Friday, September 19, 2008

Governor Jill Long Thompson?

Will that be something you hear around the Statehouse come January?

For the past couple months I've been saying that Jill Long Thompson has a shot to win the Governor's race. To say the least I was in the minority on that sentiment. I was assured by the political pundits and several media types that the race was over. I had several friends email me puzzled by my comments on my blog asking for further explanation. They had been convinced Governor Daniels had the race in the bag, that the election was over.

This morning the Indianapolis Star/WTHR poll reports that Daniels lead over Jill Long Thompson is only 4 points, 46-42, within the margin of error.

I'm not the kind to say "I told you so." Okay, so maybe I am that type.

I would say at the outset though that I'd be very distrusting of polls in this election. They don't measure intensity which greatly impacts turnout. Although Sarah Palin has brought some enthusiasm to Republican voters, I still remain skeptical that her presence on the ticket will, in the end, make that much of a difference. Throughout history the VP selection has had little influence on the ultimate fortune of those at the top of the ticket. The enthusiasm and energy seems like it is all with the Democrats. This election reminds me of 1980 in reverse. There you had an election for President (Reagan & Carter) that was nearly dead even in the polls, that turned out to be a landslide for Republicans on Election Day.

The problem is when people do political analysis for a race like Governor, most people focus simply on the race at hand. They stare at the tree describing what they see while forgetting that they're standing in the forest. An election is not usually a singular contest, but a series of contests that take place on one day, with the key contest on that day having the ability to greatly affect the outcome of the other contests.

The Star's headline and thrust in the article was that the race is close because of ticket-splitting. That's wrong. The race is close despite ticket-splitting. A better angle for the story would have been that "a rising tide raises even the most leaky boat." Now armed with a poll that says the Governor's lead is a mere 4 points, Jill Long Thompson is going to be able to plug the financial holes in her boat so she can possibly catch the Democrat wave and make it to shore.

Below are some related blog postings:

Republicans Need to Heed Rokita's Warning: Indiana's Coming New Voter Surge 9/18/08

Does a Rising Tide Raise Jill Long-Thompson's Ship? 9/6/08

No Hoosier Left Unregistered 9/3/08

1 comment:

Diana Vice said...

Maybe the governor should do something about the lobbyist influence in our state. It's hurting our citizenry while millions of Indiana tax dollars are pouring into other states. Check here for details: