Philadelphia Democratic Mayoral Primary, May 20, 2015

In mid May, we conducted a poll on the Philadelphia Mayoral Democratic Primary, which was commissioned by WCAU - NBC10, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.  Just a few short weeks before our poll was released, other polls showed former Councilman Jim Kenney holding a small edge over for State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams.  When we conducted our poll, we found that Kenney’s lead was far greater – 27 points, to be exact. (Kenney 42% - Williams 15%). 

Needless to say, our poll raised quite a few eyebrows!

We knew turnout would be low.  Heck, other pollsters (who I won’t name J ) did not even want to conduct a survey on this primary – they deemed it impossible, given recent low turnout in Philly primaries!  But we decided to go for it, and now we had an interesting, surprising poll on our hands.

Doubters (you know who you are) even questioned whether our poll overstated Kenney’s lead.

It turns out our poll #NailedIt!  Kenney beat Williams by 30 points.  (Kenney 56% - Williams 26%).  Looking deep within our internal crosstabs, we found that among voters who were paying a lot of attention to the primary and who also said they were very likely to vote, there also was a 30 point margin (Kenney 47% - Williams 17%).

Obviously surveys contain things like undecided voters and last-minute switchers.   When you account for these, it is clear that each of the two major candidates got some of these voters, but Kenney’s lead was too wide for Williams to have closed the gap.  

We saw Kenney holding a large lead among white voters but also a small lead among African Americans.  It appeared to us that Lynn Abraham would not cut into the white vote, as observers and analysts had predicted. 

Williams’ criticism of Police Commissioner Ramsey during one of the debates was also determinative.  Our poll showed the Commissioner to be one of the most popular leaders among this constituency!

Finally, we found that the low turnout helped Kenney on Primary day – as his voters were the most energized and motivated, while undecided voters and supporters of the other candidates coalesced slightly around both Kenney and Williams in the last few days, but other than that, stayed home.

All in all, it was very satisfying for our firm to have produced a poll for the major news outlets in Philadelphia that captured the dynamic and context of the race.  Polls are, of course, a snapshot in time, and not a crystal ball.  But if anyone saw our poll, they were not surprised by the outcome!

To find out more about our poll and how it lined up with the outcome of yesterday's primary, please go to http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Jim-Kenney-Wins-Democratic-Bid-for-Mayor-of-Philadelphia-304342991.html

Written By Adam Geller 

NRI Flash Polling, March 10, 2015

Often times, we pollsters at NRI are off conducting marketing research, receiving a large number of responses, and it usually pertains to the marketing strategies and interests of our clients. Recently however, we conducted a very small, flash poll that reflected some of our own personal interests. The poll was 3 questions, and consisted of 100 respondents.

The first question we asked respondents was Adam's question, which was based off of current events in politics. As you may or may not know, it was recently discovered that possible 2016 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been using her personal e-mail address and server to carry out official business of the State department, rather than the secure server provided by her office. The State Department has agreed to release her emails to the public, but some people call into question whether or not this will be enough. When we asked our respondents what they thought about the release, they were given three options:

  • The emails that the State Department releases are insufficient because they are only the ones she turned over from her private server - she may have deleted hundreds of others and we will never see them. This is a serious controversy and may very well be a violation of the law. - 19%
  • The emails that the state department releases are sufficient and they show that as Secretary of State, she had nothing to hide. This is just a phony scandal that the Republicans are pushing. - 29%
  • Need more information before I decide. - 52%

While it was interesting to have such a high "Need more information before I decide" given the recent news coverage, when we looked into the breakdown by demographics, we found that 31% of respondents who were ages 55+ thought that the email release would be insufficient, and 22% thought that they would be fine, rather than following in line with the overall numbers and trend that appeared in the other age groups.

The second question was Jennifer's question, and the question we asked was in regards to a recent survey that was conducted in the Netherlands, in regards to a parenting style that has become increasingly common. The study asked a series of questions over 18 months, but overall found that children who were taught by their parents that they are more special than other children developed narcissistic traits. This study showed that there was a distinction between a parent's warmth and overvaluation of a child, that warmth may have shown the child that they are loved, whereas the overvaluation causes poor behavior because the child thinks they are superior to the other children. Jennifer's question asked if our respondents agreed with the findings of the study conducted in the Netherlands. Overall, respondents agreed, and the results came in as follows:

  • Some people say that children need encouragement and to be built up in order to have the confidence and strength to cope with life as they get older. They say that participation in an event is more important than winning or losing, and that every child should feel that they are winners in order to foster self-reliance for the future. - 12%
  • Other people say that while building up a child is very important, by overvaluing ordinary activities, children are likely to develop narcissistic traits. They say that children need to learn to both win and lose gracefully. They say that positive self worth is very important, but that children need to have the emotional resources to cope with the difficulties of the real world. - 74%
  • Don't Know - 14%

The last question that was asked was Kaylyn's, and it was in regards to the average cost of weddings, and wedding photography. On average, couples who are getting married spend around $30,000 for the big day, allotting on average around $2500 for photography, and another $1700 for videography. With the increased number of smart phones at these events, many couples have cut the expense from their budget to try to save money, while others argue that photography is one of the most important expenses, because the final product is something you can treasure for years, and cell phone quality doesn't compare to professional work. The question we asked, gauged where our respondents stood on this matter.

  • Some people say that wedding day documentation should be highly valued, and one of a marrying couple's top priorities. They say that after the wedding, there will be no more cake to eat, or music to play, but that the photography and videography are what the bride and groom have to hold on to for years to come. - 34%
  • While other people say that wedding day documentation is not something that couples should have to pay thousands of dollars for, since most people these days have camera phones. They say that weddings are already expensive enough, and that they will have plenty of photos from family, and friends, however the quality may be. - 37%
  • Don't Know - 29%

These small, flash polls are something that we hope to do a lot more of at National Research Inc., on a wide variety of topics, and hope you have found this information interesting. If you would like to see the overall results from our survey, please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-7HQF8DG7/