MS-01 A Tale of Two MEMORANDUMS
Both the Davis Campaign and the Childers Campaign have released Polling Memos in the last 2 days, I dont feel the need to comment on them, they are pasted verbatim below so yall can make your own judgements as to which pollster might be closer to what is really going on up there.
TO: INTERESTED PARTIES
FROM:PATRICK LANNE — PUBLIC OPINION STRATEGIES
SUBJECT:RECENT MS-1 POLL RESULTS
DATE:APRIL 10, 2008
Public Opinion Strategies recently conducted a district-wide survey of 300 likely special election voters for your campaign. The poll was conducted on April 3, 2008 and has a margin of error of +/- 5.66% in 95 out of 100 cases. The purpose of this memo is to review some of the key findings of that poll as well as the recently released poll completed by Travis Childers’ campaign.
Myth#1: The Republican primary has hurt Greg Davis.
Myth Busted: The Childers campaign states the “nasty” Republican primary has hurt Mayor Greg Davis in the special election. But, their own data refutes this contention. The Childers’ poll shows Mayor Davis’ personal image holding a nearly three-to-one positive image rating with voters, 46%-16%. The Mayor’s image rating does not indicate he’s a weakened candidate.
Moreover, it is important to note that Childers did not release the Mayor’s image rating among Republicans. Our polling shows Mayor Davis owning a very strong personal image rating with Republicans, 65% favorable – 7% unfavorable. Contrary to Childers’ claims, the Republican primary has strengthened Greg Davis among Republicans. There is little evidence to support the claim there will be mass Republican defections in a two-person race.
Myth #2: Travis Childers has cross-over partisan and ideological appeal.
Myth Busted: While the Childers’ campaign desperately attempts to blur the partisan and ideological differences between the candidates, the data clearly indicates he will have a difficult time hiding his Democratic Party affiliation coming out of the partisan primary elections.
Indeed, as the following table illustrates, Childers’ initial ballot support is only marginally higher than the support Senator Barack Obama receives in a hypothetical match-up against Republican John McCain.
Group Childers% Obama%
Republicans 5% 1%
Conservatives 14% 12%
Pro-life voters 25% 19%
Myth #3: The “non-partisan” election reduces the role of voters’ partisan preferences.
Myth Busted: The Childers’ campaign states the lack of partisan candidate labels makes this campaign competitive but our polling clearly indicates voters are strongly aware of the candidates’ partisan affiliation. Republican voters are supporting the Republican candidates by an 80%-7% margin while Democrats are voting for their candidates, 68%-14%.
Coming just three weeks after competitive partisan primaries, 1st District voters – especially the type of voter who is would be likely to vote in an April special election – will know the Republican candidates from the Democratic candidates.
Special elections are always tough, and there is no reason to assume the 1st District race will be any different. With a heavy African-American population and the ability of the DCCC to bankroll a substantial campaign effort against Mayor Davis, we can expect the Democrats to put up an aggressive fight.
Moreover, the election process – a multi-candidate field coming just weeks following competitive party primaries – will make it very difficult for any candidate to cross the 50% threshold on April 22nd. It is very likely the ultimate outcome of this race will be decided on May 13th when voters will have a clear choice between Republican Greg Davis and Democrat Travis Childers.
While the Childers campaign tries to run away from the liberal Washington DC leadership, the polling indicates 1st District voters are not buying it. Over next two weeks we can expect to see Childers try even harder to separate himself from the failed record of his liberal DC allies.
The survey shows that 1st District voters are attracted to Mayor Davis’ conservative message of a strong national defense, fiscal responsibility and secure borders. As voters learn more about the partisan differences in this election, Mayor Davis will be in a very good position in this special election.
POLL MEMO #2
8 April 2008
To: Interested Parties
Fr: John Anzalone / Jeff Liszt
Re: Summary of Polling Results in MS CD-1
The special election for Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District is highly competitive.
Travis Childers has strong name identification following his Democratic run-off victory,
and holds a slim lead over Republican Greg Davis when matched up head-to-head.
Tested against all six candidates in the race, Childers and Davis are in a statistical dead
heat in a district where the partisanship is almost even right now.
• Travis Childers (41%) holds a slight lead when matched up head-to-head with
Greg Davis (40%). Nearly one-in-five voters are undecided and neither party
has an advantage with this group on the generic ballot measure. Undecideds are
up for grabs and truly a swing universe.
• Childers (47% favorable / 8% unfavorable) has a higher favorable rating and
lower unfavorable rating than Davis (46% fav/ 16% unfav).
• When all six candidates are tested in a special election matchup — where there
will be no party labels on the ballot — Childers (27%) and Davis (29%) are in a
statistical tie. As a result of a nasty Republican primary, Glen McCullough
(14%) hurts Davis much more than Steve Holland (7%) impacts Childers.
Childers gains nearly 7 points onto his vote when the black vote is extrapolated
to an 80% election-day projection, essentially giving him the lead. One-third of
undecided voters are black and are strong generic ballot Democratic voters.
• Among undecided voters, Democrats have a 15-point advantage on the generic
ballot (40% Democrat / 25% Republican), another sign of Childers’ expansion
potential. This is the result of high undecided vote among blacks which will
most likely go to Childers.
• The informed vote shows Childers’ expansion potential. When voters hear
additional basic information about both Childers and Davis, Childers expands to
a 47% to 40% lead.
• The political environment is favorable for Democrats. Among special election
voters, Republicans hold a statistically insignificant 3-point lead on the generic
ballot (41% Republican / 38% Democrat). The district is extremely competitive
from a partisan standpoint right now, and will only be more competitive in a race
where the candidates will appear without partisan labels on the ballot.
• In both the primary and run-off elections in Mississippi CD 1, more Democrats
came out to vote than Republicans. In the primary, Childers nearly got as many
votes by himself (40,000) as all the Republicans combined (46,000). Two-andone-
half times more Democrats came out to the polls in the primary than
• Geography is playing an important role in this race. Davis is from the
Republican Memphis suburbs and doesn’t really get any additional yardage than
any other Republican would get there. Childers, however, comes from the most
competitive part of the district in the generic ballot and leads significantly in this
region. The swing part of the district is in Childer’s backyard and his investment
in Columbus/Tupelo TV has paid off with a substantial lead in this market
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