Thursday, June 12, 2014
Revisiting Cantor's Defeat
So, let's just agree, it's a thing that blind-sided some pundit-folks. Hell, it blind-sided the bejesus out of Cantor's pollster. And I just want to say--the poll numbers are what seem weird to me. A deviation of four or five percent I could roll with. A 40 point differential isn't an error--it's like a crime-scene. And I really don't think in Cantor's district that there would be enough Democrats "in on" a secret whisper campaign to fiddle with Cantor's seat to make that huge a dent.
This was an in-house drive-by. The home folks were genuinely upset by Cantor's inattention. And he paid. Despite his campaign having out-raised Brat's by something like 26-1, he couldn't pull this one out because he was blissfully unaware he had to. No small amount of the cash Cantor brought in was from corporate sources, and Brat hit him on cronyism. But let's be real. You don't knock off a macher like Cantor without klout, and well, maybe Brat got a little.
I don't know how any pollster would be unaware of a challenger like Brat getting good name recognition via right-wing media, though. I don't know how hard it is to identify "likely voters" when the actual district is pretty much conservative. I do know, though, that political polling for a campaign is a tool to see what potential problems need addressing within a potential voter pool, and should not be about stroking a candidate's ego. This trend of favorable polling seems pretty useless. Maybe if I were running a campaign, I'd like someone brutally honest or even weighting stuff against me so my crew would try harder to look for votes. It's too late for Cantor (anyone thinking he has a lobbying position just a little time and money away lined up for him, though?) but I don't know. It just seems like a good idea. For the people who like getting elected to office.