Connie Mack’s Camp Disputes Polling Attempts to ‘Sway’ Senate Contest
Around the State
The U.S. Senate campaign for Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, strongly disputes the results of recent polls by the CBS News/New York Times-commissioned Quinnipiac Poll and from the Washington Post that “serve no other purpose than to attempt to sway public opinion and voter enthusiasm.”
"A variety of polls commissioned by the media have attempted to paint the Florida Senate race in a light that is simply not accurate,” Jeff Cohen, the campaign manager for Mack for Senate, said in a written statement.
Cohen claimed that an internal poll by the campaign on Sept. 23, which sampled 600 likely voters -- 43 percent identified themselves as Democrats and 39.5 percent as Republicans – found that U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, held only a 47.7 percent to 42.3 percent edge.
The Mack internal poll held a 4 percent margin of error.
The Quinnipiac Poll gave Nelson a 53 percent to 39 percent advantage, while the Washington Post on Tuesday put Nelson up 54 percent to 40 percent.
Cohen’s polling position against Quinnipiac was backed up by the Republican Party of Florida.
"Most polls show the race in Florida to be as tight as ever -- within the margin of error,” RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry stated in a release. “This race is going to come down to turnout and voter enthusiasm, just like it always does in Florida, and which is an advantage for Governor Romney. This latest Q-poll is clearly an outlier that should not be taken seriously."
The RPOF pointed to a Sept. 24 poll by Florida Times-Union that had the race at 49 percent to 46 percent in favor of Nelson; Mason-Dixon had the race 48 percent to 47 percent for Nelson on Sept. 19; and Purple Strategies on Sept. 19 placed the contest at 48 percent to 47 percent in favor of Mack.
Each poll was among likely voters.
“As numerous respected outside pollsters and objective members of the media have noted, many public polls have been constructed using voter turnout projections that simply do not match, or even attempt to match, the realities and trends of this election cycle," Cohen stated. "Virtually no objective pollster or pundit expects 2012 turnout to even closely reflect 2008’s aberration.
“For instance, highly-regarded pollster John McLaughlin was recently quoted in National Review saying media pollsters are being lobbied by Democrats to ‘weight their surveys to emulate the 2008 Democrat-heavy models.’ McLaughlin added that, ‘the intended effect is to suppress Republican turnout through media polling bias.’"
Cohen noted that among those polled by Quinnipiac, 27 percent were identified as Republican and 37 percent as Democrats, while Republicans accounted for 32 percent of those interviewed by the Washington Post and Democrats, 33 percent.
Other findings from the internal poll:
• Connie is moving up on Bill Nelson. Though he still trails by 5.4 points, 47.7 percent to 42.3 percent, Connie has gained 8 net points since our first general election survey that we conducted in mid-August.
• Connie is receiving over 60 percent of the undecided voters when they indicate how they are leaning. Since 10 percent of the voters are firm undecided – if Connie can continue to get 60 percent of the undecideds (which usually happens for a challenger) it makes the race an absolute dead heat.
• Fifty-one percent of those surveyed have seen one of our television ads featuring Connie. Among this group, Connie has vaulted into a commanding lead, and is ahead of Nelson 52 percent to 42 percent. Clearly, the messages of our campaign are working and Bill Nelson’s negative attacks are failing.
• By a margin of 3:2, people believe that Bill Nelson is running a negative campaign. (I am left to wonder, though, why that number isn’t 9:1.)
• People see Connie as much stronger on supporting the military than Bill Nelson. They see him as a strong conservative. These facts work to Connie’s advantage both because they are true, and because of the millions of veterans who live in Florida and vote.
• Voters don’t like Bill Nelson because he is too liberal, because of his specific votes on Obamacare, and because he is a career politician who has been in office too long.
Reach Jim Turner at email@example.com or at (772) 215-9889.