ThinkRight recently ran a story about how “winnable” the CD-8 race is based on some early polling conducted by the Bee exploratory committee. After reading the Capital Times article cited by Tom we come up with a slightly different conclusion.
First, lets look at the latest registration numbers from the district. According to Secretary of State there are almost 393,000 voters. The Republicans number just over 149,000 and the Democrats 131,000. That puts the GOP at 38% and the Democrats at 33.3%. There are a few Libertarians and a significant number of independents, almost 110,000 (28%.) The poll claims that Bee is competitive because of the 300 voters questioned Representative Giffords only won by 36% to 30% for Senator Bee. The article did not spell out party affiliate but did say “Those polled preferred Republicans over Democrats, 34 percent to 30 percent.” That 4-point spread is very close to the registration numbers in the district.
If Giffords had polled even with Bee that means she would have overcome a 4-point deficit in registration. The fact that she is ahead by 6 points indicates that she in really 10 points above where she should be based strictly on party registration assuming an even split of independents. So either she is winning big among independents, pulling in some Republican voters, or a combination of both.
Any polling at this time is much too early to be indicative of the final results. That being said I am not sure I would have put the exact number in the letter. Why not just say “early polling indicates that a race between Senator Bee and Representative Giffords would be competitive.”
The bright spot of the article was that the poll was conducted by The Summit Consulting Group. They have helped many successful candidates, recently getting Representative Kavanagh through a crowded primary field and onto victory in LD-8. Hopefully they will have the same effect on the Bee campaign. Either way the rabid anti-Sproul fringe of the party will be happy to see the campaign using someone besides the Lincoln Strategy Group.