Pro-Levin PCCC Polls CA-49 – OMITTING Applegate from Poll and Report!


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Elizabeth Warren inspired a progressive organization that is almost always wonderful.  (Almost always. But not when it comes to polling CA-49.)

(1) New Polling Results in CA-49 That You Won’t Believe!  (And Rightly So.)

I was contacted yesterday by someone whom I’ve known only by reputation and long-admired: Adam Green, co-founder (with Stephanie Taylor) of PCCC. the Progressive Change Congressional Committee, which is associated with one of my favorite Senators, Elizabeth Warren.  Green offered to share with me results of polling that they did in CA-45 and CA-49, so long as I agreed to embargo the results until 5:00 a..m.  I told him that I knew that his group had supported Levin while I support Applegate, but that I would respect the embargocall my report the results straight.

I’m up early today to prepare to leave for the Democratic Party convention in San Diego — so I read the report at 5:02 a.m., planning to publish something on it (I had expected to do a simple cut-and-paste of it) by 5:10 or so.

Instead, it has taken me two hours beyond that — because I am absolutely FURIOUS about what I read!

I knew full well that PCCC had endorsed Sen. Warren’s former student Katie Porter in CA-45 (Walters’s seat) and — startling local leftist activists — corporate-friendly Dem Mike Levin in CA-49.(Issa’s former seat.)  I expected that the poll should probably be treated as essentially “in house” for both candidates.  But even then, I was not prepared for what I found.

  • In CA-45, Porter did best among Democrats, leading the pack, and did comparably well to her arch-nemesis fellow UCI Law professor Dave Min,  (I support neither: I like Kia Hamdancy and Brian Forde.)
  • In CA-49, PCCC reported only that Mike Levin outpaced Republican co-leader, Marine Colonel Rocky Chavez.
  • PCCC did not report a one-on-one matchup between Democratic leader Doug Applegate and Chavez — or any other Republican.
  • PCCC did not report on a matchup between Applegate and Levin (with or without others), as it did with Porter in CA-45.

Now, if we consider this in effect an in-house poll conducted on behalf of Levin — and now I definitely do — there’s no ethical reason that PCCC has to report any results that reflect badly on its candidate.  (It does raise the issue of whether this poll should be considered an independent expenditure, if they’re not promoting it as “news,” but that’s a discussion for another time.)

However, the juxtaposition of the CA-45 and ca-49 reports DOES give rise to some reasonable inferences!

PRESUMPTION 1: PCCC probably cares A LOT MORE about Katie Porter — who has actual ties to Sen. Warren — than about Mike Levin.

PRESUMPTION 2: PCCC would thus be more inclined to protect Porter than Levin.

PRESUMPTION 3: While it is POSSIBLE that PCCC simply chose not to include Doug Applegate in any of its polling, it is SUCH A WEIRD CHOICE that it would harm the group’s reputation if they had actually excluded him.  They didn’t even exclude Kia Hamadanchy from CA-45, for God’s sake!

PRESUMPTION 4: They probably did poll Doug Applegate against Mike Levin — they should care about that, right? — and probably against Col. Chavez as well.

PRESUMPTION 5: If the results for Levin compared to Applegate were as good as those for Katie Porter compared to Dave Min — a virtual tie — they would have reported them.

PRESUMPTION 6: In fact, given Presumption 2 above, if the results for Levin compared to Applegate were anywhere near as good as those for Katie Porter compared to Dave Min —they would still have reported them!

CONCLUSION 1: If PCCC did the normal, rational, admirable thing and include Doug Applegate in its poll, APPLEGATE MUST BE ABSOLUTELY CREAMING LEVIN.  I mean, losing by something like a 2:1 margin — in which event delegates wanting to avoid an R-on-R runoff between Chavez and Harkey should be pouring over to Applegate’s side this weekend!

CONCLUSION 2The bottom line that they report in mass-email about their poll — that “We commissioned a few California district polls: … Katie Porter is strong in California 45, and Mike Levin is strong in California 49″ is almost PAINFULLY misleading.  And I don’t consider misleading people to be a progressive value.

CONCLUSION 3: Asking Adam Green whether they did poll Applegate or not — and why, when they polled the whole field in CA-45 ans should have known that Applegate was at minimum a leading contender — would be cruel.  Green would not be the first pretty damned excellent progressive to receive contact poisoning from touching Orange County’s Democratic political establishment, which lives for such moments as crushing the Berniecrat to favor the Hillaryman.  So I’m not going to ask him whether they polled Applegate and if so why they didn’t report the results — although I’ll email him this link and invite him to comment here without editing (although not without rebuttal), and I implore you all to treat him with respect. although you should feel welcome to nicely asking him whatever questions you think need to be answered..  Instead, I’m going to ask YOU READERS — and I hope that you will share this post broadly — this question:

HAVE YOU BEEN POLLED ON TUES. FEB. 20 OR WED. FEB. 21  ON THE CA-49 RACE. IF THE POLL ASKED ABOUT A MATCH-UP BETWEEN MIKE LEVIN AND ROCKY CHAVEZ, DID IT ALSO ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT DOUG APPLEGATE?

Below, we’ll present the results of a three-day poll started two weeks ago by the San Diego Union-Tribune, which covers all serious (and some less serious) candidates in the race, and then the results emailed out by PCCC today.

(2) San Diego Media Poll Results for CA-49: Applegate 18, Chavez 17; Harkey at 10, Levin at 8, Gaspar 7, Jacobs 5

I don’t see a link to a polling memo — it’s Survey USA, for the SDUT and a local TV station, and last I checked they’re far less forthcoming than PPP —  but the bottom line (based on 520 “touches” from 2/10-13) is:
(D) Doug Applegate 18
(R) Rocky Chavez 17
(R) Diane Harkey 10
(D) Mike Levin 8
(R) SD Supv. Kristin Gaspar 7
(D) Sarah Jacobs 5
(?) Brian Maryott 2
(?) Joshua Schoonover 2
(D) Paul Kerr 1
(D) Christine Prejean 1
(P&F) Jordan Mills 0
(Lbt) Joshua Hancock 0

To save you some trouble, that sums to 71%, with 29% unaccounted for.  Again, both leaders are retired Marine Colonels.  Partisanship be damned in this district — in a runoff, many votes for the one who didn’t make a runoff would go to the one who did.  This district is just drawn to be very very military friendly!

Stories on this poll include:
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/politics/sd-me-applegate-chavez-20180219-story.html

https://sandiegofreepress.org/2018/02/survey-says-flipping-the-49th-wont-be-easy/

(3) How PCCC Reported Its Own Results

For AD-45 (Mimi Walters. Porter & Min):

Poll conducted for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee by Public Policy Polling, 648 registered voters in CA-45 surveyed Feb. 20-21, 2018. MOE +/-3.9%. Donate to support our polling here.

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of President Donald Trump’s job performance?
Approve 44%
Disapprove 54%
Not sure 3%

Q. If the primary election for Congress were held today, and the candidates were Republican Mimi Walters and Democrats Katie Porter, David Min, Brian Ford, and Kia Hamandanchy, who would you vote for?
Mimi Walters 42%
Katie Porter 16%
David Min 12%
Brian Ford 4%
Kia Hamandanchy 6%
Not sure 21%

Q. If the general election for Congress were held today, and the candidates were Democrat Katie Porter and Republican Mimi Walters, who would you vote for?
Katie Porter 46%
Mimi Walters 44%
Not sure 10%

Q. If the general election for Congress were held today, and the candidates were Democrat David Min and Republican Mimi Walters, who would you vote for?
David Min 45%
Mimi Walters 44%
Not sure 11%

Q. Which party do you believe stands more on the side of working people, Democrats or Republicans?
Democrats 49%
Republicans 43%
Not sure 8%

Now I’m going to ask you about some proposals being offered by candidates for Congress. After each, please tell me if you support or oppose the proposal.

Q. Increase Social Security benefits and pay for that increase by having the wealthy pay the same rate into Social Security as everyoneelse.
Support 61%
Oppose 18%
Not sure 21%

Q. Allow the government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, which could save over a hundred billion dollars per year for taxpayers and seniors.
Support 77%
Oppose 10%
Not sure 13%

Q. Invest a trillion dollars to create millions of new good-paying jobs by investing in our roads, bridges, schools, clean water, and jobs of the future like solar and broadband. 
Support 72% 
Oppose 13%
Not sure 15%

Q. Create a publicly-owned not-for-profit pharmaceutical company to compete against private drug companies, to create more competition in the marketplace and stop big drug companies from jacking up prices for our seniors.
Support 61%
Oppose 22%
Not sure 17%

Q. Ensure that any student who graduates from a public college or university can graduate without debt — through a combination of increasing Pell Grants for families, work-study for students, and federal aid to states to bring down costs at public schools.
Support 49%
Oppose 31%
Not sure 21%

Q. Enact strong new laws to reduce gun violence, including strong background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.
Support 70%
Oppose 21%
Not sure 9%

Q. Ensure that any parent who works full time receives a living wage so they can put food on the table and their family does not live in poverty.
Support 57%
Oppose 26%
Not sure 16%

Q. Save billions of dollars reversing tax cuts for the rich and eliminating tax loopholes for large corporations, and use that money to make long-term investments in rebuilding our roads, bridges, and schools.
Support 60%
Oppose 25%
Not sure 15%

Q. Overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and pass other laws to curb the influence of big-money in our politics.
Support 58%
Oppose 16%
Not sure 25%

Q. Enact strong consumer protections so families are not ripped off or thrown into debt by the fine print used by credit card companies, big banks, and predatory lenders.
Support 66%
Oppose 17%
Not sure 17%

Q. Fully investigate the Wall Street bankers who caused the financial meltdown, and if they broke the law, prosecute and jail them.
Support 76%
Oppose 11%
Not sure 13%

For AD-49:

Poll conducted for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee by Public Policy Polling, 282 registered voters in CA-45 surveyed Feb. 20-21, 2018. MOE +/-5.8%.

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of President Donald Trump’s job performance?
Approve 44% 
Disapprove 55% 
Not sure 1%

Q. If the general election for Congress were held today, and the candidates were Democrat Mike Levin and Republican Rocky Chavez, who would you be more likely to vote for?
Mike Levin 47%
Rocky Chavez 39%
Not sure 13%

Q. Which party do you believe stands more on the side of working people, Democrats or Republicans?
Democrats 50% 
Republicans 43% 
Not sure 7%

Now I’m going to ask you about some proposals being offered by candidates for Congress. After each, please tell me if you support or oppose it. Here’s the first one:

Q. Increase Social Security benefits and pay for that increase by having the wealthy pay the same rate into Social Security as everyone else.
Support 58%
Oppose 17%
Not sure 25%

Q. Allow the government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, which could save over a hundred billion dollars per year for taxpayers and seniors.
Support 82%
Oppose 7%
Not sure 11%

Q. Invest a trillion dollars to create millions of new good-paying jobs by investing in our roads, bridges, schools, clean water, and jobs of the future like solar and broadband.
Support 71%
Oppose 11%
Not sure 18%

Q. Enact a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance through an expanded, universal form of Medicare.
Support 51%
Oppose 34%
Not sure 14%

Q. Give all Americans the choice of buying health insurance through Medicare or private insurers, which would provide competition for insurance companies and more options for consumers.
Support 67%
Oppose 15%
Not sure 18%

Q. Create a publicly-owned not-for-profit pharmaceutical company to compete against private drug companies, to create more competition in the marketplace and stop big drug companies from jacking up prices for our seniors.
Support 58%
Oppose 20%
Not sure 22%

Q. Provide federal financial assistance to states to make public colleges and universities more affordable, so that all students have access to debt-free college education in America.
Support 51%
Oppose 31%
Not sure 17%

Q. Save billions of dollars reversing tax cuts for the rich and eliminating tax loopholes for large corporations, and use that money to make long-term investments in rebuilding our roads, bridges, and schools.
Support 61%
Oppose 24%
Not sure 15%

Q. Overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and pass other laws to curb the influence of big-money in our politics.
Support 56%
Oppose 18%
Not sure 26%

Q. Protect Net Neutrality, the rule that protects equal access to the Internet, so that your phone or cable company cannot pick which websites work fast or slowly on your computer based on which company pays them the most money.
Support 75%
Oppose 13%
Not sure 11%

Q. Enact strong consumer protections so families are not ripped off or thrown into debt by the fine print used by credit card companies, big banks, and predatory lenders.
Support 66%
Oppose 11%
Not sure 23%

Q. Fully investigate the Wall Street bankers who caused the financial meltdown, and if they broke the law, prosecute and jail them.
Support 77%
Oppose 7%
Not sure 16%

Q. Fully investigate Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election, and if any Americans broke the law, prosecute and jail them.
Support 69%
Oppose 23%
Not sure 8%

These polls obviously have some good information about voter preferences on issues, and for that I do thank PCCC, as well as for what looks like solid and straightforward polling in CA-45.  But overall, given whichever explanation they adopt regarding omitting Applegate from their CA-49 poll, this is very disappointing — except for PCCC’s inadvertently reinforcing the likelihood of an Applegate victory.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. A family member co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)