Friday, October 27, 2006

Does The Slime Really Work, People?

I’m reading the text from this Keystone Politics link that shows Mike Fitzpatrick having a nine-point lead in the polls over Patrick Murphy in the 8th district congressional race (as noted in today’s Philadelphia Daily News also), and aside from wondering why Tom Lingenfelter is included in the poll sampling when he isn’t even on the ballot (as the commenter noted), I also wonder about the sampling of individuals polled and (age, geographic location in the country, income levels, etc.).

I am also skeptical of this poll partly because of this story also.

And though the Letters To The Editor appearing in the Courier Times have tilted in Mikey’s favor at the moment (with some dirt thrown at Patrick so scurrilous that even the august Courier Times editorial board felt the need somehow to clarify a particularly odious letter today), I cannot imagine that he won’t pay a price at the polls for impugning Patrick’s service (indeed, some letter writers have stated that plainly…I thought John Kerry, appearing in a campaign visit for Patrick yesterday, had a good line when he said that Fitzpatrick’s attack on Patrick’s service “is like Jessica Simpson attacking Albert Einstein’s IQ”).

I have a feeling that there will be more reporting on this poll, and I’ll update this post as necessary.

And by the way, I was also skeptical of the DCCC poll last week that showed Patrick leading by four points, 44-40 percent. If anything, to me the poll showed a statistical tie at best, which actually was a bit worrisome because it came in the wake of Clinton’s visit, and rolling out The Big Dog is the biggest weapon in the Democratic arsenal, as it were (with all due respect to Kerry, he’ll never accomplish what Clinton does with likely voters).

But the title of this post still applies, as far as I’m concerned. And it still makes me wonder (and will right up to the closing of the polls on November 7th).

All we can do is our best in these matters. It’s very difficult to outspend the Repugs; we have to try and win through organization, communicating, and arguing based on the issues.

The drum beat over and over again in this campaign (and repeated in today’s Daily News story) is that, somehow, Fitzpatrick is some sort of “independent moderate” who has “paid attention to local issues” and benefits somehow from his past experience as a Bucks County Commissioner.

All of this is utter nonsense, and I’ve spent the vast amount of the last seven months or more doing my level best to prove that.

And as further evidence, we have today’s Courier Times story in which Patrick rightfully confronted Fitzpatrick at a candidates’ media forum last night over the slew of negative ads (as always, no link yet).

However, I do want to share this excerpt for now…

“..what had been planned as a debate turned one-sided when Fitzpatrick apologized to the crowd and said he needed to leave early to attend the Newtown Township supervisors meeting. The board was considering an ordinance supporting a proposed national veterans cemetery, and Fitzpatrick said he needed to speak to the board.

Murphy directed the television cameras to focus on Fitzpatrick leaving the room, saying the candidate didn’t want to debate the issues. Fitzpatrick stopped on his way out, turned towards Murphy and stared at him before leaving.”
Always the class act, Mikey.

If you wanted to speak to the Newtown supervisors about the proposed veterans cemetery at Dolington, I’m sure you could have prepared a statement in advance to be read into the meeting minutes. If a vote was going to be called for, you could have designated a proxy to cast your vote for you.

I’ll believe that Fitzpatrick has an edge in this race because there are sooo many people in this district who would sooner remove a body part from themselves without anesthetic than vote for a Democrat, but based on his swift boating and juvenile questioning of Patrick’s legal service (and by the way, read this post from Atrios to find out what to do about that) and assorted other nonsense from Mikey (including what I’m sure will be a continuing slew of attack TV ads and campaign mailers from the NRCC...and let's not forget Mikey's failure to call for Hastert's resignation over the Mark Foley stuff), as well as what Patrick brings to the table in his formidable candidacy, I refuse to believe that it’s a polling edge of nine points.

Update: This may be a first - I actually posted on this before Atrios did (don't worry...I have no "delusions of grandeur" here, and I'm sure he's seen more raw numbers on this than I have).

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