Respected polling firm Anzalone Liszt Research has released a new poll for North Carolina's 8th Congressional District and Larry Kissell has tremendous momentum and is pulling away from Robin Hayes.
The number that jumps out is the informed vote where Kissell leads Hayes by 7 points. (49% Kissell/42% Hayes) The informed vote poll is taken after a paragraph about each candidate is read to the voter. These paragraphs include platform statements and are not considered a negative push.
Read the good news on the flip side...
Looking over the poll it is hard to find anything that is negative for Larry Kissell. Despite his disadvantage in name recognition (89% Hayes/22% Kissell) Larry only trails Hayes by 8 points in a head to head initial vote.(46% Hayes/38% Kissell) In other words, Hayes can't garner 50% of the vote even with overwhelming name recognition.
Another indicator that Hayes has an uphill battle for November is his positive to negative ratio. Currently this is 1.4 to 1 which according to Anzalone Liszt is well below the 2 to 1 ratio that is a benchmark for incumbents.
When you combine this with the current political environment in Washington it appears that Robin Hayes may be wearing the incumbency as a weight around his neck.
More specific numbers from the 8th District make the situation look even worse for Hayes.
A majority (52%) of voters give the economy in their area of North Carolina a negative rating. It is clear that voters believe CAFTA and "fast track" legislation has hurt the local economy and 59% are less likely to vote for Hayes because of his support for these two measures, after initially opposing them.
If you think the above tidbits are positive, the picture looks even brighter when compared to the numbers from 2004. Beth Troutman received 45% of the vote in November. The following poll numbers for the Troutman campaign are from a poll completed in September 2004. Kissell poll results are the first listed for comparison.
Generic Vote: 42% Democrat / 33% Republican
Initial Vote: 46% Hayes / 38% Kissell
Informed Vote: 49% Kissell / 42% Hayes
Generic Vote: 42% Republican / 37% Democrat
Initial Vote: 53% Hayes / 19% Troutman
Informed Vote: 55% Hayes / 26% Troutman
If Troutman can win 45% of the vote after such weak poll numbers, when voters are favoring Republicans and after being outspent by well over $1 million it is not only conceivable, but highly likely that the 8th District will be sending Larry Kissell to Washington in November.
Larry Kissell is an 8th District Democrat. He embodies the values and spirit of the people in this district. He understands what they feel is important, because he shares their feelings and their values. His campaign is about the people of the 8th District.
This isn't a poll driven campaign, but it's nice when a poll confirms what the voters have been telling you all along. The people of the 8th district are ready for a change and I hope that this poll will prove to the rest of the folks what we have been saying all along -- We're going to win this election.
Larry Kissell knows that is important to keep your word. He doesn't just say the words honesty and integrity, he lives them. These are the values that will appeal to the voters in this district and this is the message they need to hear.
This is a developing story, so look for updates.
Update: This will be posted in stories at DailyKos and MyDD tomorrow at 10:00am. Please consider stopping by and recommending the post. Larry deserves the national attention. Hotline and Cook need to take a second/third/fourth look in this direction. I will post links tomorrow as soon as the stories are posted.