Sunday, May 02, 2010

Is There An Opening For McGoff In Fifth District?

I've not written much about the crowded primary race to unseat U.S Rep Dan Burton in Indiana's fifth congressional district to date primarily because the race has frankly been uneventful. Mike Murphy and Luke Messer have handily outdistanced the other candidates in the field in terms of fundraising besides Burton, although Dr. John McGoff and Brose McVey haven't exactly been slouches in the race. Short on money to buy television advertising like Murphy and Messer, McGoff has relied heavily on a grassroots phone bank effort. He also began the race with the highest name identification of all contenders besides Burton, having polled about 45% of the vote in his 2008 primary race against Burton. I have seen no evidence that any of the other candidates have achieved higher name recognition despite their large media buys.

McGoff's campaign sees a big opening for them to upset Burton in Tuesday's Indiana primary. His phone bank effort has reached approximately 40,000 potential primary voters in every precinct in the district. McGoff's campaign suggests his support among Republican primary voters in the district is running about 30% based on their phone bank effort. The campaign places Burton's support at about 27%. Murphy, McVey and Messer all trail behind McGoff and Burton according to the McGoff campaign. To win, a candidate will need to capture about 35% of the vote in the crowded field.

Are McGoff's numbers reliable? I'm not sure. His campaign is quick to point out that Murphy, Messer and Burton have all been in the field polling in recent weeks, but their campaigns have not released those poll results. McGoff's campaign believes if any of those poll results had been positive for their candidate, the respective campaign would have rushed those results to the local media, which has taken a pass on polling in the race. If McGoff is successful on Tuesday, I think it will be because of the support he gets in Marion and Hamilton Counties, which comprise a little more than a third of the primary vote. He is best known in those counties.

5 comments:

Vox Populi said...

McGoff garnered 45% of the vote not because of who he is, but who he wasn't (namely Dan Burton). He doesn't have high name recognition and there's no way he wins.

With so many candidates splitting the "anti-Burton" vote, Indiana Dan will win again.

dcrutch said...

Not a lobbyist, not an incumbent, not a career politican, and not a lawyer. McGoff is a doctor and veteran. He's got my sign in the yard and my vote on Tuesday.

zachmain said...

I heard the Messer campaign hit 100,000 phone calls made today...

Advance Indiana said...

I'd still like to know why Messer won't release his poll results if things are looking so good, Zach.

zachmain said...

Gary,

Because, to my knowledge, he hasn't polled. Instead, he's chosen to use that money to reach voters...