When incumbent politicians each scored 77% in local poll results, why was it not reported equally?

I suppose it’s because of being squeezed out by the federal election, but I didn’t find a lot of actual analysis of the recent poll the Free Press released about Mayor Brian Bowman. It also compared his results after his first term, with how Sam Katz did after his first year.


now I’m not sure who paid for the question to be put in the field, or who wrote the question. I may be wrong, but I think the newspaper’s role was just to release it.


The poll, to me, brings up some questions i didn’t see answered, or asked, in the local media.

“Brian Bowman has been Mayor of Winnipeg since last October. Thinking of his performance as Mayor,

would you say, overall, that you strongly approve of his performance, you moderately approve, 

you moderately disapprove or you strongly disapprove of Brian Bowman’s performance as Mayor?” (n=600)

The media all used the same line – Mayor Bowman has the approval of 77% of the responders (more about that number later), better than Mayor Katz did when he had 76%.

A few points:

1) Getting someone to answer if they ‘moderately’ support something, is in my mind, easy because the poll is inviting them to go along with the premise.

No one focused on the fact his hardcore support was only 15%, which is 25% less than was registered by Katz. So Mayor Bowman has a lot fewer hardcore supporters after 1 year than Sam Katz did.

Also, while the pollster took a potshot at councilors in some east end neighborhoods where Bowman support polled strongly, I would have liked to see an explanation of why he only scored 7% strong support in Southwest Winnipeg.

11Only 7%?? That is a low number.

No one talked about the why behind it, particularly not the pollster.

Is that because of who paid for the poll and/or may have prepared the actual question? I don’t know.

Also, this Bowman question was about people’s “approval”. That is why the comparison with Katz is misleading.

2) *The question wording for the September 2005 survey of Winnipeggers was slightly different, as respondents were asked to indicate if they felt then-Mayor Katz was performing “very well, fairly well, not very well or not at all well.”

In my opinion, asking if you approve of someone’s performance (Bowman), is not close to the same as evaluating a persons performance (Katz).

In a federal analogy, some might ‘moderately approve’ of Justin Trudeau’s performance, with out thinking he performed ‘fairly well’.

Agreeing with “Sam Katz is performing fairly well’ is I think, a step up in degree from ‘Brian Bowman is performing moderately well”.

It seems the ‘Moderately approve’  amount of Bowmans performance includes tepid support. “ya, he’s ok“.

So, while he’s scoring 77% ‘approval’ I’m not sure the media is right it’s equal/superior to the way Katz scored in his first term.

I would rather have seen a poll, asking if people would/might/ won’t vote for Bowman if an election were held tomorrow, and a subset question about his support among people who voted for him last year, to get a truer picture of how solid his support is.

3) Back to that 77% approval rating for Brian Bowman.

That means 23% of responses were negative towards him. But, as discussed, the media story focus was on the big number.

Now, instead is using a comparison to federal politics, I’d like to use a comparison to provincial politics and another poll released by Probe.


Not only was there no insight from the media into the low poll result the premier had with females- which I wrote shows the cry and beg forgiveness act of Kerri Irvin-Ross with every CFS tragedy did Selinger no good with women – but there is another issue.

The news focused on the big “approval” number in one poll, so why was it silent about the exact same number in reverse, in the other poll? 

If only 23% of women would vote NDP, then that means 77% – there’s that percentage again – do NOT support him.


Where were the headlines and editorials, “77% of women don’t support Premier Selinger” ?

If Mayor Bowman scoring ‘77% approval’ is newsworthy, why wasn’t the Premier registering 77% DIS-approval newsworthy? 

It seems to me both incumbents were given a very easy ride by the media in their reporting on the polls, and I’m not sure if it’s because they are not thinking it through, or being distracted by the federal election, or what.




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