The Studer Community Survey

We have been assured by the Pensacola Young Professionals that all supporting data for the Studer Community Survey that they published will be made available to the public. Mr. Studer pays for the survey, pays to present it for publication the way he wants it presented and does all of it in the name of the Pensacola Young Professionals. PYP claims that somehow Mason-Dixon polling was involved. We hired a polling expert who wrote to Mason-Dixon and asked for the raw data. They have refused to provide it notwithstanding the assurances of the PYP that they would provide it. We have asked the PYP to request Mr. Studer direct Mason Dixon to release the raw data. The “PYP survey” that was published by Mr. Studer presented a bleak picture of the City of Pensacola. The results were touted by the dark side bloggers as proof positive the City was going in the wrong direction. The minute it was published the response from many in the community was confusion. How could everything seem like it is terrific in the City with businesses flourishing but only 45% of the people polled thought the city was headed in the right direction, a 25% decrease in public approval from the previous year. It was an astonishing drop in public opinion approval of the city. So we asked the PYP to allow us to see the raw data. They now refuse to allow it.

The problem with potentially bogus surveys is when they are used to try to influence public policy. The methodology and raw data should be transparent in every respect. Painting the city the way Mr. Studer’s survey did discourages others to invest, demoralizes elected officials and city staff and is highly damaging to the city. It fosters baseless criticism of city policy decisions and demeans good people who are doing good work. It is great however for bloggers like Outzen who need no substantive evidence to inflame their dozen or so followers.

So we make this public demand to PYP and Mr. Studer. Show us the raw data immediately so we can see how Mr. Studer’s survey reached the negative conclusion the PYP allowed to be published under their name. There was an old Pensacola lawyer back in the ’50s that filed some case papers with this legal conclusion: “On top of everything else it smells fishy.” Something doesn’t seem right about this PYP/Studer survey. When you decide to publish a survey that paints our city in a negative light, the persons who did it should have the intellectual honesty to show us the supporting raw data ( all of the details including the polling sampling method, the actual questions asked, age sex and residence of the person polled and much more), otherwise they should publicly withdraw it.

So now we have this very positive, objectively done, legitimate community survey conducted by the UWF. They have no ulterior motive and no axe to grind against the Mayor. This is a true picture of the city done with professional objective polling. The city is not perfect but it is doing pretty darn well. Most of the citizens are proud of the city and happy to live here.

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