Arizona Republican Solar Advocates Punked With Pro-Obama Logo Used in News Release
The Phoenix Business Journal picked up this poll and ran with its TUSK-promoted conclusions without any critique. But we found the poll, which appears to show high support for solar energy and low support for APS' net-metering proposals, to be something south of fully credible.
The poll was conducted by Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies, who did not return our phone message this morning. Three hundred Maricopa County residents were contacted on August 20 and 21, a fifth of them by cell phone. One striking result of the poll was that when asked which source of energy respondents would most want to encourage, 67 percent said "solar power," while the next highest energy source to be encouraged was "nuclear," at 10 percent.
To some extent, the poll misrepresents the actual makeup of Maricopa residents, recording that 53 percent among the 300 respondents have a bachelor's degree or higher, when polls usually show that figure is more like 29 percent. It also skews much younger than a similar poll in March by contacting twice as many people aged 18-34.
Only 5 percent of respondents said they'd like to encourage the use of natural gas, even though natural gas is seen by experts as key to the country's energy future -- and as a vital backup for future solar systems. Only 7 percent, supposedly, want to encourage what's called the low-hanging fruit of the energy problem: energy-efficiency efforts.
Yet perhaps the weirdest result of the poll is when it asks respondents if they've heard of certain entities or groups, and whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the groups.
Despite the torrent of support for solar in the energy-source encouragement question, the poll shows only 11 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the Palo Verde Nuclear Plant, while 16 percent have an unfavorable opinion of "solar companies."
That's a stat you probably won't find in any news release.
UPDATE: Looks like the use of the logo wasn't intentional. A few minutes ago, and about 15 minutes after we left a message for TUSK, the logo disappeared from the news release.