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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Look at whats happening to that DINO from Texas


You guys are sooo spoiled. Congressional races are rarely polled, and when they are, those polls are rarely released. But we've got one and it offers good news.

Pineda Consulting for Ciro Rodriguez. 2/26. Primary voters. MoE 4.9% (10/29 results)

Cuellar (RD) 39 (45)
Rodriguez (D) 34 (30)
Morales (D) 8
Undecided 19

That's a pretty dramatic turnaround. From the pollsters' memo:

The vote clearly trends in Rodriguez's favor. Despite an initial 10-day on-air head start, Cuellar's support has dropped. In October, Cuellar was garnering 45 percent compared to 30 percent for Rodriguez and 11 percent for Richard Raymond, who has since decided not to run. The most recent tracking poll, which ran from February 23rd to the 26th, shows Cuellar dropping to 39 percent compared to Rodriguez's 34 percent. Victor Morales, the late entry in the race, is getting 8 percent, while 19 percent remain undecided.

Cuellar's drop, Rodriguez's gain and the eventual outcome of the election are all explained by one fact: the more of these Democratic primary voters that find out Cuellar has been taking Republican stands on important issues, the more they support the true Democrat in the race, Ciro Rodriguez. In the February poll, likely voters were asked whether they supported the Republican or Democratic position on the recent changes in Medicare. Not surprisingly, 68 percent said they agreed with the Democrats while only 22 percent said they agreed with the Republicans. Then voters were asked whether they thought Cuellar had voted with the Democrats or the Republicans. Only 37 percent of voters knew that Cuellar had voted with the Republicans. Among those voters, a majority (52 percent) are voting for Rodriguez while only a third (33 percent) are voting for Cuellar.

The implication of this finding cannot be overstated. Democratic primary voters in the district support Democratic positions on issues like Medicare. As they learn that Cuellar has taken Republican positions on these issues, they leave Cuellar and support Rodriguez. Rodriguez's potential for even more growth derives from the fact that almost two-thirds of voters do not yet know that Cuellar voted with Bush and the Republicans on Medicare. If they learn about Cuellar's votes, they will support Rodriguez.

Cuellar is getting hammered on the air, has a massive and motivated ground operation working against it, and is getting gobs of negative press. Quite the dramatic one-day story, no doubt.

Be nervous Joe, very nervous.