What happens when a poll takes on a life of itself?
When the poll’s creator just wanted to bring some good the world and ended up creating a monster?

Well you have…the OWH’s bi-annual polling results.

On Sunday the OWH gave out numbers for the Nebraska Senate race showing it within 5 points.
The Fischer camp followed up showing their candidate up by 16 points.
The OWH then countered that they didn’t think the Fischer poll was a good reflection.
Annnnd the OWH noted that THEIR poll coincided with Kerrey’s most recent poll, so nyah nyah nyah, 2-1.

Of course they didn’t note anything that may have been push-y about Kerrey’s poll either.
How ’bout that.

And the OWH came out with their poll on Monday regarding the 2nd District race between Terry and Ewing showing that race tightening.

So, first, we feel it is worthwhile to repeat what we wrote yesterday:

Let us take you back just 2 years ago.
The OWH published their poll just a week out that showed Republican Congressman Lee Terry just 5 points ahead of State Senator Tom White.

Five points. (Margin of error, 4 pts.)

And who conducted that poll? Why Wiese Research Associates, the same outfit that conducted today’s Fischer-Kerrey poll.

The first sentence of Robyn Tysver’s story was: “ “It’s a race.”

The actual election results?
Terry 60.8%
White 39.2%

So even with the full margin of error, Wiese and the OWH had Terry up by 9 points just ONE WEEK before the 2010 election.

And Terry won by 20%.

If someone would send us the 2010 post election OWH article with their mea culpa on how incredibly wrong they were on their polling just one week out (which attempted to either sway voters, or just sell more newspapers), we would really appreciate it. For some reason we couldn’t seem to find it.


That would seem to be evidence enough to allow you to give significant doubt to the OWH’s polls, right?
Well then, here are a few more polls put out by the OWH the WEEK before the election:

2004 Omaha World-Herald Poll – CD 1
Released: October 26, 2004 – RKM Research and Communications
Sample: Unknown from News Article Archive

OWH Poll Result: Republican +4%
Jeff Fortenberry (R) 42%
Matt Connealy (D) 38%

Election Result: Republican +11%
Jeff Fortenberry (R) 54%
Matt Connealy (D) 43%

-Difference in Election Day Margin
for Republican Candidate in 2004 CD 1 Race = +7%

2000 Omaha World-Herald Poll – U.S. Senate Race
Released: October 30, 2000 – RKM Research and Communications
Sample: 1,007 Registered Voters

OWH Poll Result: Republican -12%
Ben Nelson (D) 49%
Don Stenberg (R) 37%

Election Result: Republican -2%
Ben Nelson (D) 51%
Don Stenberg (R) 49%

-Difference in Election Day Margin for
Republican Candidate in 2000 Senate Race = +10%

1998 Omaha World Herald Poll – CD 2
Released: October 28, 1998- RKM Research and CommunicationsSample: 502 Registered Voters

OWH Poll Result: Republican +23%
Lee Terry (R) 54%
Michael Scott (D) 31%

Election Result: Republican +32%
Lee Terry (R) 66%
Michael Scott (D) 34%

-Difference in Election Day Margin for
Republican Candidate in 1996 CD 2 Race = +9%

1996 Omaha World Herald Poll – 1996 Senate Race
Released: October 27, 1996- Gallup Organization
Sample: 1,006 Registered voters

OWH Poll Result: Republican -5%
Ben Nelson (D) 49%
Chuck Hagel (R) 44%

Election Result: Republican +14%
Chuck Hagel (R) 56%
Ben Nelson (D) 42%

-Difference in Election Day Margin for
Republican Candidate in 1996 Senate race = +19%


Does all of this mean that the OWH has some master plan for sabotaging elections with poor polling?

But what it does mean is that YOU, voter, should be skeptical of polling results from an organization with a lousy record.

Oh, and also anyone who suggests that additional debates should occur because of the OWH’s polls, is a someone who maybe should have been talking about issues in his ads for the past month, instead of about his opponent’s fence.


And Lee Terry has a new ad up.
See it here:

Good comparative finishing spot.


  1. RWP says:

    The great IowaHawk sneers at polls, for a very good reason. The average response rate in a poll is 9%. Given that, you have to figure they’re taking a very distorted view of the electorate, since the people who are simply too busy or suspicious or uninterested in talking to them may be quite different from the poll answerers.

    Personally, I lie shamelessly to pollsters, in the direction I think will help my side. The only phone poll I did this year, I said I was an independent who voted for Obama in 2008, but was just so darn disappointed in him and was going to give Romney a chance. I figured telling them my gender was female would raise suspicions, but I reported being from a much younger demographic.

  2. Some Thoughts says:

    RWP, that low response rate always concerns me too. I must be on every marketing list in the world because I’m always called repeatedly at election-time. Very seldom do I have time to sit and answer questions. This makes me wonder who they end up reaching, who does have the time to spend on being polled. I am glad that polling outfits are doing a better job of reaching people will cell phones now. A lot of people (especially young people) now seem to have only the cell phone and no land line.

  3. Macdaddy says:

    I think the BWH polls serve a very useful purpose and that’s to get people motivated to go vote for Republicans. I say, Go Warren! Go Warren!

  4. Interested Observer says:

    But what happened to DEB FI$CHER’S self-proclaimed 26 point lead back at the end of May? Why isn’t she leading with a 95 point lead today? Why have her numbers only gone DOWN? And they’ve gone down at the same rate that people have learned more about her. I said all summer that there is more to her than rusty barbed wire and brittle old fence posts.

  5. RWP says:

    There is no moral or legal obligation truthfully to answer impertinent questions from strangers. Or to tolerate moronity from anonymous cowards.

  6. Goober Natorial says:

    IO, your poll numbers would have been higher at the beginning of the summer too. How many ads are running against Fischer right now and how often do they play. No question its taken a toll. How could it not?

  7. Interested Observer, the answer to your question should be pretty obvious.

    Unfortunately for rational Nebraskans, there are voters who will take the stupid BS you and Kerrey have spewed forth at face value, never taking the time to investigate the matters any further. We call those people ‘libtards’.

    Those are the voters you and Kerrey have been counting on all summer. But unfortunately for you, there aren’t enough of those voters to put Kerrey in office. Them’s the breaks.

  8. Interested Observer says:

    Grundle, did you actually read the article in the Omaha World Herald yesterday that included a map of the area and stated specifically that DEB FI$CHER had already made a deal to sell the Kime property to her close friend and long time business associate BEFORE she even filed the lawsuit to try to take the Kime’s land? Land that today is worth as much as ONE MILLION dollars?

  9. Failure says:

    You failed to convince us that you are a real Conservative NE Rancher. Your exaggerated claims failed. You failed to tear apart Nebraska.
    Face it IO…you failed to get Bob any votes!

    You and Bob are failures!

  10. Macdaddy says:

    IO, you expect us to take the word of a Democrat and Ben Nelson campaign contributor that there was a deal afoot? No sale.

  11. Interested Observer says:

    Well Macdaddy, remember that the guy also leased DEB FI$CHER’S exclusive hunting rights on her ranch for many, many years and has been a very close friend and business associate of Deb’s for many, many years.

    I noticed the biggest DEB FI$CHER campaign sign in Valentine has been in his front yard on Main Street all summer long. He was found with DEB FI$CHER and her husband in the Kime’s pasture shortly before Deb even filed her failed lawsuit.

    It looks like he simply told the truth to the World Herald reporter before Deb had a chance to tell him the campaign “spin”.

  12. to IO says:

    Jon Davenport did not have a deal with the Fischer’s to buy that land when he said he did. How do I know? Because he had a realtor flier at his cafe that advertised the Fischer land was for sale. I saw it and so did many others. It was the Fischers land, it had not been sold to Davenport.

  13. Interested Observer says:

    Which land are you specifically referring to and when? Because he did buy 2 separate tracts of land from DEB FI$CHER and her husband about a year after the failed lawsuit, 1 tract for $140,000 and the 2nd tract for $240,000.

    Fischer’s still own a little bit of land on the west side of the dam and are trying to sell off some of the lots there.

  14. Macdaddy says:

    He still gave money to Ben Nelson. He has yet to give one dime to Deb’s campaign. Does that sound like a good friend?

  15. Interested Observer says:

    Good grief Macdaddy, At least try to know something about what you’re talking about before you go liping off like that! He’s a good enough friend that he paid DEB FI$CHER over $380,000 for her Snake River land and has paid her hundreds of thousands of more dollars for the exclusive hunting rights on her family ranch for over 20 years! If you actually knew anything about what actually goes on up here, you’d know that they’re about as close of friends and business associates as you can get! Just as Street Sweeper, he knows how close Fischer’s are with Davenport’s.

    When you said he has yet to give one dime to Deb’s campaign, just keep in mind that he may have very well provided, over the last few years, the $55,000 that Deb’s family “contributed” to her campaign in the first quarter, to get things started.

  16. Ah, so IO is now making accusations of campaign fraud. Without any evidence to support such an accusation, wouldn’t that be considered libel? Hmmm…

    IO, it’s 100 acres. To be worth $1 million, it would have to be worth $10,000/acre. I’m no rancher, but I know that NO ranch land is worth $10k/acre. There’s a nice article in the McCook Gazette about the sale of the 19,500 acre ‘Lincoln Farm’ for $83 million. Keep in mind that 15,600 acres of that ground is irrigated, and undoubtedly worth more than any un-irrigated sandhills grazing land. The price per acre on the Lincoln Farm sale is about $4,300…less than half of your pie-in-the-sky figure. And again, we’re talking about irrigated farmland with a HUGE production potential vs. grazing land that may support a few cows. Oh yeah, also consider the fact that ag land prices are at all-time highs right now.

    So if we’re going to put a realistic figure on this little 100-acre parcel, let’s use some actual ranch-land prices:
    The Arapaho Ranch in Lakeside, NE is currently listing for about $600/acre.
    The Niobrara River Ranch in Cody, NE is currently listing for about $1,000/acre.
    The Grote Ranch in Harrison, NE is currently listing for about $600/acre.
    The JC Ranch in Bushnell, NE is currently listing for about $600/acre.
    These prices can be verified by checking out “landandfarm-dot-com”.

    So, at most, this land would be worth about $100,000…about 1/10th of what you claim.

    Like RWP told you before…if you’re going to make up a number, make sure it’s a BIG number.

  17. Interested Observer says:

    First off Grundle, this 104 acres is NOT ranch land!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It is a very, very rare, WORLD CLASS TROUT fishing stream that is some of the most valuable recreational land in the entire state of Nebraska! DO you understand that NOW???????????????

    The whole 3,100 acre ranch was appraised for around NINE MILLION DOLLARS, that’s over $3,000 per acre across the whole place. 3/4ths of the place is ordinary pasture valued around $300 per acre. That makes the 1/4th of the place around 300 acres or so worth more than 8 million dollars or around TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS PER ACRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    NOW DO YOU GET IT???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  18. Interested Observer says:

    Also, Grundle, do you even know that DEB FI$CHER sold her land to Jon Davenport way back in 1998 for $1,000 per acre THEN? Of course it has dramatically increased in value since that time.

    So, obviously, your estimate of the value only being $1,000 per acre today is completely ridiculous!

    I just reread my previous post and noticed that I had a typo. When I said “That makes the 1/4th of the place around 300 acres or so worth more than 8 million dollars or around TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS PER ACRE”, I meant 800 acres or so worth more than 8 million dollars or around TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS PER ACRE!

  19. Perhaps no one ever told you this, but exaggerated punctuation doesn’t make your point more pertinent…it actually makes it more ignorable. It’s a sign of desperation…but it’s certainly not your first sign of desperation.

    If the 100 acres in question was all ‘world class trout stream’, then why did Betty Kimes’ dad let Tom Arnold fence it away from his property?

  20. Interested Observer says:

    Hang on Grundle. What happened to your ridiculous, false claims about the value of the land? Just admit that, ONCE AGAIN, you had no idea what you were talking about! That you were completely wrong. Admit it!

  21. I’m sure that, for some idiot with a bunch of money, that land COULD be worth $1 million. And to another idiot, it could be worth $1 billion. And to yet another idiot, the land could be priceless, because you just can’t put a price tag on such pristine land.

    I’m a realist. Realistically, that land isn’t worth NEAR $1 million.

    BTW, you’ve never actually voted for a Republican, and you’ve been a Kerrey supporter from the day he announced his candidacy…isn’t that right? Admit it!

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