o KY-Sen: Mitch McConnell did not like that new PPP poll very much-the one showing Democrat Alison Grimes leading him 48-46-so he's fighting back with his own internal from Voter/Consumer Research that has him up 49-42. Of course, that flies in the face of just about every legitimate poll of this heavily polled race, but there's also the fact that, like so many Republican pollsters, VCR sucks.
In Hawaii's Senate race last cycle, they found Democrat Mazie Hirono leading Republican Linda Lingle just 47-43 a few weeks before Election Day, and earlier in the race, they even showed Lingle up 5. Hirono won by 25 points. They blew the Democratic primary as well, showing Hirono just 1 point ahead of Ed Case, whom she crushed by 16.
But wait! There's more. Dreaminonempty unearthed a whole 'nother batch of Voter/Consumer Research misses (man, that slash is annoying), including one spectacular disaster. In 2010, they were working for Delaware Rep. Mike Castle, who faced a crazy tea party challenger in the GOP primary for Senate. VCR didn't think much of it, though, and put Castle up 56-33 right before Election Day. You know what happened next: Christine O'Donnell beat Castle 53-47, handing the Republican establishment a massive loss and VCR a 29-point miss.
What makes this even better, though, is pollster Jan van Lohuizen's misplaced confidence prior to the election:
"Delaware is actually a little bit easier than in many other states because you have a closed primary where only Republicans can vote in that primary as opposed to state like Texas where you don't even know which primary they are going to vote in because they don't have to decide until the day of the election which ballot they are going to pick," said van Lohuizen.As Dreamin says, the excuse sounds familiar-"they didn't know so many people were gonna vote." PPP, the only independent pollster to test the primary, found O'Donnell ahead 47-44. Well done, VCR.
But here's their most egregious blunder, given that we're talking about a Mitch McConnell poll. Just two weeks before the GOP Senate primary in 2010, VCR claimed that Trey Grayson was tied with Rand Paul in none other than Kentucky-and a month earlier, they even had Grayson ahead by 2. That entire year, every other pollster found wide leads for Paul, and he prevailed by a punishing 23-point margin.
That, by the way, covers pretty much of all of VCR's recent polling. Like many other campaign pollsters, little of their data sees the light of day, so if they've chalked up some great wins, that means they're keeping them secret. But what we do know about them shows that, like so many GOP firms, they have a lousy track record and simply shouldn't be trusted.
o GA-Gov: A new InsiderAdvantage poll shows GOP Gov. Nathan Deal leading Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter 47-40, with Libertarian Andrew Hunt taking just 3 percent. Other pollsters have all shown Hunt at 7 percent or more, but beyond that, IA's numbers have bounced around to an extreme degree.
Back in March, they placed Carter up 41-38, which seemed implausibly low for Deal at the time and which also means he's jumped 9 points for little reason. And before that, they had Deal up 44-22 on Carter in January. In other races, such a low score for a challenger early on might not be unreasonable, but Carter started off with a famous name and no other pollster ever saw him in the 20s. So I'm having a hard time accepting InsiderAdvantage's results at face value.
o NM-Gov: A poll for the New Mexico Republican Party by BWD Global finds GOP Gov. Susana Martinez leading Democrat Gary King by a 53-40 margin. The only other poll here this cycle, from PPP, had Martinez up just 47-42 back in March. The RGA has been busy hammering King on the airwaves, though, ever since he won his party's nomination. (Hat-tip: PSUCentrePA)
o TX-Gov: It's a big reservation for a big, big state: Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott is booking $10 million in TV time for the final month of the campaign and says there will be more to come. He has $29 million in the bank, so believe it. Democrat Wendy Davis, who has $11 million cash-on-hand, has not yet made any reservations.
o MN-Sen: The conservative Heartland Campaign Fund ties Democratic Sen. Al Franken to Obama. It seems to be the type of ad that would work better in Arkansas or Louisiana rather than in blue Minnesota.