Thursday, July 7, 2011

You Can't Believe The Polls

(Image: "Don't Believe a Word" by Third Eye Blind. Seemed fitting)

3 Important Notes

First, the deadline for voter registration is TODAY.  All voter registrations must be post-marked by today to be eligible to vote on August 1.

Second, the Islanders have launched their formal Vote Yes site - check it out here.

Third, a very happy birthday to Joe "Blow it Out Your Dufflebag" Conte.

Our Regularly-Scheduled Post

People on all sides of the areener issue are desperately trying to show indications that the majority of residents agree with them.  Some cite the horribly unscientific polls on Newsday (which have no way of filtering), and other sources have cited internal polling done by political organizations that shows significant opposition exists to the referendum.

That may be the case, and I've been on record many times as saying that I don't believe the referendum is a mortal lock to pass.  However, at the end of the day, the polls are wholly irrelevant because, more than any other time in my limited career of following politics, the numbers are by definition not trustworthy.

Poll numbers can't be trustworthy because, in Nassau County, special elections like this aren't common.  In addition, the areener is a more high-profile issue than any other special election, so it is next to impossible to study historical data and come up with a likely voter model that makes sense.  It isn't because people reporting on the issue are lazy or incompetent, it's just that they don't know....because they can't know.

While I don't doubt that opposition exists to the referendum, it does not appear to be galvanizing voters in a big way.  I've spoken to many of my friends and neighbors, and I haven't met one person planning to vote no (yet - I know you're out there and please email me - would love to talk!).  In addition, the "often hostile" crowd at the first Mangano areener info session last week....totaled less than 25 people!

Nobody knows a likely voter model, and nobody knows how many will show up to vote.  One source cited a belief among certain politicos that 75,000 will show up to vote, which is less than 10% turnout.  Given the unique factors, I don't even know if that's reasonable (in either direction).

Bottom Line

So, what does this mean?  The same thing I've been saying in the almost 2 months since this referendum was first announced.

You have to vote.

Supporters should not take the outcome for granted. 

Get everyone you know registered and ready to vote on August 1, because that is the only way we can do our part to control the outcome.

The home stretch is here - let's do this.



  1. Great post. My experience regarding no votes is the same -- people may not be thrilled with the general idea of borrowing but don't know or care enough to show up to the polls. I'm wondering if that is what is driving the team' media strategy, if we can call it that (although it seems that the team is finally stepping up with ads and such).

    Team: Vote YES! The borrowing won't raise your taxes!

    Average voter: Um...did you just say something about raising taxes?

  2. Thanks for your input...You've been great for doing this this whole time, Nick...

  3. PATRICK AKA SIGN GUYJuly 7, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to post your thoughts. My question to you is what can we as supporters do to help the public understand the very importance of this vote?? Every vote counts and the clock is ticking!!

  4. Patrick - I know it sounds trite, but in all seriousness the only thing you can do now is talk to registered voters (since the deadline to register has passed) and motivate them to come out and vote yes. Educate them if you have to - let them come here and have a discussion if they're skeptical.

    Every vote counts and we can't fall victim to The Suozzi Effect and assume it'll pass. Everything is up in the air and nothing is guaranteed here, on either side.

  5. Hey Nick, that Jacobs character from NIFA says that this will most likely not pass so he sees no reason to actively campaign against it...In newsday...How arrogant the dems are...They all seem to feel that way...I hope this goes the same as the Suozzi and that lady who didnt campaign against Murray, what was her name???McEldridge???I forget...Anyway, seems like dems are very arrogant...They never deem it important enough to campaign for anything...Hopefully this one works out for us...

  6. IP - it's amazing how out of touch some people are. That attitude, exactly as you said, lost Suozzi the election.

    I also enjoyed the comments where people are again screaming "MAKE WANG PAY FOR IT!" - Again, where were they when Wang was offering to pay? I also enjoyed the people whining that prices are so expensive when Nassau Coliseum is by far the cheapest venue in the area.

    This is what I'm saying - I don't put a lot of stock in trolls, especially not on the cesspool that is the Newsday comment section, but there is opposition. We have to learn the lesson of Tom Suozzi and work to do this.

    Also....maybe I'm going down a bad road here, and stop me if I am...I can't help but have a bit of a twinge and wonder how much a coordinated effort like this could have helped get the Lighthouse done.

  7. I think they should've done this coordinated effort to push the referendum before the voters actually had to register...What good does it do to push the issue on people if they are unable to vote??

  8. James Dolan's Newspaper has a huge vested interest in the outcome and will do everything possible to defeat any refendum.

    There are hundreds of millions to be saved for Dolan and possibly an official expansion back into Nassau County for Cablevision's sports teams to gain by the possible relocation of the New York Islanders that is worth additional hundreds of millions in territorial rights.

    Wang needs money from events at his hotel so he will have to accept it.

    Dolan will ride in like he did to Hartford, renovate the Coliseum and the AHL Long Island Rangers will run/own/operate the Cablevision Coliseum. His LI AHL Rangers will play their games on Dolan's Msg+ network where the Islanders used to be.

    Dolan's paid employees under orders will do everything possible to keep their jobs to that end.

    They have everything to gain by defeating this referendum, people who Dolan to make a living (Botta) are scared to death of him.

  9. 19 Isle in NJ 22July 8, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    Glad to see you don't take anything for granted Nick ... I've been following this whole process out and reading your contributions Nick. I think the best way for this to go forward is to also let Nassau residents know ... This is IT! No do overs. I don't think a lot of residents at this time are aware of the finality of the situation. With blow hards like Jacobs out there demonizing the deal and the Islanders along with it ... The newly awakened residents to this vote may be easily pursuaded to vote NO. That's a total disservice to the referendum and the residents of Long Island.

    My brother is driving from the Jersey Shore on August 1st to take my Aunt to the polls. We were telling her over the phone a month ago about the whole situation ... and she had no idea that this whole Coliseum thing was going on. She was still under the impression that the Lighthouse Project was on the table. She's a resident of the Town of Oysterbay so I guess it was more of a side story to her. She's not a hockey fan ... but she said she's been to NVMC lots of times for concerts and other shows.

    I just hope YES voters don't take this lightly ... Everybody should bring two or three people to the polls with them.

  10. i wonder if the conspiracy theories about Dolans newsday hold any water?

  11. Islespassion, people like Nick will not go near any discussion of Dolan, he might not get any more interviews in Dolan's paper if he did.

    Page views and attention are everything to these people, they like breaking news and claiming sources.

    All of them are scared to death of Dolan, despite many times questioning reporting standards but not who pulls their strings.

    I only do facts.

    No one hides the New York Islanders in print or on television more than Dolan, no one does all they can to run down their perception and make Wang the story. (while Dolan's paid employees never mention Cablevision's failed teams or James Dolan at all)

    Our television coverage was taken away a decade ago, our pregame pulled, the Metro Ice challenge over 50,000, Goring's Msg contract sent to Isles broadcast booth so Dolan could save money on Jaffe.

    Don't believe me hockey broadcast money is not a huge deal to Dolan?

    Read for yourself.

    The most memorable instance came in an October 2004 meeting at which Dolan took one look at the projected costs for hockey broadcasts on MSG Network in '05, with numbers far higher than those for '04, and started shouting. Mike McCarthy, the president of MSG Network, tried to point out that the '04 NHL lockout had kept costs down. Dolan wouldn't hear it, thinking he was somehow being taken, though the higher '05 budget reflected only the assumption that the lockout would end and games would be played.

    Botta is terrified of Dolan and never calls him out for things at Msg like he did here daily, if he did not only would his Msg credential be revoked but he likely would be sued by Msg.

    Brooks and his friends would run from that.

    I have no doubt Dolan had his people called Wang's people on the carpet and told them take the hit for Jaffe or else and take Goring's Msg contract in the television booth.

    Msg used the Marv Albert/Bob Page playbook.

    Botta, Neil Best (Dolan's Newsday media person) did the rest and a lot of people blamed it on Wang and Snow.

    Still don't believe me? Read it from Newsday's own employees what goes on:

    I only do facts.

  12. I don't know if Nick is in the same boat as Botta regarding Dolans newspaper...He does this blog because he is passionate about the team and the place he lives...Botta on the other hand is taking it serious as a career, the blogging...

    But what you say is disturbing to say the least...Its so hard being an Isles fan

  13. New York Islander Fan Central:

    This is what happens when the team that owns your television rights, buys another team, then the only local newspaper.

    Charles Dolan loved the Islanders for helping Cablevision get started, he wanted to buy them from John Pickett, but it did not happen.

    Dolan's game plan:

    1-Tons of Newsday negative slanted articles against referendum-check. Get Marlin in there, for editorials, demand every penny be accounted, never mention Msg tax exemption from 1981.

    2-Cite any paper who prints anything negative and go after anything positive to destroy it's credibility-check. (Daily News)

    3-Have sports department run down Wang, team and keep repeating their attendance, payroll every chance possible-check.

    4-Once referendum fails-call up Wang and see what he will take in a tv contract buyout that lets him still run his hotel.

    5-Call up Nassau and make a deal to renovate the building once the Islanders are out the door and gain back territorial rights forever and call it the Cablevision Coliseum.

    Dolan can save well over a hundred million on tv buyout, eliminate his competition and gain back full territorial rights, put an AHL expansion team into the Coliseum and run the building for other events and make all the money the Islanders would have.

    Dolan's deal at Hartford is winding down too, now that he insulted Wang's Bridgeport team by calling his own Ct.

    Radio City, Beacon Theater, possibly LA Forum and the Nassau Coliseum.

    The Long Island Rangers play Msg+, the Devils go to Msg+2. Botta keeps his living selling Cablevision Hockey.

    Botta's game plan-Make Wang and Snow the headline, never go near the word Dolan, support the project change the subject and go on vacation to keep your Msg credential.

    Nick goes after Dolan and Newsday, Botta stops linking to him, he loses playing the source game and the calls from Dolan's writers.

  14. People like me, NYIFC? What kind of person am I?

  15. I thought he was a bit out of line to put you in some kind of category, Nick...But on the other hand are you afraid to address this issue he brought up for any reason???Is Dolans Ragsday newspaper a conspiracy against the Isles???

  16. It's no conspiracy. It's the damn truth. Dolans Newsday "reporters" were at Hofstra last year and all they were looking for were people who were against the Lighthouse.

    Nick can speak for himself but I don't think he's "afraid" of these guys.

    Dolan, in my opinion, is a p.o.s.. And yes, these Newsday "reporters" are under orders to deep six this deal, as they were the Lighthouse, as much as they can.

    -Big Van Vader

  17. IP/BVV, I'm absolutely not afraid to respond to anything. I just find it interesting that I'm accused of protecting the Dolans when anyone on Twitter saw the vicious rant I went on about Newsday early Friday morning. There's that, the constant criticism, the incident from February 09 that BVV mentioned (when a Newsday reporter singled out the 3 people in Islanders gear to interview out of 300 total people - blatant bias), the piece from 09 that led a Newsday reporter to threaten me with a libel suit....If you think I'm pro-Newsday or trying to curry favor with them, you're dreaming. I have respect for 1 of their writers, but on the whole I think the paper has gone sickeningly downhill.

    Now, when it comes to the other side, I don't really buy into the Dolan conspiracy theory, because I'm really not the kind of person who buys into conspiracy theories. I think they have bad reporters who are trying to go the recent media route of ginning up controversy in order to save their dying paper. Would I be shocked if the Dolans didn't really want this built? Actually, yes, because they didn't go after the Barclays Center as much as they went after the West Side Stadium plan....MSG is booked solid for the next century, and as a result I don't know why they'd care about competition. It's still Manhattan, and nobody would pick the new areener or the Barclays Center, or the Prudential Center for that matter, INSTEAD OF MSG, unless the venue was already booked.

    The Islanders were an easy target from many of these same people long before Cablevision bought them.....and again, I'm much more on the side of Occam's Razor (simplest explanation is most often correct) than I buy into conspiracies.

    All that having been said....I've also said many times how deplorable it is that the Islanders rely on a network and newspaper owned by their rivals for media coverage. I'd love to see them covered by the other major papers and showing their games on SNY to break that influence...but only winning could even start that conversation.

  18. Nick,

    I'm not writing about your family here or what kind of human being you are. If you wish to spin it that way to remain muted on my point that's your choice.

    Obviously you are scared to go after Dolan or question Newsday's objectivity for your access as quickly as you went after Wang when the LH went dark and you could not get your updates as quick as a pizza delivery.

    Our teams future is likely at stake in a public referendum, Dolan has hundreds of millions to gain by the team departing and are the main source of coverage and their bias against our team is very reflective in the long time record of hiding them or pulling games off television.

    During the LH you would not touch going after Suozzi, dismissing it as you don't want to look back.

    You want to be a credible resource you have to call out everyone equally. Not pick and choose what helps get you interviews in Dolan's paper as the teams games are hidden on television and its coverage buried.

    Not what gets you props from Chris (Newsday's coverage will improve under Cablevision) Botta, who has his own agenda.

    As for Baghdad Botta he got his nickname for a reason and is in full protect Dolan and my credentials mode via twitter. He's terrified of Dolan because if they take his credential, he's finished. Msg sponsors will dump him immediately.

    Botta's friend Brooks wrote Dolan is a good hockey owner today, he will dump his PHWA support also.

    I do not care to be your friend.

    Bottom line you either do a blog that demands the truth at all times or you can call out New York Islander Fan Central for caring enough to challenge you for failing to do so.

    I did not start my blog for a popularity contest or to gain access, I started it because I wanted to help the New York Islanders.

    Your choice.

    Thank You.
    New York Islander Fan Central

  19. Nick,

    I don't do conspiracy theories. The record is a hundred miles long that cannot be placed on employees but who gives them their marching orders. The people who work for him or cover his team leave no doubt is entirely Dolan.

    James Dolan is entirely about controlling media.

    He took the Islanders off television in 1998 to change revenue structure of new deal made.

    He kept them off until the contract was changed:

    He took the pre-game off television a few years ago.;jsessionid=65BC3A57943F9CEDC6E88974A5C6CCEB

    He wants the Coliseum like he wanted Hartford, he wants out of the cable money, and to expand his teams brand into Nassau. That's hundreds of millions to be gained and eliminate his competition.

    If he does not want the Coliseum he certainly has done everything possible to give his teams the higher profile in his paper and make Wang reality tv while the name Dolan is forever hidden as other NY papers mock Dolan all the time.

    Every team that ran from Dolan when their cable contract ended was kept off television by Dolan or sued. Cablevision kept off YES for a year, the Mets were pulled off Cablevision several times in season.

    Conspiracy? We don't have time for that.

  20. This has to be the dumbest series of statements I have ever seen in a comment section, NYIFC. Just the facts.

  21. NYIFS, maybe you're 100% right...What are you trying to do about it???

  22. NYIFC - I'm much more concerned about the referendum than placating you. From my perspective, I have nothing left to say.

  23. NYIFC, I share much of your feelings about the Dolans. However for you to call Nick out here is entirely uncalled for!

    He is admittedly and Islander fan as most of us are here but this blog was formerly about the Lighthouse project and has since been directed to the "Areener". In other words it is about where the Isles will live after their contract expires in 2015. That is what I perceive to be his goal, nothing else.

    The fact that he tries to curry favor from Newsday is, from my observation, false. I do not see him trying to actively get quotes in the paper or anything like that. Like he said himself, he will blast the Dolans or Newsday if the situation calls for it.

    At the end of the day some of the posts here regarding the "Dolan/Newsday conspiracy" are striking a chord with me, but Nick (from my observations) is not a party to it.


  24. If anyone thinks Nick is afraid to take on Newsday they are sadly and greatly misinformed. Nick called Newsday to the carpet many times in 2009 when the LHP was in full force.

    In particular, he got into a bit of a skirmish with the Newsday writer Eden Laiken who was covering the Lighthouse for Newsday. He called her to the carpet many times for her incomplete coverage and she basically warned Nick to stay away from here and leave her alone. She threatened to sue him for libel if I remember correctly for what he wrote on this blog.

    I know, I was there, in particular at the March 2009 LHP meeting at the Marriot.

  25. Now that Marc brings it up, hes reminded me about Eden Laiken and how Nick called her out many times...