Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MN-01 : Davis Poll Reveals Challenger’s Threat

Dr. Brian Davis, Republican candidate for Minnesota’s First District, has commissioned a poll that reveals incumbent Congressman Tim Walz with a commanding 50-32 lead.

The obvious question is why did Davis waste his money on a poll when he could have read Bluestem Prairie and learned why he should lose ?

Let’s look at what Walz has going for him.
Being a former high school teacher, Walz used his “ student council ” to energize the district in 2006 and with 22% of the state’s population being between 18-29; this bodes well for Walz in 2008.
Walz has gotten the endorsement from the NRA. Statewide 41.7 households are gun owners.
Walz was a prime proponent in the passage of the Farm Bill (despite a veto from President Bush). The First District is primarily a rural district. Davis’ performance during the FarmFest debate was less than stellar as the crowd seemed to enjoy Walz’s defense of his support for farmers using wit and knowledge to his advantage.
Walz has listened to Veterans and brought their issues to the forefront during his first term. 10.5% of Minnesota’s households have a veteran.
Statewide, there are more DFLers (Dems) (38% in 2004) than Republicans (35%) leaving 27% as Independents. The inference is that Walz is getting support from Independents while Davis hasn’t even gotten all the Republicans ( not surprising when State Senator Dick Day amassed a third of the votes in the recent primary election. )

Now, let’s look at the poll results from Davis’ prospective.
From the statewide poll, Davis (32%) is underperforming Presidential candidate John McCain (45%) while Walz (50%) is beating Barack Obama (43%). The presidential coattails will certainly come into play in these races, but Davis has a lot to make up.
Also, the poll states that a generic Republican Congressional candidate should get (39%). Nationally and state GOP leaders will have to decide where to invest their monies with the choice being to defend Congressman Jim Ramstad’s MN-03 seat where Erik Paulsen (R) is in a “no clear favorite” dogfight with 30-year old Iraq War veteran Ashwin Madia (DFL) or send monies to Davis.

So, by all accounts Davis should lose … but that’s why they have elections. Polls are just an indicator of select group of people’s feelings --- that doesn’t meant that those people will actually show up and vote. The Davis poll does not tell us if this is likely voters which is a more reliable measure. Walz’ main challenge is still APATHY. Voters may feel comfortable with Walz and not bother showing up at the polls. Conversely, the Republicans have reasons to be motivated. The anti-Obama crowd is further re-enforced by the anti-Franken voters. With the potential of budget problems at the state level where, all House seats are on the ballot, the Republicans will want to have their voices heard. The First District voted for Republicans solidly in 2004 and may do so again.

Davis’ publishing of this poll may have more of an impact to suppress Walz voters and give Davis a squeaker victory. Be warned … Apathy is the real challenger.

1 comment:

Ollie Ox said...

Nice post! Apathy could be the problem except that Walz's campaign staff is working day and night to contact voters. Their GOTV--and that of the coordinated campaign should be pretty intense, especially since Davis's own poll shows the Presidential race in the First to be a toss up.