April 2011 home page


Assemblyman Garrick's Fairground Survey Discredited by Expert 
Bud Emerson | Klish Way

Photo from the Garrick Gazette | November, 2010 | Issue 11

Martin Garrick released “survey results” from readers of his newsletter which purport to show little support for Del Mar’s proposed acquisition of the fairgrounds, with governance by a board composed of representatives around the County.

An analysis of Garrick’s poll by a renowned expert in survey research, Dr C. Richard Hofstetter, concluded that “professional probability sampling procedures” were not followed. He states that Garrick used a “convenience sample...persons who are intensely involved are more likely to respond.” In fact, the Fair Board did exactly that in this case, sending an eblast to 170,000 vendors, employees, exhibitors, and event attendees encouraging them to fill out the survey opposing the sale. He says the results rarely provide accurate views of any population except the minority who choose to respond.

Dr. Hofstetter says they do not meet the Code of Ethics of the American Association for Public Opinion Research Code. Polls such as Garrick’s “are generally understood as supporting political goals rather than representing opinion,” he said.

Dr. Hofstetter examined each of the six questions in Garrick’s so-called survey and determined that they “censor the range and distribution of response.” In an interview, Dr Hofstetter cautioned “caveat emptor,” let the buyer beware.

Assemblyman Garrick is circulating the flawed results of his survey (called by some, “a push poll”) among elected officials in Sacramento and San Diego County to garner support for his opposition to the proposed fairgrounds transaction.



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