Low Turnout Could Benefit Moffett, Holsclaw in GOP Primary

by admin on April 26, 2011

A closer examination of the SurveyUSA poll released in April provides a glimmer of hope for the two Republican gubernatorial candidates trailing behind state Senate President David Williams in the primary.

The survey gives Williams a commanding 35-point lead over Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw and Louisville businessman Phil Moffett, however, it quadrupled turnout when compared to the last GOP primary race.

Here’s the math:

Of the 2,198 registered voters who were questioned, 507 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely GOP primary voters. In Kentucky, Republicans make up 37 percent of registrations. That is a projected 62 percent turnout!

Given that only 20 percent of GOP voters showed up in 2007 that is a healthy ummm … miscalculation. It’s been brought to my attention that Courier-Journal columnist Al Cross also came to this conclusion, but nothing has trickled down to actual coverage.

When the poll was initially released, political observers had all put declared the GOP primary over and when coupled with the fundraising totals, that conclusion isn’t a stretch. However, if turnout remains historically low that gives the underdogs an opening, particularly the Tea Party backed Moffett.

“All polling data is subject to certain vagaries that lead to incorrect conclusions,” says David Adams, Moffett’s campaign manager. “One thing we have determined in talking to an awful lot of people is one the amount of GOP electorate that is just turned off to the process. Just disgusted at everything they see.”

Adams acknowledges Moffett is no Rand Paul, and doesn’t carry the star power or fundraising capabilities. But the Tea Party guru hasn’t given up on the chance of an upset, railing against establishment Republicans in the process.

Predictions being tossed around have Williams winning with 40-45 percent of the vote, but if there’s a sense that he is going to win no matter what and there’s a big enough “enthusiasm gap”, Holsclaw and Moffett could benefit from it.

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