Pipkin Campaign Touts New Poll

According to PolitickerMD.com, the Pipkin campaign is ecstatic about a new poll showing him in a dead heat for second place.

The campaign of state Sen. E.J. Pipkin is touting a new poll. The survey, by McLaughlin & Associates, surveyed 300 likely Republican voters from Dec. 18-19, and asked them who they were supporting in the primary. Among the major three candidates, incumbent Rep. Wayne Gilchrest led with 33%, followed by Pipkin with 27.2%, and state Sen. Andy Harris was third with 26.8%.

“We are the candidate for Republicans,” Pipkin Press Secretary Andi Morony said during an interview with PolitickerMD.com.

Morony said the campaign was “encouraged” by the results of the poll; expressing confidence in the fact that Pipkin was ahead of Harris and within striking distance of Gilchrest.

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As I pointed out yesterday, campaign managers get paid to say outrageous things and Ms. Morony rose to the challenge. Senator Pipkin is a well known figure in MD-1 and has high name recognition. So his polling 27% in a three way primary is pretty much in line with what one would expect based on name recognition alone. The idea that a 0.4% lead in a poll of 300 persons is significant (that would be one person’s answer) certainly assaults one’s credulity.

Both the Pipkin and Harris campaigns have been running to the right of Gilchrest, a moderate. Morony said that the campaign was not trying to be the “alternative to the incumbent,” and said that she was not worried that Pipkin and Harris could split the conservative vote.

She reiterated her point that Pipkin was the “best candidate” for Republican voters.

“We believe voters want conservative representation on the Eastern Shore,” Morony said. “E.J. has done nothing but work hard for the people of the first district.”

To be clear here, we believe, without reservation, that Andy Harris is the best candidate in MD-1. We also believe that should Senator Pipkin prevail he, too, would be not only be a welcome change from the the weathervane that is Wayne Gilchrest but an excellent representative in his own right.

Unfortunately, Ms. Morony is wrong on two key issues. Senator Harris is the only candidate in the race who can be viewed as a conservative. Senator Pipkin is undoubtedly to the right of most Maryland Republicans but he would have a lot of trouble convincing mainstream conservatives that he is their candidate. If Ms. Morony truly believes that Mr. Pipkin is not trying to be an alternative to Mr.Gilchrest and Mr. Harris one wonders why in Heaven’s name he is in the race. If she isn’t afraid that he and Harris will split the conservative and Republican vote then she simply isn’t paying attention.

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