The Dernogalizer

September 20, 2008

Kratovil and Harris in Dead Heat

Filed under: MD Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 10:13 pm
Tags: , , ,

So I worked through the Sierra Club on the most heated Congressional Race in Maryland which is taking place in District 1. If you want a throrough explanation of the contest and who I am supporting, check out my past blog post. The momentum for Frank Kratovil appears to be headed in the right direction.

A new poll shows that the race is a dead heat, with both Andy Harris and Frank Kratovil being at 36%, and 25% of voters undecided. Now this poll is a very good sign, previous polls from a couple monthes ago showed Harris with a double digit lead. However, I’m not going to read TOO much into this poll, except that Kratovil now has a shot. My reasons for skepticism are as follows

1. The poll has a 4.9% margin of error and a sample size of 400. It was also a poll held by the Democrats. While a valid poll, the margin of error and sample size means that this thing could be 5% more in favor of either candidate. A sizable swing.

2. 25% undecideds is from my perspective a dangerous number. The reason is that i think undecideds are predominately people who haven’t been paying much attention to the race. In a conservative-leaning district, I can see alot of these voters going to the polls with little knowledge of either of the candidates except that Kratovil is registered Democrat and Harris registered Republican. I think with only that to go on, more of these voters will vote Republican.

So I think the Kratovil campaign needs to bring down the number of undecideds, whether that be advertising, targeted canvassing, and mailings. The debates should help. The more people learn about Andy Harris’s extreme views, the more of those undecideds that are moderates will swing to Kratovil. Talking about how Andy Harris has a lifetime score of 7% on environmental bills during his tenure as a State Senator is proving to be a very effective line. I think this is what puts the district in play for Kratovil. The health of the environment, the Chesapeake Bay, and the preservation of farmland and open spaces is very important to people in the 1st district. Ultimately, Andy Harris’s record on those issues leaves no indication that he will fight for any of those things. In fact, the record shows Harris will work to fight them.

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