Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Comparison Shopping

The Commercial Appeal has two stories comparing the claims and counter-claims being made in this election. One is Henry v. Hilleary and the other is Lamar! v. Bryant. Both are not bad, but each does damage control for the CA's endorsees.

The gubernatorial article focuses on the charge made against Henry that he was an income tax lobbyist for former governor McWherter. The CA tries to massage the damage, but Tax Free Tennessee has already demolished that.
Henry says the statement is consistent with his view now - that
the state sales tax is too high and that a complete tax code
rewrite is needed.

And most Republicans see that "rewrite" for what it is--he will support the income tax.

Henry claims, and the CA supports that claim by repeating it, that:
...Hilleary is threatened by his recent
advance in the polls and by the fact
that so many Republicans are telling
pollsters they are still undecided in the
governor's race.

I've done Google searches on this and came up with three different polls, all saying different things. One is referenced in a UT Beacon article here. That articles repeats the common wisdom that Hilleary leads at 51 to 14 for Henry. Another is a WBIR (Knoxville) poll, of Knox Countians, which doesn't necessarily mean much for the whole state, showing Hilleary with a 51-to-25 spread. The last is a Henry poll
...conducted by Ethridge and Associated of Cordova, Tenn.,
showing Hilleary with 30 percent of the vote, Henry with 20 percent, and 40
percent undecided.

This last seems pretty far off the mark to me. It's understandable for Hilleary to ignore Henry's campaign, but with the papers really trying to advance Henry that doesn't excuse Hilleary's lazy, "wait out the clock" campaign to this point. Still, it seems that Hilleary still has a winning lead.

In the other article, the CA compares Lamar! and Bryant in the income tax, other taxes and abortion. They conclude that Lamar! did flipflop on abortion, but do a whitewash on Lamar's tax position that, once again, TFT has demolished.

This race is the prototypical example of the post I made below. Lamar was quickly jumped on by the Republican National Committee; Bryant is the "up from below" true conservative. It's still debatable if there will be a California-style, Simon v. Riordan upset for the RNC, but I'm cautiously putting my money on Bryant. This is the primary, not the general election, and the majority of Republicans are really pissed off right now. Still, there's the "Liddy Dole" factor--that Lamar is so well known across the state that he steamrollers any grass-roots movement.

Until next time,
Your Working Boy

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