Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Zogby Numbers: crazy meltdown or indigestion.

It’s always fun to step all over the polling “message” campaigns want to spin out. To wit: the new WSJ Online Zogby poll is up for the end of August first week of September, and Jim Nussle ought to be pleased. His message on Chet Culver's Crazy IPERS plan could be a major reason for the flip.

In the latest Zogby Interactive Poll, Nussle is up by 2.4%: 45.6% to 43.2%, it’s within the margin of error but it’s trending Nussle’s direction.

Granted, this poll was in the field August 29 to September 5, just prior to the Nussle campaign indigestion on abortion. (I’m still thinking, and it’s nice to know Romney experienced an epiphany on thin slicing the morality of life; it places him squarely in the good company of Dr. William Hurlbut & others.)

The Zogby numbers do capture the IPERS oops suffered by the Cookie Jar Culver campaign. The lead switch from the mid August poll numbers to the early September numbers are very likely attributable to Chet Culver’s economic development proposal to use 3% of IPERS funds on homegrown venture capital. State 29 -- as always -- works his public service magic and bludgeons Chet’s IPERS proposal into worthless stock-option pulp.

The crazier thing is Chet’s feckless campaign staff meltdown on the issue. Rule number one for high profile campaigns with high profile campaign disasters: do not send the twinkie out to work the message. Hey, been there, know better. (I’m now I’m on my next mistake. And curiously, I think it might have everything to do with an excessive need to type.)

Back to Chet. We’ve seen the Culver IPERS message devolve from “erroneous” to “what plan?” in a matter of a few days.

From the QC Times September 9:

Taylor West, a spokeswoman for Culver, said the campaign erroneously sent out a news release last month that called for using up to 3 percent of the fund to invest in high-tech startups. That news release included a plan to establish a separate board to oversee those investments. She said the news release was corrected to say they would ask the existing IPERS board to look at investing up to 1 percent in Iowa companies.

Reported on Radio Iowa September 12:

Nussle, meanwhile, is accusing Culver of "abandoning" the economic plans Culver has laid out for the state. Nussle points to the Culver campaign website as evidence. "He has no economic plan on his website demonstrating what his plans are for Iowa and Iowa's economy with eight weeks to go (until the election)," Nussle says. "I don't know what's riskier -- the original Culver plan which used IPERS or running for governor without a plan at all...If in fact he's changing his plan he has a lot of explaining to do -- not only why he's changing his plan but what is his plan."

Taylor West, a spokeswoman for Culver, says they're merely revamping the campaign website. "This is absurb and an attempt by the Nussle campaign to cover up their own lack of a plan," West says.

The heavy spin out of the Culver campaign suggests that they might be worried the Zogby numbers represent more than a polling blip. It'll take time, we'll need to see if the polling numbers from Nussle’s abortion indigestion pulls Culver back into the game. One thing is certain, it’s going to be a campaign season where voters will wake up wondering what Judge Judy moment they'll witness on that particular day.

Ennui, my listless literary love child, you will find both irony and gestalt at tonight.

We also need your humor-its a contest and I know you want a sticker.
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