#NCSEN: Let the PSYOPs begin ….

hypnosisWe’re down to crunch time in the primary.  The establishment is falling all over itself to paint a picture illustrating Thom Tillis running away with this thing.  

We’ve gotten a lot of talking heads from Raleigh and DC describing Tillis as “the one who can win.”  The problem? Polling may show Tillis at the top of the pack in the primary, but it also shows him losing to Hagan in a general election.    He runs weaker against Hagan than Mark Harris, Greg Brannon AND Heather Grant AND Ted Alexander.  What does that do to the establishment argument that Tillis is THE ONE who can beat Hagan?

It’s also being repeated that neither Brannon nor Harris have any money.  Granted, Karl Rove and the Bush team have helped Tillis rack up $2.7 million through April 15.  Brannon has $1.1 million to Harris’ $845,000.  One million dollars is not exactly something to sneeze at.  Ask Dr. Evil. 

It’s also quite interesting to see the dramatic jump for Tillis in the polls In February’s PPP survey, Tillis had 20 percent of the primary vote to 13 percent each for Brannon and Grant.  In March, PPP had Brannon and Tillis tied at 14 percent each.  Their poll released here in April has Tillis with 46 percent to 20 percent for Brannon.  From 14 percent to 46 percent in a little over a month.  THAT is an amazing jump.  Tillis has been on TV and radio for months and has been sputtering and stalling in the polls. During that time, his favorables barely moved, but people began moving from undecided to unfavorable.   Now, he gains 32 points in the polls in a little over a month?

rinoPublic Policy Polling is a left-leaning organization.  Yet, their competence is being questioned by the legendary liberal publication The New Republic.  (See THIS and THIS, for starters.)  

Let’s put the polling in a historical perspective.  First, let’s look at the 2008 race for North Carolina governor (McCrory vs. Perdue).  Perdue won that race 50.3 percent to 46.9 percent.  Final polls had samples of likely voters between 601 and 682.  (This year, PPP has a sample of 692 while SurveyUSA/ Civitas has a sample of 392.)  The AP’s final poll had the race as a tie at 44 percent.  Survey USA’s final poll had Perdue up 48 to 47.   Research 2000 came closest by predicting a 49 to 44 Perdue victory.

Let’s look at Hagan-Dole in 2008.  Kay Hagan beat Elizabeth Dole 52.7 percent to 44.2 percent.  Sample sizes for the surveys ranged from 600-700 likely voters.  Rasmussen went for Hagan, 52-46.  Mason-Dixon had Dole leading 46-45.  Research 2000 had it as 50-45, Hagan.

Let’s go to the 2010 US Senate matchup between Elaine Marshall and Richard Burr. Burr won that one 55-43.  Polling samples were from between 500 and 847 likely voters.  The final Survey USA had a 53-38 Burr victory. Civitas had a 44-34 Burr victory. PPP had a 52-40 Burr victory.  Rasmussen had 52-38 Burr.

Let’s look at North Carolina governor 2012.  McCrory beat Dalton 54.6 percent  to 43.2 percent.  Samples ranged from 500 likely voters to 1238 likely voters.  Rasmussen picked the race at 54-35, McCrory.   Elon picked it as 52-38, McCrory.  SurveyUSA went with 53-36, while PPP went with 50-43, McCrory.

Now, let’s move to 2014.  Civitas / Survey USA has Tillis up 39 percent to 20 percent over Brannon.  PPP has Tillis at 46 percent to 20 percent for Brannon.  PPP had a sample of 694 while Civitas had 392.  For both of these pollsters, these were the smallest samples they’ve used since 2008.  Why?  Take a statistics class and you’ll learn that the bigger your sample gets, the more likely your results are to be accurate.   Why go small for 2014?

Don’t fall for spin being circulated out there. Don’t let Raleigh and DC beat you down and discourage you.   Make your voice heard.  Get informed on the issues, and get out there and cast your vote on or before May 6.


22 thoughts on “#NCSEN: Let the PSYOPs begin ….

  1. So what psyop is Hagan running? She is hitting Tillis hard which leads me to one of these conclusions:

    1. Her campaign knows or strongly believes that Tillis is going to win the primary so they are going after him now.

    2. Her campaign does not want Tillis to win (implying they fear him most) so they are going after him now.

    3. Is there a third possibility? Perhaps the belief that a runoff hurts the Republican?

    If the smart money says Hagan beats Tillis, why is Hagan not helping Tillis?

    1. You did not follow the game in Missouri. The Democrats wanted to run against Akin, so they attacked Akin heavily during the primary campaign, to sucker Republicans into voting for Akin, and it worked. It brought Akin up in the polls from third to first, and the Democrats got the opponent they wanted. Part of the psych ploy is that Republican voters tend to want to circle the wagons around the Republican that the Democrats are attacking.

      If they had wanted to influence the primary against Tillis, they would have bought ads attacking him through entities not so blatantly connected to Hagan. They put their own identity front and center because they were trying to create a pro-Tillis backlash among less informed GOP voters rallying to the candidate under Democrat attack, just like was done in Missouri.

      1. Hmmm… not quite buying that… doesn’t match what I’m seeing. The “helping him by hurting him” strategy is indeed a possible psy-op. I just don’t agree that’s what they are up to. The simpler explanation is more likely, see #1 above.

        1. Given the poll numbers when this ad campaign was planned, your scenario #1 is extremely unlikely. Also, it does not track with Democrat tactics used previously. My suggestion is straight from the Democrats’ 2012 Missouri playbook. The other thing that makes your scenario #1 unlikely is that political advertising run just after the primary would be the time to do that since ad rates will be cheaper and the ads would not have the competition from other political ads and thus get more traction. Only an incompetent consultant would engage in would scenario #1.

          And, again, if they were doing your scenario #2, they would be running the ads from some SuperPAC or similar entity that would not identify to all viewers that it came from her campaign. The fact that they want viewers to know where it comes from clearly shows that your scenario #2 is not what is going on, unless of course they have an incompetent political consultant.

          1. Just got a mailing… took me forever to find “Hagan” on it. In fact, at first I thought it was from Tillis and then after reading the message I thought it had to be one of the other GOP. We’ll see I suppose. You could be right, but I think it’s more Occam’s Razor than psy-op.

          2. The electronic media ads, which carry the most punch, clearly identify the ad as coming from Hagan.

          3. For what it’s worth, out the mouth of Rob Christensen:

            “Christensen added that Democratic groups, fearing the idea of the GOP nominating the establishment candidate Tillis, are actually trying to do in North Carolina what they did in Missouri in 2012 — run ads that undermine the GOP’s establishment favored pick. The idea is to get a more gaffe-prone, farther-right candidate such as Brannon nominated instead, just as former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) got the GOP nomination against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Christensen said.”

          4. Christensen. the guy who spent months following John Edwards but never noticed that woman with the camera, has always been a Democrat hack, and will give you the Democrat spin, or at least the establishment spin.

            Christensen is misrepresenting what the Democrats did in Missouri. They attacked Akin to draw the GOP vote to Akin because they wanted to run against Akin. They are doing the very same thing here, attacking Tilli$ to draw the GOP vote to Tilli$ because they want to run against Tilli$.

          5. I think it’s pretty obvious that Hagan and liberal PACs are trying to help Tillis win the primary by running ads for him. Here’s a recent article about the very same strategy being used by a Republican governor in Pennsylvania:



            CLOUT HAS ALWAYS been captivated by “punching up,” the practice in which little-known politicians swing haymakers at well-known foes just so folks will think they’re standing in the same ring.

            The practice has another side – seen less often – where high-profile pols punch down to tactically elevate an opponent.

            That’s what Gov. Corbett appears to be doing these days with U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, one of eight Democrats vying in the May 20 primary election for the nomination to challenge his bid for a second term.

            Judging from the jabs Corbett is throwing at Schwartz these days, you might think they were already engaged in the political pugilism of a general election.

            Bruce Castor, a Montgomery County commissioner who flirted with a primary challenge against Corbett, agrees the governor is pulling for Schwartz to win the Democratic primary.

            “I think all of us who pay any attention to this believe that Allyson Schwartz is the candidate that Tom Corbett has the best chance to beat,” Castor said. “That doesn’t mean that he will. But that is who they’re hoping to run against.”


            Then there’s the recent poll showing that 62% of Democrats want Tillis to win the primary here…

    2. Running ads against Brannon would give him credibility. She doesn’t want the voters to think is a legitimate candidate. Linda made a comment at the bottom concerning the motivated voters. They know Brannon supporters are the most motivated.

      I also believe that this tactic that Kay is pulling may be one of Saul Alinsky’s tactics. I could be wrong….

  2. Tillis will bury Hagen in the fall and Hagen would probably beat Brannon with all the problems his campaign has demonstrated.It has been a fleckless campaign run by amateurs that never got off the ground or created any energy.A typical campaign run by a novice.Even his so called “expertise” of the Constitution has been questioned by the Civitas commentators.Hagen and the democrat machine would have eaten him alive in the general election and not only defeated him but hurt other republicans nationally.He would have been national news daily with gaf after gaf.A know it all who apparently is going to learn a hard lesson on politics.

    1. Energy? Brannon has a lot more individual contributors than Tilli$ and a lot more volunteers. You are clueless.

      As to who is stronger for November, you clearly cannot read polls. The November matchups show Tillis is the weakest GOP candidate in the field against Hagan. And that is before Hagan and the Democrats ”Blueprint” him. None of the other primary candidates would be vulnerable to the Blueprint attack since they were not in the legislature. In fact, in one of the polls that asked that question, Tilli$’ numbers dropped significantly when his position in the legislature was part of the question. As to other GOP candidates, running a candidate like TIllis who will encourage a major Democrat attack on Blueprint lines will mean significant collateral damage in other races. Tilli$’ polls must show the same thing or he would not have avoided mentioning his legislative position in his own biographical ad ”paperboy”.

      Then you have to look at the major issues we have to differentiate our nominee from Hagan. Obamacare is the most powerful, but Tilli$ is the only candidate in the field neutered on that issue due to his calling Obamacare ”a great idea” and his pushing a bill through the NC House to create a state Obamacare exchange in NC. Tillis is the Romney of North Carolina. Romney lost because his own Romneycare baggage kept him from being able to use the Obamacare issue in his campaign. Any of the primary candidates other than TilliS will be able to go full bore against her on that issue, but NOT Tilli$.

      Then there is amnesty for illegal aliens, an issue where polling by the Washington Post shows that being for amnesty not only hurts GOP candidates with the party base but also with independents and moderates. TIllis is for ”a pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens (amnesty) and so is positioned very wrongly on this issue. The other candidates in the field are against amnesty and can effectively use this issue against Hagan.

      Then there is pay for play, which is also likely to contribute heavily to Tilli$’ Waterloo in November if he gets the nomination. No other candidate faces that.

      I could support any other candidate in the primary, but Tilli$ is a disaster who would lose in November, and take other Republicans with him.

    2. Tillis/Hagan is a dead heat at best. They’ll both have the same pros/cons. Some will vote for him/her. Some will stay home because of him/her. And the remaining “low info” folks will select between two bad choices.

  3. What I don’t understand is why are the alternatives to Tillis?

    Both Brannon and Harris have been so low key it is surprising that they even entered the race. Neither Brannon nor Harris made much impression in the debates.

    Where is the Brannon wave which he said would sweep him to a primary victory without even a runoff?

    I must have missed something. I hear many talking down Tillis but where are those talking up Brannon and Harris. Tearing the other guy down does not necessarily bring your guy up.

    1. Personally, I am a conservative, and I could live with most of the other primary candidates. I could enthusiastically support Brannon, Alexander, Snyder, or Grant, and I could probably support Harris, although I worry about where he really stands on amnesty for illegals. I am primarily for Brannon at this point as he is the strongest candidate who is NOT TILLI$. Tilli$ has been an anti-conservative from the time that he slithered into politics by being the Morgan / Black standardbearer against John Rhodes. Tilli$ has gone out of his way to make himself an enemy of conservatives throughout his political career. There is really not enough difference between Hagan and Tilli$ to even bother about. If we are going to have an anti-conservative Senator, it might be better that they are a Democrat instead of poisoning our own caucus and ruining our brand.

      I also wonder if the probe in the Charlotte area is done. The Holder ”Justice” Department waited until it was difficult to replace Grimm on the ballot before nailing him, and they may have similar plans on Tilli$’ dealings with the Board of Governor or other pay for play antics. If TIlli$ is a target, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that they will wait until after the primary.

    2. I work the polls for early voting and I have not seen any enthusiasm for Tilli$. Frankly the only workers I see are for Brannon and a few for Harris. The Brannon workers are very energized. Tilli$ is just trying to suppress the other candidates’ voters which will work against him in the fall even with Rove and the Chamber of Crony Capitalism’s support.

      1. You could well be right. Brannon told Glenn Beck he would win the primary without a runoff. It could be his poll workers who are the wave he was talking about. It would surprise me if Brannon wins without a runoff but stranger things have happened. The poll workers may be the wave which will surge him to victory.

  4. You all live in a dream world.Tillis will win easily.And he will beat Hagen fairly handily.I’m afraid the train has left the station and you are not on board.The night of May 6th is going to be a wake up call for you.

  5. I have been a volunteer for Brannon since February. I have lost track of the number of phone calls I’ve made, though I know it’s at least 1200+, stood at the polls to inform voters, sent $400 of my own cash to him & etc.

    In all those phone calls, I’ve only spoke to 7 people who were pro-Tillis & I’ve seen none of his folks at any of the poll places. The polling place I’m at is the most popular in my county, full of Republicans & there is not 1 Tillis sign there or any supporter.

    By comparison, Brannon is loved once folks learn of him, though there are a few for Harris. Bottom line, Tillis may be well known but he is NOT well liked no matter what the main stream media tells you.

    I counted at least 3 times during the Q&A at Davidson college where Thom lied thru his teeth for anyone with a internet to see. Tillus will most assuredly lose the primary & if by some strange reason he doesn’t, he will lose against Hagan in November.

    I spoke with a gentleman Tuesday before the debate who said he was done with the Republican party because he felt so disgusted by what they had become. This was after 54 years of voting for the R’s. Every time the GOP tries to nominate moderates like Romney & McCain, they will lose, it is that simple.

    The American people don’t want “Obama-lite” they want conservatives.

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