9News reporter Adam Schrager responds to a Colorado Media Matters item noting that, in his August 21 report on a SurveyUSA/9News poll showing 7th Congressional District candidates Ed Perlmutter (D) and Rick O'Donnell (R) each with 45 percent of the vote, he did not include the fact that the poll's sample included far more Republicans than either Democrats or independents.
On August 22, Colorado Media Matters noted that on the August 21 edition of KUSA's 9News at 5 p.m., reporter Adam Schrager summarized a SurveyUSA/9News poll that showed 7th Congressional District candidates Ed Perlmutter (D) and Rick O'Donnell (R) each with 45 percent of the vote. Despite noting that the district's “voter registration numbers are split almost equally among Republicans, Democrats, and independents,” Schrager did not inform viewers that the poll's sample included far more Republicans than either Democrats or independents. As Colorado Media Matters noted, Schrager did include this information in a related story posted on the 9News.com website, in which he wrote: “While the district is nearly divided evenly among Republican, Democrat and unaffiliated voters, the survey focused on 44 percent Republicans, 33 percent Democrats, and 21 percent independents.” In addition, as Colorado Media Matters noted, Schrager's Web article included SurveyUSA's defense of the poll's statistical validity.
Schrager addressed this issue in an e-mail response to a query from a Colorado Media Matters reader and subsequently gave Colorado Media Matters permission to post this response, which follows:
In regard to the Survey USA Poll, Survey USA Director of Election Polling Dr. Joseph Shipman told 9NEWS the poll was accurate. I included the extra information in the Web article because I had more space to do so.
The pollster said the results were accurate. We reported them on television.
We've danced this dance before. If there's a point being made by the organization [Colorado Media Matters] involved, I'd ask what it is.
Thanks for keeping us vigilant.
Adam Schrager 9News Reporter KUSA-TV Denver, CO
The August 21 9News segment was one minute and 54 seconds long and included discussion between Schrager and co-anchor Bob Kendrick as well as a video clip of 9News political analyst Fred Brown discussing the results of the 7th District poll.
In contrast to Schrager's televised report, an August 23 Rocky Mountain News article about the SurveyUSA/9News poll stated: “The survey of 535 'likely voters' was taken between Friday and Sunday. But while the district is almost perfectly divided among Democrat, Republican and unafilliated [sic] voters, respondents were 44 percent Republicans, 33 percent Democrats and 21 percent independents.”