A new poll commissioned by the Oakland Chamber of Commerce has been getting a substantial amount of press this week — mainly because it purports to show that Mayor Jean Quan has a 62 percent unfavorable rating. But the news stories failed to note that the poll was skewed heavily to older, white voters in wealthy sections of the city. The poll also failed to reach Latino and Asian voters, even though both groups represent large percentages of the city's population.
But that's only the tip of the iceberg of this poorly conducted this poll. For example:
- The poll found that 25 percent of the respondents had never dined or shopped in Uptown in the last year.
- 33 percent said they never went to an Oakland public library in the last year.
- 23 percent said they had never shopped or dined in Jack London Square in the last year
- 55 percent said they had never attended an A's game in the past year.
- 56 percent were 50 years of age or older, and 25 percent were older than 65.
- Just 25 percent were under the age of 39.
And there's more:
- 51 percent of respondents were white, even though only 26 percent of the city is white.
- 8 percent of respondents were Latino, even though 25 percent of the city is Latino.
- 7 percent of the respondents were Asian, even though about 17 percent of the city is Asian.
As we said, the poll did not obtain a representative sample of the city. Now, it's possible that Quan's approval numbers really are that low — but this poll can't be used to prove it.