Chafee will never lose to Laffey by anything close to 17, and Whitehouse doesn't truly lead Laffey by 32.
A GOP primary is much more difficult for me to predict, given turnout uncertainty including indies. But if Laffey wins the primary, especially somewhat handily, I would guess the post-primary polling would give Whitehouse maybe a 12 point lead over Laffey.
That may seem like an extreme adjustment but I doubt it. I've been doing this a long time and my handicapping instincts are pretty good. I predicted a high single digit Lieberman lead in the general election polls on the night of Lamont's primary win, even while others were asserting Lamont's momentum would surge him into the lead.
You only get a legit 32 point lead, or anything close to that, if you are exceptionally popular, which Whitehouse is not, or if your opponent is in the Katherine Harris mold, which Laffey is not. Laffey came across as much less of an erratic nutcase during the two televised debates with Chafee. One of the questions posed to Laffey was "do you have the temperament?" and he answered it simply, "yes, I do." Someone who was paranoid about the issue would have rambled on the defensive, giving the charge credibility.
Even if the immediate post primary polling gave Whitehouse a margin above that 12%, I would expect the race to tighten to something in that range, if not less.
I'll be thrilled if Laffey wins, but let's not be giddy and pretend it's equivalent to having an incumbent against a stiff, a certain walkover.
He didn't mess around, immediately labeling her "Dina Taxes" with a laundry list of things she supposedly wants to tax, including the county swimming pool. "One of the biggest taxers in Nevada history": http://www.lasvegasgleaner.com/JG_TaxTal
I'm sure the timetable for this ad run was accelerated after the Zogby interactive poll showed Titus ahead and got plenty of publicity here. Titus is very low on cash and probably can't respond for weeks. although she masters the free press.
Gibbons is a bumbler in person and will all but hide during the campaign, but I have to concede his commercials have been surprisingly effective.
Notice the aggressive aspect of both ads, walking toward the camera. I think that's subliminally effective and hardly coincidental he chooses to do it. It suggests strength, as do the relatively high decibel level and decisive words.
Hey, he must be doing something right. Jessica Alba donated to his campaign. I think she can afford the $600.
Just what I was hoping for but I was astonished it happened in the rag right wing RJ.
Plus, they trumpeted the "dead heat" races on top and didn't get to the skepticism over the interactive polling and the quotes from local political analysts until deep in the article, long after many readers tune out:
I was interested in the quote from someone in the Gibbons' campaign, that their internal polling showed the gov race close, within 5 points. That's exactly my impression and I posted in a diary here yesterday that my sense was Titus trailed by 4-6 points.
Also, Kenny Guinn is still at odds with Gibbons and won't even say his name or formally endorse him. That was another big article in the paper today. Guinn will do nothing other than say he is working to raise money for Republicans and hopes they succeed in November.
IMO the gov races are still suspect to the huge percentage of undecideds to the challenger. Much more than presidential or senate races.
In gov races the state economy and overall direction of the state is front and center, and the voters will be far less concerned about party loyalty than in a federal race. So if you have a combo of a blase incumbent, with the state economy faltering, and a challenger considered likable or at least interesting via good ads, I can see the potential for poll leads disappearing on election day.
In Doyle's case I've always remembered he won with only 45% in '02, since the libertarian took 10 or 11%. And the party ID in Wisconsin was 38-35 red in the '04 national exit poll, worse than Iowa, which Kerry lost. I know all the major offices are held by Democrats, but that state doesn't have enough big cities with huge Democratic margins to allow me to feel certain of statewide success.
It's up to 65/35 now on Tradesports and I expect that to go higher.
It's the correct favorite. She has very high approval ratings and that played out in the GOP primary, where she took an astonishing percentage of the undecideds. No one expected her to break 50%.
Knowles has plenty of money but there may be some Knowles fatigue after he's run statewide for gov or senate in '90, '94, '98, '04 and now '06.
The challenge for Knowles is putting a tarnish on the maverick and very attractive Sarah Palin. He's such a known quantity I think his approval numbers and reputation are basically locked where they are.
I wondered when Cook came up with that idea and the term partisan index.
I started tinkering with the same theory in September '96, but only for personal use and in reference to the states in a presidential year, not House races.
The PVI is improving as a reliable measure, that's my belief. When I looked at the numbers in '96 a big part of the sample was the '92 presidential race which included Perot's big number. Similar in 2000 when you had both Perot cycles in the sample. Then Nader impacted 2000 especially in Democratic states in the West and upper Midwest. We're finally getting those numbers flushed out of the sample. Plus 2000 and 2004 were close to 50/50 in the presidential popular vote nationwide, which gives me more confidence in the PVI findings.
I like to watch the ad first, then read Matt's review.
My immediate impression was poorly produced. I tend to gauge the overall feel and look as opposed to the theme. So when I read Matt's comment about production quality and dialogue, I said bingo.
Some of these spots have been 30 seconds of material padded into a minute. This is more like 15-20 seconds stretched to 30. I have no idea what the opening scene was supposed to accomplish, repeating "what are they doing in Washington?" That takes up 5-6 seconds of precious time.
And no, Stender DOES NOT MENTION IRAQ right off the bat. Check the tape again. She never uses the word Iraq. That's another thing I noticed instantly. The word Iraq appears on the screen only once, the last word of a long sentence that is difficult to read given so little time. She says something about not getting out, referring to the troops, but never uses the word Iraq. That can be the first word in short spots like this, immediately setting the tone and point of reference.
And this is a minor point, but why would you isolate 2.99.9 as a pump price? I know damn well in New Jersey the average price had to be above 3 bucks. I would have located the highest damn price in the district for that brief clip, and certainly not a tick below the significant $3 figure.
That has been demonstrated consistently including this year's primary, where 36% Republicans participated to 32% of registered Democrats. So I would be careful looking at the overall statewide registration figure as opposed to who is more likely to vote. It's still very uphill in Nevada, for Titus and especially Carter.
Those numbers are especially significant since it's more dramatic in rural Nevada, which tilts heavily Republican and has a much higher traditional midterm turnout than Clark County.
Zogby was just being whispered as the allmighty pollster and his numbers had surreal influence on the betting lines for a while.
Schumer was favored but when that poll came out there was a surge of money toward D'Amato and the betting line shifted dramatically. I waited for all the overreacters to finish and then took Schumer at a bargain rate.
Actually the same thing happened in 2000. Zogby had a late number with Lazio closing dramatically on Hillary and the odds shifted downward there also, although not as much.
Those were the good old days. Now you have more polls and no one on the betting sites cares unless it's a consensus signficant shift. It's hardly uncommon for the person leading the polls to be the underdog in the race, on Tradersports and elsewhere. That's what these "election prediction" places don't seem to realize. They absurdly tilt from very weak retention to very weak hold based on one or two polls.
Looking forward to the House and Gov rankings. Chris mentioned he might post the gov thread the next day, when he debuted the senate rankings. I thought that was too ambitious and probably draining, so I'm glad you guys delayed it.