Following up on Darryl’s post, SurveyUSA also came out with polling numbers last night, posting results in the governor’s race, a 49-46 Gregoire lead, right in line with the 47-45 advantage reported by Strategic Vision. Neither pollster sees much movement in this race over recent weeks.
SurveyUSA also polled the 8th CD race, where they find Dave Reichert leading Darcy Burner 50-44, again, virtually unchanged from six weeks ago. I’d be lying if told you I wouldn’t rather see Darcy closing the gap, but she hasn’t yet started advertising, and I honestly doubt if the Reichert camp is taking much comfort in these results. In fact, given the way his campaign has been trying to tamp down expectations for the August primary, I’d sure love to take a gander at Reichert’s internal numbers.
“We wouldn’t be surprised if Darcy took first in the primary,” Reichert spokeswoman Amanda Halligan recently told Roll Call. “Historically, Democrats have had higher turnout in the primaries than Republicans.” This is the same message the Reichert camp pushed yesterday through the Evans-Novak Report, which emphasizes without substantiation that Burner is “heavily favored” in the August primary.
Huh. Really? Well, I suppose… that is, if your idea of “historically” means going back only as far as 2006 ( the only 8th CD race to use the now defunct “pick a party” primary), when Darcy Burner did indeed win the primary 51-49, only to see it flip the other way in November. But I think a more accurate historical perspective would be to look at how the late Rep. Jennifer Dunn fared as an incumbent, under the blanket primary rules our new top-two primary attempts to emulate.
Democrats always have higher turnout in primaries than Republicans? As you can see, history tells us no such thing. In fact, history really doesn’t tell us anything useful about primary vs general turnout patterns considering this is the first ever 8th CD primary to occur in August, not to mention our first ever to use the top-two format.
I don’t know if Reichert’s pre-primary spin that Burner is “heavily favored” is based on sheer bullshit, or on some pretty nasty internal polling. But it sure ain’t based on history.