The Two Tommy-Killing Sentences
Some remarkable poll numbers on the Wisconsin senate race from PPP. In a head to head match-up, former Governor Tommy Thompson leads former Congressman Mark Neumann 47-39. But when they read respondents two simple sentences, the numbers dramatically flip -- and put Thompson 33 points behind Neumann, a 40 point swing. Those magic words?
"While Tommy Thompson was Governor, he more than doubled state spending and increased government bureaucracy. Then he endorsed Obamacare, President Obama’s $1- trillion-dollar government takeover of health care.")
Here's the PPP analysis:
Sure our newest poll of the state finds Thompson leading Mark Neumann 47-39 in a head to head primary match up. But that's based much more than anything else on Thompson's far superior name recognition. 91% of GOP voters are familiar enough with him to have formed an opinion, while that's only the case for 57% of voters when it comes to Neumann. With that 57% of voters who have formed an opinion of Neumann, whether it's a positive or a negative one, he leads Thompson by a 55-39 margin. That bodes pretty well for Neumann's prospects as he gets into the swing of the campaign.
Here's the real sign of how weak Thompson is though. We read respondents a two sentence, 28 word summary of the attacks he's likely to face from Neumann during the primary campaign and then asked voters again who they would support if the primary was today. And all the sudden Thompson trailed Neumann by a whooping 33 points, 59-26! Two sentences led to a 40 point swing in the horse race. We don't see that happen very often. (Here's the likely future Neumann line of attack on Thompson that we read: "While Tommy Thompson was Governor, he more than doubled state spending and increased government bureaucracy. Then he endorsed Obamacare, President Obama’s $1- trillion-dollar government takeover of health care.")