Trust Local Government? Hah.
Polls? I’m not a fan. There’s little news value in them. Worse, they’re frequently wrong.
Take this headline - based on “scientific” polls - from the vaunted New York Times on the morning of Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016:
CHANCE OF WINNING
Donald J. Trump
I wonder how much loot was wasted on the polling that resulted in THAT?
Beyond that, I’ve often wondered why cash-strapped local newspapers - companies that can’t afford to give their employees raises - waste so much money on outside polling.
Take the poll The Virginian-Pilot commissioned in October 2016, for instance. The one that claimed voters were evenly split over a boondoggle being pushed by local developers:
“Virginia Beach Light Rail Referendum In A Dead Heat, According To New Poll.”
Hilarious. And not even close.
The day after the election the Pilot’s headline read: “Virginia Beach Light Rail Referendum Vote Fails In A Landslide.”
OK, despite my skepticism about polls, I found interesting a Gallup survey released yesterday claiming that Americans trust local politicians far more than statewide pols.
“Americans continue the decade-long trend of being more trusting of their local government than of their state government. Currently, 72% of U.S. adults say they have a ‘great deal’ or a ‘fair amount’ of trust in their local government, compared with 63% who say the same about their state government,” the pollsters say. (A companion poll showed only 40% of Americans trust the feds.)
I suspect Gallup didn’t poll anyone living in Virginia Beach.
Surely I’m not the only Resort City resident with far more faith in both Richmond and Washington than City Hall, which is crawling with cronyism.
Of course, that could change on Election Day.
Clearly some of the beneficiaries of the city’s shameless canoodling with select developers are worried. That’s why they’re writing snarky opinion pieces and threatening to pull their investments out of the city if the good-government candidates win a majority on the city council.
Can you imagine being fearful of candidates who promise to create a “level playing field”?
We’ll have more on what passes for open and honest government in Virginia Beach by investigative reporter John Holland later this week.