Posts Tagged ‘polls’

Today’s Battle ’10 Posts on NRO

By Elizabeth Crum | 5:16 pm August 2nd, 2010

Here are my most recent National Review Online blog items, Dear Readers:


  • Hating Harry (bonus materials:  video of a money quote from Ralston)
  • Nevada’s “None of the Above” option could help Harry Reid (includes money quote from Ryan Erwin)
  • Sandoval “Hispanic” scandal (or is it?)
  • Sandoval leads Rory by…we’re not sure (battle of the polls)
  • Angle-Reid in dead heat
  • Rory emerges from polling abyss, says Rasmussen (bonus materials: funny ad)

Since you can’t drop comments over there, feel free to drop them here instead.

Is the Nevada U.S. Senate Race Really a Money Game?

By Elizabeth Crum | 12:34 pm June 17th, 2010

The NRSC (and Ralston via Twitter) this morning point to a story in National Journal’s Hotline saying GOP candidate Sharron Angle has been raising about $100,000 per day since she won the primary.

Her campaign was slightly (about $30K) in debt pre-primary, so this is good news for her.

Having said that, Harry Reid will raise and spend at least $25M on this race, so Angle has a long way to go to match him so she can try to battle it out on the Nevada airwaves.

I do wonder, though, if Angle really needs That much money in order to beat the Majority Leader.  Reid’s low approval ratings didn’t budge much even after he had spent roughly $9M during primary season, so maybe this is a race in which money doesn’t mean what it usually does.

(I’ll wait for everyone to stop laughing before I continue…)

Is it possible Reid could spend another $10M on ads and still find himself in only the high 30s or low 40s?  That his “all I’ve done for Nevada” messages – much of which, to be fair to him, is quite true – will not resonate one bit in a state that is suffering so badly?  And that every time Harry Reid’s face is on TV, even in a positive context, it elicits an “Oh yeah, we don’t like that guy” instead of an “Ain’t he grand” reaction?

As has been said repeatedly, this election will largely depend on voter sentiment about the economy.  Unfortunately for Reid, most fiscal indicators show little movement.  And Nevada will be behind the national curve, so it is unlikely we’ll see even the foreshadowing of a recovery here before November.

If the narrative people carry close to their hearts is The Economy Is Still Wrecked: Harry and Friends to Blame! it’s quite possible all the TV ads in the world will not save him.  In fact, voter vitriol might be further fueled by the fact that Reid will be pouring $10 to $15 million into saving his, er, seat at a time so many regular people are hurting.

Don’t be surprised if you see an Angle ad saying just that.

I will be curious to observe and tally all the ad buys and then look at the polls in thirty days or so.

GOP Senate Candidate Sue Lowden Calls Reid Interference In Republican Primary Unprecedented

By Sean Whaley | 3:55 pm June 7th, 2010

CARSON CITY – GOP U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden said today she is “very encouraged” by the exit polling results her campaign has seen from early voting as primary election day draws near.

She said in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program that the results of a poll reported over the weekend in the Las Vegas Review-Journal showing Sharron Angle taking a commanding lead in the multi-candidate primary is several days old and included people who have not yet voted. The poll was conducted June 1 through 3.

“So we’ve been tracking those who have left their homes, the comforts of their homes, and gone to early vote and we’re very, very encouraged,” she said.

Lowden did not disclose what her tracking polls are showing, saying she didn’t have the information available.

“It’s different in every part of the state that we’ve been tracking,” she said. “But I can tell you we feel really good about those who have voted already.”

Lowden said voters should not be swayed by the ads running in the Senate race from outside groups, particularly those from the Patriot Majority PAC, which she said has links to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The political action committee, run by a former Reid campaign staffer, is running an ad in Nevada attacking Lowden’s record on taxes during her term in the state Senate in the 1990s.

“I do wish outside groups had stayed out of our race,” she said. “Harry Reid has clearly decided he doesn’t want me in November to defeat him; he thinks it’s easier to defeat me in June. I’m hoping that people see through it.”

While voters may be tired of negative campaigning, Lowden said GOP primary voters need to know that outside groups are trying to influence the results, including “Harry Reid friendlies who are doing that, trying to influence our Republican primary, like I’ve never seen before in this state.”

Lowden said questions raised about several incidents during her campaign, such as her suggestion that people barter with their doctors for care, were made issues by Reid to distract voters from his failures on jobs and the economy.

“They can’t find anything about me, so they make it up,” she said. “He’s going to do anything to protect his job to make sure he has a job in November. He doesn’t care about the tens of thousands of people who don’t have jobs in Nevada. He’s not talking about that.”

Lowden made similar remarks in an appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball this afternoon.


Audio Files:

Lowden on recent poll numbers:

060710Lowden1 :26 very, very encouraged.”

Lowden on Reid:

060710Lowden2 :24 in this state”

Team Lowden Says They Reached Half of Their ID’d Suppporters in Early Voting

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:24 am June 5th, 2010

On a conference call with press this morning, Team Lowden coach Robert Uithoven said they had “pretty good success” with their early voting Get Out the Vote effort, reaching about half of their ID’d voters.

Not sure that can be called success, though.  If Lowden only got half of her confirmed supporters to the polls early, she is going to need a huge Tuesday push which, as Ralston Tweeted during the call, seems pretty unlikely.

Uithoven referenced past voter data on Angle in Churchill, Elko and other rural counties where she historically fared less well and said they have been focused picking up votes in those areas.

He claimed they are “up outside the margin of error” after early voting, based on 6,000 interviews.

Uithoven also mentioned Team Tark, saying Danny has “possibly benefited from staying out of” the Angle-Lowden fray.  He added, though, that Tark has been relatively “stagnant” in the polls and said he believes Tark has topped out.

We then had the usual mention of “outside groups” going after Lowden, characterized nicely by Ralston via Twitter:

“Fine whine.”

Perhaps the most notable thing about the call was that there were no questions from press, but then there’s not too much that hasn’t been asked and answered in recent weeks.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I am ready for Tuesday night and would probably just fast forward through the next three days if I could.

Sandoval Up Over Gibbons 47-33, Female and Non-Tea Party Voters Are Deciding Factor

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:20 am June 5th, 2010

As Flashed by Ralston early last night and posted by the RJ sometime this morning, Gibbons has gained a bit but is still 14 points behind Sandoval in the gubernatorial race.

The Mason-Dixon Polling & Research poll shows Montandon (still) at just 6%.  I guess Mayor Mike will soon have to start thinking about What’s Next.  If it helps him feel any better, I do think he is an “electable conservative.”  He might want to consider aiming a little lower than the state’s highest executive office, though.

The poll says the Undecideds are at 12%.

It’s notable that among Republican men, Gibbons and Sandoval are tied at 41%, but the GOP female voters break strongly for Sandoval:  54% prefer him while Gibbons’ is liked by just 24%.

While many women do enjoy watching a good soap opera, I guess Governor Gibbons gave them a little Too Much drama.

Also, among GOP voters who do not self-ID as Tea Party members, Gibbons is liked by only 31% while Sandoval earns 49%.

I find it interesting that only 18% of the Republicans polled ID’d themselves as “members” of the Tea Party while 82% said they are not members.  But then 64% said they “support the agenda” of the Tea Party movement.  These folks are casually rooting for the Tea Party from the comfort of their couches, I guess?

Anyhow, in a general election match-up against Rory Reid, 51% percent went with Sandoval (compared to 37% for the Senate Majority Leader’s son).

It should be noted that 14 points is not an unbridgeable gap (except, of course, if it’s the week before the election) especially when you have $2.6 million cash on hand and the state Dem Machine warming up in the engine room, as Rory does.

Having said that, it looks like Brian Sandoval will probably be our next governor.  But I’ll be interested to see how many points the Dems can shave off his lead, and how they go about it, between now and November.

Tea Party Express Brings the Funny With Mock Poll Results

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:22 pm June 4th, 2010

A gold star goes to the Tea Party Express for putting out this clever tongue-in-cheek press release just now:




The Tea Party Express joined every other campaign above Dog Catcher in releasing our exclusive Exit Poll results from Early Voting.

The Exit Poll data showed similar results to those released by the U.S. Senate campaigns of Danny Tarkanian and Sue Lowden:






The margin of error on the poll was +/- 95%.

“We’ve given it our best effort, but clearly we cannot compete with the other U.S. Senate campaigns and their constantly rising internal poll results,” said Bryan J. Shroyer, Political Director of the Tea Party Express.

“We thought Sharron Angle could win this campaign by securing roughly 35% of the vote, but clearly the Lowden and Tarkanian campaigns long ago passed those numbers in their own internal polling and are set for a historic election finish winning more than 100% of the vote each.

“We failed. We thought we were doing well with Angle’s initial surge until the competing camps corrected us and denied the surge. We then thought we were doing good as independent polls showed us running neck-and-neck with Sue Lowden until we were corrected by the other campaigns that no we weren’t. And with new independent polls showing Angle surging ahead to first-place, we are grateful to the Lowden and Tarkanian campaigns for once again setting us straight.”


Friday U.S. Senate Round-Up

By Elizabeth Crum | 3:26 pm June 4th, 2010

Here’s a hodgepodge of Senate race items, some of them in Twitter format (meaning 140 characters or less with various abbrevations and supplemented by hashtags as modifiers or snarky comments):

– Earlier this week Sue Lowden told CQ Politics the GOP would unite after primary day, but today her campaign manager told members of the press she’s the only one who can beat Harry Reid (insinuating, without so saying directly, that the general election is over if she doesn’t win).  How to reconcile the one with the other?  And will the winner, if it’s not Lowden, even want her half-hearted support?  Especially if that winner is Sharron Angle, upon whom Team Lowden has been unmercifully beating for the past few weeks?

– Manu Raju w/ Politico was also on that call with team Lowden today. Here’s the write-up.

– My sum-up of the call?  Seven parts Angle-bashing, two parts “only we can win” and one part dismissing general skepticism about Lowden’s ability to actually do so.

– The Sun’s Coolican and Schwartz had a nice snapshot of the race as of this morning. says Harry Reid has “quiet” Mormon support. (Why do they feel they have to whisper…?)

– The Defense in the Blagojevich trial subpoenaed Harry Reid, Dick Durbin & Jesse Jackson Jr. Judge (but the judge denied the request to subpoena Obama).  Hm.  That could get messy.

– A Gun Owners of America website called likes Angle and doesn’t like Tarkanian.  Includes clip to that Brady endorsement thing.

– I kicked off a fun Twitter convo about Tarkanian this morning when I shared some exit poll numbers put out by his press guy.  Here is some of it (all unlabeled Tweets are mine):

Team Tark out w/ early voting exits. Claims Tark at 44%, Angle at 29%, Lowden 26%, w/ a Clark/Rural/Washoe ratio of 58/24/17. Says MOE 8.8%.

(@presjpolk) @pinkelephantpun Wow, an MoE of 8.8. My model gives a 20% chance per that poll that Angle leads Tark.

(@pinkelephantpun) @presjpolk … I think it’s a load of crap. Personally. Nothing I’ve seen puts Tark in that range. At all. But you’re the expert.

Let’s be clear that I am not validating or endorsing Team Tark’s claims about their exit polls, just reporting them. #grainofsalt

On Team Tark: When you’ve spent $800K on a campaign, of course you’re gonna fight & hold out hope ’til the bitter end.

Tark Press Team responds to skeptical Tweets about their exit poll #s: “We heard similar #’s from another top campaign.” #nvsen

(@RalstonFlash) Just off plane & saw Tark exit polling. I believe the numbers. I think of voters he once had, he’s probably holding 44%. #alsoran

(@RalstonFlash) Only way Tark wins race is if all the other data out there is wrong. But happy to eat crow Tuesday if he wins. Well, not happy, but will.

If Team Tark wins, they will crow from rooftops, press & pollsters will eat crow, & carrion crows will descend on oppo camps.

And finally, this great Tweet by Ralston, which I think pretty much sums it up for all of us (except all the candidates who are not running for U.S. Senate, of course):

Right now, feel re: GOP Senate race as Paul Newman did about case in “The Verdict.” “There are no other cases. This is the case.” #obsessed

U.S. Senate Round-Up

By Elizabeth Crum | 2:11 pm June 3rd, 2010

In an effort to close out a few of my 27 open browser tabs on stories the U.S. Senate race, here is a quick round-up of U.S. Senate race items for your edification and enjoyment, Dear Readers:

– A Stephen Moore WSJ piece on Angle Anxiety within the GOP establishment.  Also mentions Norquistian (Americans for Tax Reform) issues with her vote against the 2005 property tax cap bill (but as @SteveSebelius Tweeted earlier, she voted against that because she thought it was unconstitutional).  And says liberals are cheering for Angle as Reid’s dream opponent.

A KOS poll showing Angle now in the lead and Harry beating, well, everyone.

– Mary Cheney’s new PAC (Send Harry Packing) is out with a Harry Reid hit ad.

– Talking Points Memo with a Future Looks Bright for Harry story.

– One of Scott Ashjian’s (remember him?) companies filed for bankruptcy yesterday due to an unpaid debt to Nevada National Bank for $750,000.

– A vet’s group does negative robocalls on Lowden for her (1995) “burial tax for veterans” bill authorizing non-combat veterans to pay ($100) for burial in a veterans’ cemetery.

The WaPo says Angle won’t say where she’s campaigning this week and asks if she’s doing it because she’s afraid she’ll say something to screw things up.

– David McGrath Schwartz explores Team Reid’s Bashfest.

– Tark tells ABC why he needs to be the one via criticism of Angle and Lowden.

Hat Tips to @SteveSebelius and @RalstonFlash for quite a few of these, via Twitter and/or their blogs.

Team Chachas Gets Bonus Points for Creativity

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:17 pm June 1st, 2010

Check out The Elephant Ad.

In other Chachas-related news, we had (this morning) a corrected press release stating that only one of two previously mentioned and hardly-heard-of candidates was dropping out and endorsing him:  Gary Bernstein.

Never heard of Gary?  Here is his website featuring the one TV ad I saw him run, plus his bio.

Anyhow, the last M-D poll had Chachas polling at 2%.  He’s reportedly been courting the Undecideds as best he can, but that is only 10 to 15% of likely voters.

Even in the highly unlikely event (snowballs, anyone?) that Chachas were to win the hearts and minds of all GOP voters who have yet to make up their minds, he would still only come in at 12 to 17%.  Which would land him in fourth place.

Which, if it happened, would be fairly respectable for a man who, comparative to the three frontrunners, spent very little time and money competing against the field.

Predictable: A Bit of Angle Bashing from Team Lowden

By Elizabeth Crum | 7:19 pm May 20th, 2010

With Angle surging in the polls — a PPP (automated) poll today had Angle at 29%, Lowden at 26% and Tark at 24% (the sample was 651 GOP voters, taken 5/12-16) — this is not a big surprise.

I believe AD was up first with the new anti-Angle ad from Team Lowden.

The ad goes after Angle on (1) once trying to raise legislative pay and (2) the whole prison reform via “Scientology” thing.


(1) Legislative pay is currently a measly $7K and Angle was trying to raise it (I think?) by a few hundred dollars.  Even if she was trying to double it, it’s not that big of a deal in the big picture.  (I’ve often wondered how we get any quality candidates as state legislators get paid very little to meet once every other year and sporadically for special sessions.)

(2) The prison reform story is totally overblown.  Yes, there were some experimental things going on at that facility in New Mexico, but the recidivism rate was low and Angle, who was big into prison reform, was taking a look.  From what I can see (and have heard in interviews with her) Angle is a straight-talking Bible-believing Christian who is not a secret disciple of Tom Cruise & Co.

You may or may not be comfortable with Angle, but you definitely know what you are getting if you vote for her.

It’s the best Team Lowden could do with this ad, though, because these two issues are really all there is.

Angle has been nothing if not public and consistent in her views and votes.

Rory: Waiting for the White Hot Spotlight

By Elizabeth Crum | 6:05 am May 16th, 2010

This week’s Mason-Dixon poll confirmed what we have all known in our hearts but were reluctant to say out loud until now:

Governor Gibbons is going to lose the primary.  The corpse is already cooling.

Foreknowledge makes the fact no less astonishing.  In an election year energized by a GOP base that is fed up, whipped up and fervently in favor of the most conservative candidate on the playbill, it looks like the scene at the end of this Act will star a conservative Republican governor getting his clock cleaned by a challenger the base isn’t sure is a true conservative at all.

In the drama to play out on June 8, nearly half of Nevada’s GOP faithful will pull the proverbial lever for Brian Sandoval while muttering “lesser of evils, lesser of evils” under their collective breath.  They will walk away from the ballot box feeling depressed and slightly disoriented.  They will tell themselves they did the right thing.  And they will pray that Sandoval surprises them once he is sworn in.  But they will doubt it.

Those who didn’t vote for Sandoval will walk away shaking their heads in quiet resignation.  Either because they voted for an incumbent they knew couldn’t win, or voted for the Other Guy they knew couldn’t win.  But they will have voted on principle, so at least (they will tell themselves) they have That.

As the Republicans search their souls and look to the skies for signs they did right, the Democrats and 200,000-odd independent/non-partisan voters will enter the fray.  All eyes will turn to look at the choices now before them. And because the electorate will be suffering from serious Sandoval burnout after weeks of boasts and blasts via non-stop TV spots, most will turn their gazes upon Rory Reid.

[House lights down.  Center spotlight up.  Bam.]

What line will he utter?  With what Bardian monologue will he please the ear, capture the heart and lift the spirit on high?

There’s no telling.  Because Rory has not, as Steve Sebelius reminded us this week, yet said much about much.  And the not-muchness he has said especially applies to this year’s big electoral theme:  taxes and the state budget.

Rory has pledged to take some kind of stand upon release of recommendations from the Nevada Vision Stakeholders Group.  The executive summary is already out and the final report roughly coincides with the primaries (June), so there will soon be no excu–, er, reason for waiting any longer. Much to Rory’s chagrin, because as Sebelius wrote:

But if the Republicans mean to say that Reid would rather stick needles in his eyes and leap from the top of the Stratosphere than talk taxes, well, they have a point.


But a reluctant Rory will soon have no choice.  His potential opponents have all sung the “no new taxes” ditty to death, much to the delight of the party faithful, and one imagines him gazing wistfully out from some moonlit balcony and sighing:

O Revenue, Revenue! wherefore art thou Revenue?

Ready or not for the show to go on, Rory knows he must soon deliver a version of one of the following three lines:  we must cut back spending to current revenue streams; we must make some cuts and find some new revenue (i.e. raise taxes); or we must find enough new revenue (i.e. raise taxes) to maintain current spending levels.  And then he must explain How we are to do it.

I, for one, will be listening and watching in rapt anticipation as he steps into the white hot spotlight for the telling.

Montandon: 4 out of 10 Nevadans ask, “Mike Who…?

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:17 am May 14th, 2010

The latest M-D poll has guberanatorial hopeful Montandon polling at just 6% with only 60% name recognition statewide.

But to hear his campaign tell it, you’d think Mayor Mike is going to send shock waves through the universe with a surprise primary win on June 8 (although he needs your help with phone calls just to make sure):

Good Morning Elizabeth,

A straw poll of Tea Party activists taken at the Action is Brewing debate showed me winning with an astounding 48.3% of the vote!

Combine the straw poll victory with my recent endorsements below, and we are picking up momentum from influential grassroots conservatives!

* Nevada Concerned Citizens

* Clark County Conservative Grassroots Coalition

* Positions on Issues PAC

* KXNT radio show host Casey Hendrickson

* Young Conservatives of Nevada

* UNLV College Republicans

I need your help to continue the momentum. Please sign up to make phone calls from our office or your home.

Over the past several weeks, my campaign tag line has become “the only electable conservative.” The reason is simple. Brian Sandoval’s record of supporting tax increases and open pro-choice stance label him as a liberal Republican. Governor Gibbons is the only Republican running who Rory Reid beats in head-to-head match ups. I am a real conservative who consistently defeats Rory Reid in the polls.

I need your help to win. Please sign up to make phone calls.


Mike Montandon

As a spectator, I admit I’d enjoy seeing an upset of this magnitude on primary night.  As as realist, I can’t say I think it’s very likely.

Montandon has to find the money to get up on TV or some way to get his name in the headlines, right quick, if he hopes to even come in second in the three-way gub-off.

A Few Notes About Erick Erickson’s Criticisms of Lowden and Re-Endorsement of Tarkanian

By Elizabeth Crum | 7:45 pm May 13th, 2010

From Erick Erickson of Red State, one of the darlings of the conservative blogosphere, a re-endorsement of Danny Tarkanian intermixed with a few questions and comments from me (which should not be interpreted as a defense of Lowden so much as an effort to set the record straight):

Pretty much the entirety of the Republican Establishment is lining up behind Sue Lowden to beat Harry Reid in Nevada.

Not me.

I just don’t trust her. From her record in the Nevada legislature to her time as head of the Nevada GOP, I think conservatives can do better. I think Danny Tarkanian makes a lot of sense.

Trust can be a pretty subjective thing, but I know Erick and he has no doubt done his research (although I am pretty sure he has never actually met or spoke with Lowden).  And Danny Tarkanian has no voting record to trust or mistrust.

While Sue Lowden has been running on the “beat Harry Reid” theme, she has ignored both her campaign contributions to Harry Reid and issues. Meanwhile, Danny Tarkanian is taking clear, conservative policy positions we can all support.

Lowden has a TV ad out addressing those Reid contributions two-ish decades ago (which is now old news here in Nevada), and she’s raised/donated nearly $250,000 for GOP candidates in the years since.  And whatever one may think of how she falls on the issues, it’s a bit unfair to say she has “ignored” them.

The race in Nevada has tightened to ten points in a Research 2000 poll and internal Nevada polls have the gap between Lowden and Danny Tarkanian much closer.

True.  But the latest update is that Angle has passed Tarkanian and pulled within a few points of Lowden, if you believe this new poll.  (In other words, Lowden’s loss has been mostly Angle’s gain, not Tark’s.)

Let’s delve into this below the fold. Lowden is, right now, totally on defense over her campaign contributions to Harry Reid — largely because Danny Tarkanian talked about them when everyone else was ignoring them.

Danny Tarkanian has received the endorsement of the Minuteman Project for clear positioning on immigration. Meanwhile, Sue Lowden is wavering on the issue of benefits to illegal immigrants. Check out Danny Tarkanian’s latest ad on immigration and you’ll get the picture. Danny has a clear policy prescription and Sue is muddying the water over whether or not she supports benefits to illegal aliens.

Lowden has likewise flip-flopped on abortion. It took her campaign almost two weeks to make up its mind on what her position is. She’s also running a campaign devoid of messages — something about “checks and chickens” with a few plugs for gender and male bashing.

I’m not convinced there has been a flip-flop on abortion.  I’ve looked at the record and talked with Lowden about her position, and what others might see as “waffling” comes across to me to as compassion and sensitivity toward women who find themselves facing a tough decision.

Making it even worse for Lowden, she chickened out in a debate with Danny Tarkanian. Lowden canceled her appearance at a debate in Reno at the last minute after getting slammed by Danny Tarkanian at the debate in Las Vegas the night before. She has allegedly passed on media appearances instead dispatching her campaign manager to do radio (the Heidi Harris Show) and Jon Ralston’s Face-to-Face. On Face to Face, her campaign manager revived bartergate with quixotic statements about access to healthcare.

“Chickened out” is an unfair characterization of Lowden’s withdrawal from that forum in Reno.  There was behind the scenes controversy brewing over whether or not there might be profit-sharing among the sponsoring grassroots groups, along with questions about whether any of the participating candidates would financially benefit, so rather than risk any bad press Lowden chose to pull out.  Considering that she was coming off a few very bad weeks, one really can’t blame her for avoiding even the perception of impropriety.

And in at least one of the cases where Lowden campaign manager Robert Uithoven appeared on her behalf, he was invited.

You want to know what “bartergate” is? If you haven’t seen Jay Leno mocking her for it, just read this. Lowden is going to be a general election nightmare. She may be backed by pretty much every establishment Republican, but that’s because she is an establishment Republican.

Questions about whether or not Lowden is ready to withstand the heat in the general election are valid.  She’s been mercilessly ridiculed by Team Reid, and that will continue as long as they think it’s working.

We have too many of those in Washington — people who give Harry Reid campaign contributions, then run against him.

I’m with Danny Tarkanian and I hope you will be too.

Of even bigger concern to Team Lowden than Erickson’s endorsement is whether Tarkanian will soon get a nod from conservative powerhouse and grassroots favorite son Jim DeMint, as I am hearing may happen.

Mike Montandon’s New Media Dreamin’

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:01 pm April 29th, 2010

Is he crazy like a fox? Or just crazy? That was the gist of a series of questions I posed to Mike Montandon today during a NNB-hosted conference call with a few bloggers and reporters.

Acknowledging that his 6-point lead over Rory Reid in a head-to-head is “attributable to Rory’s apparent lack of popularity” and that he still has a tall hill to climb in the primary, Montandon nevertheless reiterated what underdogs always do:

“I believe I can win.”

Belief may be what gets him through the night, but how to turn nice dreams into election night upsets?  Recent polls have Montandon pulling only 7% on June 8th while Sandoval’s 39% is a widening of his previous lead over Gibbons who is now down to just 25%.

“The thing is, that new slogan — “the only electable conservative” — is not just a slogan, it’s true.  And it’s what I’m starting to hear on the campaign trail,” said the former mayor.

“People are saying to me, we do not disagree with Gibbons and his principles, but we will not vote for him again,” he said. “So I’m gaining there.”

As for Sandoval, he’s coming off a few pretty bad weeks and Montandon thinks his avoidance of public forums as well as his decision to skip tomorrow night’s debate is a mistake at a time when Gibbons is bleeding supporters.

“I will be there,” said Montandon. “I show up everywhere. And I talk to everyone.”

In the absence of deep campaign coffers, Montandon said he is using the same on-the-ground tactics he’s enlisted in past campaigns along with various “new media” strategies including lots of Google ads, a presence on FaceBook and Twitter and the use of web videos and interactive web tools to collect data and drive traffic.

“We have the largest web presence of the three candidates by far,” he said. “And we have used those tools to ID likely primary voters and assemble a very large mailing list of supporters.  Large enough, that if they all show up on election day, I win.”

Waxing skeptical, I asked Montandon how he can seriously say he is positioned to pull off an upset of that magnitude.

“You know, one of my fondest memories is in 1997, sitting with friends, watching the voter returns…the polls going in showing me losing by 9%, and me winning by 11%,” he said.

Great story, but he’s not down by just nine.  He’s off the lead by 32% with less than six weeks to go.  What’s the road from former Nor’town Mayor to Miracle Mike?

New media tools, showing up and consistency on issues, says he.

And he does seem to have that last one down:  While Gibbons waffles and Sandoval wavers, voters know (or could know, if they paid attention) where Montandon stands on taxes, jobs, education, Yucca, guns, abortion and traditional marriage.  And his positions for the most part do pass the conservative smell test.

So while Gibbons stumbles and Sandoval fights off the flying monkeys hurtling down from the turrets of Dan Hart’s IE committee, Montandon says he will keep on keepin’ on down the yellow-brick road to Oz:  back and forth between the rurals and Clark County, in and out of meet-and-greets and small group gatherings, his email sign-up sheets in tow.

But is new media really the poor candidate’s war chest?  Can Montandon’s small but scrappy tech team use Google tools and goofy YouTube ads to actually pull off a victory?  Or at least convince voters he is less embarrassing than Gibbons and finish with a second place ribbon?

“Well, they will either be rock stars, or they will have to go out and work for a living,” joked Montandon.

“Look, four years ago you would not have even stood a chance in a campaign without big money,” he said.  “New media allows us to have a better chance.  It really will be a bellwether.”

In 40 days we’ll see whether the bell tolls for he.

Latest Rasmussen #s on US Senate

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:38 am April 29th, 2010

Here’s the poll.

Snippets and comments:

– Harry Reid’s support still at around 40%

With TV ads hitting this week, we’ll see if Reid can gain some points.

–Reid unfavorables at 47% with favorables at 23%

– Lowden v. Reid match-up = 52-39%

– Lowden is viewed very favorably by 15% of Nevada voters and very unfavorably by 19%

Hm!  Unfavorables there are up a bit.  Due to Bartergate and the media’s obsession with chicken puns, no doubt.

– Tarkanian v. Reid = 51-41%

– 19% have a very favorable opinion of Tarkanian, while 15% regard him very unfavorably

– Angle v. Reid = 48-40%

– Angles very favorables are at 9% with very unfavorables at 11%

Tea Party Express is raising money and now up with ads for her, so we’ll see what happens.

– 53% of Nevadans favor health care reform repeal (national #s are at 58%) while 44% oppose

– 57% of Nevada voters favor immigration legislation like AZ’s while 31% oppose

– 60% of voters in the state say America is overtaxed, compared to 66% of voters nationwide