Pre-primary polls are about as reliable as Brett Farve running hard for a needed first down.
And this truism applies emphatically to the Rasmussen polling touted by Mark Neumann in the GOP gubernatorial primary campaign.
What is clear from both the past pro-Scott Walker spots by shadowy independent groups and the new Walker direct mail piece assailing Mark Neumann as comparable to Nancy Pelosi [a bad thing among Republicans], is that Walker is worried about Neumann and the national GOP does not want Neumann as the nominee.
And Walker should be worried. Walker is running in the twenty-first century GOP, not exactly big on the Enlightenment.
And with no big statewide Democratic races, an unknown, perhaps significant number of Democrats may vote in the GOP primary for Neumann, seen as a weaker general election opponent.
WALKER LAUNCHES NEGATIVE ATTACK AGAINST NEUMANN
As Walker falters in polls, Walker launches smear attempt to compare Neumann to Nancy Pelosi
Neumann Pledge: I will continue positive TV ads & mailers; asks Walker to do the same
WAUKESHA, Wis. - September 5, 2010 - In the wake of a new poll indicating that Mark Neumann is now the strongest candidate in the race for Governor, challenger Scott Walker has launched a negative attack in the form of a direct mail piece that compares Neumann to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. The piece has surfaced just days before the Sept. 14 primary election.
In response, Neumann has signed a pledge not to run any negative TV attack ads or mailers in the closing days of the primary election campaign, and has asked Walker to do the same. The pledge was hand-delivered to Walker's campaign headquarters this afternoon.
"When I first heard about this mailer I thought it was a joke. Nancy Pelosi? Is he kidding? I was kicked off a Congressional committee for fighting government spending," Neumann stated. "This is the type of last-minute smear campaign that career politicians launch when they are trying to make up lost ground in the closing days of a campaign." Neumann was considered one of the principal architects of the 1998 balanced budget - the first balanced budget in decades.
"The people of Wisconsin want constructive solutions from the candidates for Governor, not desperate last-minute attacks - and I won't stoop to that level," Neumann added. "I ask Scott Walker to join me and sign the pledge not to run negative TV attack ads or mailers in the closing days of this campaign."
The latest Rasmussen poll shows Neumann would beat Tom Barrett, 48 to 44%. It is Rasmussen's 10th poll in this race and the first time the poll has shown Neumann would beat Barrett by a wider margin than Walker. It was also the first poll to show Neumann outperforming Walker with Republicans.
Specifically, the Walker negative attack mail piece singles out one vote from 1998 that 143 Republicans voted for, including Wisconsin Republican Congressmen Tom Petri (Walker endorser) and Scott Klug, along with national conservative leaders like Dick Armey, now a leading Tea Party advocate. Democrats, including Wisconsin's David Obey, voted against it.
Importantly, the bill also ensured that all federal gas tax revenue would be dedicated to transportation projects. As Governor, Neumann has made it clear he will dedicate transportation-related taxes to transportation projects and ban any raids on segregated funds, including the transportation fund. It was not immediately clear whether Walker's negative attack signals a change in his own position on transportation funding.