Depends on how you crunch the numbers. A poll released by Monmouth University has Pallone up over Little 53%-41% among likely voters. How likely? Voters who have voted in two general elections out of the last four, according to lead pollster Patrick Murry.
Really? So if you came out sixteen years ago to vote for Bill Clinton, then voted again for John Kerry in 2004, you are now a "likely voter", giving kudos to Frank Pallone.
Seems like a stretch. Actually, more like a reach, as in reaching for a predetermined outcome. Why else would you use a sample that is 53% Democratic in a district that is only 38% registered Democrat?
Over at MoreMonmouthMusings, Art Gallagher takes the poll apart:
Murray classifies a likely voter as someone who has voted in 2 of the last four general elections. Of the 333,519 registered voters in CD-6, 60,053 voted in 2 of the four last general elections; 23,750 (40%) Democrats, 27,791 (46%) Independents and 8,512 (14%) Republicans, according to GOP records of voter activity.
Of the 50, 463 registered Republicans in the district, 13, 744 voted in the primary last June. 38,266 voted in last year’s general election when we elected Governor Christie. 32, 086 voted in the 2006 mid-term election.
Of the 160,334 undeclared voters, 47,750 (30%) voted in last year’s gubernatorial election. 29,758 (18%) voted in the 2006 mid-term.
Given these numbers, Murray’s “random sample” seems flawed....
In other words, Murry is ignoring a resurgent Republican base, a right-tilting independent population, and a decidedly unenthusiastic Democratic party. Art re-runs the numbers with his methodology, and comes up with an 8% lead for Pallone - high, but not insurmountable.
And Art gets results - pollster Murry revised his figures and now presents a 51%-42% lead for Pallone, dropping his lead by 25%. Too late for the Jersey media, who gleefully used Murry's original set of numbers to pump Pallone and level Little.
And going unmentioned is Chris Christie's rout last year in Anna's so-called "solid Democratic" district:
Chris Christie (R) - 110,305 Votes - 54.7%
Jon Corzine (D) - 78,977 Votes = 39.2%
Chris Daggett (I) - 12,393 Votes - 6.1%
...the enthusiasm and "buzz" for Little is easy to see by anyone who looks. For example, her "ground assault" in Hazlet, four weeks ago, caused motorists to slow down and rubberneck near her staging point. And this graph of the "Likes" on the two candidates' Facebook pages tells the story: Little's trend far exceeds Pallone's by any measure.
Nothing guaranteed, of course, but hope remains to rid ourselves of the self-proclaimed architect of ObamaCare. And perhaps we - and the media - should put less stock in polls conducted by universities (such as Monmouth) that have just recently received Pallone-directed pork, to the tune of $250,000...