The Prospect Poll: What does it mean?

Our recent reporting of the Reader Voter Poll was this:

We remind readers that this is not a scientific poll. Cheaters could vote more than once, and the readership of the Prospect might not reflect the entire county. However, if only those voters voted, here is how the numbers break out, as of press time. Note that questions ask if the voter could actually vote for the candidate. It is what it is; if readers respond honestly, it’s accurate; if they don’t it ain’t!

We purposefully didn’t select a method that would place a "cookie" on your computer to prevent more than one person from voting per machine. As a result, the same computer could vote many times. Likewise, we could not restrict voting to any district. As a possible measure to correct for that we asked if people could vote in the election. We assume everyone told the truth; dishonest people don’t read the Prospect, they prefer other papers.

So, what do the numbers mean?

District 2

1. Supervisor District 2:


1 Huebner




2 Sloan















2. Are you eligible to vote in District 2?

















In this poll, with only 30 eligible voters, we can assume that Huebner would still have won. If all 13 of Sloan’s votes were local, and the remainder voted for Huebner, he would have still won.

On that day, Huebner was the likely victor.

In the District 2 race, we see more difficult numbers:

3. Supervisor District 5:


1 Rickman




2 Schlefstein









Are you eligible to vote in District 5?

Yes         14         25%

No           41         75%

Total        55         100%

Seventy-five percent of those voting weren’t able to vote in that district. Certainly Rickman won, but if most of the "ineligible" voters supported her, Schlefstein would have won. We have no way to know how many of those voted for each candidate, because we’re cheap and it wasn’t worth a couple of hundred bucks to know that.

Rumor has it that some of Schlefstein’s supporters didn’t vote in the poll, based on some sort of occult wisdom only they understand. That is possible; about 30 people looked in on the poll, but didn’t vote.

Still, the results of this campaign are less certain than the others; this will have to go to run off.


The numbers on Sheriff are much cleaner.

County Sheriff:

1 Evans         44         81%

2 Fatheree      8         15%

3 Standley      2         4%

Other             0         0%

Total             54         100%

6. Are you eligible to vote?

Yes             53         98%

No                 1         2%

Total             54         100%

If the election were that day, and if the Reader Voter Poll reflects the county population, Evans would have walked away with the election.


With the withdrawal of Ms. Christian, a lot of votes were up for grabs. Word of her withdrawal spread swiftly, and we watched the poll as she started with a small lead, then Archer quickly took the lead, but by the time the poll was closed, Ervin had pulled ahead.

We think these are good numbers. Ervin has pumped a lot of hands in the county; he’s been pushing his message.

Superior Court Judge:

1. Tomas S. Archer         14         26%

2. Charles H. Ervin          19         36%

3. Douglas M. Prouty         3         6%

4. C. Ingrid Larson             11         21%

Other                             6             11%

Total                             53         100%

8. Are you eligible to vote for Judge?

Yes         52         96%

No             2         4%

Total         54         100%

We think these are good numbers, and an indicator that, if the Prospect readers represented the mix of all voters, Ervin would have prevailed. We notice, though, that six people voted for "other". All six would have had to switch to Archer for him to prevail.

We’ll run another reader voter poll in a week or so, and we can expect the numbers to wobble around. We will again allow all computers to vote more than once, and will again rely on an honest answer to "Are you eligible?"

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