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Tribune's pollster

Published November 17, 2012 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As a concerned citizen and paid consultant for the Ben for Mayor campaign, I respect Tribune managing editor Terry Orme for apologizing for the Tribune's pollster, Mason-Dixon ("Flawed poll tainted our final-days election coverage," Tribune, Nov. 10).

Orme's insights into what went on in the newsroom were insightful. The Tribune has done a respectful job reporting on the process, competing polls and self-doubts about data it suspected was flawed.

I only take exception to Orme's statement: "If you look at all the races," the polling firm "has called for us, his track record is solid."

Not only did the Florida-based Mason-Dixon pollster miss Salt Lake County's McAdams/Crockett mayoral race by at first 20 points, then a revised 10 points, it missed the 4th District's Matheson/Love race by 12, then 7 points.

In previous years, it predicted:

• A slim 51 percent victory for Sheriff Jim Winder in 2006. Winder won 64-37.

• A narrow win for the voucher referendum in 2007. It lost 68-32.

• A Randy Horiuchi loss in 2008 by 4.5 points. Horiuchi won by 11 points.

Clearly, a new polling firm is needed, one that understands our market.

Thanks for your honesty.

Tom Love President, Love Communications

Salt Lake City