Tag Archive: polls

Polling the Senate Race

Rasmussen, the Republican polling firm, will soon release their latest poll numbers which have the Senate race in New Jersey in a dead heat – with Tom Kean jr up by just one point – 41%-40% over Bob Menendez. Their last poll at the end of August gave Kean Jr a larger 44%-39% lead. While it’s not too instructive to compare different polls with different methodologies taken at different times, the Monmouth University/Gannett poll shows the opposite trend. Their July poll had Menendez up by just a point 38%-37%, but their latest poll has Kean jr pulling away with a 44%-38% lead. Strangely, the July poll had a sample size of 670, whereas their latest poll had a miniscule 391.

The last 6 or 7 publicly available polls all show Kean jr either tied or ahead of Bob Menendez, on average with about a 4 point lead. Those numbers are in stark contrast to Bob Menendez’s internal polls which have him leading Tom Kean Jr by about 6 points.

It’s hard to know who to trust in this case, but as Chris Bowers noted with regard to national polls showing two very different results, it’s possible they may both be right. All the national polls show similar numbers for registered voters, but when likely voters are considered, the results split into two distinct groups – one giving Democrats a small lead, and another predicting a Democratic landslide. Chris argues that the difference can be attributed to the likely voter models, which practically speaking, means that the election will be all about turnout. I don’t see any reason why the same logic wouldn’t apply to New Jersey, which means the power to swing this election could be in your hands. Volunteer, contribute, and do whatever you can from now until election day to make sure we get the landslide election we need so we can finally turn the keys over to responsible adults.

Internal Polls Are Necessarily Skewed

From Politics NJ, we get word that the Kean Junior campaign has an internal poll showing a one point lead of Senator Bob Menendez. 

The Tom Kean for U.S. Senate campaign today released an internal campaign poll that says the GOP State Senator leads incumbent Bob Menendez 39%-38% — a statistical dead heat.

Internal polls are notoriously skewed to the candidate who commissioned them, and so are often taken with a grain of salt.  These polls will often add 3-7 percent or more to one side, making them unreliable. 

Now Junior released an internal poll that has him excited to be in a statistical dead heat, which means he is down a few points.  That’s kind of weird.

The past few polls have moved in Menendez’s favor, and this must be an effort to blunt that impact. For those experienced with campaigns, however, it means little.  And for those inexperienced with campaigns, it means nothing in hot, vacation heavy August.

To me, this smacks of desperation.

Anyone get polled by Public Opinion Strategies?

Today the Kean campaign released poll results that supposedly show Kean with a lead on Menendez, among other things. However, the firm in charge of the poll has a checkered past, and has been connected to push polling once ten years ago in Texas, and twice so far in this election cycle, in Pennsylvania and Vermont. They’ve been paid $785,517 so far this cycle by the RNCC.

We want to know if any of you were subjects of this poll. If so, e-mail info@citybelt.org

We also want people to pressure Kean to make the poll transcripts public.

More details, and the actual release, can be found at City Belt.

It’s Not You, It’s … History

Earlier this week Chuck Todd of Hotline moved New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District out of its top 50 hot races.  It had moved to number 47 recently, and because they don’t give any rankings above 50 we don’t know where it was or where it will go.

However, I e-mailed Todd to see what was going on. It seemed like with the recent Netroots endorsement, the DCCC Red to Blue inclusion, and Linda Stender outraising Mike Ferguson in the 2Q that this race should have moved up.

Here’s what he had to say:

it’s less about NJ 07 and more about the rest of the nation… That said, the reason we are more likely to drop a NJ 07 than another race is simply history.  Dems have always had a hard time closing the deal in this CD and then there’s the national money commit… will it come.  It’s a very expensive CD…

So before all the right wing nuts get excited at this “demotion,” the race is still tough but competetive.

You can help Linda make it more competetive by dropping her $5, $10, $25 or $2100 though the Blue Jersey Act Blue fundraising page!

NY Times Reports NJ7 Race is Tightening

From the Sunday, May 21 NY Times:

Stuart Rothenberg, an independent analyst who tracks Congressional races, said his latest forecast, to be distributed next week, predicted that Democrats could make gains of 8 to 12 seats. That is an increase from a prediction last month that Democrats would gain 7 to 10 seats.

“When we say Democrats are positioned to gain 8 to 12 seats, that certainly means the House is in play,” Mr. Rothenberg said. “And those numbers are likely to go up. They are more likely to go up than they are to go down, that’s for sure.”

Stan Greenberg, a Democratic pollster who worked for President Bill Clinton in the 1994 elections, said polls he conducted in three districts where Democrats were thought to have modest hopes of winning found incumbents struggling with just 50 percent of the vote against unknown challengers. In a typical year, an incumbent at this point should have an overwhelming lead.

The members in question were Mr. Chabot in Ohio, Curt Weldon in Pennsylvania and Mike Ferguson in New Jersey. “These races are competitive five or six months before the election,” Mr. Greenberg said. Republican officials said they were confident of holding on to all three seats.

You can see the whole poll at the Democracy Corps website.  Interesting positives to note in the poll:

  • The race is currently at just nine points, easily moved in six months;
  • Only 40 percent approve or strongly approve of Mike Ferguson’s job as a Congressman;
  • 64 percent of the NJ7 residents think the country is on the wrong track, with only 27 percent saying right track;;
  • In a generic horserace, meaning no candidate names but just party names, 45 percent of NJ7 would vote for a Democrat and only 44 percent would vote for a Republican.

That last one is the most important.  Mike Ferguson is a candidate out of step with the district, and his negatives should drive down the 44 percent generic Republican vote.  Linda Stender is a candidate in step with the district on the issues, and as she gets better known she can move that 45 percent generic up.

The largest negative in this poll is that Linda Stender only has an 18 percent name identification, meaning that 82 percent of the voters don’t know who she is or even that she is running.  We need to change that, and fast.  House parties, block parties, rallies, fundraisers, street fairs, political events, diners, whatever — you need to get out and spread the word about Linda right away.

April 17, 2006 News Roundup

  • Senate wannabe, Tom Kean jr., isn’t thrilling anybody with his lackluster poll numbers and severe lack of fundraising thus far. In four of the five polls taken on the race, Senator Bob Menendez is leading. It also doesn’t bode well for Kean that in a recent Quinnipiac poll, 29% say that the primary reason they would vote for him is because his father is well-liked former Governor Tom Kean.
  • The Principal of Montville High was suspended for disabiling the fire alarm system after students kept pulling them as a prank. Long story short, there actually was a fire and although it was small and thankfully everyone was ok, things could have turned out much differently. Kids- don’t be stupid and pull the fire alarm. Administrators- don’t be stupid and disable the alarms. It’s just not safe.
  • Even though the general election is still months away, Scotch Plains parties met and have met to decide on their party’s ticket for the town council elections. Three candidates from each of the major parties filed in time to be on the ticket for the June primary election. Visibly missing from the ballot will be Board of Adjustment and Town Councilman Frank Rossi, who has decided not to run for reelection citing increasing family and work responsibilities.
  • Speaking of elections, tomorrow is school board election day!! Who’s excited? Don’t lie. You know you are.
  • Westfield residents are facing a 3.85 tax increase if they vote tomorrow to approve the school budget. Last year, the school budget was voted down by residents. Also in Westfield, there are three open seats for the school board and four candidates running, as 18-year-old Jesse Garfinkel recently withdrew his candidacy due to his  upcoming attendance at Northwestern University in September.
  • Former Governor, Christie Whitman, is pleading for the Republican party to stop being so confrontational if they want to regain control of the House of Representatives. Good luck with that.
  • File your income taxes yet? If not, get on that. The IRS doesn’t like to wait. But you have until midnight tonight so GO!!!
  • Friday the 13 Cooks Up Bad News for Mike Ferguson

    Charlie Cook runs one of the most reliable and believed in political newsletters, and is particularly famous for handicapping races.  His data is usually highly proprietary and campaigns pay a lot of money to get their hands on it.  When a candidate moves within Cook’s categories, it is a sign that something is changing and usually considered a big deal.

    Mike Ferguson has been moved from being safe to being in play.  Since the February 18, 2005 House Summary Ferguson has been off Cook’s radar, but the Friday the 13th, 2006 House Summary he was put back into play.  It’s still in the Likely Republican column, but still not a slam dunk.

    With some work from Blue 7th and our candidates, we can move him into to Lean Republican column, then into the Toss Up column, and finally into Retirement in January 2007.

    Why? Because New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District is not necessarily as Republican as folks make it out.  NJ7 has a Cook Report Partisan Voting Index of just R+1 which means it voted for Bush one percent more than that country did as a whole.  Since Bush only got 51 percent, that means he got 52 percent in the NJ7.  Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, reported in May 2002 that even in the newly redistricted NJ7 Al Gore won 51 percent of the vote. 

    Voters here have demonstrated that they will vote for a Democrat when given an opportunity, and when given a choice.  Here at Dump Mike and the Blue 7th PAC it is our job to present the voters with enough information that they decide it is time to make a choice.