Polls vs polls

Now that the GOP gubernatorial numbers have settled down a little bit, let’s compare the Polls (on June 1st – hat tip to Doc’s) versus the Public Strategy Associates poll (early May).   Bradley Byrne received 28% of the vote vs 24%; Robert Bentley received 25% vs 12%; Tim James received 25% vs 23%; Roy Moore received 19% vs 18%.  PSA observed that 21% of known GOP primary voters were undecided.  In May, PSA said:

“The next couple of weeks will be ‘make or break’ in the governor’s race…” said Brent Buchanan, a partner in Public Strategy Associates. “This is when the heat is on, and a lot can change in the next nineteen days,” he added.

Nice job on the poll.  Looks like the undecideds broke for Dr. Bentley and we’ll see soon enough if he or Tim James is in the runoff (pending the recount – Friday is the deadline). 

The vote difference between Bentley and James is 167 votes – well within the 0.5% error rate mentioned by Susan Fillipelli in comments at Doc’s (which seems to be a pretty good estimate).   My guess is that Bentley made the runoff with Byrne, but James certainly has good reason to request (and pay for) a recount.

Primary runoff turnout generally drops to 66% of the primary turnout, but that’s still roughly 330,000 voters who might show up (the most recent GOP primary runoff in Madison County turned out about 80%! – which could translate into almost 400,000 voters on July 13th).  It’s probably safe to assume that most of Byrne’s 137,000 voters show up and that most of Bentley’s (or James’) 124,000 voters show up: that leaves 69,000 to 139,000 votes ‘undecided’.   None of the candidates’ voters by themselves can take the primary runoff, exempli gratia, Byrne needs to get out all his vote plus add at least another 30,000 votes to win the runoff.

I voted for Byrne and will again, but James and Bentley rounded out my top three choices so I could vote for any of them come November.

Public Strategy GOP Governor and AG Poll

The good folks at Public Strategy Associates say that GOP gubernatorial candidates Bradley Byrne and Tim James are running “neck and neck” in a race that is “too close to call”. PSA also observes “Luther Strange strongly pulling away from incumbent Troy King in the race for Attorney General”.

In phone surveys conducted by Baselice & Associates with 1,005 known Republican Primary voters, the race for Governor of Alabama appears to be a dead heat between Byrne and James. Byrne is in the lead at 24 percent, with James right behind at 23 percent. The survey found the bottom three contenders are Roy Moore at 18 percent, Robert Bentley at 12 percent and Bill Johnson at 2 percent, with 21 percent undecided.

Survey data in the Republican Primary for Attorney General indicates that Luther Strange has a commanding lead over Troy King, with Strange at 50 percent and King at 25 percent. The percentage of undecided voters in this race is at 25 percent.

Compare that to an earlier PSA poll (from the “Best in the barrio” post):

The poll of “likely Republican primary voters” showed Gubernatorial candidates Bradley Byrne at 20%, Roy Moore at 17%, Tim James at 8%, Robert Bentley at 4%, Kay Ivey at 3%, and Bill Johnson at 2% – with 46% of GOP primary voters Undecided.

The poll showed Attorney General candidates Troy King (incumbent) at 27% and Luther Strange (24%) – with 49% of GOP primary voters Undecided.

Brent Buchanan of PSA comments:

“The next couple of weeks will be ‘make or break’ in the governor’s race. It will come down to who has the best message that resonates with the right universe of voters the appropriate amount of times,” said Brent Buchanan, a partner in Public Strategy Associates. “This is when the heat is on, and a lot can change in the next nineteen days,” he added.

Danny at Doc’s wrote “Public Strategy Associates Releases Independent Polling in GOP Gov & AG Races”.   Thanks to Clinton for the heads up.

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A quick look at the GOP Governor’s race sees that Byrne’s support has gained a little, but that James and Bentley have gained lots of ground, and that Moore’s support is stable.  This looks like a three-way race for the primary runoff between Byrne, James, and Moore.

In the GOP Attorney General’s race, Big Luther Strange seems to be getting his money’s worth from his media campaign.

Best in the Barrio

Dan and I road-tripped down to Montgomery yesterday for the Free the Hops Legislative Tasting at the RSA Plaza.  The Tasting provided FTH with an opportunity to speak with about 25 Legislators in support of this year’s Brewery Modernization Act – which should actually be called the Jobs and Industry Creation Act.

After the event, about a dozen FTH organizers went to the El Rey Burrito Lounge in the Old Cloverdale neighborhood of Montgomery (on East Fairview off I65).  Great place – nice atmosphere, tasty food, and great beer and wine selection.

The owner of El Rey joined us for awhile and thanked us for passing the Gourmet Beer Bill last year.  He said that passing that bill had made a world of difference in his business during these tough times.  In comparing his detailed year-to-year sales information – he told us how adding Gourmet Beer to his menu had improved sales enough to offset losses in other areas.  This is a real world anecdote of a FTH talking point – good beer is good for business.  The City of Montgomery has a growing restaurant, people have jobs, and taxes get collected.  Thank you to the Legislators who voted for the Gourmet Beer Bill last year.

This year’s Brewery Modernization Act will create jobs and help grow an industry that’s good for people and good for tourism.

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Got to see my friend Jason of Good People from Birmingham.   We talked about getting their Coffee Oatmeal Stout to Mason’s in downtown Huntsville – I also got to introduce Representative Randy Hinshaw (D-21) to a sample of the stout (he was tentative in his praise, but IMO Randy just wasn’t used to the taste of this big beer).

Jason and I also spoke about brewfests.  FTH is gearing up for the Rocket City Brewfest on May 7 and 8, 2010 at the Depot Roundhouse.  With the rising popularity of brewfests around the country, breweries are having to make tough calls every weekend as to which events they will attend.  For example, Jason said that his brewery had three invitations for events held at the same time as the RCBF – he chose us because Huntsville is an important market for his company – but you get the picture.  Brewfest organizers are increasingly going to have to compete for breweries – and may have to start actually (gasp!) paying for the beer (at cost).

Being the inquisitive and obviously rude person that I am – I asked Jason if Good People was making a profit – I am happy to report that they are, and I’m happy for them – it means that they can keep making and selling great beer!

Dan at Straight to Ale brought a couple of fine beers – his brewery at Lincoln Mills will be opening soon, which along with Olde Towne makes Huntsville the beer capitol of Alabama with TWO breweries!

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Got to see Brent Buchanan and Josh Pendergrass - a couple of the people behind the Public Strategy Associates ‘GOP Governor and Attorney General Poll’.  I also got to meet Matt Braynard from DC, who “worked for the Republican National Committee through three election cycles and was part of the initial team assembled by then Chairman Hailey Barbour to develop the Republican Party’s first national voter database” (the ‘Voter Vault’) – he’s a brilliant guy and very nice.

The poll of “likely Republican primary voters” showed Gubernatorial candidates Bradley Byrne at 20%, Roy Moore at 17%, Tim James at 8%, Robert Bentley at 4%, Kay Ivey at 3%, and Bill Johnson at 2% – with 46% of GOP primary voters Undecided.

The poll showed Attorney General candidates Troy King (incumbent) at 27% and Luther Strange (24%) – with 49% of GOP primary voters Undecided.

IMO this is a good opening poll for the GOP.  It shows that half of the primary voters have a candidate in mind and half are up for grabs (as could be expected).  For the gubernatorial candidates, it reinforces the ‘conventional wisdom’ of Byrne as the leading candidate with Roy Moore a close second.  The poll provides a check to the Moore folks who believe that Moore’s numbers were as high as the 30s or 40s, however, it also shows that Moore has a lot of strength with “very conservative” voters.

IMO the biggest “news” out of the poll is the relative weakness of the incumbent Attorney General Troy King – he is essentially tied with Luther Strange.

Thanks to Public Strategy Associates for conducting the poll – fun reading!

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I also got to meet a lobbyist from Birmingham who is an investment banker.  We talked about the sewer mess (his firm wasn’t involved) – he doesn’t think that Jefferson County can walk from the sewer debt – that a bankruptcy judge would still make the County pay (and possibly appoint a ‘special master’).  We also talked about the legislature wanting to raid the Alabama Trust Fund – he said the legislature shouldn’t “invade the corpus” of the trust fund.