FMU-SC Now Poll Tells Us We ALL Have a Lot of Work To Do ...
When it comes to polls, there's a pretty good rule: the smaller the area you're working, the more likely it is to be wrong. There have been plenty of internal polls from the campaigns, but today was the first independent poll of the 7th Congressional District GOP Primary on June 12th. From what we see, we have a few questions, but there is one thing that we totally agree with - a ton of people haven't made up their minds.
The poll conducted by Crantford and Associates for FMU and SC Now.com, showed that the candidates finished in the following order:
Andre Bauer 22%
Tom Rice 21%
Chad Prosser 8%
Jay Jordan 5%
Katherine Jenerette 4%
Dick Withington 2%
Randal Wallace 1%
Renee Culler 1%
Jim Mader 1%
Now, we know what you're probably doing right now.... You're adding up the numbers, and you're noticing that it only adds up to 65%. So, where are the other 35%? Just like in the South Carolina GOP Primary back in January, over one-third of those polled are undecided. Why depends either of three different reasons: they're keeping their decision lose to the vest, they don't know all of the candidates yet, or they just flat out aren't thinking about it yet...
We doubt the first reason plays much into it right now. Why? Because the second is much more logical. We can personally attest to it. We've been involved in South Carolina politics for 8 years, and we didn't know seven of the nine candidates. That's a lot of learning to do for anyone, but what if you're not a political junkie like us? That leaves reason number three....
Since most of you are very interested in politics like us, you're going to have a hard time believing this, but most people do not live or die with politics. As little as I knew a couple months ago, that was light years ahead of 95% of the voters, particularly in the Pee Dee. Some of these guys are total unknowns. If you think having money doesn't matter to voters, think about this: who are the top three in polls? OK, now who are the three guys who have TV ads running? A small correlation there, is there?
Now, as far as the reliability of the poll besides that, we do have a question of two. Crantford weighted the polls by area. Horry County got 54% of the respondents, and Georgetown had 15%, with Florence just barely ahead of it at 16%. So, amongst the other 5 counties, they gave them 15% of the polling. If you go by the delegate totals, which were based on the Presidential Primary totals, Horry was a bit over weighted, which is bad for Tom Rice. He only got 10% of the remaining vote, and 28% in Horry. So, his 21% could be slightly overstated, while Andre Bauer's 22% could be a tad low. Jay Jordan needs to make a move. He's second to Bauer in Florence at 19%, but is nearly non-existent at the beach. He's supposed to have raised money, so he better start spending some of it at the Beach. Thus far, we haven't seen him on TV...
The real stunner to us is the invisibility of Randal Wallace... Wallace has been reviewed well by party people, and has connections in both the Pee Dee and Grand Strand, but polled lower than Katherine Jenerette and Dick Withington?? Something doesn't seem kosher there, but it could be right. In 2004, I had every GOP insider and party official locked up, but on Primary Day, I got 22%, and even only 29% in Florence County. As much as it hurts, we 'party faithful' just don't have the influence that we think we do..
And that is our challenge to you. June 12th is getting closer and closer, and time is running out for you to get disenfranchised voters to do two things - to get them to care, and to get them to vote! The first is the hard part. Once they do that, they'll do the homework. Maybe they'll cram like Final Exams at the last minute, but it's better than nothing... We're likely to see another poll or two, and it wouldn't surprise us to see totally different results. Til then, this is all we have to go by...