A poll recently released by Democrat candidate for the 38th Senate seat shows Republican Matt Gunderson in the lead. Among the two Democrats, Catherine Blakespear and Joe Kerr, Blaksepear is ahead of Kerr.
The poll was conducted by FM3 & Associates and paid for by the Blakespear campaign. The poll results show Gunderson in the lead with 36% of the vote, Blakespear at 21% and Kerr at 11%. 32% of voters were undecided. A more in-depth poll gave Gunderson 40% support, with Blakespear at 34% and Kerr at 14%. In that poll, 12% were undecided.
Despite Gunderson being in the lead a large number of voters still undecided, Blakespear is calling this a win. Blakespear said in a press release, “The poll confirms what many long suspected — that Blakespear and Gunderson will easily advance to the November runoff. Further, the poll shows that the combined Democratic vote outpaces the Republican vote, laying the groundwork for a Democratic win in November.” However, a lot of people are questioning Blakespear’s attitude towards this poll as it does have her behind. Gunderson campaign manager Stephen Puetz said, “Releasing an internal survey that clearly shows Blakespear and the other candidate in the race are losing badly, combined, to Matt Gunderson is just the latest in a string of perplexing decisions and positions taken by Catherine Blakespear since Gunderson got into the race”. Joe Kerr, the other Democrat in the race called the poll “bias” since it was the Blakespear campaign that paid for it.
Campaign strategist John Thomas, owner of Thomas Partners Strategies, said that the second poll showing Blakespear in a closer race with Gunderson is less credible, as Blakespear’s campaign was able to write candidate descriptions that were available in the second poll but not the first, “My hunch is that they probably gave Catherine twice as much a voice. So I really do not buy this informed ballot poll, although the uninformed ballot poll appears to be much more credible” said Thomas to The Coast News. Thomas also said that this is bad news for Democrats, especially since this data came from a Democrat candidate. Despite redistricting, the area has leaned red in the past. The area is currently represented by Republican Pat Bates who was re-elected in 2018 by over 12,000 votes even in a Democratic wave year. With this year being a Republican wave election, Thomas says that it is likely a Republican is elected, “It’s a horrible year for Democrats and the winds are blowing in the Republican direction, including in this district.”
If internal polling shows the candidate not in the lead, that is troubling. Other polling data shows Republicans winning and voters dissatisfied with the direction of the state and with the Democrats policies.
Photo Cred: Matt Gunderson for State Senate