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Monday, November 28, 2005

Souder Ekes Out Win in Parley Poll 2

Incumbent 3rd District Congressman Mark E. Souder narrowly edged Democrat Tom Hayhurst in the second online poll hosted by Indiana Parley. Souder received 106 votes (40%) and Hayhurst received 101 votes (38%) out of 266 total online votes cast.

The Libertarian Party as represented by the name of Allen County LP Chair Mike Sylvester received 59 votes (22%). Sylvester's name was placed in the poll as a "placeholder" for the Libertarians as no candidate has yet emerged for the Libertarian congressional nomination. Sylvester recently announced he will be running for the Board of Northwest Allen County Schools (NACS) in 2006.

Hayhurst and Sylvester jumped to early leads in the first few days of the poll. Hayhurst continued to lead until the final days. Souder then assumed a very narrow lead of a few votes.

Any lessons to be drawn from the poll? The main one is that Hayhurst enters 2006 with a Democratic base very accepting of his candidacy. The other is that a large percentage of Libertarians view this page, own computers and aren't afraid to use them.

Otherwise, as we have told you, this poll is unabashedly unscientific. You should be careful driving a motor vehicle or operating heavy machinery after viewing these results.

Full Disclosure: The poll ran until approximately 6 AM, November 27. It had been intended that the poll would terminate at or near midnight November 25. However, the results on November 25 also displayed a narrow, single-digit vote margin for incumbent Souder.

where does this leave the mighty Souder with his base?
Souder is very UNPOPULAR with fiscal conservatives.

Mark Souder is VERY POPULAR with the religious right.

If Hayhurst can swing a lot of fiscal conservatives he has a good chance to beat Mark Souder.

Mike Sylvester
Given your analysis, Mike, it makes it sound as though the Libertarians don't intend to have a candidate of their own fighting for the votes of "fiscal conservatives."
I didn't realize Mitch shares his site stats with Mike Sylvester... otherwise, why would Mike post on Observed that this blog is frequented mostly by Republicans?
Good point. Indiana Parley does not publish its site statistics. The statistics don't get shared with the Libertarian Party chair or any other party chair, for that matter.

In any event, the Sitemeter folks haven't figured out a way to measure party registration of the site visitors.

A reasonable inference could be drawn from the poll that a disproportionate share of Democrats and Libertarians relative to the composition of the 3rd District view this blog.

Another reasonable inference that could be drawn is that Kosciusko County and Elkhart voters are similarly under-represented in the poll participants.
Perhaps another explanation is that Souder has won by default and that his support among the TYPICAL 3rd district voter is shallow. If given the choice of a really good candidate like Hayhurst, it's hard to get people online to even click for Souder. To say nothing of getting out of bed to vote for him on election day.
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