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SIENA  COLLEGE POLL: MARGIN OF ERROR


SIENA PREDICTS 27% OF THE VOTE
CANDIDATE GETS 59%
BAD SAMPLING TO BLAME
WROC-TV Rochester

Pollster: 'We got it wrong'

September 11, 2013 (WROC-TV Rochester): Siena College bombed last week's poll on the Rochester Democratic mayoral primary. The poll predicted incumbent Mayor Tom Richards had 63 percent of likely voter support versus 27 percent for Lovely Warren. On Primary Day, Warren captured 59 percent of the vote.

"We got it wrong. I feel bad," said pollster Don Levy... Levy said the Rochester poll had a bad sample.

See the story from WROC-TV Channel 8.



SIENA  COLLEGE POLL: MARGIN OF ERROR

Over the past ten years, Siena College pollsters have been wrong more than any other outfit in New York State.

In a given election year, it's not unusual for Siena to call multiple major races wrong, and to report ten, 20, or even 30-point swings in the vote.

No New York pollster has called so many races wrong, and no New York pollster releases such bizarre fluctuations in their results than Siena College. While polling numbers always fluctuate, due to statistical sampling and the electioneering of campaigns, only Siena consistently reports such wild swings.


Here are some of the worst examples of highly questionable polling from Siena. See the data yourself at <http://www.siena.edu/pages/3390.asp?qs=ny>.


The question becomes, Why?


TWELVE OF THE SIENA COLLEGE POLL’S GREATEST MISSES

Wrong

2010: SIENA SAYS SCHNEIDERMAN WILL JUST SQUEAK BY; WINS BY LANDSLIDE

Siena's Halloween poll had Eric Schneiderman tied with Dan Donovan in the Attorney General race, 44%-44%. Schneiderman dominated two days later, 52%-40%. According to Siena, that would be an unlikely swing of 12 points - or 570,000 voters - in 48 hours. (October 31, 2010, moe 4.0%)

Wrong

2010: HANNA WILL LOSE; HE WINS

In the last poll in the 24th Congressional District, Siena put Mike Arcuri ahead of Richard Hanna, 48%-43%. But on Election Day it was Hanna who won, by the even larger margin of 51%-45%. (October 27, 2010, moe 3.9%)

Wrong
2010: WILD SWINGS IN LONG ISLAND SENATE RACE

Siena reported huge swings in a Long Island Senate race: a 15-point move in just a matter of weeks. In their September poll, Siena had Brian Foley leading Lee Zeldin 44%-43%. But in their next poll four weeks later, Zeldin led 53%-37%. (October 26, 2010, moe 3.8%; September 17, 2010, moe 4.0%)

Wrong

2010: MAFFEI WILL WIN; HE LOSES

Siena reported in October that Dan Maffei would defeat Ann Marie Buerkle in their Syracuse Congressional district, 51%-39%. This poll was roundly criticized by political observers for being inconsistent with other polls released at the time. Buerkle went on to win by 1%. (October 17, 2010, moe 3.9%)

Wrong

2010: SIENA GIVES BISHOP A 12-POINT LEAD; BISHOP WINS BY 1

When Siena last polled the Long Island Congressional race between Tim Bishop and Randy Altschuler, Altschuler was trailing, 51%-39%. But only a few weeks later, Bishop barely squeaked by, defeating Altschuler by 1%. (October 13, 2010, moe 4.0%)


Wrong

2010: AVELLA SWINGS MORE THAN 30 POINTS ON FRANK PADAVAN

In September, Siena put Frank Padavan ahead of Tony Avella in their Queens Senate district, 56%-32%. Avella won with 51% of the vote, a 32-point swing. (September 30, 2010, moe 4.8%)


Wrong

2010: UNPRECEDENTED 26-POINT SWING IN ALBANY CONGRESSIONAL RACE

Chris Gibson went from 17 points down in a September poll to 9 points up in October. Gibson went on to defeat Scott Murphy in their Albany Congressional district. (September 17, 2010, moe 4.0%; October 26, 2010, moe 3.8%)


Wrong

2010: LAZIO TIES PALADINO; LAZIO GETS CRUSHED

In their most infamous mistake, Siena missed the Republican gubernatorial primary between Rick Lazio and Carl Paladino by 25 points. The weekend before the election, Siena pronounced the Republican race tied, Lazio 43%-Paladino 42%. Three days later, Carl Paladino won with 62% of the vote. (September 11, 2010, margin of error 4.0%)


Wrong

2009: SPANO LOSES 21 POINTS IN FOUR DAYS?

In this Westchester County Executive race, Siena put Andy Spano ahead of Rob Astorino the weekend before the election, 48%-41%. Astorino won four days later, 57%-43%. (October 30, 2009, moe 4.5%)

Wrong

2008: TRUNZO-FOLEY ROLLER COASTER ON LONG ISLAND

Siena's fall poll in this Long Island Senate district put Caesar Trunzo ahead of Brian Foley, 46%-40%. But in their next poll, Foley led, 56%-34%, a swing of 28 points. (November 2, 2008, moe 4.9%; September 24, 2008, 4.9%)

Wrong

2008: HANNON TO CRUSH MCELROY; HANNON SQUEAKS BY

In another Long Island Senate district, Siena gave Kemp Hannon a 26-point lead over Kristen McElroy, 56%-30%. Two days later, Hannon survived the closest race of his political career, 52%-48%. (November 2, 2008, moe 4.8%)

Wrong

2005: THEY LOVE PATAKI; THEY HATE PATAKI; THEY LOVE HIM AGAIN -- IN FOUR MONTHS

Siena regularly tested George Pataki's numbers, but they couldn't decide if Pataki was popular or unpopular. In just four months, Pataki's favorable rating flipped from 37% favorable-50% unfavorable, to 50% favorable-39% unfavorable, back to a negative 40%-53%, and finally to a positive 52%-40% -- an average move of 24% each month. (July 20, 2005, moe 3.9%; May 11, 2005, moe 3.9%; April 11, 2005, moe 4.1%; March 8, 2005, moe 4.0%)

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