January 10, 2008
Fletcher's poll against Van Arsdale

Via Lone Star Times, some news from the Republican primary in HD130, where Sen. Dan Patrick is seeking a little revenge on Rep. Corbin Van Arsdale via his proxy, Allen Fletcher. Basically, there was a poll conducted, whose details you can see here (PDF) that shows Van Arsdale's approval and support is somewhat soft. I'll let you peruse it for yourself, but a couple of observations:

- This is a push partisan poll. Not an egregious one, of the "Would your opinion of Senator Bedfellow change if you learned that he regularly kicks puppies?" variety, but a push partisan poll nonetheless. There's nothing wrong with this, as the point is to demonstrate that voters can be swung by a particular candidate's message, but it does mean that message has to get out there - a lot - in order for those votes to swing. I'm guessing that Fletcher isn't having too much trouble raising money (we'll know for sure soon enough), which is the key factor here. Basically, expect there to be a lot of negative mail sent about Rep. Van Arsdale.

- Idle question, as I don't listen to talk radio: Is Danno back on the air? And if so, as he is now an elected official, is there any restriction on him saying things like "Vote for Allen Fletcher!" on the air? One could argue that this would count as an in-kind contribution to Fletcher's campaign, which in turn would need to be reported as such by Patrick. I don't know what the law may be here, and it may be moot anyway if he's not broadcasting. So I'm just wondering.

- One reason I ask this is because the poll shows a high favorable rating among the sampled voters for Danno. Clearly, he's an asset for Fletcher. One would think that the best way to leverage this asset is the same way that most of the HD130 voters likely know Danno, via his radio platform. If he can't do that, then I wonder how much of an asset he really is. Can the "Approved by Dan Patrick!" message get out enough by other means?

- I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the fervent belief (delusion, if you ask me) among the sampled voters that their property taxes are way too high. Seriously. All I can say is same planet, different worlds.

Anyway, it's an interesting read, and there's more here. Check it out.

UPDATE: My use of the term "push poll" was incorrect, as pointed out by Kevin in the comments. I have changed my wording accordingly. As did Cory, I stand behind everything else I said.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 10, 2008 to Election 2008

This is a push poll. Not an egregious one, of the "Would your opinion of Senator Bedfellow change if you learned that he regularly kicks puppies?" variety, but a push poll nonetheless.

It's not a push poll.

Maybe you don't really understand what a true "push poll" is. A true push poll is simply rododialing/telemarketing on behalf of a campaign, which masquerades as a legitimate poll but in reality is used simply to spread a negative message about a campaign opponent. Here is a good primer.

If Corbin Van Arsdale's opponents were truly push-polling, it would be closer to election time, and it would involve more than HRC's 300 respondents!

This was a legitimate poll done by a legitimate (and respected) polling firm, with results that were then analyzed. In the early stages of elections, this sort of polling is done ALL THE TIME by candidates, to try to measure issues where opponents are weak. Indeed, better funded candidates often have time series questions on certain issues to determine how well their advertising is working on issues that are identified this way. Again, I'm very surprised you'd confuse such legitimate polling with push-poll political advertising/telemarketing.

Posted by: Kevin Whited on January 10, 2008 9:28 AM

I just don't know how much 'deviling' from 'danno' district 130 can take. Seriously . . How much can 'danno' indirectly contribute to his clone via radio talk, letters sent to voters in district 130 - clearly marked paid for by Dan Patrick Campaign - It just doesn't seem legal/ethical/christian!!!

Wonder hwo soon danno will go after the gypsies or me!!!

Posted by: T. Otten on January 16, 2008 8:16 PM