DATE:  October 25, 2004
CONTACT: Dr. Bob Bezdek, Professor of Political Science, (361) 825-2395; Dr. David Billeaux, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration (361) 825-2394; Melissa Goonan, Public Affairs, (361) 825-2337
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Political Science Students Summarize Survey Findings on November Election

Group was drawn from people who voted in the 2004 primary election

Students in the class on campaign politics at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi interviewed 470 Nueces County residents to determine voter intentions on November 2. The interview group consisted of residents with a listed telephone number who said they planned to vote on November 2. The group was drawn from people who had voted in the 2004 primary election. The interviews were conducted primarily from October 9-20 and excluded area communities where a long distance telephone charge would have been assessed.

“A survey is a ‘snapshot’ of voter intentions,” said Dr. Robert Bezdek, professor of political science. “Thus, we argue that our findings are an accurate reflection of the community within five (5) percentage points when most of the interviews were completed, about a week ago. To illustrate the margin of error in the presidential race, Bezdek pointed out that in Nueces County President George W. Bush’s vote had a range from 46 percent to 56 percent, while Senator John Kerry’s vote had a range from 33 percent to 43 percent. 

Bezdek said that surveys completed about two weeks before the election are not capable of predicting the election result. Generally, an election result can be predicted accurately with a poll the last three days of the campaign or with an exit poll on Election Day.

He also pointed out some methodological concerns not experienced in previous polls. First, there are an increasing number of people who rely on cell phones, and the students conducting the interviews had no way of contacting such individuals. Second, recently registered voters could not be interviewed, and third, no organization is capable of predicting accurately which demographic groups will actually cast a ballot for the election. Bezdek added that campaign activities and unanticipated events are impossible to predict. 

The class’s findings were:

PRESIDENT                        U.S. CONGRESS                  DISTRICT ATTORNEY
Bush            51%                 Vaden         28%                  Williams        34%
Kerry           38                     Ortiz            63                    Valdez           52
Undecided    11                     Undecided     9                     Undecided    14

COUNTY CLERK                 SHERIFF                               TAX COLLECTOR ASSESSOR
Torres          23%                Ballenger     23%                    Treviño-Eisenberg      24%
Barrera         55                   Olivarez       62                       Canales                      64
Undecided     22                    Flores           7                       Undecided                  12
                                           Undecided      8