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Cazenovia Forum hosts pollster John Zogby

About 140 area residents intently listen to national pollster John Zogby during the most recent Cazenovia Forum presentation on Nov. 9 in St. James Church.

About 140 area residents intently listen to national pollster John Zogby during the most recent Cazenovia Forum presentation on Nov. 9 in St. James Church.

— Zogby attributed Presidents Obama’s re-election to the establishment of a demographic coalition not unlike that of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. Roosevelt stitched together liberal intellectuals, urban voters, poor whites and black voters (who until that point had been loyal to Lincoln’s GOP) forming the New Deal coalition.

President Obama cultivated his coalition from the young, African-Americans, Hispanics and a group that economist Richard Florida has deemed the “creative class” and what Zogby simply termed “knowledge-based workers” — educators, engineers, programmers, scientists and health care workers, among others.

Zogby said what no pollster could determine was that while their research showed the young women of this creative class would most likely not vote for Gov. Romney, it was not clear how many would cast their ballot for Obama.

He went on to discuss how the groups in Obama’s coalition were growing, making it problematic this year for Romney or any other Republican candidate, but more than once he reminded his listeners, “it was close.”

Most interesting was his explanation of the perspectives one gets by viewing political parties as “markets” in the United States. Polling, or quantitative and qualitative research, measures trending patterns that allow the researchers, or pollsters, to understand when and why one market is surpassing another.

Zogby’s blend of wit, humor and political punditry segued into his Q&A session where he fielded questions on the impact of the internet and new models that technology has provided allowing national pollsters to be so accurate.

He spoke of giving an interview in 1997 in which he told a magazine the future of polling was the internet.

“How can you say that, [the interviewer asked],” Zogby said. “Of course that was back in the day when it took three hours to get on the internet … remember, AOL?”

Onondaga County Legislator, John Dougherty (R), attended the evening’s event and said he thought the speech was very good.

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