Last week BlueNC broke the exciting new poll numbers for Larry Kissell in North Carolina's 8th Congressional District. These numbers weren't released to traditional print media until the day after we had them and had printed our story. The cross-posted diaries on DKos and MyDD were noticed by national media sources and now Larry is building on that momentum.
The diaries at MyDD, DailyKos and The Southern Dem had some improvements, so I'm going to reprint that diary on the flip side. As Larry mentioned in his Thank You to us posted below, the National Journal's Hotline Blog mentioned the MyDD diary in their Blogometer posting for that day. As Lance noted in his live blog of Larry's appearance on NPR's Young Turks radio show, the interviewer mentioned seeing the diary at DailyKos.
Please join me below the fold...
It's exciting for me to see the attention build on a national level for a candidate I happen to think has so much to offer the folks living in his district. Initially, Larry was told that he didn't have a chance because Hayes has so much money. That hasn't stopped him and the poll numbers from Public Policy Polling(PDF) and now Anzalone Liszt(PDF) are showing Larry with a lead.
Maybe, just maybe, it isn't about the money. Maybe it's time for all these experts to wake up to the fact that it's about the people. The hard working folks who live in the 8th District know that when you give your word, you keep your word. They've found a man who understands this in Larry Kissell.
If Robin Hayes had spent more time with the regular people in the 8th and not his wealthy friends in Charlotte, He might have figured this one out for himself. Early positive poll numbers can be buried, though, with the negative campaigning that Robin Hayes is known for. It's going to be hard for Hayes to find something negative about a man who's a deacon at his church, a 27-year veteran of the textile mills and a high school social studies teacher. However, if Hayes decides to try I have an anagram and a couple of words for him. CAFTA and Fast-track.
Reprinted from MyDD, DKos and The Southern Dem
Respected polling firm, Anzalone Liszt Research, has released a new poll for North Carolina's 8th Congressional District and it shows Larry Kissell with tremendous momentum pulling away from Republican incumbent Robin Hayes.
The number that first jumps out is the informed vote where Kissell leads Hayes by 7 points. (49% Kissell/42% Hayes) The informed vote poll is taken after a paragraph about each candidate is read to the voter. These paragraphs include platform statements and are not considered a negative push.
Looking over the poll it is hard to find anything that is negative for Larry Kissell, especially at this stage in the race. Despite his disadvantage in name recognition (89% Hayes/22% Kissell) Larry only trails Hayes by 8 points in a head to head initial vote.(46% Hayes/38% Kissell) In other words, Hayes can't garner 50% of the vote even with overwhelming name recognition.
Another indicator that Hayes has an uphill battle for November is his positive to negative ratio. Currently this is 1.4 to 1 which according to Anzalone Liszt is well below the 2 to 1 ratio that is a benchmark for incumbents.
When you combine this with the current political environment in Washington it appears that Robin Hayes may be wearing the incumbency like a weight around his neck.
More specific numbers from the 8th District make the situation look even worse for Hayes. From the Anzalone Liszt Research summary:
A majority (52%) of voters give the economy in their area of North Carolina a negative rating. It is clear that voters believe CAFTA and "fast track" legislation has hurt the local economy and 59% are less likely to vote for Hayes because of his support for these two measures, after initially opposing them.
If you think the above tidbits are positive, the picture looks even brighter when compared to the numbers from 2004. Beth Troutman received 45% of the vote in November. The following poll numbers for the Troutman campaign are from a poll completed in September 2004. Kissell poll results are the first listed for comparison.
Generic Vote: 42% Democrat / 33% Republican
Initial Vote: 46% Hayes / 38% Kissell
Informed Vote: 49% Kissell / 42% Hayes
Generic Vote: 42% Republican / 37% Democrat
Initial Vote: 53% Hayes / 19% Troutman
Informed Vote: 55% Hayes / 26% Troutman
If Troutman can win 45% of the vote after such weak poll numbers, when voters are favoring Republicans and after being out-spent by well over $1 million it is not only conceivable, but highly likely that the 8th District will be sending Larry Kissell to Washington in November.
Those of you familiar with the Troutman/Hayes race will recall that Troutman was not a candidate who would have wide appeal among the mostly working class Democrats who live in this district. She was among the nation's youngest candidates at 27, with very little political experience and was a crew member from the hit television show, West Wing. Contrast that with Larry Kissell who has spent as many years in the textile industry as Troutman had spent on the earth, who saw his textile job move to Mexico, who is a deacon of his church and a man of his word and it isn't hard to imagine Larry running away with this campaign.
The fact that the district leans Democratic doesn't hurt either. From Anzalone Liszt:
The 8th is a culturally Democratic district. Democrats have a nice point advantage on the generic ballot (42%Democrat / 33% Republican) and 51% of the voters are registered Democrats (31% Republican). Democratic Governor Mike Easley receives a 62% favorable rating.
A campaign insider pointed out that this is a district that went for Bush in 2004 by 54%. These are not Kerry Democrats, so the presidential race actually helped Hayes at the polls. There is no national or state-wide race that will bring voters out who only vote top of the ticket. This is going to hurt Hayes and that's one more strike against him.
Larry Kissell is an 8th District Democrat. He embodies the values and spirit of the people in this district. He understands what they feel and why it is important. He shares their feelings and their values. His campaign is about the people of the 8th District.
This isn't a poll driven campaign, but it's nice when a poll confirms what the voters have been telling you all along. The people of the 8th district are ready for a change and I hope that this poll will prove to the rest of the folks what we have been saying all along -- We're going to win this election.
Larry Kissell knows that is important to keep your word. He doesn't just say the words honesty and integrity, he lives them. These are the values that will appeal to the voters in this district and this is the message they need to hear. Please help Larry get the message out. Consider a contribution today.