Sneaky Poll Tricks. Exposing False Rail Poll Results of Greenlight Pinellas.

When informed that Greenlight will increase sales tax by 14%, the highest in the state, Voters reject the transit boondoggle. Results from 1/22/14 Sun Beam Times poll.

When informed that Greenlight will increase sales tax by 14%, the highest in the state, Voters reject the transit boondoggle. Results from 1/22/14 Sun Beam Times poll.

Pinellas citizens owe a lot to Peter Schorsch and his “SaintPetersBlog” this week. He just exposed the sausage making that is the “push poll” used to support the 300% tax revenue hike for the Greenlight Pinellas rail boondoggle.  One type of push poll sets up a final question with a preceding series of questions designed to provoke desired results.  In other words, it uses propaganda to alter the results, creating a false sense of the true feelings of the electorate. Then, those who like the poll results continue to ride the results as further propaganda to support their cause.  SaintPetersBlog is to be credited because just two weeks ago, they conducted a straightforward poll that began with a simple question on Greenlight and revealed that Greenlight Pinellas is in “grave danger”, in their words.  By conducting this push poll just two short weeks later, Peter Schorsch has exposed the deceptive tactics that Greenlight team uses to produce skewed results.  The tactics are not being used by SaintPetersBlog and Schorsch to help anyone. Rather this poll exposes the seedy under belly of the Greenlight propaganda campaign that even now is under investigation by the State government for abuse of $800,000 in tax dollars by PSTA.

The SaintPetersblog poll conducted on 4/9/14, showed that registered Pinellas voters were rejecting the Greenlight plan at a rate of over 3:2 (48%N:29%Y:23% undecided). The poll began with the question: “Do you plan to vote Yes to approve the Greenlight Pinellas transit referendum and sales tax increase on the ballot in November”? The second and only other question was “Would you favor the referendum if the sales tax increase was smaller and the funding only went toward buses with no rail provision?” To that, the rail supporters jumped ship, switching to a “no” vote (demonstrating they REALLY want a train and a tax hike). The results were 52N:23Y:26U. 

The 4/24 poll by SaintPetersblog had a very different approach and produced a very different result: a swing from overwhelming opposition to the Greenlight tax hike to tacit support – in only two weeks.  The question about support of the Greenlight tax followed a series of mostly “mom and apple pie” questions designed to garner support for public transit. There was one revealing questions about taxes however that shows that Greenlight is likely to fail once voters learn of the massive tax hike, a conclusion supported by the January poll conducted here at the Sun Beam Times (see below).  The final question is also misleading by asking if people support a “1 cent” tax hike, when this is really a 14% sales tax hike.

Do you think that Pinellas County needs better public transit options? 

Yes: 68.1% No: 20.6% Unsure: 11.4%

Would you be willing to pay more in taxes to fund better public transit options in Pinellas County? 

Yes: 41.6%   No: 50.6%   Unsure:  7.8%

Do you think that having a faster and more frequent public bus system in Pinellas County is a good idea? 

Yes: 65.2% No: 26.0 Unsure:  8.8%

Do you think that having light rail from downtown St. Petersburg to the Gateway area and downtown Clearwater is a good idea? 

Yes: 62.8%   No: 29.0% Unsure:  8.2%

Do you support or oppose the proposed referendum to increase the sales tax by 1 cent to build a light rail system and expand bus service in Pinellas County? 

Support: 53.4%  Oppose: 40.0%  Unsure:  6.6%

SaintPetersBlog has helped expose how rail supporters twist a survey to get the results they want.  There is simply no way in politics, when there is very little advertising or voter outreach, to swing massive opposition to mild support in a two week period.  The only explanation is that these results are skewed by the push poll tactics. Of course, don’t tell that to the mainstream Tampa Bay Media. No doubt the headlines based on this poll will read: “Support for Greenlight Pinellas Plan grows” or such similar pap. It will be very hard to find biased reporting like that done when Sun Beam Times conducted its poll showing that when voters are exposed to the extent of the massive tax hike, opposition is at the 61% level.  That January 22 Sun Beam Times poll began with the question: “Do you support raising sales taxes to build a commuter train from St. Petersburg to Clearwater?” (Y39:N45:U16). That poll was conducted among 2698 voters while the 4/24 SaintPetersblog poll among 1697 voters.  The 1/22 Sun Beam Times poll then asked questions about awareness of the extent of the tax hike (“highest in state”, “14% increase”) and whether respondents would ride a train from St. Pete to Clearwater (only 17% would). The opposition then grew significantly with the final results showing that 61% would oppose the Greenlight Pinellas referendum.

Thanks again Peter Schorch for exposing this “sneaky poll tricks” of the Greenlight Supporters.





8 Replies:

  1. Who is they?

    Thanks for shining the light of truth on this issue. It seems govts. at all levels are becoming more and more brazen in their rapacious grabs for money and power. The real disappointment is the pernicious alignment of the MSM, ie., The Tampa Bay Times, with these antics – a complete perversion of the historical role of the press to keep politicians honest. It’s worse than abdication, it’s betrayal of the citizenship. Disgraceful.

    1. Boss Tweed

      Oh, come on. Those of us in power, whether in office or in the news media, know what is best for the public, and it is just a coincidence that we often make a lot of money off of something like our rail plan or our new pier plan. So, sometimes, we have to manipulate public opinion, but remember, it’s for your own good and it’s for our children and our retirement.

      For example, The Times just reported that the Tampa Bay Area is the last major metropolitan area without a local rail system. Of course, they forgot to mention that the other areas built their rail systems a hundred years ago, when rail was the state of the art of transportation, that many other major metropolitan areas don’t actually have a commuter rail system, and that many which have built commuter rail systems, like Miami and Las Vegas, have very low ridership and lose millions each year.

      Anyway, why don’t you just move on and get on board. After all, you’re either with us or against us, and we don’t like people who cause problems with our plans.

  2. Boss Tweed

    We are they, and we are the

    Now, that’s why we like to tell you that big public works projects are for our children, and we laugh and laugh when the clueless proles regurgitate that for us.

    We also have a good laugh when the fireworks go off on the 4th of July and the clueless proles celebrate because they think that they are free.

  3. Who is they?

    Good link, but it’s worse than that. “They” over the years have become way, way more blatant and shameless in violating the principles – no, LAWS – explicitly edified in the U.S. Constitution, and are now doing so with a carefree impunity. ‘Accountability’ is just a quaint notion these days.
    And the TBT’s disgusting complicity is astounding. In its liberal sanctimony – pompously and presumptuously conveyed daily as “we know what’s good for you” (meaning, THEMSELVES) – is useless even as bird cage lining.

    Meanwhile, the LIV’s (‘proles’) stumble blithely along…

    The question “Is there any hope?” is a rhetorical one. We all know ‘hope’ is not a strategy, and NEVER has been one. Let’s do something.
    Thanks, Doc

  4. Ron Thompson

    They: can you restate you point? Many claims seem like rallying cries rather than facts. What constitutional laws do the transit and interstae highway sytem breech? Or do you personally like one? How is there no accountability with open records and FOIA. Barb H’s presentation has many slides “from psta”, sully films every meeting, tea party leaders sued in court, and we know the Psta ceo salary. Is it no accountability or just that its not going your way? The times, like the judge, explains their reasoning. Is it really one sided, or just that its not your one side?

    Right now, many decisions in tallahasse, in washington, at the SCOTUS, and support in the corporate media, are conservative. Liberals understand it is part of the political process and there exists a pendulum of public opinion that swings left and right. The only armeggedon america faces is when a minority party manipulates the constitution to have majority control. THAT will harm America. WE ARE the government. Soldiers died so we could vote to build interstate freeways, a network of air towers, and rail transit.

    1. Sun Beam Times Post author

      ROn, you continue to undermine your own credibility. most of your comments use the classic leftist/collectivist trick of changing the subject. I am no longer going to post your comments that don’t spend at least half the time specifically addressing the points made in the post or comments. I think you are exhibiting the behaviorof an internet troll.

  5. Who is they?

    I just began commenting on this site, so I’m not fully aware of all the protocols; with this rant by ‘Ron’ however, I think I’m catching on.
    If you truly don’t know the scale of venality now permeating the government, then, whoa…!
    There was a time when we could count on the PRESS to doggedly expose government transgressors. That time, perhaps to our fatal detriment, is now gone.
    While I know that facts are anathema to feel-good leftists, here are just a few of the almost entirely ignored abuses by this govt., for which there has been NO accountability:

    In times past any one of these would have resulted in an intense investigation, if not impeachment.
    So, yes, I have zero confidence in ANY government today- local, state or federal – both in terms of their intentions as well as their competence to fulfill any promise they make.
    The evidence is clear to anyone who opens their eyes that this bus/rail initiative is just another attempt by politicians to bolster their egos in the name of saying they “did something” while on the taxpayers’ dole. Deception in polling and using tax money to advertise are routine tactics used as they relentlessly seek to impose their ‘wisdom’ on the rest of us.

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