Friday, February 26, 2010

Responding to Lewis

The Kenneth Lewis campaign for Senate sent out a press release today accusing of us writing biased commentary against his campaign because we did a poll for Elaine Marshall more than three months ago and because my boss made a contribution to Cal Cunningham. This is about the millionth time we've been accused of bias for something or other in our history, it's just as baseless as all the other accusations, and I think our track record backs that up.

They specifically cited this post I wrote yesterday where I said I thought Cunningham and Marshall would break away from the Democratic primary field.

I do think that and I'm happy to say why. So far Marshall has raised $304,864 and spent 31% of it, leaving $211,113 on hand. Cunningham has raised $320,058 and spent only 5% of it, leaving $303,175 on hand. The Lewis campaign has actually raised the most at $327,047 but has already spent 66% of it, leaving only $116,456 on hand.

Spending two thirds of your money, without any of it having gone toward media or anything that would boost your name recognition on a broad basis, is the sign of an undisciplined campaign. It's the sign of a campaign that's spending way too much money on consultants and staff. If you've spent 2/3rds of your money by the end of January and are only polling at 5%, seven points behind a candidate who started out with similarly nonexistent name recognition and has spent no money, that's a very bad sign for your campaign.

Maybe all the money Lewis has blown through will have some positive impact that remains to be seen. Maybe he'll be able to recoup all the money he's already spent and remain financially competitive with the other candidates. But what I see is someone who's spent most of his money and is 24 points behind, and that's why I think he's unlikely to win, not because I'm biased.

Lewis makes the fourth statewide candidate in the last two cycles in North Carolina to blast us and accuse us of bias, joining Richard Moore, Bob Orr, and Elizabeth Dole. Moore, Orr, and Dole all lost badly. Blasting pollsters is the sign of a campaign in bad shape. Maybe Lewis will end up being a major factor in this race, and if he is we'll be writing about it. But for now I'm just calling it the way I see it with my goal being what it always is- to deliver accurate analysis of North Carolina politics.

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