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Adam Smith releases internal poll that has him with big lead over Dick Muri

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Sep. 22, 2010 at 8:19 am with 21 Comments »
September 22, 2010 9:03 am

Adam Smith‘s reelection campaign has released a memo from its pollster that refutes a recent Survey USA/King TV poll on the 9th Congressional District race.

That poll had Republican challenger Dick Muri within three percentage points of the incumbent Democrat.

But the Smith campaign poll, conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group, had Smith holding a comfortable 19 point lead. The Smith poll memo shows that Benenson interviewed 400 likely general election voters and that the poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

Of those interviewed, 54 percent said they would vote for Smith or, if initially undecided, were leaning toward voting for Smith. Pierce County Councilman Muri received the support of 35 percent of those interviewed, including leaners.

Said Smith Campaign Manager Matt Perry, “These numbers are perfectly consistent with the actual vote in the August primary election and clearly refute the accuracy of the recently conducted automated poll done by King 5.”

Leave a comment Comments → 21
  1. lgcnelson84 says:

    Let’s see, according to the Secretary of State website regarding the primary results, showed Adam Smith with 51% of the votes and the two republican candidates combined with 45%.

    The King 5 poll showed Adam Smith with 49% and Dick Muri with 46%

    Adam Smith’s Inflated… I mean, internal Poll shows him with 54% and Dick Muri with 35%

    You tell me which one is actually is “perfectly consistent with the actual vote in the August primary election”.

  2. lgcnelson84 says:

    BTW… this is the 9th district race.

  3. Peter Callaghan says:

    Thanks, nels. Fixed.

  4. lgcnelson84 says:

    Not a problem, you do great work!

  5. SuperSteve says:

    Although you generally have to be skeptical of any internal poll released by a campaign, this one does seem to use more solid methodology than the King-5 poll.

    The more localized sampling is better targeted, and live polling has a track record of better accuracy than “robo-polling.”

  6. The poll does NOT line up with the Primary! Exactly what lgcnelson84 said, the Republican ticket was within 6% of Smith on election night (btw, late ballots only went 49% for Smith).

    Postma obviously had very little support from any base. He spent $162,000 of his own money and had less than $5000 in individual contributions, a very poor ROI. Muri, on the other hand, had over 1600 individual contributions and spent no money ($3k loan was paid back, according to FEC).

    All Postma had was yard signs, TV ads, and name recog from 2008. Almost all those voters should have shifted to Muri, putting him right up with Smith.

  7. Whatever1214 says:

    If he is so far ahead and so confident why is he wasting his time and money on polls? What difference would the poll make anyway? Is he going to change his stance on issues because a poll indicates he could pick up a few points here and there? He has been in office long enough to have a record. Run on that record. If you are ashamed of that record, then resign.

  8. quiller4 says:

    The DCCC commissioned this poll and this time around the polls commissioned by the Republican and Democratic campaign committees have proved more accurate because they are live polls; not IRV and because they call cell lines as well as landlines. It is much more expensive to poll this way but campaigns think the expenditure is worthwhile because they identify geographic and demographic areas of strength and weakness and allow for better targeting of campaign resources. The Rothenberg report last week had a report on the relative trustworthiness of campaign commissioned vs media commissioned polling and came down strongly favoring campaign commissioned polls as the most accurate and believable.

  9. Unlike SurveyUSA or Rasmussen, the group that did this poll – Benenson – is not a neutral polling organization. Rather they are a left/liberal consulting group. Their clients are listed at http://www.bsgco.com/main/do/Political-Advocacy_Clients and include:

    President Obama, British Labor Party, Jack Conway (Rand Paul’s opponent), Soros Foundation, Senator Jim Webb, SEIU, Senator Blanche Lincoln, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Tim Kaine, New Jersey Democratic Party, Democratic National Committee, Communication Workers of America, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, New York State Democratic Campaign Committee, etc.

  10. lgcnelson84 says:

    Obviously he is ashamed of that record since he’s hiding from the democrat affiliation by calling himself “independent”.

    He tries to relate to moderates/right-wingers by pointing out his vote for a balanced budget act in 1997… that was good for what, 5 years? Well thanks, but what’s he been doing since then?

    Pointing out something he did during his first few years in office (which has since expired) and trying to say it’s still relevent today, in this economy, is ludicrous, and we’re not going to fall for his charm and smooth talk this time.

  11. slasmith says:

    If I pay someone to tell me I a winner am I a winner?

  12. Soros … SEIU … DNC … President Obama … Tim Kaine … DCCC … British Labor Party … Even I was surprised at this list of clients! Talk about ridiculously biased!

  13. Peter Callaghan says:

    Great that you all are debating the ins and outs of political polling – the most used and abused tool around.

    Here’s my quick take on this one…It is pretty rare when campaigns release their internal polls. First, they are expensive and the results proprietary and second they know people will be skeptical of positive results. I figure Smith released this question to counter the KING poll. But since he didn’t know it would be released when his poll was in the field I doubt the pollster would have spun the results to get a good outcome. Maybe, but again these things are pricey and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy a poll with bad numbers.

    Of course D’s use D pollsters and R use R pollsters. But I don’t think they do it to get good news if the news isn’t good.

    When I use results from partisan polls I need, at least, the sample size, the margin of error, the dates in the field and the exact wording of question.

  14. WHansen777 says:

    Sorry I don’t buy Smith’s personal poll. I have been the vicitm of two push/poll calls recently, one for Tami Green and one for Adam Smith. Both asked and re-asked the the same questions slightly reworded until they got the answer they wanted. Are we really to believe that the question listed was the only question asked?

  15. Peter Callaghan says:


    I don’t believe that the question disclosed was only question asked. I would be very surprised if it was. It is too hard/expensive to get a live voter on the phone to let them get away with just one question.

    Two things come to mind: We don’t know if the folks who called you were the people who did this poll. But if they were, they would usually ask straight questions at the front to get a clean result on the basis horse race. Then, later in the poll, they might test some themes – something like, would you be less likely to vote for Dick Muri if you knew … This isn’t necessarily a push poll, i.e.a persuasion call masquerading as a poll. Instead, campaigns do it to see if a certain tactic/attack will work with voters or not.

  16. lgcnelson84 says:

    The King 5 survey polled 800 people, twice as many as Adam Smith’s internal poll, and 536 or so were likely voters. It would absolutely be helpful to know what the exact questions were and whether those doing the polls indicated who’s camp they were from.

    This release on Adam Smith’s part really sounds like a cry of relevence, trying to tell the district that he’s still got it. Unfortunately, this race hasn’t seen much coverage until now because Adam Smith has always flown under the radar and people underestimated Dick Muri’s ability to appeal to voters.

    This really is becoming quite the David and Goliath story, and we all know how that one ended.

  17. humourologist says:

    I want to see methodology on both polls, can we keep this in the news (assuming something terrible doesn’t happen)?
    Smith has a vested interest in appearing unbeatable, so it makes sense for him to release positive data. But it does sound like the KING5 poll is closer to the primary results, and has a bigger sample size. How accurate is the primary usually?

  18. newshound100 says:

    Who did Adam Smith poll to get those whacky numbers ? His mother ?

  19. loneranger says:

    Adam Smith’s voting record is worse than Jim McDermotts, if you can imagine that, he is running scared and Muri is gonna whomp him come November…..MURI IS HEADS AND SHOULDERS above Smith in life’s experiences that count.

    Adam Smith is nothing but a politician that has sold his Yes Man routine to the far left in the Democrat pool…he is so out of touch with Washington voters , he lives in a dream land if he thinks that voting the way he has is in the interest of this state and people in the 9th.

    Gimme a proven leader like Muri, who has done much and repeatedly done much over the breadth of his life in service for the people of this state and nation. A retired Veteran, School Board Member, Pierce County Council member, a mover and a shaker when it comes to getting his hands dirty and working hard for the people….I found this out in the last 6 months….about Muri….




  20. Whatever1214 says:

    I wish we could demand that these polling companies and politicians honor our request not to be called through the Do Not Call list. It is my phone and I pay for it. When a politician uses my phone for his or her campaign they are forcing me to provide them support without my permission.

    Of course politicians exempted themselves when they wrote the Do Not Call legislation. And no, it is not a question of free speech. While someone might have the right to speak, there is no requirement that I provide them with the podium (or in this case a phone).

    Quickest way to lose my vote is to call me during dinner.

  21. exexpat93 says:

    I surely hope this empty suit, forced healthcare, cap and tax, liberal with little creditials is sent packing next election. Of all the gall, Adam Smith is now claiming he is pro-military. I asked the “Rat in a Suit” a question about a Dept of the Military in which I serve (as a civilian) and was told to get lost. He is a worm that will do anything to save his own job while sending the rest of the US to the unemployment rolls. He does not represent me and my family has faced terrible economic tradegy during the Democrats “Reign of Error”. Dick Muri if you’ve got any sense – if not, go sign up for an Acorn “Red Diaper Doper” Pimp Benefit.

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