Screenshot of Semi Bird's campaign website
Screenshot of Semi Bird's campaign website

Despite hav­ing recent­ly been oust­ed from the Rich­land school board in a recall by his own con­ser­v­a­tive con­stituents, ultra MAGA guber­na­to­r­i­al hope­ful Semi Bird is still pub­licly main­tain­ing that his cam­paign can go the dis­tance and vault him into the gov­er­nor’s man­sion. So on Thurs­day, when NPI’s lat­est guber­na­to­r­i­al polling came out and showed Bird way behind fel­low Repub­li­can Dave Reichert and Demo­c­ra­t­ic Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son, he was­n’t happy.

In a lengthy, hilar­i­ous­ly inco­her­ent post on Twit­ter, Bird strug­gled to respond to the num­bers that show his cam­paign is not gain­ing momen­tum, vac­il­lat­ing from denounc­ing it to look­ing for a sil­ver lin­ing in the data. It might be the weird­est and also most enter­tain­ing rant ever pub­lished in response to an NPI poll finding.

Let’s go through it and you can see what I mean.

And here we go! The Uni-par­ty pro­pa­gan­da machine is in full oper­a­tion to ensure that their top-two can­di­dates are in the gen­er­al elec­tion next year, thus influ­enc­ing elec­tion out­comes and muf­fling the voice of “we the people.”

I’ve heard plen­ty of peo­ple argue that both major polit­i­cal par­ties are cor­rupt over the years, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard the phrase “Uni-par­ty pro­pa­gan­da machine” before. Very inter­est­ing. So, is every­one not on board with Semi Bird part of a con­spir­a­cy to keep him out of the gov­er­nor’s mansion?

This should not come as a sur­prise to any­one. It’s time to unite as cit­i­zens com­mit­ted to a “One-Wash­ing­ton” move­ment, not defined or manip­u­lat­ed by the Uni-par­ty establishment.

Good luck try­ing to fig­ure out what any of that is sup­posed to mean.

If there’s already a “Uni-par­ty” in exis­tence, then why do we need a “One-Wash­ing­ton” move­ment to com­pete with it? And why would such a move­ment even be desir­able giv­en the impli­ca­tion that “the Uni-par­ty” is bad?

FACTS: We have been endorsed by over 14 GOP coun­ties and have pledges of sup­port from Democ­rats, Inde­pen­dents, and Repub­li­cans alike.

There’s no such thing as “GOP coun­ties” — what Bird means here is Repub­li­can coun­ty par­ty orga­ni­za­tions. Wash­ing­ton has thir­ty-nine coun­ties and each of them, or at least most of them, have a Repub­li­can cen­tral committee.

We have more mul­ti-demo­graph­ic sup­port than any GOP can­di­date in the last 40 years.

Inter­est­ing claim. Where’s the evi­dence for it?

We have dri­ven over 40,000 miles and cam­paigned in almost every coun­ty in the state.

Great, so Semi has done a lot of dri­ving around. Con­grat­u­la­tions on that. Hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy some of our state’s won­der­ful land­scapes, Semi.

THE POLL: North­west PROGRESSIVE Institute

This non-val­i­dat­ed poll with a 700-per­son sam­ple group solic­its results from approx­i­mate­ly 18 peo­ple per coun­ty. As a trained researcher, this method­ol­o­gy is heav­i­ly flawed and non-rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the vot­ing populace.

Despite claim­ing to be “a trained researcher,” Semi clear­ly does not under­stand how cred­i­ble pub­lic opin­ion research is obtained. Polling makes use of sam­ples by neces­si­ty, and sam­ples need not be enor­mous to be prop­er­ly representative.

The com­po­si­tion of the sam­ple is what mat­ters, not the size.

Wash­ing­ton’s pop­u­la­tion and vot­ing elec­torate not even­ly dis­trib­uted across its thir­ty-nine coun­ties. Some coun­ties are real­ly big, like King, Sno­homish, and What­com. Oth­ers are real­ly tiny, like Garfield, Wahki­akum, or Stevens. If the tiny coun­ties had just as much rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the sam­ple as the big ones, the sam­ple would be unrep­re­sen­ta­tive and worth­less. It is non­sen­si­cal to char­ac­ter­ize our sam­ple as hav­ing “results from approx­i­mate­ly 18 peo­ple per county.”

From which pool were these “pre­sumed” vot­ers drawn, per­haps selec­tive­ly from the Pro­gres­sive Institute?

Like our results post clear­ly says, this sur­vey was con­duct­ed for NPI by Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Polling, who we have worked with for over ten years. They han­dled the field­ing. 42% of the vot­ers who par­tic­i­pat­ed were inter­viewed on their land­lines and took the sur­vey using inter­ac­tive voice response tech­nol­o­gy, while 58% were recruit­ed by text to take the sur­vey online. If Semi were a trained researcher like he claims, he would­n’t be embar­rass­ing him­self with sil­ly com­ments like this.

Our stand­ing at 10% con­trasts stark­ly with the 5% of a cur­rent Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor who, despite amass­ing over $923,000 in cam­paign funds, falls behind.

The polling’s unre­li­a­bil­i­ty becomes evi­dent, espe­cial­ly as we antic­i­pate cap­tur­ing the unde­cid­ed 22% of vot­ers. Our appeal lies in being a non-estab­lish­ment can­di­date, offer­ing a non-par­ti­san plat­form focused on uni­ty and com­mon sense.

These last two para­graphs are my favorite part.

If Semi does­n’t think our polling is cred­i­ble or reli­able, then why is he talk­ing about cap­tur­ing the 22% of vot­ers who said they were not sure? And why brag that he has twice as much sup­port as State Sen­a­tor Mark Mullet?

He could have just said “we saw NPI’s polling and we think it’s worthless.”

But nope… he decid­ed to post this instead.

If noth­ing else, it’s a time­ly reminder that not every­one who runs for an impor­tant posi­tion of pub­lic respon­si­bil­i­ty pos­sess­es good judg­ment or qualifications.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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