Unlikely Voter

Poll Analysis and Election Projection

Palin shapes two races

Having attended a speech of Nikki Haley’s in Atlanta last year, her run for Governor of South Carolina is one I’ve followed. Living here, I’ve also watched the California Senate race. Both situations seemed to be stable: Haley was stuck in fourth, while in California Tom Campbell was staying ahead of second place Carly Fiorina.

Then Sarah Palin intervened, and both Haley and Fiorina shot into first place in new polls. Now we have confirmation of both events. Sarah Palin carries respect in the Republican Party.

Public Policy Polling checked both primaries. In South Carolina, they show Haley running away at 39, ahead of Henry McMaster at 18, Gresham Barrett at 16, and Andre Bauer at 13 (MoE 3.9). 39 isn’t enough to avoid a runoff, but Haley seems guaranteed to make it to that runoff. A previous poll had Haley at 30.

In California, which has no runoff, PPP shows Fiorina at 41 to Campbell’s 21 and Chuck DeVore’s 16. SurveyUSA had her at 46, but a 20 point lead will suffice in a state with no runoffs. Additionally, 21 is the lowest point Campbell has reached in the RCP history of the race and 16 is tied for the highest DeVore has seen since Campbell entered.

The combination of Palin’s endorsement and Fiorina’s television ad barrage seem not only to have broken the race open for the former HP CEO, but also appear to have sent Campbell on a downward slide, while DeVore’s also on the way up.

The South Carolina race is up in the air thanks to the runoff and certain allegations I won’t name, but barring a Howard Dean-scale collapse, I think Fiorina has the California Senate nomination wrapped up. It’s in the refrigerator, as Chick Hearn used to say.

That’s the power of Sarah Palin, it seems.

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