A Troubling Trend

A friend pointed out the trend in the Strategic Vision poll that just came out. If I were in the Reed camp I would have two thoughts — first, there is fallout from the Abramoff scandal and second, there is time to recover.

For a graphical representation, see this:


If I were the Cagle people (and the Reed people), I’d be a bit troubled that the undecided number has barely shifted.

Technorati Tags: Casey Cagle, Ralph Reed


  1. Bull Moose says:

    I think you’ll see a gradual shift in those undecideds as people outside of the “junkie” crowd are just now starting to tune in and they are not going to like what they see as it relates to Reed/Abramoff.

    As well, Reed and his recent threats to go negative will only damage the Republican party. He has no basis or credibility for launching attacks, or better yet, manufacturing attacks, when he himself is near the center of one of the biggest corruption scandals in recent memory.

    But like others have said, mean, negative, and untrue is standard operating procedure for Ralph Reed, just ask John McCain and his family.

  2. larry smith says:

    Nice graph.

    Riddle me this, Erick …

    Given that neither Cagle nor Reed has really spent on advertising so far, why should they be concerned that the number of undecideds isn’t moving? And, why should Cagle be sweating undecideds given that his opponent has much higher name id and can’t seem to convert them to votes on the ballot test?

  3. Erick says:

    Larry, very good point. The undecideds probably should be consistent. My suspicion, having now thought about the matter, is that Casey’s turning up was from undecideds shifting to him and Ralph’s turn down was his supporters now falling into the undecided camp. There was a near balancing shift between the three groups.

    Once advertising comes on, we’ll really see movement.

    The interesting gamble Ralph is going to have to make is how far is too far in the “attacks.” Generally when one goes on the offense, his negatives go up as do the negatives of the opponent. Ralph’s are already above his positives. If the standard calculus is true, he’s going to have to be very careful.

  4. Erick says:

    Reed and his recent threats to go negative will only damage the Republican party.

    Bull, I think that statement goes a bit too far unless we also pressuppose that Casey going negative would damage the GOP too, which I don’t agree would actually happen.

  5. Bull Moose says:

    Cagle has never attacked Reed, but rather only point out the facts regarding his ethical situation and lack of honesty on the issue.

    Doing push polls and stuff like that is not the same as pointing out your opponents problems… Ralph Reed has a track record of making stuff up (John McCain in South Carolina) and using it against his opponents or the opponents of his clients.

  6. macongop says:

    Erik, I think CC’s uptrend is from the supporters of RR leaving and not the Undecideds going to CC. With the undecideds not moving, they have not been looking yet.

  7. larry smith says:

    I think your point is dead on, Erick. Ralph’s only option at this point is to go very harshly negative and hope he can change the subject. If not, he’s merely treading water before a loss. Of course, how he does that without making himself unelectable is one of life’s great mysteries.

  8. GAWire says:

    If Ralph goes negative, it will only make him look desparate. His only chance to start making some of those U’s move to his collumn is to convince them on the issues. Frankly, time has already shown us that Ralph will not do that as effectively as Casey. Casey’s steady climb shows realistic growth of support; whereas, Ralph’s decline shows supporters moving from him to both U and Casey. The undecideds at this point are scary, and I think very unrealistic. If you have heard of the two candidates, then you know who you support. If those U’s are undecided b/c they haven’t heard from the candidates yet, then most likely more will swing towards CC, assuming the Cagle campaign uses their money effectively to combat the tough warchest that Ralph has built and will undoubtedly use on TV/Radio, etc.

    One thing Cagle’s crew needs to remember is that as long as voters hear from Cagle, they will most likely support him, but if Ralph beats CC on reaching out to voters and turning them out on ED, then those U’s (if they are realistic) could make things interesting.

  9. larry smith says:

    GA Wire,

    Strategic Vision lumps the Don’t Knows in with Undecideds, so the numbers who express that preference aren’t troublingly high.

  10. GAWire says:

    Larry, that is an interesting little point. Those things can drastically alter the data and analysis in a poll. Either way, with undecideds (whether they are don’t knows or not) that high, the overall numbers tell us this and only this: Either Casey Cagle or Ralph Reed could win the race for GA Lt. Gov.

    Which brings me back to my point that I originally made last summer or fall – it is all about the trends and the trends say it all at this point.

  11. Maurice Atkinson says:

    The Lt. race still is not on most people’s minds. Also, the fact that a national figure is 6 pts ahead of someone most Georgians don’t know is remarkable. With the number of undecideds should favor Cagle.

    What I like in Cagle’s team is what I liked in Cain’s. These people have an enormous work ethic. To me, that speaks highly of them.

  12. GAWire says:

    That is an interesting claim that smm7 makes. That’s pretty bold. I’m not claiming SV is POS or Tarrance or anything, but I will say that they have at least enough credibility to the point where I don’t think they are sitting in their little back room picking numbers out of the air. Are their numbers irrefutable (sp?)? I don’t think so. Are their surveys/responses ideally structured? Not completely. Are they making up numbers? I really don’t think so. Typically, people who claim that the pollsters are “making up numbers” simply don’t like the results. However, you can make a point that the numbers aren’t complete with evidence, but the results can still show signs of support, growth, etc.

  13. Beth says:

    Very interesting graph. At this point I don’t think you would really expect the undecided line to change a lot. It’s early for either camp to get really worried abput it, but I would be optimistic if I was Casey

  14. Hey GAWire, if Strategic Vision is not making up their numbers they could show a reporter their call logs and/or release full crosstabs (NOT sub-samples/results). In other words, show somebody a spreadsheet that has all 15 questions in the poll and how all 801 (or whatever number of respondents every one of their surveys magically includes) answered.

    Besides outright errors, which they’ve made in the past, they have some curious stuff, like Bush/Cheney’s approval on the economy/war in Iraq higher than Bush’s overall personal approval. Tell me how that makes sense. And just to clarify I haven’t looked at the most recent poll that’s just one thing that’s jumped out at me before.

    I’ve been to Strategic Vision’s office (not inside it but I’ve seen the outside). They claim to do all of their calling in-house. Well, I happen to know that many pollsters will do 50,000 calls to get 500 or 1,000 responses, which means even if SV has 30 people working in that one office each person would be making about 500 calls a day (over 1/minute) over a 3 day period.

    Again all of this is theoretically possible but suspicious nonetheless.

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