You don’t have to be a statistician to know that a survey of five middle-aged women isn’t representative of all of Santa Clarita. Still, that’s what I had to work with for my investigation into the recognizability of candidates in Santa Clarita’s City Council race. (NOTE: I excluded 5 surveys from my number-crunching because they were from unlikely or unregistered voters. In case you were curious, none of the excluded could identify a single candidate by name or picture. And to think I call some of them my friends…)
So while a complete failure by conventional polling standards, I’m still posting the results. They show what a small sub-set of Claritans that the reader described as "mostly working moms" know about the race some two-and-a-half months before votes are cast. And that’s an important demographic is Santa Clarita—we have lots of moms and they’re more likely to vote than apathetic 20-somethings. Thanks to the brave reader who sent me these results.
Kellar. All five survey-takers could identify his picture, and most knew he was running for City Council. Many of the other candidates simply weren’t recognized. There was one case of mistaken identity wherein the respondent identified a photo of Maria Gutzeit as Lynne Plambeck.
The question looking at recognition of City Council candidate names yielded slightly different results. Three recognized that Bob Kellar and Diane Trautman are running, and two knew that Laurie Ender, Maria Gutzeit, and Bob Spierer are running. Lynne Plambeck and Susan Harrison were incorrectly identified as candidates for City Council once each. Finally, one person wrote
“Who cares?” and didn’t identify any candidates on the list.
There was some consensus on the most important issues for the candidates to address. Traffic and growth were cited by three and two respondents, respectively, as major concerns. Gang activity/tagging, “turning into San Fernando Valley”, light synchronization, and housing were also mentioned.
Bob Kellar has the greatest recognizability among five 25-50 y.o. female voters from one workplace in Santa Clarita. These same voters want traffic problems fixed and aren’t really all that sure who is running for City Council.
Despite a stunning lack of success in my first polling attempt, I remain undiscouraged and will be probing the minds of more Claritans as we approach elections.