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I don't know if you've read David Nir's recent journal on Pharos Research, a brand new polling firm based in North Dakota but you should it's worth a read:
So this new firm has a lot of polling out and it has a lot of positive polling for Democrats both in Senate and Presidential Swing State polling. One of these polls showed former Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey (D) now two points behind Tea Party Republican Deb Fischer (R), 48-46:
In the Senate race, the race has tightened significantly against the previous two polls we have released. While the race is still outside of the margin of error, in three weeks, Kerrey has narrowed the gap from eight to six, while Fischer is still under 50%. That said, Fischer is knocking on the door to a majority in the polling,Now according to Nir's journal after getting in touch Pharos, they too are a little skeptical about that number too. Their other polling numbers seem to be following trends and they acknowledge that both the Indiana and North Dakota races are very competitive as well. Also, Kerrey's internal polling showed him gaining but still five points behind Fischer:
and her strong rural support should offset Kerrey’s advantage in the 2nd and in
Lincoln in the 1st CD. We see no reason to quarrel with those who have suggested
that the race is likely Republican in three weeks, but the dynamics of the race, and
the fact that Kerrey closed fast in his 1982 race for Governor, suggest that the race
remains worth watching. - Pharos Research
Still though to go from a 16 points deficit in a very red state like Nebraska is impressive. Now lets look at some highlights from both Paharos and Kerrey's internal polling, Hickman Analytics. First Hickman:
This memo is based on a sample of 600 likely 2012 general election voters in Nebraska.Telephone interviewing was conducted October 14 th–16 th , 2012. The sample was selected so all likely voters in Nebraska were equally likely to be contacted, and included both landline and cell phone numbers. The results were adjusted slightly to align the sample with known facts about the demographic composition of the state.Hickman also points out that despite Fischer's slight edge, Kerrey is still more well known:
The 2012 Nebraska Senate race remains competitive. Deb Fisher is only five points ahead of Bob Kerrey in the current horserace. Her personal popularity has eroded significantly since thehoneymoon period after the Republican primary: her unfavorable rating now more than double what itwas then, and her favorable rating is statistically in
distinguishable from Kerrey’s. Kerrey is putting together the coalition he needs to win majority support. The outcome of the race remains uncertain asabout one in five voters are either undecided or admitting that they might switch candidates before election day.
More significantly, Kerrey now has the support of 17% of registered Republicans. Thus, while the Republican registration advantage continues to be the main source of Fischer’s lead in vote preference, Kerrey is within striking distance of the coalition Democrats like Kerrey, Ben Nelson, and Jim Exon haveforged to win majority support in this Republican state.
Our focus groups find that eventhis level of recognition is quite shallow, with few swing voters -- including those inclined to vote forFischer -- aware of even the most basic information about her. Our research also demonstrates that thislack of familiarity makes Fischer exceedingly vulnerable to credible unfavorable information about hersuch as the advertising that just began.So if Kerrey is more well-known and Fischer is more vulnerable than she appears, why is Kerrey still behind in the polls? Well this might have something to do with it:
It is worth a reminder that robo-polls are particularly susceptible to inaccurate vote estimates inNebraska. First, robo-polls are prohibited by law from calling cell phones. This makes a difference in therepresentativeness of the sample, since fully 30% of adults in the state rely exclusively on a cell phonewithout access to a landline number, and Kerrey does particularly well with cell phone respondents.Hickman concludes that Kerrey has been successful at distancing himself from President Obama and creating a coalition of Democratic and Republican voters. They also conclude that Fischer's lead is weak and that she is vulnerable. Now on to Pharos analysis:
Second, most robo-polls make no adjustment for the geographic location of the respondents andsignificantly over-represent rural voters. This makes a difference in the horserace since Kerrey, like mostDemocrats, does better in urban areas in eastern Nebraska, and the most prominent knowledge of Fischer is her background as a rancher. Third, robo-polls over-represent older voters which also lead them to underestimate Kerrey’s support.
Pharos Research Group did a live call poll of 785 likely voters in Nebraska from October 12, 2012 through October 14, 2012. The breakdown was 385 men, 400 women, representing a 49%/51% split. There were 246 self-identified Democrats, 338 self-identified Republicans and 201 Independents representing a 31/43/25 split.I like many people here wrote this race off and I am a little skeptical because of how red Nebraska is and how long Kerrey has been out of Nebraska that it's hard to believe this race is tightening. But TPM and the Omaha World-Herlad have taken notice of Pharos poll and acknowledge that the race is tightening:
In the Senate race, the race has tightened significantly against the previous two polls we have released. While the race is still outside of the margin of error, in three weeks, Kerrey has narrowed the gap from eight to six, while Fischer is still under 50%. That said, Fischer is knocking on the door to a majority in the polling, and her strong rural support should offset Kerrey’s advantage in the 2nd and in Lincoln in the 1st CD. We see no reason to quarrel with those who have suggested that the race is likely Republican in three weeks, but the dynamics of the race, and the fact that Kerrey closed fast in his 1982 race for Governor, suggest that the race remains worth watching.
The pollsters interviewed fewer Republicans than the percentage of registered GOP voters in Nebraska. They also talked to a lot more independent voters.TPM now has the race in Leans Republican category after being in the Favors Republican category for a while now:
About 43 percent of the poll's sample came from those who identified themselves as registered Republicans. In Nebraska, about 48 percent of the state's registered voters are Republicans.
About 26 percent of the poll's sample came from registered independents. In Nebraska, about 19 percent of the state's registered voters are independent.
The poll's Democratic sample was almost on the mark. It sampled 31.4 percent of registered Democrats. In Nebraska, about 32 percent of the state's registered voters are Democrats. - Omaha World-Herlad, 10/25/12
It's only a little surprising that Kerrey might be coming up in the polls with his track record for running in tight elections and he has been campaigning like no other:
Kerrey, a former governor, senator and one-time presidential candidate, isn't giving up. He has continued to advertise heavily in the state, released a quirky video with comedian Steve Martin to support his campaign and portrayed Fischer as a rubber stamp for conservative Republicans.I think we should keep our eye on this race. This could very well be another split ticket race where like in Montana, Indiana, Missouri, West Virginia and North Dakota where the states will go to Romney in the Presidential election but because the GOP Senate candidates are too extreme for the red states, voters will go with the Democrats in the Senate. Lets keep checking back because it would be great to get 58 seats this year. I'm not a big fan of Bob Kerrey but I certainly don't want more Tea Party extremists like Deb Fischer in the Senate. You can read more about Fischer here:
"She's promised to be a reliable vote for the Republican caucus ... and I think it's likely that the problems that we have as a consequence of this hyper-partisanship will get greater," Kerrey said in an interview.
Kerrey has tried to reconnect with Nebraska voters but admits he has struggled with being labeled as a carpetbagger from New York in ads made by outside spending from groups like the Karl Rove-backed Crossroads GPS.
Kerrey supporter Susan Scarborough, of Grand Island, Neb., said Kerrey's long history with the state means she could never see him as anything other than a Nebraskan.
Scarborough says she is leaning toward voting for Romney on the presidential level but will cast her ballot in the Senate race for Kerrey. She said she has heard from others who will do the same.
The question is whether there are enough voters like Scarborough. Fischer, who is running her first statewide race, has presented herself as an unapologetic conservative and a fresh face for Nebraska voters.
David Kramer, a former GOP state chairman and the party's Senate nominee in 2006, says the race has tightened since a recent Omaha World Herald poll showed Fischer with about a 10-point lead. He attributes that to Kerrey's feistiness and his track record with Nebraskans. - Huffington Post, 10/26/12
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And here from jgkojak:
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If you feel this race is still winnable, please donate to Kerrey's campaign. I will be keeping my eye on this race:
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