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Monday, July 28, 2008

NM-01: White Releases Internal Poll Info Showing Decline in Support

The first internal polling released by Repub Darren White's NM-01 Congressional campaign back in October, conducted by GOP pollsters Public Opinion Strategies (POS), showed him with a lead of 18 points over Dem Martin Heinrich. Then, nothing from the White campaign -- until Heinrich released an internal poll on July 8th showing Martin surging in popularity and leading White by 3 points.

Now we suddenly get a bare-bones-only memo about a new internal White poll, again by Public Opinion Strategies, showing him bleeding support to Heinrich compared to their previously released internal survey. The telephone survey conducted on July 22-23, 2008 among 500 likely voters, and with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38%, shows White with a 47-41% lead. Support for White is now down by 12 points from the level he had in his campaign's initial internal survey -- not up.

Why release these numbers now? Perhaps because panic has begun to set in at the White camp and he needs to convince Repubs that he has a chance to win in a year when Dems are expected to swamp the GOP up and down the ticket in most states -- even according to GOP strategists.

Where Are the Questions and Other Data?
Note that the White campaign failed to release the text of the questions that were asked, any unfavorable numbers generated by ancillary questions or any detailed description of the methodology used. Is this because the questions were worded or asked in a manner designed to produce the answers the White campaign set out to obtain? We don't know. Were party labels attached to the candidate names? We don't know. All we know are the numbers publicized in the memo, period.

The manner in which this polling data was released suggests to me that a candidate who's one of George Bush’s biggest cheerleaders is struggling in this race. White's face has long been on TV and his name before the public in connection with his job as Bernalillo County Sheriff. Yet Heinrich's name ID lags by only 13 points before a single general election ad has aired or a single debate between Heinrich and White has been televised in the NM-01 race. Not good.

As more people get to know Heinrich, his name recognition and approval numbers have an excellent chance of rising within this group. On the other hand, most voters already know White so it will be harder to get his numbers to rise.

POS: Pumping the Right-Wing Agenda
In important ways, this is a politicized poll aimed at making political points, not a serious and fair snapshot of the race. Need more proof? Read the memo. What comes to mind when an allegedly respectable pollster uses rhetoric like this?

Martin Heinrich’s record on the City Council and the extreme positions he has taken in the
campaign make him better suited to run in the elite neighborhoods of San Francisco than this middle-of-the-road district in New Mexico.

That's not statistically driven analysis -- that's pure political spin from the right, relying on stereotypical language left over from the 1980s. In other words, it's as hackneyed and heavy-handed as the rest of White's campaign messaging to date in this race.

Despite providing no data or documentation to back up its claims, POS also states that "Heinrich comes with a long and undeniable record of opposing the needs of New Mexico families on issues they care about most." Like what? Raising the minimum wage?

POS also mentions "the extreme ideology of Martin Heinrich" that "will become abundantly clear in this campaign." Oh, and Heinrich’s "extreme views and votes on everything from taxes and spending to fringe environmental protectionism to hypocritical business persecution to national security policy, position him well outside mainstream thought in New Mexico." I especially like the "business persecution language. Don't you?

Transparent and laughable, isn't it? And, again, nothing to back up the claims. Just BS rhetoric straight from the GOP talking point machine.

Hey Heath
Heath Haussamen headlines his coverage of the latest internal White poll with the phrase, "Take That Heinrich." Given how we've all heard by now how Heath runs a purely neurtal, "journalistic blog," am I the only one who finds that headline just a bit too celebratory? Notice that Heath fails to mention draw any conclusions from the fact that the survey questions were not provided from POS, and that he offers little other analysis of the survey memo. Primarily, he just copies the memo's contents verbatim. Hmm.....

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July 28, 2008 at 04:08 PM in NM-01 Congressional Seat 2008, Polling | Permalink


This poll and the analysis by POS stinks to high heaven of spin. What they have to say in the memo could be straight out of Karl Rove's mouth. If Heinrich is an "extremist" I wonder how right wing White is viewed with his positions to the right of the Hun. Heinrich will win this race. Mark my words.

Posted by: Jodie | Jul 28, 2008 4:49:43 PM

why do you dislike heinrich so bad???

Posted by: question for heath | Jul 28, 2008 5:18:16 PM

I'd be happier if the Haussamen's headlink read "Take that, Heinrich /snark" Still, if their own push-polls shop Darren White bleeding support, that's gotta be a good thing, right? They're trying to spin quicksand.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | Jul 28, 2008 6:02:40 PM

White is running scared. Its not good when the sheriff has two lawsuits against him for unconstitutional behavior. Its bad when you're polling this badly when you have big recognition by the public.

I'm sad to see Heath carrying the rightwing line more and more recently like his stories about Tinsley and and Dawson. Its bad enough having Dan Foley and Jim Scarantino writing on there. Dan Foley!

Posted by: iguana | Jul 28, 2008 6:29:33 PM

They say a half truth is a whole lie. They could say the same thing about half a poll.

The more we learn about Darren White, the less their is to respect.

Heath Haussamen is losing ground as well. There was a time when his blog was more neutral, and more respected.

Posted by: | Jul 28, 2008 9:13:18 PM

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