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Monday, October 30, 2006

3rd District Poll

I've just finished reviewing the poll put out by the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel today that shows Mark Souder with a 12 point lead over Tom Hayhurst and. . .that's GREAT news! Before you start thinking that I've been drinking the koolaid favored by the GOP crowd, allow me to explain my thoughts on this one:

1. A 52% rating for an incumbent, especially 7 days before election, is a strong sign that the incumbent is in trouble. Indeed, the RNCC and the Cook Report seem to subscribe to this same school of thought.

2. Even assuming that he holds 52% and wins, that would by far be the WORST showing he's ever had. He first won this seat with 55% in 1994. When he ran against another Republican, former Ft.Wayne mayor Paul Helmke, he pulled in 59%. Against a Republican. Read that again. If this poll is correct, he's pulling in 52% against a Democrat. A Democrat that he is erroneously trying to paint as a California liberal to frighten conservative voters at that.

3. Sources I have talked to indicate that this poll may be improperly weighted towards Allen County. Initially the pollster stated that they surveyed 400 people from the ENTIRE 3rd district. Today they said that they OVERSAMPLED Allen County to survey 400 for the Sheriff’s race (Results due out tomorrow). This may well render these results invalid. Which numbers were used? Were they merged?

4. Polls generally do not matter. Turnout matters. Particularly with a poll as tight as this one, in a mid-term election, with few races of big interest on a district-wide basis. Souder voters in areas where there are no other races of interest to them may very well be complacent and not even bother voting on November 7th. The Democratic base, on the other hand, is on fire. They will be at the polls come hell or high water. As will the conservatives and independents that Souder has turned off; I have spoken with many from these two groups and they are galvanized about removing Souder from congress.

5. Souder went negative right from the gate, and hasn't let up. While that may be red-meat for his base supporters (read "people who like to take polls cause they're fired up"), it has also had the unintended (or arrogantly discounted) effect of turning off large numbers of voters. These voters may not respond to polls, but they have been talking about their disgust. An analogy of this would be customers who are dissatisfied with service or products at a local store: a small minority of them will loudly complain to the manager or the company; while the rest simply don't return, frequent another business, and quietly tell their friends about their bad experience.

6. To win in the 3rd district, you need to either absolutely "own" the urban areas or "own" the rural areas and carry enough urban voters to put you over 50%. Souder seems to have been trying the second route, but he may have not put enough effort into Fort Wayne to carry him over the top. BTW, "effort" does not include constant drivel on the local puke-funnel (WOWO). That's merely preaching to the choir (and apparently converting a number of the choir into disgusted opponents).

7. This race will come down to this: the issues, and how you feel about who can best represent your position on them. If you feel that Mark Souder has and will best represent your best interests, then you will likely vote for him. The rest of us, the great disgusted majority, will be voting for Tom Hayhurst. We'll find out in just over 8 days from now. . .

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5 Comments:

Blogger Human said...

It's obvious. You're a glass is 1/2 full kinda guy. I hope your right.

I do care. Even if I don't know where Indiana is.

Peace.

title="comment permalink">October 30, 2006 8:36 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

I'm not normally that sort. But I have a good feeling about this one. . .

title="comment permalink">October 30, 2006 8:52 PM  
Blogger Human said...

Well you do sound like a positive thinking person. Anywayyyy check your e-mail buddy and you may ah want to listen to a song on my last post(nudge nudge). almost 9 and we are gonna lose you for the nite!

Peace.

title="comment permalink">October 30, 2006 9:02 PM  
Blogger Jeff Pruitt said...

The poll puts this race exactly where I expected it to be - I think it's legitimate even if they did slightly oversample one area. Research 2000 seems to have a good reputation.

I agree that Souder's numbers are low and that is good. However, they are still currently good enough to win. The only way for Hayhurst to win this thing is to get record turnout in the city. I'm not saying that it can't be done but it looks like that's what we're up against at this point...

title="comment permalink">October 31, 2006 4:59 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

We're fairly close on this one, Jeff. It will be interesting to watch. . .

title="comment permalink">October 31, 2006 8:26 PM  

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