I talked to a couple of pros about that poll that Public Policy Polling released. They came to the same conclusion: that the poll over sampled Democrats.
Still, I think there is plenty of good news for Ron Barber.
One is the cross tab that shows Barber keeping 90% of Democrats, and Jesse Kelly only keeping 82%. That sort of drop off for Kelly plus the 51-34 advantage for Barber among independents is likely enough to keep the district in the Democratic column, even with the Republican registration advantage.
Another interesting number is the favorable-unfavorable rating for Kelly: 37-59. Even if one were to account for the Democratic over sample, that’s pretty horrible.
Of course, the Kelly people are pooh-poohing the poll. Here is Kelly henchman John Ellinwood quoted in the Sentinel:
Kelly’s spokesman said the poll was done by “left-leaning firm” that’s seeking to attract attention.
“If they were boring results, they wouldn’t put them out,” he said.
“Our indicators are that we’re up a few points,” he said. Ellinwood said the campaign’s polls are “internal info—we’re not really releasing it.”
Okay, not to pile on Ellinwood, but here are two tropes that I encounter when folks are trying to refute polls.
Thing one: The polls are made up! They are only doing it to make us look bad!
Public Policy Polling was founded by a Democrat, but if they went out of their way to skew results to benefit Democrats, they wouldn’t have much of a reputation among campaign professionals or the press. Who the heck wants bad data?
Also, by the way, despite their pedigree, their polling methods are known to show a slight Republican bias.
Thing two: Our internals are fantastic, but we won’t show them to you.
A campaign is perfectly in its rights to keep internal data, you know, internal. But if you brag to a reporter about how good it is, you should have to put it out there.
Okay, how about a compromise? If you gloat to a reporter about how great your internals are, you can keep them secret. But after the election, you are obligated to release them so we can all see how you were blowing smoke.
So, what happens Wednesday?
Well, if Ron Barber wins, Matt Heinz really doesn’t have much of a justification for his candidacy. If Barber loses, he may have one, but I don’t know how strong it is. If Barber gets defeated, I don’t see it as by a big enough margin that Heinz can say, “you tried but failed.” Matter of fact, given that the Democratic registration in the new CD 2 will be better, I can’t see how Barber wouldn’t be convinced that the numbers would point to a win for him.
By the way, Nomiki Konst dropped out a few weeks ago. Given all that has been going on in this race, you can’t be blamed for not noticing.
Martha McSally is the probable alternative Republican. There is also a fellow named Mark Koskiniemi in the race too. If Kelly loses, I can see Kelly being told by the Republican szlachta that he’s had two bites, time to go back to Texas or Montana or find another hobby.
Of course, I can’t see Kelly giving a happy gosh darn about what responsible Republican elders think. These are the guys who weren’t that keen on him running last time either.
Of course, if the poll is right and it’s a rout. Maybe Kelly would bow out? What? Facts and evidence? That’s communism.
One final note on this race. You know, for all the stick I gave Randy Graf, Steve Huffman, Mike Hellon and Tim Bee, they were actually folks that were of our community. I’m not saying that one needs to be born here or go to school here much less know the words to the Wally Sevitz theme, but you should be engaged in the community before running for high office.
For the trouble I had with Jonathan Paton, I could be confident that the guy could find Douglas or Fourth Avenue without a map before he filed papers to run for congress.
(It’s also why I’m perplexed by Paton’s move to CD 1, but hey)
As for Kelly’s intellectual and social investment in Southern Arizona, there ain’t much there. Heck, he didn’t know jack about the Rosemont Mine when he first started running. I don’t think his move to Texas for a good chunk of the last eighteen months was to get tutoring in Southern Arizona issues. The sum total of his engagement in our civic life is two runs for congress. The fact that the guy can win a nomination and come this close to winning the election is a sad comment on how little work we as Southern Arizona voters demand from our leaders these days.