October 12, 2004
Mixed news in CD32 poll

I wouldn't call this poll from CD32 good news for Martin Frost, but it's not all bad.

[Rep. Pete Sessions] leads his Democratic rival, U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, 50 percent to 44 percent in their quest to represent Texas' 32nd Congressional District, according to a Dallas Morning News poll.

Both campaigns declared the results encouraging, though the poll's director gives Mr. Sessions the edge for now. The survey indicates that Mr. Sessions enjoys a solid base of support in a district where voters traditionally back Republicans.

Among voters who say they could still be persuaded to choose another candidate, Mr. Frost and Mr. Sessions are virtually even, which doesn't bode well for Mr. Frost, pollster Ann Selzer said. Election Day is Nov. 2.

But in this district designed by Republicans in the Texas Legislature to end Mr. Frost's 26-year congressional career, Mr. Frost is appealing more to women, minorities and independents than Mr. Sessions does, according to the survey of about 800 likely voters in the district.

Mr. Frost's strength among independent poll respondents 56 percent favored him, compared with 37 percent for Mr. Sessions and an unusually high Hispanic voter turnout are Mr. Frost's best hopes for victory, Dr. Selzer said.

"Frost will really have to make some serious inroads, and quickly," she said.

When Hispanic voter turnout exceeds expectations, Mr. Sessions will understand how many inroads he has made, Mr. Frost argued.

And because only 4 percent of the poll's respondents are Hispanics they represent 36 percent of the district's total population, including nonvoters Mr. Frost said he thinks a higher Hispanic turnout will close the poll's 6-percentage-point margin.

Eighty-two percent of respondents identified themselves as white, while 7 percent said they are black.

Although the poll's racial and ethnic breakdown doesn't match the overall district makeup, Dr. Selzer said, the poll accurately represents the political will of the district at one moment in time. In selecting respondents, the pollsters randomly selected 32nd District households with published telephone numbers.

Byron has already done a lot of the heavy lifting on this. I agree that the sample seems a bit skewed. I also think anyone who claims to know what the racial and ethnic breakdown will be on November 2 is bluffing. There seems to be more room for Frost to grow - surely Hispanics will make up more than four percent of the eventual total - but for now I'd rather be in Sessions' position.

One other mixed message from the story:

Neither candidate has released complete details of internal polls they've conducted.

If Sessions' poll showed him with a solid lead, we'd have heard about it. Similarly, if Frost's poll showed him tied or leading, we'd have heard about it. Frankly, I think no one really knows how close this race is.

You know what you can do to help: Give to Martin Frost, give to all Texas Tuesday candidates, or help the DCCC by giving to their Million for a Majority campaign. There's only three weeks to go.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 12, 2004 to Election 2004 | TrackBack

Sessions has been pretty brutal with the attack ads, accusing Martin Frost of sponsoring a fund raiser with a noted child molester and not returning the money.

Makes for interesting radio, albeit sickening.

Posted by: Kevin on October 12, 2004 11:21 AM

I'm telling ya, Senor Frosterino needs to break out the outrageous bandito mustachios and the 8 foot diameter sombrero.

And he really does need to don some comical military garb and get a photo op in the forward turret of an M1A1 tank. that will clinch the election for him, especially if, while riding in the tank, he is waving nude photos of Pete Sessions.

Posted by: abelard on October 12, 2004 11:34 PM

Also, given Senor Frosterino's child molestation predeliction, i think it is a questionable tactical move to display profound interest in nude photos of a much younger, undoubtedly more buffsome, Pete Sessions.

Posted by: abelard on October 12, 2004 11:36 PM