Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It ain't over 'til it's over: the Goddard 'Surge' vs the robocalls

I just returned from the Women for Goddard gig with a list of my soon-to-be 20 new best friends -- women I have to call and convince to vote for Terry Goddard for Arizona governor. Between 100-150 women gathered tonight to collect lists and calling procedures. If last night's Women for Goddard event was that big, that means hundreds of women will be calling Pima County Democratic women to encourage them to vote for Goddard and other Democrats on the ticket.

Hillary Clinton used the same women-calling-women strategy in 2008, came to Tucson herself (instead of sending the second string, sorry, Michelle), and won Arizona-- despite Obama endorsements from Raul Grijalva and Janet Napolitano.

With the state and federal Republicans' abysmal voting records on women's issues (AKA, reproductive rights, healthcare, education, and poverty), it would be amazing to me if any women-- except the ultra-rich or those with ties to an ultra-conservative, highly-repressive religion popular in Arizona-- would vote Republican.

Feeling pretty good on my way home, I was thinking about the new Goddard-Brewer polling data that was sent out today. From the Goddard press release:

New polling data released today indicates Terry Goddard is gaining ground on Jan Brewer in the race for Governor of Arizona.

The poll, conducted on behalf of Project New West, shows that in one of the more conservative Congressional districts in Arizona, Terry Goddard has moved to within single digits with 45% of the vote, Brewer at 52%.

"Jan Brewer has failed to bring new jobs or new business to Arizona. She has failed us on education - and is willing to cut even more from the education budget. Times are bad, and voters are recognizing that Jan Brewer is not the kind of decisive leader we need, to lead us out of this mess," added Goddard.

The huge gain of more than a dozen points since a Rasmussen poll on September 8, shows a dramatic shift in momentum as voters learn about Terry Goddard, his success as Attorney General, and his plan to bring new jobs and support business expansion in Arizona.

OK, Terry, sorry, man, but there are a few things wrong with this press release information.

1- It is frickin' awesome that you have gained a significant number of percentage points in a conservative district; 52% Brewer vs 45% for you puts you in striking distance-- especially considering the army of scared progressive out their working for you. (But here comes the but...)

2- But you really can't compare the new data with the Rasmussen robocall data. To use research terminology, you're comparing apples with oranges. :) To compare these polls, the surveyors would have had to ask the same questions in the same way (live person vs robocall computer) in the same order to the same types of voters (ie, likely voters, not likely, anyone who answers the phone and speaks English, anyone who has a land line, etc.) Also, I believe that the puny Rasmussen polls (500-600 likely voters) are supposed to be representative of statewide demographics, which would be most heavily weighted for Maricopa County-- rather than just looking at one district. (Speaking of statewide data, do either of these groups-- Rasmussen or or Project New West-- have Spanish-speaking surveyors. I doubt it.) Having a research background, my guess is that only a certain type of person-- and not me-- would answer a computerized telephone survey. In my opinion, that skews the Rasmussen data as much or more than their conservative bent. (And here comes another but...)

3- Believe it or not-- this is good news. I hope I'm not giving away the secret strategy here, but my guess is that Goddard is trying to follow in Napolitano's footsteps (ie, win big in Pima and other blue/purple areas outside of Maricopa to take the state). So, if the Rasmussen polls are heavily weighted to Maricopa-- who cares what their data says?

Woo, hoo. Volunteer. Donate. Vote! Go Goddard. Beat the Bruja.

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