Thursday, October 12, 2006

First Poll on Walberg v. Renier

It's competitive!

Many voters may not know who Sharon Renier is, but 35 percent in one poll would send her to Congress anyway.

The Munith Democrat and farmer, who has never held elected office, trails favorite Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, who garnered 43 percent in the first poll released since the August primary. With less than four weeks before the Nov. 7 election, 22 percent of voters remain undecided in the 7th District race.

The biggest surprise may be that Renier beats Walberg among independent voters, 36 percent to 33 percent, with 28 percent undecided. Of those polled, 32 percent identified themselves as independents.

(Details on the poll can be found here.)

Some might criticize me for celebrating an 8-point lead for Walberg. But this can only be seen as a good thing.

Some important facts:
  • Sharon Renier only has a 23% name recognition. That's right, 77% of respondents don't know who she is. But even though she's only got 23% recognition, 35% are saying they'll vote for her.
  • Renier is polling statistically even with Walberg in Calhoun county, is leading Walberg in Washtenaw county, and Walberg only has a majority of votes in very conservative Hillsdale county (though Lenawee county, his home and mine, is close at 49% for Walberg).
  • Walberg is leading among women in this poll, 40-38. I'm not one to make broad generalizations, but the conventional wisdom is that a female candidate picks up more votes from women on Election Day, and I'd be surprised if Walberg actually led among women when voting comes.
  • A pluarality-- 39% to 37%-- say Democrats should win the House rather than Republicans. Remember, this is a district that went to President Bush with 54% of the vote.
  • Perhaps most importantly: Renier leads among the all-important independent voters, 36-33.
Now, I'm not saying there isn't more work to be done. But this is great news.

More in the coming days, I promise.


Imagine if people knew Walberg's views on social issues could be equated to the Taliban, his solution to education was to slash funding, period, and on top of that, he is a liar. What if people really knew he had spent your hard earned state tax dollars on color tv for prison inmates and voted to appropriate funds for Detroit cultural programs yet he claims to oppose spending money on anything frivoulous. He has already promised us that he will not ever work to bring any funding back to OUR DISTRICT nor will he support any bills which have any pork in them anywhere (not that it will stop the bill from passing, he just won't get consulted when they are prioritizing the projects.) Now, on top of all this, his elected duties will continue to take a backseat to family vacations to France, even if it keeps all of his peers waiting for him to complete his R and R and, when it comes down to it, if the vote is to deny himself a pay raise, if the past is any indicator, he will just skip the vote.

What would happen to these poll numbers if the truth came out?

This is a guy whose campaign strategy right now is the double-edged sword of:

A) Let the state party raise his money


B) Ride the tidal-wave of popularity of Richard Cheney and the national GOP??
Walberg has no clue on economic issues. Every economic development person around the district is scared to death. He's vowed not to bring any "pork" back to the district, which includes funds for I-94. Michigan will continue to be a donor state. With Schwarz, he knew the "give and take" of politics and made sure Michigan got it's fair share of the pie, but that meant others got their fair share too and he was smart enough to work the system.

If elected, Walberg will be a disaster for Michigan. I'm encouraged with the polling data showing a close race. I'm not particularly excited about Renier, but I think she will listen to those who know the score. While her campaign is somewhere in the wilderness right now, I think she is far more honest than Walberg and will work hard to do the job.
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