September 26, 2006
Lampson poll

I'm sure you know about Shelley Sekula Gibbs's "if wishes were horses" poll from a couple of weeks ago. I've now received word from the Nick Lampson campaign about their own poll, one that is (shall we say) a bit more reality-based. Here's the scoop:

Vote for U.S. Congress

If the GENERAL ELECTION for U.S. Congress were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE]

o Nick Lampson, the Democrat
o Bob Smither, the Libertarian

for whom would you vote or would you write-in another candidate? (IF WRITE-IN) Who would you write in?


That's a lot of undecideds, which probably suggests there's still a lot of people who don't know any of the candidates. Note, however, that even if you assume Lampson has topped out, he's still going to win. Shelley could get all of those votes, and she'd still lose. Bob Smither's presence on the ballot makes a critical difference, as I've said all along. If the undecideds all represent non-votes for this race (I expect a fair amount of them will), Lampson would wind up with 58% of the actual tally, with Shelley getting 19, Smither 14, and others 9. Given that Lampson hasn't been blanketing the airwaves yet (I assume, anyway - I've not heard of any TV or radio ads on his part), I'd say he has a fair amount of growth potential. A lot of this will come down to GOTV. Lampson is very well positioned for that. The question is not whether Lampson will get a majority of the actual votes cast, but if he will still have a majority after you include the undervotes. I believe he has a very good chance of doing that.

Oh, and how's that $3 million of national money thing working out for Shelley? I quote from a CQPolitics interview with NRCC Chair Rep. Tom Reynolds:

On Texas' 22nd District, where Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs is waging a Republican write-in campaign against Democratic former Rep. Nick Lampson for the seat that former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay vacated in June:

Reynolds: "... What I've found - what seems to be the indication of Shelley and others - is that there's a very keen awareness in [Houston-area] Harris County and the surrounding three counties that they know it's a unique circumstance, there's not a Republican on the ballot and that it would require a write-in. If it's true that there is a keen awareness to that, it presents a good opportunity. It is a very good Republican seat. ...

"We are going to watch it very closely. She's developing a good campaign. The state [GOP] chair is involved. We're definitely in consultation with that [campaign] to see how it evolves. ... I have not written off that seat [just] because I don't have a Republican candidate [on the ballot]. ... It is something that is very much on our radar screen."

Mmm hmm. To quote Weird Al Yankovic for a translation of Reynolds' remarks:

The check's in the mail (Hey!)
You're beautiful
Don't ever change
You know what I mean
My girl will call your girl
We'll talk, we'll do lunch
Or leave a message on my machine
So baby, won't you sign
On the dotted line
Gonna make your dreams come true
The check's in the mail
Would I lie to you?

Ahem. The poll memo is here (PDF). It doesn't say, but I've been told the sample size was 400, which means the margin of error is 4.9%.

UPDATE: I stand corrected about Lampson running ads (thanks, Muse!) I still believe he will capture a decent share of those undecided voters, however.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 26, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

There are THREE Lampson TV ads, Kuff! We see them all the time on cable in Fort Bend. Check them out on his website. Two of them include some of my friends from out here - people you may recognize, also. :)

Posted by: muse on September 26, 2006 6:58 AM

If no one gets a majority and Lampson and Gibbs are leading, would Gibbs' name be on the ballot for the runoff?

Posted by: Michael Hurta on September 26, 2006 7:13 AM

Michael - There is no runoff in the general election. As with the Governor's race, a simple majority wins. Runoffs are for primaries and special elections only.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 26, 2006 7:16 AM

I think what Charles meant to say was that a plurality wins the general election.

Posted by: Kenneth Fair on September 26, 2006 10:00 AM

Urk! Yes, that's exactly what I meant. Thanks, Kenneth!

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 26, 2006 10:02 AM

I think what Charles meant to say was that a plurality wins the general election.

Posted by: Kenneth Fair on September 26, 2006 10:05 AM

If they are cable ads that is a smart move - cable is cheaper, can be targeted better and a majority of voters now are watching cable and not broadcast.

Posted by: Gary Denton on September 26, 2006 3:28 PM

Did you see the other poll results last week sampling 100 voters with these results:

Lampson 41%
Undecided 23%
Sekula-Gibbs 11%

While a smaller sample, I think this is a more realistic picture of Smither's support and of how many people will actually go to the trouble to "ping" in 1 letter at a time the hyphenated name of Sekula-Gibbs.


Posted by: Lloyd Laughlin on October 2, 2006 11:23 PM

Something that ought to be clarified regarding the special elections vs. general election question: This seat will actually be on the ballot TWICE. There will be a special election, probably at the top of the ballot, to determine who will fill out the remainder of DeLay's unexpired term, which runs into January. Gibbs' name IS on the ballot for the special. Then, under general election, will be the actual race for the 2007-09 term. THAT is the race where Gibbs' name will not appear, and will have to be written in.

Posted by: Lee Nichols on October 19, 2006 2:13 PM