Here’s a fictitious survey question for you:
If Thomas Jefferson Were On The Ballot, For Whom Would You Vote?
One would guess that Jefferson would win such a poll question, but what difference would it make? Even most nitwits would realize that Jefferson isn’t on the ballot.
I’m sure that this is true. IF Sekula-Gibbs were on the ballot in a head-to-head matchup against Slick Nick, she would get the majority of the vote in this heavily GOP district – I have absolutely no doubt about that. Unfortunately for the GOP, she’s not. Lampson was smart enough to stay out of the special, so there isn’t even that faint glimmer of hope to look forward to.
I’m all for touting great poll numbers, and I’ve got no reason to suspect that those results are anything but accurate. But the question is a “what if”, that we could have avoided a long time ago if Tom DeLay had simply decided not to run for re-election in the primary. In the meanwhile, the rest of us do what we can to keep the seat red.
Let’s rephrase our fictitious little question a bit:
If John Kerry Were On The Ballot, For Whom Would You Vote?
a) Badnarik (or Nader or Cobb, take your pick)
What if Kerry had won this poll and stated he was going to win the 2004 election based on these data? We’d be laughing at him because Bush’s name was excluded from the survey. It would be laughable, except for the fact that Hyphen Lady did the exact same thing when she excluded(who is actually on the ballot, receiving local and national media and endorsements, etc.) from the poll. Here’s what Elam reports about the polling question under question:
A Baselice & Associates (R) poll; conducted 8/23-24 for Houston City Councilmember Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (R); surveyed 401 RVs; margin of error +/- 4.9% (release, 9/11). Tested: Ex-Rep. Nick Lampson (D) and Sekula-Gibbs.
If Sekula-Gibbs Were On The Ballot, For Whom Would You Vote?
Sekula-Gibbs – 46%
Lampson – 35%
Other/undec – 19%
Hyphen Lady () is touting a poll which implies she is on the ballot, one which also excludes one of the major candidates in the race. That’s like some nerdy high school girl bragging that she’s going to be prom queen when she doesn’t even have a date or proper clothing to wear to the event.
Democrat Nick Lampsonthis a push poll, a process which he defines as such:
A push poll is a telephone interview, which tries to disguise itself as a poll, but is really just an effort to push negative and often untrue information about an opponent to households within the district. Our opponent’s poll was filled with inaccuracies and outright lies about Nick Lampson’s record.
I’ll provide that the question may be a proper one, as it does give the Hyphen Lady campaign some idea of her potential base. However, citing such a poll as evidence of leading in a political race is like calling George W. Bush a fiscal conservative — any casual observer can see the lie in the numbers. I don’t have the full survey information in front of me, but if they happened to have provided leading or distorted information ahead of the bogus preference question they asked, it could likely be:
While real pollsters do sometimes give interviewees new information about a candidate, the intent of this process is not to shift public opinion but to simulate potential campaign debate and to asses how the voter might respond. So-called “push-polls” are designed specifically to persuade.
I’m fairly used to the old arguments about excluding third party candidates from the polls, but these arguments don’t even carry a single drop of water in this case. Additionally, voter discontent with the Republican machine expands well beyond
The Hammer of Ethics Tom DeLay‘s former district. It’s premature to tell how much Libertarians will gain from this, but Vermont’s primary elections on Tuesday .
Vermont is a fusion state, and several Libertarian Party members ran in either the Republican or Democratic primaries for State Representative seats. Of the three Libertarian-Republicans who ran against more mainstream Republicans in the state, ALL THREE WON. In other words, when given a choice between a mainstream Republican and someone who advocates fiscal conservatism, the Libertarians won. To be sure, the situations aren’t totally analogous. However, when was the last time there was no Republican on the ballot in a 65 percent Republican congressional district? Especially one with a reasonable Libertarian alternative.
Voters are tired of the lies and deception from both major parties. They are also tired of tax-and-spend Republicans. The voters of Texas 22 have the opportunity to set an example for the rest of the country by voting for Bob Smither (on) in November.