Monday, August 22, 2011

Abdul Facebook Rumor Suggests Mayor Ballard Has Small Lead in Poll

I don't usually pass along rumors, but I found this one on Facebook to be interesting:
Abdul-Hakim Shabazz
Melina Kennedy campaign finally admits their polls have them running behind incumbent Mayor Greg Ballard. Campaign sources won't say by how much; general belief is 8 - 10 points
Of course, Kennedy is behind in the polls.  She has barely started her advertising and the negative barrage against Ballard hasn't even begun.  What I don't buy is the 8-10 point figure.  I figure Kennedy at this stage has to be at least 15 points down, possibly closer to 20.

Abdul is an enthusiastic supporter of the Mayor.  It's not a stretch to assume the 8-10 point figure was discussed with the Ballard campaign.  What I find surprising is that anyone who understands campaign politics would actually think an 8-10 point lead (which wouldn't even be outside a 5 point margin of error), would be something to brag about.  Kennedy, on the other hand, can't publicly talk about any poll which shows her behind when expectations about her campaign are high, especially in a county with a Democratic baseline of more than 55%.  In fact, if she's only 8-10 points out (again which I doubt) then her campaign is far ahead of schedule and she is well on her way to being the next Mayor.  Ballard needs to be up by at least 20 points going into the Labor Day weekend to stave off the inevitable tightening of the race.

A few weeks ago, I ran into one of Ballard's biggest supporters.   Outside of Frank Straub, the young man had nothing but good things to say about how Mayor Ballard has led the City.  Then our discussion turned to the campaign. His mood changed completely.  He said he was frustrated.  He tried to help out the Ballard campaign only to find the Mayor's political people had no idea what they are doing.   Yep, that is exactly right.  Political and strategic incompetence to the max.

Note:  Before people suggest I'm wrong on the margin of error comment, actually it is the media who gets the MOE wrong.  When you have a 5 point MOE, that means both sets of numbers can be off 5 points.  So if Candidate A polls at 55% and Candidate B is at 45%, that means Candidate A's numbers can be as high as 60% and as low as 50%.  Candidate B's numbers can be as high as 50% and as low as 40%.  Thus with a 5% MOE on a 55-45 poll, the race can be tied 50-50.


M Theory said...

Keep in mind that Ballard's political strategists didn't help him win the last election.

After the election a bunch of people (like Brizzi & Tom John) swooped in and took credit for his win when they did little to nothing to usher Ballard's victory.

After the first tea party at the Broad Ripple Canal in July 2007, we invited those who appeared to be leaders back to my house for pizza and beer.

There were about 20 people at that first meeting and all of them were excited and throwing out ideas, as if we had to pick just one to run with...instead why not use all of ideas at the same time?

I came up with the main strategy to attack Peterson constantly from many places at a time so that he never had a chance to recover from each blow we delivered. We had some crafty thinkers at those meetings and never ran out of ideas.

As I recall, the Scotsman came up with the seriously funny pranks like "Breakfast at Barts" and the "Yard of Shame" featuring Peterson and the City Council led by the completely inept Monroe Gray.

I drew the strategy of the early activist's ideas as a map on a piece of paper with a sharpie and framed after the election as a gift for Ballard.

In order for the strategy to work, we had to maintain true grass roots appearance and not be directly connected to Ballard's campaign. We also had to be able to move our out-of-the-box ideas to implemenation on the ground within hours or a few short days. We were agile, in other words.

We financed everything we did for him on our own dime.

Ballard doesn't have the "A Team" luxury this time. He has to rely on the B or C Team.

M Theory said...

Photos of a yard prank installed by activists on Meridian Street!

M Theory said...

one of the Yards of Shame from 2007Election

Money and a big campaign chest doesn't buy this kind of activism.

Blog Admin said...

I saw Melyssa also post on Abdul's blog about how an early Ballard backer recently hosted a fundraiser at his house for Melina Kennedy.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Jim Shella says Melina is trailing because she sent out a negative mailer. When Sue Ann Gilroy was running against Peterson, she started running negative ads while she was in the lead according to polls. Not sure you can read the race definitively one way or the other without the release of concrete poll numbers by a reputable pollster.

Paul K. Ogden said...

What negative mailer did she send out?

Of course, Shella is assuming sending out negative pieces backfire. Evidence suggests, if done correctly, they don't backfire.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I would point out, I've seen the 2010 baseline Marion County numbers. The county is more Democratic today than in 2007.

M Theory said...

Political mailers are like buying a back page ad in the phone book. Anyone with enough money can do it. Often people with the most money to buy the back page are the biggest crooks in town with lousy customer testimonials.

No one cares about political mailers. They go straight to the recycle bin. CONSUMERS HATE JUNK MAIL!

I particularly loathe political mailers. They are a waste of trees and I resent their propaganda and litter being shoved through my mail slot every day.

No one cares what you say about yourself. What counts is what your customers (constituents) say about you.

Having or not having dedicated grassroots activists says it all.

Bill said...

Tom Johns attack piece on McAtee is a perfect example of how attacking a candidate will win you an election.

It may have been the nastiest piece ever mailed in Marion County.

Until this upcoming cycle....

Paul K. Ogden said...


The fact is political mailers do work. Maybe not with you, but they work with others. You're more sophisticated than the average voter.

M Theory said...

Actually Paul...I'm not really all that sophisticated and have a very average IQ.

Let's just say I woke up early to what normal people are starting to realize about the political class.

Ten years ago the back page of the phone book worked. Today, with the advent of internet testimonials, businesses that pay to advertise themselves don't fair so well and the phone book is practically extinct.

Look for the trends with political mailers to start to change. People are more fed up than ever with the political class and the internet if leveling the playing field so outsiders (like Ballard) can win.

The democrats are notorious for sending multiple flyers to every known resident at my address for the past 20 years. It shows how grossly wasteful they are with money, for starters.

Recently my home received 5 identical Delaney mailers sent to previous occupants. I've owned my house for 13 years, yet they can't figure out who lives there?

That can only mean they are lazy or inept and could care less about being frugal or green.