The Green Party of New Jersey takes issue with the Stockton University poll released Monday, October 1st on the U.S. Senate race. It concludes that the race between Senator Menendez and Bob Hugin is a statistical dead heat, but is seriously flawed because of the independent challengers, it only names Libertarian Murray Sabrin. In order to be the most useful and accurate, all political polls like this one should name all candidates for the position sought.
In particular, the poll states that 14 percent of Democrats are undecided or say they will vote for a candidate other than Hugin or Sabrin. One way to figure out how that 14% will be divided is to list all the candidates by name.
This is not the first poll on the U.S. Senate race in New Jersey that has not named all the candidates in the race. The Quinnipiac poll from 8/15 – 8/20 made exactly the same error. So have all the polls conducted by Gravis, Fairleigh Dickinson, and Monmouth University, as reported on by RealClearPolitics and 538. The same holds true for multiple “key” races in New Jersey for U.S. Congress taking place this November. These polls are leaving out the independents as well. The Green Party of New Jersey takes particular interest in District 7, where Green Party candidate Diane Moxley is running against Leonard Lance (R) and Tom Malinowski (D). This practice is unfair both to the candidates and to the voters.
Fighting for Inclusion
“By not naming everyone in these races, including Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate Madelyn Hoffman and Green Party candidate for Congress Diane Moxley” said Mark Heacock, a co-chair of the Green Party of New Jersey, “the results must, of necessity, be skewed. For the poll to be accurate, it must put all candidates on an equal playing field. That would be by naming them all individually. That would also be the most democratic way of approaching the issue and better reflect what the electorate is thinking. Murray Sabrin and Madelyn Hoffman ran against each other for New Jersey governor in 1997. It would be enlightening to see how they are both faring in 2018.”
“In addition,” Mark Heacock continued, “we are appalled that none of the debates held so far or those planned for NJTV in the upcoming weeks for either U.S. Congress District 7 or for U.S. Senate, have seen fit to include the Green Party and other independent political candidates. The NJTV debate for District 7 is scheduled for October 17 th and the NJTV debate for U.S. Senate is scheduled for October 24 th . Once again, we have someone deciding for the electorate whose campaigns are worthy of inclusion, instead of presenting all voices and giving more choice to the voters come November. The current approach is decidedly undemocratic. And it’s not only happening here in New Jersey. It’s happening across the country.”
It is well past time that those conducting these important polls show their true commitment to the state and to democracy by including the names of all those running for any given office.