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Polling and Political Wrap-Up, 12/25/09

December 26th, 2009, 04:12 am admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Also known as the “while you have been travelling and festive” edition of the Wrap-Up. No news today, of course, so allow this to serve as a synopsis of the week’s biggest political events, as well as the week’s polling data in capsule form.

Merry Christmas, and see you on Monday!!


ND-Sen: John Hoeven (R) 58, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D) 36 (Rasmussen)
IL-Gov: Jim Ryan (R) 46, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) 39 (Rasmussen)
IL-Gov: Dan Hynes (D) 42, Jim Ryan (R) 40 (Rasmussen)
FL-Sen (R): Charlie Crist 45, Marco Rubio 36 (Zogby)
CT-Sen: Rob Simmons (R) 51, Sen. Chris Dodd (D) 46 (GQR–D)
CT-Sen: Sen. Chris Dodd (D) 46, Linda McMahon (R) 46 (GQR–D)
MN-06: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) 53, Maureen Reed (D) 37 (PPP)
MN-06: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) 55, Tarryl Clark (D) 37 (PPP)
KY-Sen (R): Rand Paul 44, Trey Grayson 25 (PPP)
KY-Sen (D): Jack Conway 37, Dan Mongiardo 33 (PPP)
SC-Gov (R): Bauer 22, McMaster 22, Haley 13, Barrett 9 (I-A)
SC-Gov (D): Rex 21, Drake 15, Sheheen 8 (I-A)
KY-Sen: Rand Paul (R) 42, Jack Conway (D) 36 (PPP)
KY-Sen: Rand Paul (R) 42, Dan Mongiardo (D) 36 (PPP)
KY-Sen: Trey Grayson (R) 40, Jack Conway (D) 33 (PPP)
KY-Sen: Trey Grayson (R) 44, Dan Mongiardo (D) 35 (PPP)
CT-Sen (R): McMahon 37, Simmons 35, Schiff 4 (Moore Methods–R)


  • Follow me over at Twitter. If you did, you’d know that I know a lot more about politics than I do college football (isn’t everybody 1 and 4 5 in their bowl pools right now?).
  • As we prepare to put 2009 in the books, one of the truly bizarre stories for political junkies has been the rise and utterly bizarre fall of Strategic Vision, the polling outfit that had been prolifically releasing political data for half a decade.

    In his column for National Journal, one of the deans of political/polling blogging, Mark Blumenthal, pens a postscript to the whole affair. You might recall that the whole affair began back in September, when Nate Silver at Five Thirty Eight began to raise questions about some anomalies in SV’s data. This happened at the same time that the AAPOR (American Association of Public Opinion Research) had just censured SV for failure to disclose on some of their past polls. At the time, the head honcho at Strategic Vision, David Johnson, was loudly proclaiming that his firm would be vindicated.

    And, then…as Blumenthal writes…nothing happened. Not only did Johnson never provide the exculpatory evidence that he promised back in September, but his firm has not released a single poll since. Lawsuits against both Silver and the AAPOR, as had been threatened by Johnson back in September, never materialized.

    Furthermore, when Johnson penned an op-ed for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, his bio identified his firm as a “public relations and public affairs agency.” Previous bios for Johnson represented SV as a “public affairs and polling company.” A small change in wording, but a potentially critical one.

  • VA-05: Hard to say whether this is good news or bad news for the Republican Party. The Richmond Times-Dispatch crunches the numbers, and finds that there are at least seven Republicans vying for the opportunity to challenge Democratic freshman Congressman Tom Perriello. The problem is that some of the more vocal right-wingers in the party are now openly gunning for the frontrunner (and NRCC darling), state Senator Rob Hurt. This week, right-wing talk show host Laura Ingraham (who is being quite the kingmaker lately) announced a preference for real estate developer Laurence Verga. Hurt has rankled some on the right because he voted for a tax increase once, but he did get spared a bit by the decision that the nomination would be done in a primary rather than by an activist-driven convention. Remember that it was the threat of having to win a convention that drove somewhat sane Republican Congressman Tom Davis out of the 2008 Senate race, serving up Jim Gilmore to lose by thirty points to Democrat Mark Warner.
  • NV-Gov: Those organizations seeking to award their “Man of the Year” awards might want to keep Nevada’s GOP Governor, Jim Gibbons, on their short list. In a court filing exposed by the Reno Gazette-Journal, Gibbons is seeking to not have to pay alimony to his soon-to-be-ex-wife Dawn Gibbons past 2011, on the grounds that he might not win re-election as Governor next year.

    To that, the judge should have only issued one response: “Might not win re-election, Governor?!?”

  • AL-05: A day after Freshman Congressman Parker Griffith made the jump from the Democratic Party to the GOP, there was quite a bit of fallout from his sudden move across the aisle. In one potentially incendiary scandal, Griffith’s campaign consultants, Main Street Strategies, were accused of downloading Democratic voter data from a party database just hours before the Congressman’s defection on Tuesday. On Wednesday afternoon, a Griffith staffer promised that the congressman would return all the data swiped the day before. The kerfluffle cost Main Street Strategies a gig, as the campaign of gubernatorial candidate Artur Davis fired the firm on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, Griffith was only a Republican for about 30-35 hours before potentially drawing a high-profile Democratic challenger. In something of a surprise, state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, who is currently in the midst of a bid for Governor of Alabama, refused to close the door on a bid for Congress in the 5th district.

    Finally, the “warm welcome” from local Republicans continued, as well. Just a day after both Republicans already in the Congressional field held press conferences to insist that they were staying in the race, and would merely beat Griffith in the GOP primary, the newly minted Republican also got dissed by one of the state’s gubernatorial candidates, state Treasurer Kay Ivey:

    “I can’t help but regard this ‘Road to Damascus’ conversion of Parker Griffith’s as solely a ploy to cling to his seat in 2010…Political self-preservation isn’t a virtue. In fact, political expediency is an insult to every grassroots activist who commits untold hours in devotion to getting candidates elected.”

    For more about the potentially rocky path for Congressman Griffith, read
    DavidNYC’s must-read piece from Wednesday morning here at Daily Kos.

  • PA-10: It seems that some state GOP officials in Pennsylvania are not feeling the Christmas spirit. After all, they have the burden to trying to recruit a legitimate candidate after the high-profile failure of the national GOP to lure Democratic Congressman Chris Carney to switch parties. Less than 24 hours after that attempt to pull Carney across the aisle came up snake-eyes, the state GOP wanted it made perfectly clear that they had nothing to do with the recruitment effort. Meanwhile, one of the local GOPers already committed to the race, county commissioner Malcolm Derck, was livid, calling the effort to recruit Carney a “slap in the face.”
  • VA-Sen: It’s not until 2012, but here is a quick item for the “Holy Crap!” file. Jim Webb already has a Republican who is casting at least one eye on a challenge for the U.S. Senate. The GOPer coveting a shot at Senator Webb? None other than former Senator George Allen. That’s right…Senator Macaca is contemplating a comeback:

    “Many people have encouraged me to run,” Allen said in a telephone interview. “Susan and I have heard that from many people. And the answer is: perhaps.”

    It is not beyond the realm of possibility, of course. Despite a Democratic year and the gaffe heard ’round the world, Allen did tally 49% of the vote in his narrow defeat at the hands of Webb.

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