Sound Transit (RTA) portion (245,796 voted so far)
    http://www.metrokc.gov/electio ns/200711/resPage5.htm

    As you can clearly see, the RTA portion comprised 86.35% of registered voters, and 85.76% of the turnout so far.

    2) You’re using numbers for the RTID boundary from Snohomish Co. All of the poll documents clearly say the sample was done in the RTA (Sound Transit) district.

    From the poll memo:
    “All of the interviews were conducted November 4-6, 2007 with a representative cross-section of voters in the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) district.”
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c om/ABPub/2007/11/08/2004002460 .pdf

    Do the math again, using the right numbers for King and Snohomish County, and tell us what you come up with.

  10. I’m not saying that my math is awesome or perfect, just that counting 1250 Seattlites and 646 Snohomish county folks is wrong.

    That’s my point.

  11. Wait, my state numbers are for prop 1, not for king county or snohomish as a whole.

    I did my math right.

  12. Andrew,

    I seriously mean no disrespect. But you’re using the wrong number in Snohomish County.

    You base your math on 90,719 total votes in Snoho (as of the Thursday Count). And that’s correct. FOR RTID.

    The poll didn’t look at the RTID geography. It looked at the RTA geography. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2007/11/08/2004002460 .pdf

    The total vote in the RTA portion of Snohomish County is 62,728 (again – as of the Thursday count). Obviously a big difference.

    I realize that this the whole thing is pretty confusing for the average person. The RTA boundary doesn’t follow the county boundaries. The RTA doesn’t even follow the RTID boundaries.

    But I have to admit, I kinda thought you were following this issue closely enough to understand that distinction.

  13. You’re right I did use the RTID numbers instead of the RTA number.
    But according to the poll’s website:”Sierra Club sponsored a poll of 5000 voters in the RTID region who voted”
    That says RTID, not RTA, so you’re wrong on that count.
    Look for yourself:
    http://cascade.sierraclub.org/node/1685.

    And anyway, even if only 60K snohomish voters voted on RTA and 95K Seattle people voted, 646:1250 is still wrong.

    And I don’t even believe that 95K people in Seattle voted anyway. So the whole thing is skewed.

  14. Wow damaijin: you really can’t take criticism well, can you?

    You are accomplished at treating your readers with respect, however.

  15. Whoops,
    No, really I am very sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude. I’m still upset about tuesday.

    My most humble apologies, thanks for pointing it out, I’ll work better to be more civil.

Comments are closed.