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Shocker poll has Walsh barely leading Duckworth

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012

* From a Joe Walsh press release…

With less than four weeks until Election Day, Joe Walsh is in the lead over Tammy Duckworth in the race for Congress in Illinois’ 8th District by 1.5% according to a flash poll taken Tuesday, October 9th. The poll was commissioned by ChampionNews.net.

The poll showed Walsh with 47.4% of the vote to Duckworth’s 45.9%, with only 6.7% undecided. This while Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney in the 8th District by 4.6%: 49% to 44.4%. Walsh’s lead stems mainly from his huge advantage amongst independents, where he leads Duckworth by 10% (51% - 41%). Walsh has a 12% lead among male voters and trails by only 3% among female voters. […]

The automated poll was conducted by We Ask America on Tuesday, October 9th. 1,171 responses were collected, resulting in a margin of error of 2.9%. The full poll summary report can be viewed here.

Keep in mind when reading the internals that We Ask America gives unweighted numbers on its crosstabs. So, while you’ll see that slightly more Republicans than Democrats were interviewed, that’s not how the numbers end up when the final weighting is done.

Also, yes, Jack Roeser paid for this poll. But I’ve been using WAA for a few years now and I’m going to be using them a whole lot more in the coming year (stay tuned for an official announcement), and they do good work. They were the only outfit that caught Bill Brady’s late 2010 primary surge, for instance. And their legislative polling in the primary was quite good.

Just about every time I post a poll, commenters’ tinfoil hats come out in abundance. This is legit. Deal with it.

* Here’s what WAA has to say about its latest poll of the Virginia Senate race

Any time our numbers go that much against the grain of conventional wisdom, you can bet on us re-visting the race soon. But we decided to publish the results because there’s something interesting going on in Virginia and other states. There is a significant percentage of voters who are shifting their self-described political party affiliation; we refer to them as lane changers. People who are strict party loyalists sometimes find it disconcerting that affiliations can shift like this. In truth, its probably more accurate to simply call these lane changers Independents, but we’ve seen a lot of it lately, and that may why so many are wringing their hands about pollsters’ mix of GOP/Dem/Ind in their polls.

In our opinion, those who try to shape their samples based on the 2008 presidential mix are missing the boat. While digging into the reasons our numbers are different–and out of curiosity–we weighted the raw numbers out of Virginia based on that 2008 presidential ratio. Lo and behold…it moves Kaine AHEAD by four points, about the same lead the the Real Clear Politics average is showing in this race. That doesn’t mean that other pollsters are using the wrong mix, but it makes us wonder.

* Meanwhile, allegations made by Walsh against Duckworth during this week’s debate has drawn some media attention

As the head of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth is accused of firing an employee after the woman filed a complaint against her supervisor.

Duckworth allegedly told the woman: “If you do your job and keep your mouth shut and concentrate on job duties, you will keep your job,” according to a lawsuit pending in a Downstate court. The Illinois Attorney General’s office, which is defending Duckworth, has filed a request to again dismiss the lawsuit.

The original complaint was dismissed from federal court but was again filed in state court, now being handled out of the First Judicial District in Union County. The initial attorney who handled the case for the whistleblower said it was dismissed because of “jurisdictional issues.”

It was Duckworth’s opponent, Joe Walsh, a Tea Party Republican, who flagged the lawsuit in front of more than 1,000 people in a Tuesday night debate in Rolling Meadows. Walsh did it to many “boos” in the raucous audience, but made it known that Duckworth, a Democrat, had a December pending court date.

The disclosure caused a stern retort from Duckworth campaign manager Kaitlin Fahey, who called Walsh a “financially irresponsible deadbeat.”

* But

A look at the lawsuit reveals it’s not classified as a wrongful termination suit. The complaint is about allegations that Duckworth and a colleague violated the state’s ethics act and inflicted intentional emotional distress. And the two workers still have their jobs.

* And I’m not sure I agree with this lede

Turns out, U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh probably would have won the bet.

Democrat Tammy Duckworth didn’t take the Republican congressman up on a wager he laid out at their Tuesday night debate — but if she had, it sounds like she would have lost.

The proposed bet involved Chicago Prime Steakhouse in Schaumburg.

Walsh insisted that the restaurant owner was concerned about how Obama­care affected his business.

Duckworth said she also had talked to the restaurant owner and had heard a different story. She accused Walsh of talking too much and not listening.

I’m pretty sure Walsh said the company would be bankrupted by Obamacare. Duckworth said the company would have to lay off a few employees to get it under the 50-worker cap to avoid having to provide health insurance. Here’s the restaurant’s full response

So that we do not have to respond individually to the high volume of reporters who have contacted us in the last 24 hours, we thought we would just respond with the following statements.

First, we would like to thank both Tammy Duckworth and Joe Walsh for attending and mentioning our round table discussions held at our restaurant, Chicago Prime Steakhouse in Schaumburg, Il, last evening during their spirited debate. My father George Kalkounos and I appreciate your friendship, and both of you along with all of your supporters are always welcome to our restaurant.

Allow me to preface my comments by sharing that I do not have a political axe to grind. I am not speaking as a partisan, I am simply speaking a businessman, and concerned citizen who has a business to protect, a wonderful family to provide for and a hard-working staff to answer to.

The idea of health benefits for employees is a significant consideration that we take seriously. Based purely as a business owner, the AHCA would impose a significant added expense without contributing any added revenue. Plainly speaking the Affordable Health Care Act, as I understand it to be written, is NOT affordable to this small business.

The math is simple, these new rules are creating costs for businesses like our own who already struggle in this economy and we have to treat it as any other expense and attempt to curtail it as much as possible.

I can say that I am assuaged by the fact that both Ms. Duckworth and Mr. Walsh agree that our restaurant will suffer under the new changes implemented by the AHCA and they both want to do something about it. It is of great concern that government is imposing a penalty on businesses that may not be able to afford health care. It burdens entrepreneurs like us that take the risk of leveraging assets and sacrifice time away from their families to create, open and operate a successful business in today’s climate. The AHCA as written goes against supporting our business growth.

As it relates to AHCA, you ask me if my business is better off before it or after, the answer is obviously before. Both candidates agree with this and I am hopeful that this specific issue gets resolved immediately.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


51 Comments
  1. - ZC - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:25 am:

    I live in Chicago and I’m getting barraged with anti-Duckworth ads every night. Not many anti-Walsh ads.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:29 am:

    IF …if…if …

    If it comes down to the “Streets” and getting YOUR voters to the polls. I can NOT believe I am saything this …

    Walsh can pull this out … The election day track record versus Melissa Bean shows that Walsh’s voters were more motivated and more organized in their motivation to get others to the polls too.

    The poll may have this tightening, and it may be, but if it comes down to who can get who to the polls… watch out for Walsh.

    Yikes!


  3. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:32 am:

    Is the Duckworth campaign being run by Beltway peeps with little input from local Democrats? Sure seems like it.


  4. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:41 am:

    All those SuperPacs pouring money into Walsh’s campaign must have seen some signs of hope. It’s not like they didn’t have other races they could put their money.


  5. - Wensicia - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:44 am:

    All this last minute support from super pacs are showing up in the increase of anti-Duckworth ads.


  6. - MrJM - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:53 am:

    One word: Botched.

    – MrJM


  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:55 am:

    ===All those SuperPacs pouring money into Walsh’s campaign must have seen some signs of hope. It’s not like they didn’t have other races they could put their money.===

    Concur.

    As a candidate, Duckworth is not as formidable as many had thought or hoped, then weave in the ton … nay, TON of money for Walsh that he didn’t have the first time he ran, and didn’t have early on, and you get numbers moving in a direction, and that direction can only be towards Walsh.

    Joe Walsh’s two campaigns are “teaching moments” in campaigns. The first campaign, in taking out a Washington-based Hubris candidate and campaign, and winning on the Tea Party wave and a great Election Day, showed how understanding what motivates the voters in a district will win the day against a DC incumbent of ANY party.

    Fast-forward, in this second race, you have an incumbent, running as “himself” and all the good and all the bad that entails, and add in SuperPac CASH, …big CASH … and marrying that with the rabid base, you got yourself a brwal in the precincts again, and that is the way Walsh likes it. The difference in Bean v. Walsh running as incumbents is striking. Bean made sure DC was happy, Walsh makes she WALSH is happy and feeds that base that swept him in.

    The pure policial campaign … take away everything about this race, and the sniping, and the hard facts and the silly lies… the pure campaigning is fascinating to watch.

    If Walsh pulls this out, and in includes a strong Election Day … just wow. It’s not my “race” but I am going to enjoy watching the absolute political theatre of Walsh’s campaign and getting to the finish line, regardless how it ends for him.


  8. - Moderate REpub - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:56 am:

    “Just about every time I post a poll, commenters’ tinfoil hats come out in abundance. This is legit. Deal with it.”
    Hey Rich I respect your opinion but lets not over blow this. Most politicos in Illinois take these polls with a grain of salt. Don’t get me wrong, they are getting better but most don’t give them much weight. Great people over there and they are respected consultants – well at least on one side of the isle. Point being it’s not a “deal with it” situation. The tinfoil comes out because the respect just isn’t there yet. No offense to you either but most consultants in this business are not experts in political statistics – or polling methodology. You basing your opinion on some primary races in the Spring (without specifics) and the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary just isn’t enough. I think you just need to look at who all four caucuses use for their polling. None of them contract with We Ask America – even though it would save them a boatload of cash.
    So there really isn’t a “deal with” aspect to this, there just hasn’t been enough trust earned yet with the source.

    “They were the only outfit that caught Bill Brady’s late 2010 primary surge, for instance.”

    Let it go, every time someone brings up We Ask America it’s the 2010 Repub primary. Ok, for the sake of argument, I will give them that one.
    I would like to see a list of their last polling in the 2010 general cycle for legislative races, and see how close they were. To my recollection they were pretty far off. If you are going to reference one race a pollster gets right, I think that pretty much says it all. At least come up with more than ONE specific instance they were right – probably should come up with more than two.

    As the saying goes, “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”


  9. - Bill Baar - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:56 am:

    I’ve watched Walsh at townhalls win over occupy supporters. Maybe not win their votes but make them smile. The Walsh as wacko frame was a sure loser and easily dismissed by debates. He’s passionate and knows issues. Finally few local progressives were very charged up over Duckworth. So I always felt he could pull this off.


  10. - Willie Stark - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:57 am:

    It was reported yesterday that Gallup is going to a 50/50 mix, cell phones and land lines for its live-dial political polls. Federal law prohibits auto-polls from calling cell phones. Any chance that could play a role in the validity of these numbers, or any others derived from auto-polls?


  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 9:59 am:

    ===You basing your opinion on some primary races in the Spring (without specifics) and the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary just isn’t enough.===

    Those were just two examples.

    ===I think you just need to look at who all four caucuses use for their polling. ===

    Yeah. The SGOPs are polling just 300 people in their surveys. And any time there’s a WAA legislative poll taken, the leaders scream for the numbers.


  12. - just sayin' - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 10:26 am:

    The fact that Walsh is wholly owned by Jack Roeser should be enough all by itself to sink the guy.

    This idea that Walsh is some kind of independent who doesn’t take orders from anyone is a joke. The tea party types are gullible beyond belief.

    Follow the money. Just sayin’.


  13. - ZC - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 10:31 am:

    Duckworth needs to get that Tribune endorsement out… In that district, it might actually be worth a point or two.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 10:36 am:

    ===This idea that Walsh is some kind of independent who doesn’t take orders from anyone is a joke.===

    Concur.

    What Joe Walsh is … Joe Walsh is Joe Walsh … when speaking, debating, interviewing … all the good and all the bad.

    Walsh may be “owned”, “rented” “leased”! … but when Walsh speaks, he is Walsh and no one else…who would claim that style BUT Walsh?


  15. - Moderate REpub - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 10:39 am:

    Yeah. The SGOPs are polling just 300 people in their surveys

    Touche - but its not about quantity of a sample - its about quality:)


  16. - M - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 10:42 am:

    Tammy Duckworth loses this she becomes the Democratic version of Jim Oberweiss.


  17. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 10:43 am:

    I have said more than once that as a candidate, Duckworth seems to lack a real passion to aspitre to higher political office, and her sense of self appears limited to her military hero persona. She also can be rather uninspiring on the campaign trail.

    She was slated by the powers that be to run for this office, and she really doesn’t have the fire in her belly that Walsh has.

    No endorsement of Walsh here, just my thoughts.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 10:45 am:

    ===Tammy Duckworth loses this she becomes the Democratic version of Jim Oberweiss.===

    How? Example? …elabore and/or explain fully please.


  19. - Steve Bartin - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 10:45 am:

    Rich:

    I’m surprised Joe Walsh is doing so well after such a redrawn district. Any further thoughts from Rich?


  20. - Todd - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 10:47 am:

    Geez a week ago I said the race was tied. And it still is as this is in/the/margin of error.

    but again I think it goes to how bad a candidate Duckworth is.

    WAA has done some good polling and I trust their numbers better than Ras or Pew or some others. I would guess that Roser paid for the poll as a cheap way of seeing dumping more money intot he race is worth it. Now is the time groups strat to winnow the field and cut their losses.

    So a small investment by roser to prove or disprove a point is a wise ROI. Now that the race is tied to Walsh being up, it gives all those money guys even more reason to think they can beat the congressional map the dems drew. and if they beat the map in Illinois, the dems have almost no chance of winning the House back.

    If those congressional candidates do well, then as Rich has talked about, there MAY be some coattails and the State House Rs need that.


  21. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:02 am:

    I dunno. I’ve posted before on my observations as to how marvelously Walsh campaigns on a retail level. You can’t help but like the guy when you meet him and the average voter looks at him as an average guy who speaks their language, has their same problems and mishaps, and is passionate about his positions. I’ve posted before how tireless he is, campaigning energizes him. I even saw him flag down a cab for someone after he shook their hand and spoke to them once.

    The man is unique. The man is a force. And no one controls him, he is his own man, love him or hate him.

    I always thought Duckworth’s opponent in the primary would have made a better candidate, including factoring in all the Asians who live in that district and their desire to become more politically active, including donations.

    I made four bets the day after the primary that Walsh would win to four very disbelieving individuals. If WAA is correct, I have four steak dinners coming!


  22. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:06 am:

    ===I made four bets the day after the primary that Walsh would win to four very disbelieving individuals. If WAA is correct, I have four steak dinners coming!===

    Don’t count your steaks … or cannoli … until the votes are counted!

    However, it’s true, that the WAA poll should get your taste buds a-flitter. Going to be a fascinating finish in this race, even more than I ever thought it could end, no matter who pulls this out.


  23. - M - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:07 am:

    == How? Example? …elabore and/or explain fully please. ==

    Uh, unelectable after repeated attempts?


  24. - Oswego Joe - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:11 am:

    Joe Walsh is going to win this. Duckworth is a flawed candidate who does not believe in anything. Say whatever you want about Walsh, he is an open book. The DCCC as reported in CRAINS is running an ad against a few other Republicans with Walsh closing saying “Im sick of this crap”. That is where the IL electorate is at right now and will only help him.


  25. - M - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:13 am:

    == Uh, unelectable after repeated attempts? ==

    Maybe ‘A politician in search of constituents’ is a better analogy?


  26. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:13 am:

    ===The DCCC as reported in CRAINS===

    I think I reported it here first, but whatever.


  27. - walkinfool - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:13 am:

    Walsh has been a solely destructive force in Washington; Duckworth has the potential to do positive things. — which is what we shold expect of all our Representatives.

    I’ve been warning tone-deaf Dems about underestimating Walsh’s retail campaign skills for months. As now set up by the big outside money ads, GOTV will determine this race, starting October 22.

    I hate to say it, but the alleged Duckworth conversation sure sounds like an Army Lt. Colonel to me.


  28. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    The buzz I’m hearing from anyone who runs a campaign or is helping with a campaign that has been part of a WAA poll is that most (if not all, to some extent) take the WAA results very seriously. People in the Metro East and Marion are panicked about the WAA results showing big leads for Haine, Beiser and Forby. The results are greatly impacting how things are shaping out in that district. Granted, polls are a snapshot, but given that this poll was done after the massive ad buy for Walsh, it gives us an idea that voters are responding to such a big buy.

    I think Ms. Duckworth is going to run into some serious issues with this lawsuit. Some of the lawsuits filed against the state during the Blago administration have been quite damning and damaging to people involved. They’ve cost people jobs and the state plenty of $$$. It’s a good talking point for Joe to keep hammering.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:22 am:

    ===Maybe ‘A politician in search of constituents’ is a better analogy?===

    See, is that so difficult? Drive-by statements usually have no weight. Give me an example, something to show 8 seconds of thought, then I pay attention.

    With kindest personal regards, I remain.

    Sincerely yours,

    Oswego Willy


  30. - so.... - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:22 am:

    ==How? Example? …elabore and/or explain fully please.==

    I’m not the original commenter, but I’ll take a stab. Tammy and Oberweis have some similarities but also some differences.

    Both Tammy and Oberweis are awful candidates who lose races that someone with their party affiliation should win. That’s where they’re the same.

    Where they are different is Oberweis keeps running because he’s delusional and has the cash to keep running. Tammy keeps running because other Democrats (looking at you, Senator Durbin) are delusional and keep thinking she’d be a good candidate. She’s not. She proved it by losing in 2006, the best Democratic year in recent memory. And she’s proving it again this year, where she’s losing to a guy who is clearly unhinged.


  31. - Oswego Joe - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:27 am:

    Sorry Rich if you get props, skimmed a Greg Hinz article about the ads against Dold, Biggert and Schilling. He probably gave you props for reporting it first.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 11:30 am:

    Thanks -so…-,

    It’s so much more engaging to have some thought put into posts than the “Drive-by” drops.

    I would agree with you on the premise of the “same/different” than “just like…” as a post.

    Tammy is sometimes seen as a Pawn in Dem circles, Oberweis is the “bull in the China shop” needing/wanting/longing to be seen as relevent and politically important.

    See, - M -, a discussion.


  33. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 12:00 pm:

    Ugh, I have to agree with Oswego Willy…

    Full disclosure I did some work for Oberweis in the congressional race.

    That being said, there is a big difference between someone who ran for the same thing twice and someone who has run for multiple offices..


  34. - J - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 12:07 pm:

    Rich, I promise I’m not pulling out the tinfoil on this, so go with me on this for a second.

    My sense over the past 2 years is that WAA has a Republican house effect. Combine that with the lack of cellphones, and you’ve shaved a couple of points off of Duckworth.

    This doesn’t square with the other recent polls that had Duckworth leading by a narrow, but statistically significant 5 points or so.

    I want to see this confirmed by another pollster before I start running around with my hair on fire.

    I think it’s possible that this winds up being true, but I haven’t had the sense that things had gotten quite this bad for Duckworth.


  35. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 12:10 pm:

    I don’t need a shocker poll to see that Walsh has avoided the silver bullet and the wooden stake and is out of his coffin, charming voters, winning over undecideds and making hay at Duckworth’s expense.

    That dude is a devil and few campaign like he does. Joe has spent years perfecting his oily presentations and has an answer to every charge leveled against him.

    If he wins, he needs to take on Durbin. Perhaps only Walsh can defeat the “One whose real face has never been seen”, prince of the Nether regions.

    Duckworth has been no match here. Her complete lack of charm has overwhelmed the powers of patriotism and heroism she should have generated
    Sadly, her natural appeal for moderates, independents and conservatives is thwarted by her party label?

    Looks like no Dem sweep thanks to the redistricting - yet.


  36. - K2inCA - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 12:16 pm:

    San Francisco, where I’m from, has had its own city-mandated health insurance for workers on the books for several years now. It works and restaurants now provide benefits to their employees. They add 2-4% to the bills to customers who gladly pay it. The Affordable Health Care Act will cost money, but uninsured workers who use the emergency room for their primary care costs us more.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 12:20 pm:

    ===Ugh, I have to agree with Oswego Willy…===

    Look at it this way OneMan, I am usually only right once a day, so you won’t have to worry about agreeing with me until tomorrow.

    Heck, over half of the time I “luck” into being right, so don’t kick yourself too much.


  38. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 12:29 pm:

    ===This doesn’t square with the other recent polls that had Duckworth leading by a narrow, but statistically significant 5 points or so.===

    May be a house effect, may be cell phones, but the Obama problems are real, and they may very well be harming down-ballot dems. Also, the Dems have allowed the other side to spend over $2 million in mostly unanswered claims. Huge error.


  39. - ZC - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 12:32 pm:

    Umm, reality check here though, what I am hearing here is “You might not like him, but Walsh is a tireless campaigner who is great one on one on the trail, a non stop force, a hard worker who makes you like him.” That may all be true. It is also more or less exactly what supporters said about Rod Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006. This is kind of irrelevant to the broader question of whether Walsh is fit to be an actual public servant.


  40. - orlkon - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 12:34 pm:

    On the AHCA issue, I give full respect to the opinion of the restuarnt owner, but you can’t measure the efeect of “before” and “after” until “is” is experienced, but nowdays that might depend on what “is” is. Seriously folks, projections regarding the impact of AHCA are reports of the Devil’s death are premature and lacking in details.


  41. - J - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 12:55 pm:

    @Rich

    I’ll agree that the unanswered TV has been pretty bad. I don’t suppose there are any approval/favorability numbers, I didn’t see any in the pdf?

    I’d love to see where this poll has Duckworth’s favorability, especially since the consensus on Walsh seems to be that he’s is pretty deep underwater.


  42. - Shore - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 1:14 pm:

    If you want a sense of how big a deal Walsh has become, that daily herald debate video they put up of last night of the candidates, not the tribune supporter fighting, got played extensively around the clock yesterday on cable news which is pretty spectacular for a suburban chicago house debate given all the stuff in the news right now.

    He really knows how to make stuff happen.

    To a certain generation the champion news site is most noted for having the salaries of all the teachers in the state. It’s ridiculous what some of them make.


  43. - reformer - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 1:20 pm:

    Has anyone heard Walsh reiterate his pledge lately to serve only 3 terms? If he wins and that pledge is still in effect, then he’ll get one more term after this and we’ll be back to the next presidential election when a Dem would be more likely to win the open seat.


  44. - Oswego Joe - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 1:25 pm:

    @reformer - maybe for Duckworth 3rd time will be the charm.


  45. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 2:00 pm:

    ===Any time our numbers go that much against the grain of conventional wisdom, you can bet on us re-visting the race soon. But we decided to publish the results because there’s something interesting going on in Virginia and other states. There is a significant percentage of voters who are shifting their self-described political party affiliation; we refer to them as lane changers. People who are strict party loyalists sometimes find it disconcerting that affiliations can shift like this. In truth, its probably more accurate to simply call these lane changers Independents, but we’ve seen a lot of it lately, and that may why so many are wringing their hands about pollsters’ mix of GOP/Dem/Ind in their polls.

    This isn’t very surprising as a statement. Many voters describe themselves as independent, but are really one party or the other if you look at their voting behavior. It’s considered by many voters (and they are largely wrong) some sign of thoughtfulness to claim they vote for the person or whatever cliche they choose to use. Less aligned voters tend to be less well informed on issues and less able to make coherent political observations about ideology and policy–not that many voters are good at this.

    So the basic point is solid–the question of whether they have it right this time or not is an empirical question. It’s also possible they have a short lived phenomenon they have measured correctly, but that it could disappear by election day. Since they are dealing with samples and not panel data, we are unlikely to be able to determine that if their numbers are off of the end results.


  46. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 2:02 pm:

    ===they vote for the person or whatever cliche they choose to use

    Lost my train of thought there–so you do see people drifting from independent to a party and back quite often.


  47. - Bill Baar - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 3:39 pm:

    You can’t run a campaign on the sole arguement your oppenent is a nut. At some point you’ve gotta explain why people should vote for what you’ll do.


  48. - We Are You - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 4:02 pm:

    A limited poll with results less than the margin of error does not necessarily indicate a winner.

    Walsh is a fatally flawed candidate who feels that he can raise his vioce and berate his own consituents who dare to ask meaningful questions. He wants to tear government down, as does the Tea Party, not make it better. Thank goodness he was redistricted away from me.

    He beat Melissa Bean last time by just 291 votes, mostly because he wasn’t seen as a real threat. I doubt that Duckworth’s game plan will make that same mistake.


  49. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 4:04 pm:

    ===I doubt that Duckworth’s game plan will make that same mistake. ===

    It already has.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 11, 12 @ 4:15 pm:

    - We are you -,

    Why do you think the Duckworth Crew is so scared? They thought Walsh would be an easy Win, underestimating Walsh until it became quite clear, Duckworth’s Crew let this race get out of hand with the voters who are now swayed by the money Walsh has in his arsenal to take Duckworth OUT!

    Dunno how this will end, but the theatre is delicious!


  51. - Voting4Joe - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 10:25 am:

    Tammy Duckworth claims that she will only raise taxes on those making more than a million dollars. I question that, because that isn’t the proposal by her party and no piece of legislation will ask for a vote to just include those making over a million in the tax increases. The democrats want to let all the tax rates (and other taxes) go back up on everyone who makes more than $200k or couples above $250K. She will vote with her party because that is actually what they will be voting on…not on making the changes for only millionaires. She will go ahead and let them go up on those in the upper middle class who are probably older, have college tuitions they pay for and who’s income is partly in the form of dividens which will be taxed at a regular income tax rate. These are the people who are generally older, near or at retirement, and may have already lost a substantial amount of their life’s savings in the financial collapse. These are not celebrities and heirs to fortunes, these are people who worked their behinds off for years and years and often created jobs for other people as well. Also, once the new rates are in place, the dems will want to keep them there so they can continue to redistribute the wealth as they see fit. Why should anyone be able to keep what they worked for when there are so many who have less? That is the drumbeat Tammy Duckworth marches to. The new higher tax rates will fall onto more people each year as inflation and bracket creep cause them to ensnare more people. Already the AMT falls on the middle class and never on the rich. The republicans want to eliminate that altogether. I like the idea of keeping all the tax rates low, eliminationg Obamacare and some of the regulations that are making businesses less profitable. The policies Walsh advocates are ones that lead to economic growth which has the effect of raising the amount of tax collected by broadening the base…that means people are working and PAYING taxes rather than not working and COLLECTING them.


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