Saturday, August 16, 2008

Poll On Ivan Moore

Anchorage Political wonk and pollster Ivan Moore has begun a series of articles and interviews for the Anchorage Press, KTUU-TV, the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman and KENI-AM radio. He is polling the political races and commenting on the odds of some of the candidates and offering advice.

In the KTUU-TV interview and web article Friday, and in the Anchorage Press article Thursday, Mr. Moore made no disclosure of his very active participation in the AK-AL U.S. House campaign by Ethan Berkowitz against Democrat Diane Benson. He has created an active ActBlue Berkowitz fundraising page, has hosted at least one Berkowitz fundraiser, and has made multiple donations to the Berkowitz campaign. His statement at his ActBlue page is a gushing rather fulsomely specific endorsement of Mr. Berkowitz.

Progressive Alaska covered this yesterday and today. PA has posted a week-long poll on whether or not Mr. Moore should disclose in his paid work for these outlets his close ties to Berkowtz fundraising.

Update - 4:30 p.m: a caller observed that should Diane Benson beat Ethan Berkowitz on August 26, Ivan Moore's efforts on behalf of candidate Berkowitz will become moot. However, should Berkowitz beat Benson, either Don Young or Sean Parnell will be very quick to use Moore's inattention (at best) against Berkowitz. Duh. I've predicted Berkowitz can't beat Parnell, so Moore and Berkowitz probably need to sit down and have a talk real soon.

Update - 10:00 p.m: sorry about misspelling disclose! Can't change it after people have started voting...

Disclosure: The author has volunteered for and donated to the 2006 and 2008 campaigns for Diane Benson (multiple donations), and to the 2008 Ethan Berkowitz campaign (multiple donations).

image of Ivan Moore - KTUU-TV


brendan said...

i think anyone who knows Ivan knows that he and Ethan are friends, but i wouldn't doubt the veracity of his polls because he gives money to Ethan (haven't checked, but I'd bet that Dittman gives money to Stevens and maybe Young - i'm pretty sure that Stevens has hired him actually - but no one assumes that interferes with his polls' accuracy). also, Ivan's poll has Parnell up about 5 points over Ethan. but since Ivan's writing for us weekly until the general, i'll suggest that he might want to address his donations to Ethan at some point. goddamn though, i'll be glad when this primary's over. you coming in to the Egan Center on 8/26 Phil?


Philip Munger said...


Thanks for commenting on this. Alaska is the biggest small town in the world, but Ivan might need to think about something more consistent and continuous- between his four different media outlets he's working for - than addressing his involvement in the Berkowitz campaign "at some point."

I hope to be there Tuesday evening, hoping to convince my friend David Shurtleff and a few others to come to work for Diane on Wednesday. I'll buy you a beer.

brendan said...

i'm holding you to the beer Phil. and we vetted ivan's involvement with the campaign prior to this - before this idea even came up i'd had conversations with him about whether he'd be working for ethan, and although we all know who ivan's rooting for (i did write a story called 'ivan moore has a horse named ethan berkowitz' a few months back), he's not affiliated with the campaign outside of his donations (and the actblue page, which i didn't know about).

Chris said...

i think anyone who knows Ivan knows that he and Ethan are friends

But the average Alaskan doesn't know Ivan and Ethan are friends. And more to the point, most people outside of Alaska who have published and/or read this poll don't know Ivan and Ethan are friends.

I'm sure it was an honest oversight, but its a pretty big oversight nonetheless. And at the end of the day, a pollster's job is to report the facts and let people interpret results. Disclosure of his relationship with Ethan would have without a doubt changed the way SOME people interpreted the poll.

Anonymous said...

@chris Everyone who is having a shit fit about Ivan telling the world that he is friends with Ethan should probably consider that Ivan is a professional pollster who - regardless of what you think of him - who is not stupid enough to give bad or fake numbers in a poll just because his friend is running. He's a professional pollster, a businessman. Do you all really think he is stupid enough to throw away his professional reputation just so his friend can feel better about his chances in the House race?

Philip Munger said...

anonymouse @ #5,

I think we're engaged in a decent discussion. At least, until you barged in. Chris didn't claim Moore is stupid to not disclose his close ties to Berkowitz. He even characterized it as an "honest" omission. I don't see how that can be reasonably determined to be a "shit fit."

Philip Munger said...

An important distinction in Moore's case as a paid journalist, attempting to influence people around the planet on whether or not to contribute to any of the candidates about whom he writes or talks, is that, with an active ActBlue page, he is CONSTANTLY attempting to raise money for Mr. Berkowitz.

Although he doesn't directly link to the ActBlue page anywhere that I know of, and the page hasn't done very well, he should probably describe himself accurately - as one who is constantly (24/7 - there is no time at which one cannot donate to the page) involved in attempting to raise money for Mr. Berkowitz at ActBlue - or take the 45 minutes necessary to make the ActBlue site inactive.

By APOC standards - I KNOW, this is a Federal race - he would probably have to be listed as a "co-treasurer" or some such thing for Mr. Berkowitz.

Chirs said...


That's the opinion you came to after reviewing all of the facts. But the point is, you had all the facts to review to make a fully informed decision. All I'm saying is, that people have a right to know when you have a personal connection/investment in someone you're providing commentary and/or polling about.

Besides, your "they wouldn't be so stupid" argument could apply to any disclosure situation. Surely you don't disagree with the concept of disclosure in professional ethics do you?

Also, on a separate side note, I have no faith in arguments that rely on people "not being stupid enough" to do a particular act. I would think Jayson Blair wouldn't be "stupid enough" to make up stories for the New York times or Stephen Glass "stupid enough" to make up stories in the New Republic.

Thanks for the chat

Anonymous said...

Given Mr. Moore's "work" on the recent taxi permit referendum, for which he was very well paid, I take everything he does with a grain of salt. And anything he does regarding Ethan Berkowitz, I take with a whole shaker of salt...

Anonymous said...

Bottom line, it looks like Berky is handily beating Diane with only a week to go.

Berky will coast to a win if The Big Don wins.

Chris said...

Berky will coast to a win if The Big Don wins.

And coast to a loss if Parnell wins. Personally I'd rather have a Democrat with some crossover appeal come November.

But regardless. If Ivan's friend is up big, then there's no reason he shouldn't disclose his relationship with Ethan.

Linda Scates said...

Anonymous, next to the last...

What gives you confidence that the independent and nonaffiliated voters in Alaska will vote for someone who is so clearly supported by the national Democratic party apparatus, and particularly California Democrats, such as Nancy Pelosi and the "Hollywood Liberals"? Don't you think that's going to be pointed out time and time again by either Don or Sean?

Maybe it's an unfair to paint him with that brush, but it's certainly out there. At least Mark Begich grew up here, so he can kind of deflect some of that "outsider" criticism, but I think it's going to be much more difficult for Ethan.

Just my opinion.

Linda again said...

Hey, Phil, is it possible to edit, or does my stupid typo have to stand?

Great Hammond's Ghost said...

While the Press doesn't count as a real paper (and Brendan has zero journalist chops) it does concern me that Ivan's push-polling is being taken seriously by KTUU.
Fact: he downplayed Berkie being taken-out by Parnell.
Fact: he didn't state whether his Benson-Berkie numbers were of people likely to vote in the primary, or a random opinion poll.
Fact: he didn't state the sample size of the poll.
Fact: He fundraises for Berkie.

Ivan shouldn't be trusted to deliver real polling numbers this election cycle. He's good enough for use by the Anchorage Press, but not by legit news organizations.

Dislosure: I think Diane is a scatterbrained retard, but at least she's an Alaskan scatterbrained retard who will fight like hell for Alaskans. Berkie, on the other hand, is a cockgobbling Rahm Emanuel McDem with no loyalties other than to his Outside financial backers who'd sell our state out in a San Francisco minute.

Linda Scates said...

And you're using "scatterbrained retard" as a term of endearment, I presume, meaning it in a GOOD sort of way. :)

brendan said...

@ the j-school professor above: the sample size, stats, etc are available at in a pdf.

That Guy said...

Why didn't Ivan use a ouija board instead? A poll based on a whopping 259 -possible- voters (average age: 54) in the Democratic primary statewide and we're not supposed to think he's an unprofessional hack?

Anonymous said...

@That Guy Actually, if you read his report, you'll see the sample size is actually much larger. The total sample size for the poll was over 500 respondents.

The question you seem most interested in is the question for people who say they will take the Combined Ballot in two weeks. Of all 500+ respondents, 267 indicated they would choose the Combined Ballot. Of those taking the Combined Ballot, 58% of them say they will vote for Berkowitz.

Your comment about the mean age being 54 is not accurate since that is the mean age of all 500+ respondents, not the mean age of the 267 who said they would take the combined ballot.

Now, moving past your errors, the question is would Ivan have been better off using a ouija board? Well, not any more accurate, but perhaps more entertaining.

Regardless of who he's raising money for, the Moore Report does not have a great streak of accuracy.

red said...

thank you


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