I voted in it--online polls are like crack, you know--but I didn't care for it.
For example, the poll is wacky on the Dem side, including unannounced candidates Gore and Clark, but not announced candidates Kucinich and Gravel? Sure they included Gingrich and Pataki on the Republican side, but they at least included their own also-rans like Jim Gilmore and Ron Paul (who seems to score surprisingly well with their on-line crowd).
I guess there's a benefit in that you can compare MyDD's results to the blogosphere-wide results, but given that probably 95% of those blogosphere-wide votes came from Republicans/Conservatarians, those comparisons won't be particularly useful (Bill Richardson is leading the Dem field for the current week--no way that comes from the liberal netroots, even if he is currently my first choice). And it will give you week-to-week numbers, unlike some straw polls I could name.
But in all, I much prefer Chris's polling, stuffable as it may be.
Paul Ryan has more money than god, and the district doesn't have a deep Dem bench. There was a relatively solid grassroots candidate this year who lost the primary to a Dem that had previously been beaten by Ryan multiple times. I don't see anybody coming up who could do much differently.
It's also a tough district to campaign in, with no dedicated media market (people watch TV from Madison, Milwaukee, and even Rockford, IL). Our grassroits candidate lost based, I think, on name recognition since he had a hard time making connections to voters quickly. The district is also a bit of an odd duck geographically, with an ugly mix of rural, suburban, and blighted urban areas.
That's not to say it isn't worth a shot--but it may be the longest shot in your list of 50.
There's also some huffing and puffing among R's trying to create scandal for Kagen, about his consultant, who was working for the state for a time, and Kagen's business website, which features language almost identical to his campaign site.
However, Kagen's a sole proprietor of his business and there is no illegality there, and his consultant was doing campaigning after work hours. There's no there there.
But how much Gard can blow smoke is a question, especially when the governor's race will be so much about ethics and corruption.
I remain cautiously optimistic, but you're right--I wouldn't say "leans Dem" yet.
56,000 Republicans turned out for what no one really thought of as a contest between Gard and McCormick. Only 52,000 people turned out in the highly contested Democratic primary. That's a 4% Republican advantage. While some McCormick voters may well bolt to Kagen, the good Doctor is going to have to capture a significant majority of that elusive non-primary-but-general-election voter.
On the other hand, only 12,000 people voted for Dottie LeClair in that district in the 2004 (uncontested) Democratic Primary (and 52,000 Republicans for Mark Green), so the contested primaries did significantly increase turnout, especially on our side. That could signal an important shift.
Randy Koehn, who won his primary in the 89th AD, tells me a lot of Dems voted R, as well, for races like DA, which could also account for the Republican advantage. But I haven't seen hard numbers on that, so I'm reluctant to call it gospel.
Still, I'm optimistic overall given state-wide turnout: 357,182 (or so) people voted in the Democratic primary for Attorney General; 238,606 (or so) people voted in the Republican primary for Attorney General. That's a 20% Dem advantage, and bodes well for keeping Doyle and the AG, and maybe picking up the state senate.
I wrote about that race last week. It looks like Project 90 is seriously going to get involved; if we can't beat Sensenbrenner, we can at least keep him from spending his money on more winnable races like the WI-08.
Not wasting enough time on blogs right now? Well . . .
Some of you know this, but I participate in a debate forum known as Iron Blog, based roughly on that camp Food TV show "Iron Chef." I'm Iron Blogger Democrat, and every three or four weeks or so, I get to beat the blogophrorical snot out of some Challenger on some hot topic chosen by the Chairman.
But I'm not up this week; instead I'm pitching IB because one of the key elements of the Iron Blog is that it has judges from around the blogosphere scoring the debates. Trouble is, even though it really only takes about an hour or two for any Battle you're judging, there aren't enough volunteers from either the right or the left to judge right now. If you think you might be able to help out judging once a month, please email the Chairman and volunteer.