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Is Bloomberg Polling Outside NYC?

Topics: 2008 , The 2008 Race

A few weeks ago, a reporter called to ask if I thought New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg might be conducting polls to assess a potential independent candidacy for President. Needless to say, I have no way of knowing. Bloomberg is under no legal requirement to report on his personal expenditures, and as one of the wealthiest men in American, can certainly afford to spend his own money to commission polls.

I mentioned to the reporter that the only way we might discover that Bloomberg is polling is on the off chance that a respondent might report having participated in a Bloomberg-centric survey and post a comment on a blog somewhere (something that seems to happening more and more lately). As such, this comment from Open Left's Chris Bowers is very intriguing:

[T]hree weeks ago a friend of mine participated in a telephone poll conducted by Mountain West Research Strategies. Apparently, they asked many questions about his outlook on the two political parties, but the only politician they asked about was Michael Bloomberg. It should be noted that Mountain West Research Strategies was a polling firm used by Joe Lieberman in 2006.

Mountain West Research is a survey call center and, in this most recent case, was likely the vendor used by a political pollster to conduct interviewing. The link above involves a poll conducted in June 2006, when Lieberman's pollster of record was the Democratic firm Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research. As I assume that Mountain West conducts surveys for many different political pollsters, the Lieberman association is probably not a good indicator of who sponsored this particular survey.

Update I - Stan Greenberg responds via email:

We have absolutely nothing to do with a recent survey for Bloomberg, though we use Mountain West and have surveys in the field there regularly - along with Sun Surveys, our own company.

Update II - There may be less to this story than meets the eye. Also via email, Chris Bowers adds more detail:

They only asked two questions about Bloomberg, but they came after a long battery opinion of the two parties. The rest of the questions, or about 30-40% of the call, were about education and No Child Left Behind. It is not clear to me that it definitely was a Bloomberg poll.

Given that description, the survey could have been conducted by any number of entities not affiliated with Bloomberg, including an education interest group or any group wondering about the potential impact of an independent presidential candidacy. It is also possible that this was an "omnibus" survey that included questions on different subjects paid for by several different clients.

Consider also that if Bloomberg had paid a campaign pollster to evaluate his potential as an independent candidate, the survey would have had many more questions about Bloomberg, including "message tests" involving his biography and positions on issues.

**Presumably, "Chris" is Open Left blogger Chris Bowers.

 

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