A new poll out of the Jon Bruning camp shows Bruning up by almost 30 points over his nearest competitor, Don Stenberg.
The poll by Wenzel Strategies shows…
Jon Bruning …………….. 47.5%
Don Stenberg …………….18.5%
Deb Fischer ………………10.2%
Pat Flynn ……………………2.8%
Spencer Zimmerman ….. 1.5%
Not Sure …………………….19.6%
Of course, the first think you should note about this poll of 817 likely GOP voters over February 17-19 is…holy crap, 12 people voted for Spencer Zimmerman? (Just think how well he would do if he changed his name to Spencer Dylan!)
The other point is that, wow these numbers are MUCH different than those from Don Stenberg, which showed Bruning at 32% and Stenberg at 24%
We will note a few things:
1) This is an auto-phone poll. Like it or not, there are news organizations that will not even publish the results of these types of polls, because they claim they are not as trustworthy as a person to person poll. Part of the reasoning is that they would not know if, say, the person answering the phone was a child, or somesuch.
We get the issue there, but we also doubt it. The papers that don’t accept these polls are in a bit of the dark ages still. They are avowed tree-killers and have been known to buy barrels and barrels of ink. (We still are unsure why.) But the fact of the matter is that these auto-polls have been shown to be as close to the real vote as person-calling polls. There is an argument that they are even better, because people are less likely to lie to a machine than a person.
2) But if we really want to verify these, we would like to know the questions asked — i.e. was this a message-type poll like Don Stenberg ran?
Stenberg’s recent numbers were likely as a result of first using a number of, “If you knew that Jon Bruning wears the same socks two days in a row, would you…” type questions before asking vote preference. You want that sort of campaign information to gauge how you should advertise, etc. But to then publish those results as a valid poll, gets questionable.
As we noted after Stenberg’s last poll, we do think his numbers moved. Just not to that extent.
Also consider that this poll was taken AFTER Governor Dave Heineman was officially OUT of the running. With the field nearly set (unelecteds still have until March 1st to file), voters are probably more willing to commit. So Stenberg’s numbers moved a little, but Bruning’s a lot.
So is this poll more valid?
We are waiting for further information about the poll to be published today. When we get that information, we hope to get a better stance where the voters rank the candidates right now.
Check back for updates.