February 6, 2016

Survey shows Gardner mayoral race this spring likely to be a tight one

Graphic by Danedri Thompson

Danedri Thompson
A three-person mayoral race likely favors Mayor Dave Drovetta, but in a two-man race between Chris Morrow and Drovetta, it could be a very close race.
That’s the word from a Dec.6 -7 poll of likely Gardner voters. The poll was conducted by a political action committee, Kansans for State and Local Reform.
The survey revealed that 28 percent of likely voters would cast ballots for  Drovetta while 25 percent would cast ballots for council member Chris Morrow in a two-way race. The results are well within the margin of error of 8.9 percent. More than 45 percent of those polled were undecided in the race.

Graphic by Danedri Thompson

In a three-way race between Drovetta, Morrow and council member Kristina Harrison, Drovetta would win 24 percent of the votes; Morrow would receive 19 percent and Harrison would receive 14 percent of the ballots according to the survey. Nearly 45 percent of likely voters are undecided in a race between the three.
To date, only Morrow has announced his intention to run for the mayoral seat in Gardner.
Harrison said in an email to the Gardner News that she has no plans to run for Mayor.
Both Morrow and Drovetta can find positive things to take away from the poll, Benjamin Hodge, chairman of Kansans for State and Local Reform, said.
More than 94 percent of those polled recognize the name “Dave Drovetta” and 42 percent view him favorably, with 34 percent viewing him unfavorably.
From Survey, page 1
Morrow is also well known, but less polarizing than Drovetta, according to the poll. More than 42 percent of those polled view Morrow favorably while only 8 percent view him unfavorably.
The poll also asked voters their thoughts on local taxes.
Of likely Gardner voters polled, 70 percent believe property taxes are too high.
Noon on Jan. 22 is the deadline to file to run for the office. If there are more than four candidates, the primary election will be Feb. 26. The general election is April 2.
Kansans for State and Local Reform was formed in 2009 and focuses mainly on issues like taxes, property rights, school choice and open government. Its website is www.KansasReform.com.


  1. 8.9% Margin of Error with 45% undecided that includes at least two people who haven’t announced they are running. Additionally, they didn’t release the internals of the polling and the methodology.

    We know that this was an automated phone survey (I have heard reports of people receiving the phone calls). We do not know what the ‘likely voter’ screen was or the question order. In a town the size of Gardner, to get an margin of error of 8.9% you would need fewer than 122 responses.

    So I’ve got a question for you. Do you think that an automated phone survey of 122 residents that was done during the height of the Christmas season is going to be accurate?

  2. Judith Rogers says:

    And I say if either Morrow, Drovetta or Harrison become the next Mayor then the citizens will continue to receive the status quo, cronyism government they have had for years and it gets worse by the day. And why do I say this? Apathy of the people. Usually only about 10% OF THE REGISTERED VOTERS even vote in our usual city elections. Probably only about 1% of the registered voters even pay attention or know how in the hell their city is run and are aware of how the Open Meeting and Open Records acts are violated as just one instance. How many people normally review the city meeting agendas or involve themselves in the meetings or even thoroughly understand the issues being considered? Vey damn few and they are usually, for the most part, the parties who want something or ones who are backing and/or enabling and supporting the thieves. The people have no one but themselves to blame because they are in the top three of the highest city and school tax areas in the County and/or State. If citizens allow government entities such as your School Dist. and your City not be transparent in their governing, constantly not answering questions asked and are involved in conniving, manipulation and moral corruption , then you won’t just have high taxes, you will have many, many adverse affects in your life as you will be seeing even more clearly in just the next five years ahead of you.

    More and more you see your local government entities becoming nothing more than secret societies. Council members and school board members to me are never forthcoming just like their staffs are not. You have to wring the truth from them and many times you can’t even do that. Spin is the name of the game – spin things however are necessary to get the result you want and need.

    Sad, sad, sad but the people have brought this type of government upon themselves by not doing their jobs and most of all by not holding people accountable but in order to do that, you have to be informed and educated. So how informed and educated are you??? Will you vote for a candidate based on what your Facebook friend tells you or by the all too friendly method of a popularity contest??? Will you vote based on the hate and lie campaign brought about by those who are stewards of rotten politicians?

    The gene pool presented to you in April may be one that will not be advantageous for you but many won’t even realize that fact because they worry more about how to get their gun and their conceal carry permit or open carry here in Kansas or support and enable an expensive sports education as examples. As I have said before many times, people’s priorities are screwed up in my opinion and it shows and many suffer because of it.

  3. I would like to retract some of my statements above. After some searching I did find the full results on the webpage as listed. I think it may have been posted after my comments.

    There are still issues with the poll, but according to the methodology they did rotate candidate names and there does not appear to be anything misleading with the wording of the candidate questions. The expanded results do not give an exact number of responses; however, with a known universe of 3024 (from the poll results) and the MOE of 8.9% that means that there were 118 responses. The expanded results did say that the response rate was between 5-11% and 118 would be 5.1% of the valid phone numbers (2300). If he had 253 responses (11%) this would be a 5.9% MOE.

    Also, the ‘expanded results’ don’t indicate how many of these 118 people failed the self-voter screen, which would decrease the sample size further. They also claim that the MOE is a result of the small universe of Gardner voters; however, this is inaccurate. In order to obtain a 8.9% MOE for a survey of the state of Kansas you would also only need 122 to take the sample. The reason for the high MOE is because of the low number of responses. If he had been at the higher level of average response rate the MOE would have been 5.9% and a lot more useful.

    The wording for the tax questions were asked in such a way that could give respose bias.

    “9. Do you think property taxes in Gardner are too high, about right, or too low?” – You could ask this question to anyone and they would most likely say yes. One way to get around this is to ask what they believe the property tax rate should be and then take that percentage and compare it to actual rates, they also fail to have any questions about city services that are paid for by property taxes. Another way to handle it is ask them whether they believe that the get adequate city services for the property taxes that they pay.

    “10. Property taxes in Gardner have increased by over 25% in Gardner during the last four years. The mayor says these tax increases are needed to provide necessary city services. Opponents say the city is not spending money responsibly. Do you agree with these recent tax increases, or disagree?” – This is a leading question. Once again the question attributes the tax increase to the mayor (tax increases are universally considered bad in survey questions) and then it includes a value judgement for what the opponents say.

    There is still some traditional sample issues (taking phone calls during the week during Christmas season), only using land lines, and an 8.9% MOE is nearly useless. Maybe we’ll get some more polling and we can put it into perspective.

  4. Judith Rogers says:

    And I say rather than worry about asinine polls run by and for rotten politicians, be thoroughly educated and informed as to how your local city and school district are run and operated. Ignorance is not bliss – ignorance will get you lousy, cronyism government that costs you an arm and a leg and many adverse affects. Rotten to the core politics will always have a spin for you. You would be better off spending your time searching and researching for the TRUTH and be able to spot the propaganda and rhetoric that is fed to you 24/7. How prepared are you to make an intelligent choice in the voting booth? Have you kept your score sheet on those elected or appointed to office and know what their actual words, actions, inaction and voting records are on important issues and are you, yourself, thoroughly knowledgable about YOUR community business? In my opinion most citizens don’t have a clue as to what is going on in their government halls of shame so shame on them and consequently it is the same ole story over and over again and the same disgusting results. People have gone over the fiscal cliff for years now by not doing their jobs as responsible citizens. Perhaps citizens need to take a personal poll, with some truth serum involved, on their own words, actions, inaction and voting records and recognize what the proximate cause is to most of their problems.

  5. Judith Rogers says:

    Louderback and Hodge are both losers in my opinion and definitely Louderback is the biggest hypocrite going since he now wants to make himself look like a politically correct, innocent in the slimy world of politics that he loves to involve himself in. He and others stopped their hate campaign only because there is evidently something they want and due to the all so usual methods of conniving and manipulation used by politicians/bureaucrats – not because they are the innocents they now want to portray themselves as. Citizens involving themselves in either one of there cults need their heads examined but many will as history has proven time and time again and many, many will suffer the consequences and boy, do the consequences increase with each passing day for the average citizen here in red Kansas. I still have the hope, however, that decent, responsible citizens (neither Red or Blue but Independents) can see through both of these jaybirds along with Brownback – all of these comments are my opinions based on a poll I gave to myself.

  6. Judith. I didn’t know you cared! This is the best Christmas present I’ve gotten all year. Merry Christmas and I hope you have a Happy New Year!

  7. Judith Rogers says:

    Whatever, Nate………………..I like how you also think you can reinvent yourself from a clown/loser into a saint, professor, statitician, God’s gift to mankind, etc., etc. and probably with a gun strapped to your leg, no less………….the Beasley Bunch will follow you I am sure and you all are a perfect match of cult members. I know one thing for sure – you and Hodge are two peas in a pod.

  8. Classic Judith. Respond to a genuine attempt at being nice with a unresearched, untrue personal attack. The only way to have made it more perfect would have been to include an irrelevant link. On an almost daily basis you provide examples of why you are widely considered a laughingstock in the city and why no one takes you seriously. You can continue to post unsolicited and untrue attacks against me and I will not respond. I have come to the same conclusion as the rest of Gardner and that you just aren’t worth thinking about.

  9. Judith Rogers says:

    As usual, Nate, when it comes to the point of being held accountable for your words, actions and inaction, you too bow out and walk away……….your Dictator has done it for years and you copy cat him………….I like the part about you being nice…………more like being phony……….people know what you and others in politics are doing in the closed door back rooms and it is far from being considered “nice”. The New Year will still have the Beasley Bunch around involving people such as yourself – citizens still have the right to make their choices and their choices will have consequences.

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