Pollsters blow it in NH

I was just listening to Frank Luntz on FOX News about the New Hampshire pre-primary polling. Stating that the turnout models are “broken”, he also cited that negativity is deadly in this campaign, “particularly on the GOP side”, and that 17-19% of the New Hampshire voters didn’t decide until they showed up at the polls.

That may be why Hillary did much better than expected and is yet another reminder that, in the words of Yogi Berra, “it ain’t over until it’s over.”

So what does that mean for Maryland? I think it means that Andy Harris might want to rethink his relentlessly negative campaign (at least as far as media goes) for one thing and start building up a good base of volunteers for February 12th. The media approach to me is odd because his stump speeches are more positive than what I hear on my TV and radio about the other candidates courtesy of Harris.

Let’s assume what E.J. Pipkin polled a couple weeks ago is true for the sake of argument. He polled about a 7% split between first and third place, but as malleable as things seem to be in the 2008 political landscape, a 7% lead even on February 11th isn’t safe. If you ask me, it’s going to come down to how many volunteers show up in the last 72 hours to work for campaigns because there’s a lot of people who just haven’t decided yet for various reasons. (Maybe because the campaigns are absurdly long now?)

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A lot will change nationally before we have our say here, as we missed out on “Super Duper Tuesday” by a week in order to create a mini-regional primary with Virginia and the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, Delaware is totally lost within the February 5th states as probably the smallest state set to vote that day. But there will likely still be 2 to 3 candidates viable on both sides of the equation when we get to choose our next President.

More direct to us on the Eastern Shore is having our say on who will represent us in Congress. On the Democrat side, Frank Kratovil is getting together an army of ready-made volunteers via his union endorsements so whoever wins the GOP side will need to mend fences and recruit his own cadre of workers to counter them.

Finally, it’s a bit of a hike for me, but those of you on the upper Shore and just across the bridge will have the opportunity to see a candidate forum Thursday night at Chesapeake College. I’m not certain of the time, but I’m certain that someone who reads this would know and comment either here or on Red Maryland since I’m crossposting this article.

Crossposted on monoblogue.

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