Eviscerating the “most-electable” spin

ttshrugAll of the pundits are declaring Thom Tillis the hands-down winner of the GOP primary for US Senate — a whole month before the first votes get cast.  Gov. Pat McCrory told that low-grade birdcage liner The Washington Post, this week, that Thom Tillis is “the most electable” and “most viable” candidate in our US Senate race.   Really? What are we basing that observation on?

Allow us to introduce some facts and data into the discussion — specifically, the RealClearPolitics polling averages for North Carolina’s US Senate primary.   RCP has Tillis averaging a +5.0 lead over the rest of the primary field, with roughly 25-35 percent undecided. (Not exactly a comfortable cushion.) 

Let’s look at the averages for the head-to-head matchups with Hagan for the general election.   For a Tillis-Hagan matchup, RCP has found an average margin of victory for Hagan of +0.2.  

For a Brannon-Hagan general election matchup, RCP finds an average margin of victory for Brannon of +1.0.   For a Harris-Hagan matchup, RCP found a TIE between the two candidates.  For a Grant-Hagan matchup, RCP found an average margin of victory for Hagan of +2.7.  For an Alexander-Hagan general election matchup, RCP finds an average margin of victory for Alexander of +2.7.

So — if you are actually looking at facts and data, and NOT working from personal bias — Ted Alexander is the most viable candidate against Kay Hagan in the general election.  He’s followed by Brannon and then Harris.  According to the data, Heather Grant and Thom Tillis are the least electable in the field. 

21 thoughts on “Eviscerating the “most-electable” spin

  1. McCrory should have stayed out of this primary. All he has done is alienate Brannon and Harris supporters with his ill-advised comment. He will need those voters in 2016 and may have a hard time getting them. Nobody in the GOP has yet to figure out where McCrory gets his political advice.

      1. It used to be Jack Hawke, who was competent, but since Hawke got sick, I have not heard anyone who knows. And McCrory had a stubborn streak even when he was getting good advice from Hawke. An example is his first campaign, when he absolutely refused to let Hawke run any might that might be construed as negative, even ads making comparisons with Purdue or answering Purdue’s negatives. If you look at the tracking polls, failing to answer Purdue’s false attacks on dumping garbage in the east, by itself, cost McCrory enough votes to lose the election, and the sad thing is that Hawke had the ad ready to answer Purdue and turn it back on her but McCrory refused to let him run it. That is just one example, but McCrory using his own ideas instead of relying on seasoned experts who knew what they were doing cost the GOP the governorship in 2008. I see he is using the same sort of thinking in pushing Tilli$.

  2. When the GOP didn’t evict Rove in his megalomaniacal drive to destroy any organization of independents like the tea party, they successfully alienated many who think for themselves. The GOP needs to take a lesson from the DNC on accepting all independents. Sadly, the GOP leadership is too arrogant and self centered to do what is right and can only do what they have always done – facilitate ever expanding government no matter which party is behind it. The GOP needs to look in the mirror and come to grips with the fact that they are just as complicit as the leftists, progressives, and democrats in getting us to the point we’ve reached. As far as a candidate, Brannon is by far the most constitutionally centered of the field. The rest have an underlying desire to control through government – especially Tillis who wants to continue the insanity of an interventionist foreign policy. Brannon would be a good mesh with the likes of Cruz, Lee, Paul, etc. who have scared the hell out of both the GOP and the Democrats.

  3. Why is McCrory chiming in at all in the GOP primary?

    I didnt know a whole lot about McCrory before his election, I still dont know “all” that much now…. but I cant say I’ve been at all impressed with his governorship so far.

    I will say he seems to have a political tin ear…. many of his bumbles are entirely self-inflicted.

  4. Governor McCrory does not give any rationale for his blanket statement, and it would appear it is an opinion he just pulled out of thin air. Your analysis of polling data, Brant, on the other hand is much more scientific and is a reasoned opinion backed by evidence.

    But there is another approach that also has merit and that is to look at the issues, both in terms of the key issues that can be used against Hagan and those that can be used against Republicans. Romney was a poor choice of a candidate in 2012 because his own Romneycare baggage made him unable to use the most potent issue the GOP had which was Obamacare, while at the same time Romney, as a little rich boy, was the perfect foil for what we knew would be a major Democrat thrust, class warfare. We would have to have been bloody idiots to nominate Romney, but the liberal media and our own GOP establishment, including Rove, kept pounding on us that he was ”electable”. That seems to be a very Orwellian term when used by those folks.

    In our Senate race the most potent issue for the GOP is again Obamacare, and Hagan is a sitting duck on that issue, with video of her telling the Obama lie herself. Another major issue is illegal immigration. As to Democrat attacks, the left and their media allies have invested a major effort in Blueprint, smearing the legislature, and that has unfortunately gotten traction with the voters. We could expect the Blueprint theme to be a major part of their attack.

    How do our primary candidates stack up on being able to deploy Obamacare effectively? Tilli$ has the same problem Romney had in a political record that would prevent him from being able to use it effectively. Not only has Tilli$ called Obamacare ”a good idea” but he rammed a bill through the State House to establish a state Obamacare exchange in North Carolina (fortunately killed in the conserative led Senate). With that record, Hagan would make him look like a two faced idiot if he went after her on Obamacare.

    On the other end of the spectrum, Brannon is the only candidate who has actually read the whole Obamacare bill, and as a medical doctor has the background to speak with great credibility on the issue. The others lack Tilli$’ baggage on the issue, but they also lack Brannon’s cred.

    On the major issue that works for the GOP, Brannon scores as the most credible and Tilli$ by far the least electable. The others are in between.

    On illegal immigration, a recent Washington Post poll showed that among independents, 43% were more likely to vote for a candidate opposed to a ”pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens while 28% were more likely to vote for a supporter of that pathway. With moderates, 38% were more likely to vote for an opponent of the pathway and 28% for a supporter. Among the GOP base, the numbers are even more one sided. Overall, a candidate opposing the pathway to citizenship has a 12 point advantage with voters over one supporting the pathway.

    So how do our candidates stack up? Tilli$ supports the pathway to citizenship for illegals, although he often tries to talk out of both sides of his mouth on that issue (apparently like Rubio, he is pushing the Orwellian argument that the pathway to citizenship is ”not amnesty”). Brannon is solidly opposed to the pathway. Harris is somewhere in between, harping about ”bringing the illegals out of the shadows”. Mpst of the lesser candidates oppose the pathway.

    So, on illegal immigration, Brannon takes the position that makes him the most electable, and Tilli$ takes the position that makes him least electable, according to the polling data. Tilli$ position is also very close to Hagan’s position on this issue.

    Looking at the issue Democrats have invested heavily in using, and have even been chortling with glee in the media at the prospect of doing so, is the general Blueprint smear of the GOP legislature. While it is a dishonest smear, ineffective pushback by the the NCGOP meant it unfortunately got traction with the voters. But the only GOP Senate prospect that they can tie this line of attack to is Tilli$ since the rest of the candidates have not been in the legislature this past session. Some of the polling that has been published shows Tilli$ poll numbers drop significantly when his connection to the legislature is mentioned.

    So, on the issues that the GOP can use against Hagan, Tilli$ scores as the least electable, and that is also true on the main issue the Democrats are gearing up to use against the GOP. On the other hand, Brannon comes out at the top of the electability chart on all of those key issues.

    Nominating Tilli$ for the Senate would be just as disastrous as our nominating Romney for President. The electable candidate is the one who can use the main issues we have against Hagan effectively while not being vulnerable to the main issue Democrats plan to use on the GOP, and that candidate is Brannon.

  5. Maybe McCrory can spend more of his time trying to keep his buddy ex-mayor out of prison.

  6. I think Tillis is the most electable because I believe he will raise much more money than his opponents.

    You may have a good message but if you do not have the funds to get your message out then your message dies on the vine.

    Tillis having been in state politics for some time has more name recognition. The doctor and the preacher may make wonderful Senators but GOP establishment thinks Tillis has the best chance to defeat Ms. Kay.

    But the good doctor and the good preacher can show the GOP establishment by winning the primary and winning the support of the GOP establishment.
    The words of the song come to mind:
    ”Well there’s a rose in a fisted glove
    And the eagle flies with the dove
    Sometimes you can’t be with the one you love, honey
    Love the one you’re with
    You gotta love the one you’re with
    You gotta love the one you’re with
    You gotta love the one you’re with
    You gotta love the one you’re with”

    Or the words of advice given to me by dear old dad: “Go ugly early.”

    1. Cooper, the paid troll for the Tillis campaign. Gotta love the one your with, huh. Good try. Tillis to conservatives. “Hey I’ll marry you tomorrow for a honeymoon tonight.” just give me the win today. Need further proof, look at “Tricky Dick” Burr.

      Conservatives are now more informed and smarter than to fall for “Tricky Thom Tillis”. If he is the nominee, Republicans will not bother. I’m hearing that they’ll skip over the race. Perhaps the GOP establishment will love the one they’re with (Tillis) in the losers column after the primary.

      Go Brannon, the most electable candidate.

    2. The GOP base consists of two parts, the establishment and the conservative grassroots. The establishment has more of the money, and the grassroots has much of the voters. The establishment just wants a candidate with an R by their name and does not care about issues. The grassroots cares mostly about issues and is getting more and more cynical about a candidate just having an R by their name. The grassroots has been sold out on issues too many times by the establishment. The establishment is more likely to come around to a conservative candidate in the General election because they meet the test of having an R by their name, than the conservatives are to an establishment candidate who flunks the issues tests.

      We screwed up royally in the 2012 presidential race by nominating an establishment candidate who was not positioned on the issues either to reach ticket splitters or to motivate the base. Tilli$ is just more of the same. His issue positions are poison to many conservative voters. Sean Trende, co-author of the Almanac of American Politics, did some excellent research on voter turnout in 2012 and calculated that 4 million white Republican voters who came out for McCain / Palin, stayed home for Romney. Tilli$ will turn off the base, just like Romney did. If we want to win, Tilli$ is the one candidate NOT to nominate.

      With Tilli$ it is not just the Joe Sixpack average GOP voters who are turned off. I have been amazed by the number of longtime GOP activists I have heard say that they will just not vote in that race if Tilli$ is the nominee.

      1. “We screwed up royally in the 2012 presidential race by nominating an establishment candidate who was not positioned on the issues either to reach ticket splitters or to motivate the base.”

        And who could have defeated President Obama in 2012?

        I would really like to know.

        1. We did not have the best selection availible. As ERick Erickson on RedState put it, here we had the second coming of Jimmy Carter and we were quibbling about who was the tallest midget in the roomto put up against him.

          However, the key was Obamacare, and as long as we had someone who could take that issue to Obama, we could have beat him, and preferably someone who was not the ideal foil for Obama’s class warfare campaign. That is where we really missed the boat.

          The said thing is that the smoking gun that exposed the Obamacare lies was right there in the Federal Register where an Obama administration official estimated that millions of Americans would lose their policies due to Obamacare. Any competent campaign which was using Obamacare as an issue would have found it when they were doing their oppo, and once they have it they had the silver bullet to destroy Obama. I can just imagine Newt Gingrich, the best debater of the lot, delivering that to Obama in a debate. Unfortunately since Romney knew he could not use the issue, his campaign never did the oppo on it and thus never found it.

          Either Gingrich or Santorum or Perry would almost certainly have found that and used it and gotten elected, but the best of those running was probably the Minnesota governor who dropped out early.

          1. President Gingrich! Now I have heard it all.

            I will dream tonight of President Gingrich and First Lady Callista. Should be a thriller.

          2. Gingrich was only one of those mentioned who could have used the Obamacare issue to beat Obama. However, the liklihood of a President Gingrich has always been higher than that of a senator Tillis.

    3. JR,
      I really wish you would reconsider your vote.
      With all do respect, I totally disagree. I will tell you why, but first, refer you to Roberts response.
      I really don’t think you are considering the fact that the whole political landscape is shifting. People are waking up to the fact that there is no difference between the GOP est. and the Dems. The two parties have the same destination. The only difference is the speed and possibly the route. TOTAL GOVERNMENT CONTOL. Heck, Thom Tillis knows this! Thats why he hasn’t shown his face at many of these voter forums.
      I understand your money comment. But again, I have to respectfully disagree. Running TV adds really isn’t all that expensive from what I understand. I would say the timing of the ads is most important. Everything is going to the internet. A strong social media presence can do a lot as well, not to mention, ITS FREE.

      Do you think the GOP est. would throw their money behind Brannon if he won the primary? Ask Ken Cuccinelli.
      The GOP est. IS the problem and Thom TIllis IS playing ball with them!

  7. Tillis was in New Bern Friday at the GOP headquarters. Some people discussed protesting, but I chose to ignore him…the most disdainful thing to do.

    Tillis is not too much different than Hagan…however he does not wear a skirt.

  8. Tillis is best at stuffing his campaign coffers with money from lobbyists, DEMOCRATS, and people who have legislative needs from the NCGA. So he is best for buying the votes of the low – information voters by running millions of dollars of TV ads where he lies and calls himself a Conservative. His voting record proves he is NOT Conservative.

    Yeah, the NCGOP will deserve what it gets if he’s the nominee.

    1. Once his honey pot of special interest pay for play money at the General Assembly dries up when the short session adjourns and he has no more favors to distribute, I wonder where Tilli$ plans to get his money?

      1. Special interest money never dries up. That is in the Constitution.

        Pay for play money also never dries up. The government is always spending money and people are always paying to get a seat at the table. When pay to play disappears from American politics the government will shut down.

        Establishment Republicans have unlimited amounts of money if they keep to the middle of the road. If you veer too far to the right the money dries up. If you veer too far to the left the Democrats start giving you money. Safest thing to do is steer down the middle and win the election. Then in six years time no one remembers what you campaigned on. The key is to win the election. After that everything falls into place according to the laws of nature.

        1. Special interest money follows power. Being a sitting House Speaker is power until the the short session adjourns, then it is gone. A shaky prospect of maybe being a very junior US Senator with minimal clout is not even in the same ballpark.

          Senator Jesse Helms put it best when he said ”the only things you find in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead skunks.”.

          Winning elections is not based on being in ”the middle of the road”. It is based on communicating the right issues to the voters to turn out your own base and peel off as many ticket splitters as possible. As I pointed out above, Tilli$ is the worst positioned candidate in the field to do either.

        2. If the issues don’t matter and mouthing whatever the most people want to hear is all that’s important, what’s the point of running at all? Why bother to go after the position if not to implement a smaller, more limited government?

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