• Shale plan opponents spiking the football over a push poll

    by  • July 28, 2012 • Uncategorized

    If you’ve been following the back and forth over Governor Kasich’s proposal to cut income taxes via increased oil and gas severance taxes, you sure saw a lot of news on the internets yesterday about a new poll. So let’s take a look at what is being called “deep disagreement”.

    However, when asking, “Do you agree or disagree with Governor Kasich’s plan?” the poll found 23% agreement with the severance tax proposal versus 44% disagreement. Intensity points to further problems for the governor’s plan, as 29% responded they strongly disagree with the plan and only 15% said they strongly agree.

    Wait a minute. How could this be? Just two months ago, the plan was approved by 60% of Ohioans, and opposed by only 32%, in a poll performed by Quinnipiac University. It went from +28 to -21 in two months? How in the world did that happen?

    Because this latest poll is a push poll, that’s how.

    For those who aren’t familiar, a push poll is one where the questions are worded and ordered in a specific manner to intentionally get the results that are desired. Look how they set up the questions:

    As you may know, Governor Kasich would like to increase the severance tax on oil and gas production to pay for a state income tax reduction.

    T7. Some people say taxes imposed on energy production are ultimately just passed on to consumers WHILE others say taxes on energy production are paid by energy companies and not passed on to consumers. Which statement comes closer to your point of view?
    Taxes are passed on to consumers ……………………. 72%
    Taxes are not passed on to consumers ………………… 17%
    Unsure/No opinion …………………………………. 11%

    T8. What impact do you think increasing the severance tax on oil and gas production will have on creating jobs in Ohio? Do you think it will make it easier or harder to create jobs, or will it not have an impact on job creation at all?
    Make it harder to create jobs in Ohio ……………….. 40%
    Will not have an impact on job creation in Ohio ………. 37%
    Make it easier to create jobs in Ohio ……………….. 14%
    Unsure/No opinion ………………………………….. 9%

    T9. With states other than Ohio finding new oil and gas deposits, what impact do you think increased severance taxes on oil and gas production will have on attracting energy companies to Ohio?
    Make it harder to attract energy companies …………… 44%
    Make no difference attracting energy companies ……….. 32%
    Make it easier to attract energy companies …………… 12%
    Unsure/ No opinion ………………………………… 12%

    T10. Do you agree or disagree with Governor Kasich’s plan?
    Agree ……………………………………………. 23%
    Disagree …………………………………………. 44%
    Unsure/No opinion …………………………………. 33%

    They make 3 not-so-subtle suggestions to the subject first.

    “Hey, this plan of Kasich’s? It’s going to raise the price of energy. You know, it also might hurt job creation. Oh…and energy companies might not want to drill in Ohio if the plan goes forward. So…do you approve or not?

    In fact, this is such a textbook definition of a push poll, it’s laughable.

    Let’s take a look at how a real poll is done, when you want real answers, and don’t want to influence the results. This is how Quinnipiac asked the question in May.

    26. Would you support or oppose a new tax on companies drilling for natural gas and oil in Ohio, if the money raised was used to cut income taxes for state residents?

    Support ….60%
    Oppose …..32%
    DK/NA …….8%

    A single question explaining the plan, without all of the suggestive questions beforehand. Quinnipiac is very well respected in the polling field for their expertise and their impartiality.

    The Magellan push poll was commissioned by Matt Mayer, who is certainly not impartial on the subject. He is been aggressively campaigning against the plan. Which is odd, because in the past, he praised Sarah Palin for her energy policy, who raised taxes on oil production by a much larger amount than Kasich’s plan would.

    Finally, the suggestion that energy companies are going to be scared away from Ohio because of this proposal, is not a new one. Opponents have been trying to scare Ohio about that for months, even though they know that Ohio’s tax rates on oil and gas would still be lower than almost every other major energy producing state. So how’s that going?

    New permits for shale wells increased 80% from May to June alone. Yeah, the drillers are fleeing Ohio alright. There is a very large and well funded campaign to block this plan. I’m sure this isn’t the last push poll we will see regarding the subject.

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    About

    I was born and raised in Ohio. After growing up in the Columbus area, I moved to Cleveland to study at Case Western Reserve University, and have lived in Northeast Ohio ever since. I live in Wellington with my wife and son. I work in the private sector and have never worked in the political field.

    http://www.thirdbasepolitics.com