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Online poll results holding steady despite apparent hoax

by William T.
Beverly, Ph.D.
WALSENBURG- The Huerfano County Pre-Election internet-based poll had a total of 206 valid responses between September 24 and October 22, 2011. The website collected 190 responses from registered voters, with 106 valid responses from voters in Walsenburg, and 84 from elsewhere throughout Huerfano County including La Veta and Cuchara.
This yields a margin of error of about 10.6 for guesstimating the actual outcome of Huerfano County’s 3,266 reported registered, active voters and about a 9.1 margin of error for Walsenburg itself with 1,205 registered, active voters.
Poll results for Mayor of Walsenburg indicate that Larry Patrick now has 77 (73%), compared to Bruce Quintana’s 28 (27%). Quintana has gained about 4 points in the past two weeks.
It needs to be noted that during the first 29 polling days, there were about seven responses per day. On the 29th day, in the final hours between 7:09 and 7:54 pm, there were 213 responses with every single one favoring Quintana. Due to the timing and uniformity of these responses, it appeared to be a hoax.
Also, none of those responses answered any of the other questions, including: “Are you a registered voter in Colorado?” Therefore, those responses could not be counted as having a probable impact on the election outcome and are not included in the present analysis.