NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Greenwich, CT, United States, 2006/10/01 - The Stamford Advocate/Greenwich Time released a misleading poll today that purports to show a lead for incumbent Republican Christopher Shays, said Libertarian challenger Phil Maymin. "The poll was conducted in a statistically unsound manner".
The Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time, two local papers with joint ownership, released a misleading poll today that purports to show a lead for incumbent Republican Christopher Shays in Connecticut’s fourth Congressional district, said Libertarian challenger Phil Maymin.
“The poll was conducted in a statistically unsound manner,” said Maymin. “Though unreported in the article, the question asked by the poll was who would you vote for, Shays or [Democrat Diane] Farrell? There was no mention of a third choice. When a caller responded that he would vote for me, Phil Maymin, the questioner said I wasn’t an option but that he could try to write me in.”
Maymin has been officially on the ballot since August 8, according to the Connecticut Secretary of the State. He has also been registered with the Federal Election Commission since May.
Leaving out options from a poll can lead to bias and misleading results, said Maymin. “Our own internal polls, as well as independent internet polls, show me with far greater support than the difference between Shays and Farrell. Therefore, by excluding me as an option, the Advocate and Time are reporting misleading numbers.”
As an example, the wildly popular Facebook.com site lists Maymin with approximately eight percent support, nearly twice the four percent lead by Shays erroneously reported by the newspapers.
Maymin (mayminforcongress.com) is ranked third among more than 590 nationwide Libertarian candidates according to the national Libertarian Party’s Candidate Tracker. Maymin will be participating in seven debates with Shays and Farrell, starting on Wednesday. More than forty percent of registered voters in the district have chosen not to affiliate with either the Democratic or Republican party, and many of those who are affiliated with one of the two reigning parties often vote for the best candidate regardless of party affiliation.
“Not only are these poll results inaccurate, but they are likely misleading. It depends on who I am drawing more votes from, Shays or Farrell,” said Maymin. “They included [Joe] Lieberman in their poll about the Senate race. Imagine if they had excluded him. Would the results between the other candidates have any relevance to the real world?”
“Furthermore, I contacted the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Stamford Advocate prior to their publication of the potentially misleading results and informed them of the statistical error they were making. I also contacted the University of Connecticut’s Center for Survey Research, who conducted the poll for the Advocate and Time.”
“Individuals can run any polls they like, but if they publish them as news, they should be held to a standard of news, not free advertising for the two reigning parties,” said Maymin. “It is possible that Shays would still have a lead on Farrell if the poll were done correctly, but it is also possible that Shays would be in second place. Without running a proper poll, there is no way to tell. It is unfortunate that this, the first poll released for the race, was done in such a shoddy manner.”