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May 25, 2006

Lowell summed up

I still wonder how Lowell does it. Over at Raising Kaine, he has posted recent poll numbers concerning Virginia's senatorial candidates. He notes that George Allen is viewed positively by 47% of those polled and unfavorably by 26%. Certainly not exceptionally high, but considering America's distrust of Congress right now, those numbers sound pretty good. Lowell paints this as good news; as a Republican, I see little reason to be concerned with those numbers, particularly with what follows.

He notes that Harris Miller has favorable-unfavorable ratings of 7-21, and that James Webb is at 11-19 (each are unknown at a rate of 36% in the samples). The Virginia blogosphere's biggest fan of Webb does note that he has an incredibly low recognizability, but after that, it is all spin. He neglects to mention the error of +/- 4.6%. Lowell says that Miller has an "awful" rating, but Jim Webb's is only "not great". Funny, let's look again. With even one standard deviation, there is approximately a 68% chance that Miller's favoribility may fall in the range of ~2.5-~11.5%, while James Webb is between ~6.5% and ~15.5%. That leaves a considerable range of overlap. It is most likely that James Webb has a better rating than that of Harris Miller; however, it is not by much. Nearly six months out of the general election, the primary contenders for the Democrats are both relative unknowns and viewed unfavorably by those who do know of them. George Allen's "worst nightmare" may not even present a challenge.

I can honestly say that I would like to see Harris Miller chosen in the primaries. Not because I see Webb as any sort of serious contender (these poll numbers are not aiding Lowell's cause), but because I can see that Lowell will have to take back months of attacks if he wishes for George Allen to be defeated.