Poll Results for Lt. Governor
These are the pics KTHV used. No bias there, eh?
The first KTHV poll for the Lt. Governor's race is in. It shows Bill Halter leading Senator Jim Holt 48-39. Though this is the closest race polled and is inside the margin of error, so far it looks like a Democratic sweep.
POLLING ERROR AND WHY
In previous stories I have mentioned that the KTHV statewide polls seem to be slanted five points in favor of the Democrats. This poll confirms that theory. Jim Holt got 44% of the vote against incumbant Blanche Lincoln not two years ago. Does anyone really think that any sizable bloc that voted for Holt over Lincoln would turn around and vote for the relatively unknown Halter over Holt?
There have been three polls for Governor conducted, and the average of the other two is five points more favorable to the GOP than the KTHV poll. I believe their problem is that they have failed to distingush between two groups of women- single women who tend to vote democratic and married women with children who lean Republican. Perhaps they are counting the "woman vote" as a single block and then over sampling the single women. There are also indications that they oversampled the liberal 2nd district in order to get the numbers needed for that congressional race poll. The real numbers are probably more like 46 Halter and 42% Holt.
In order to win this race, Jim Holt is going to have to leave the thrid district. He is going to have to move to Little Rock or Jonesboro for the next three months and from there travel the state if he wants to win this election. He can out-campaign Halter in person, if he is out there. Holed up in Springdale, he can only sing to the choir. He can't outspend Halter- though it would be inexcusable for the GOP to once again fail to help him with fundraising. Against Blanche Lincoln, they might have been able to say they thought the race was unwinnable, this time it is the closest thing they have to a winnable race.
Many think that Halter will have the edge going down the home stretch because of his money. Not so. At least not as far as scaring people off of Holt. No politician in the state has had more attacks leveled against him than Jim Holt. Millions of dollars worth of column space have been directed against him. There is nothing Halter can do with any amount of money he can realisticall raise that could add to that. It would simply be another drop in a bucket that has a hole in it's side. It just won't fill up past that hole. Maybe if Halter had millions he could pour in enough "water" to temporarily get it past that hole, but relative to the amount of negative press, or "water", that has already been poured into that bucket, Halter can manage only a dribble. There are only so many people than can be scared off of Holt by media attacks, and they already have been.
On the other hand, Halter has a lot of votes in this poll that he will have a hard time keeping. For example the largest voting block, 41%, are conservatives. Halter has 21% of that vote, Holt 66%. Holt has only 10% of the self-identified liberal vote (which is much smaller than the conservative vote anyway). Does anyone really think that Halter is going to wind up taking a percentage of the conservative vote that is over twice as big as Holt's share of the liberal vote? Halter is the biggest liberal on the ticket, and (with the exception of maybe DeLay) Holt is the most conservative.
Halter has 50% of the rural vote compared to only 37% for Holt, yet Holt's record of support for rural voters is unsurpassed. Holt must do better with rural voters. Holt must convince 90% of the conservatives to vote for him- not the 66% he has now, and convince some of the moderates (he is down 67-23) that government tends to drift left so to get moderate government you need to elect conservatives to office. Can he improve in those two groups? Yes.