Michael Brodkorb is not impressed with Kurt Bills (minnesota.publicradio.org).
by Tony Petrangelo
Sep 10, 2012, 7:00 AM

Kurt Bills internal poll shows him losing big

The Kurt Bills campaign released an internal poll on Friday:

Wenzel Strategies (9/7, no trend lines):

Amy Klobuchar (D-inc) 52
Kurt Bills (R) 38
(MoE: ±4.36%)

So, the Kurt Bills campaign released a poll showing them down by 14 points. Someone probably should have told the Bills campaign that polling, unlike fundraising, is not subject to disclosure laws. Just because you commission a poll, doesn’t mean you have to release it.

The only other explanation for the Kurt Bills campaign releasing this poll, besides thinking that they had to, is that they actually think it’s good news for them. And if you listen to campaign manager Mike Osskopp, they might actually think that:

The more voters learn about Kurt Bills, the better he does. We intend to pull ahead by Nov. 6th.

Okay then, since they think that a fourteen point deficit is somehow good news for them, let’s explore that supposition, you know, for fun.

The last public poll of the race (PPP will have a poll in the field early this week that should be released later in the week) was released by SurveyUSA on the 20th of July. That poll showed:

SurveyUSA (7/20, no trend lines):

Amy Klobuchar (D-inc) 55
Kurt Bills (R) 31
Other 5
Undecided 9
(MoE: ±4.3%)

It’s not a good idea to compare trend lines from different pollsters but we’re just having some fun here, so bear with me. The top lines in the SUSA poll were 55-31. In the Kurt Bills internal they are 52-38.

Just looking at the top lines Bills gained 10 points on Klobuchar, most of which was the result of more people saying they will vote for Bills, as opposed to less people saying they will vote for Klobuchar.

If you look at the crosstabs of that SurveyUSA poll, you will see the distribution of the undecided vote is more than twice as Republican as it is Democratic. Additionally, Klobuchar was getting 87% of Democrats, while Bills was getting only 68% of Republicans. Meaning Bills had a lot of room for growth.

So Kurt Bills increased support isn’t really surprising, I don’t think anyone expected that the Republican nominee would get 31% in November. The problem for him though is that even in his own internal polls Klobuchar is getting over 50%.

If Amy Klobuchar gets 50%+1, Kurt Bills cannot win. That’s called math!

The most interesting thing to me about this poll is not the poll itself, but rather the question of why the Kurt Bills campaign released it in the first place. How are you supposed to raise money from people when you’re releasing internal polls showing you down by fourteen points?

It just doesn’t make any sense.

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