Thursday, April 15, 2010

Polling Data, Plus Morris Could Throw Race into Chaos

Roby Brock at Business Talk took a poll on several primary races. While there have been some stones thrown at the poll methodology, I don't see anything in there that would throw it much outside the margin of error. In the Senate primary on the Democratic side, that means Halter is in striking range of Lincoln, and that a run-off is quite likely. My gut tells me at the end of the day, Lincoln is still the nominee. Democrats are even more "tribal" than Republicans. They rally round the party choice in the end.

On the Republican side, the situation is more complicated. Here are the raw numbers....

John Boozman 46%
Gilbert Baker 14%
Jim Holt 8%
Curtis Coleman 5%
Conrad Reynolds 3%
Kim Hendren 3%
Randy Alexander 3%
Fred Ramey 1%
Undecided 17%

So there is a chance that Boozman will win the nomination without a run-off. My instinct here is that that last four percent is going to be hard for Boozman to get, especially since Baker has raised quite a bit of money and is not afraid to use it to remind people that Boozman voted for TARP. I rate Boozman's chance of evading a runoff as about 1 in 4.

His odds get better if the Holt and Baker camps don't quit going after each other. It makes no sense to attack one another when the guy with the most undeserved votes is Boozman. When I say a vote is "undeserved" I mean that there is a number of voters who are going with Boozman based on an image they have of him that does not match the actual record. Holt and Baker don't seem to care for each other much, but the data is clear- the only rational choice they have is to declare a truce and unite in denouncing "Bailout Boozman."

That necessary step may be a hard one, because they are battling each other for a run-off spot. Baker has a slim lead in this poll, and likely more money to enhance his position. On the other hand, Holt has a history of doing better on election day than he polls. Fact is, if they don't dent Boozman's numbers a little bit then it will not matter which of them gets in the run-off. Boozman won't get many of the votes from the minor candidates, but he will get enough to put him over unless Holt and Baker join forces and land a few punches on Boozman.

Holt may prove me wrong tomorrow, but I don't anticipate a good fundraising report for him. Baker raised about 200K. Holt does not have to raise that much, but he can't get away with being outraised 10-1. 3 or perhaps 4 to one maybe, because he runs a much leaner organization, but not 10-1. We will see.

Boozman, and to some extent Baker, were establishment choices. The anti-establishment vote is split six ways. That kept any of them from getting real traction. That may mean that the run-off is between two men who would not even be the second or third choice of about half of the voters. Instant Runoff Voting could have solved this problem, but apparently it makes too much sense to implement.

Now to the 3rd District race. There was a poll on that one a week or so back, but it may mean less now than you would think. That is because the leader in that poll, Rogers Mayor Steve Womack, got attacked by Dick Morris in front of huge conservative crowds at Tea Parties in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, and Little Rock.

Womack was slow to sign the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" you see. Morris blasted, and Womack signed- hinting that he was going to all along he just wanted to wait until tax day to do so. Much of the damage is done though. My guess is that the race will be returned to a temporary state of flux and possibly provide an opportunity for an outsider who has the resources to strike hard.

I don't believe for one second that Morris did this as an off-hand remark. He came to town gunning for Womack. The Arkansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity brought Morris in, but were they in on it? Was it a sign of Washington support for some other candidate, such as Cecile Bledsoe? Or is it simply a case of ATF punishing a candidate who was slow to jump on their program? Stay tuned folks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Womack tripped over himself getting that tax pledge signed last night.

I'm glad it's cool to be anti-tax right now (we'll see after January), but Womack's wishy-washy nature really bothers me.

10:51 AM, April 16, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am final, I am sorry, but it at all does not approach me. Who else, can help?

4:58 AM, October 14, 2010  

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