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POL WATCHER

Like most of you, I’ve been dissecting the Indianapolis Star’s latest poll on the Mayor’s race. It shows incumbent Bart Peterson leading challenger Greg Ballard 43-39. Libertarian Fred Peterson polls at five percent. Some are criticizing the poll saying it under-represents African-American voters, so the Star did some adjustments based on 2004 voting patterns.

With all due respect to my friends at 300 N. Pennsylvania, I honestly don’t think the more African-Americans you ask about the condition of the city will change things all that much. I maintain that the high income and property taxes disproportionately impact African-Americans more than their white counterparts because of the greater percentage of poor and working class Blacks, due the smaller population.

But ignore the Mayor’s race numbers for just a moment and look at a more telling number, the City-County Council races. Forty percent of the voters say they plan to vote Republican, 32 percent Democrat. I don’t see any scenario where someone who would chose a Republican for Council would vote for a Democrat for Mayor. That shows the fundamentals favor the Republicans in this race. Democrats are privately worried as evidenced in this clip by their District 14 candidate Gloria Harvey on my morning radio show. Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Peterson campaign manager Mike O’Connor dismisses the poll, saying it doesn’t reflect the internal information they have. O’Connor is one the smartest political operatives I have ever met, but I’m calling him out on this one. If Democrats had a poll that showed something contradictory, they should “open the kimono” and put it out there. By not doing so, this feeds into the theory promulgated by the Indy Undercover crowd that Democrat internal polls also show the race a virtual tie.

Regardless, this race has now entered into a new phase. I maintain that Bart Peterson is now the most dangerous political opponent you could face, because he is now in a position he has never really been in before; the position of losing. He still has more than a million dollars in the bank. That money will have to be spent on a ground game and getting out the vote. The polls prove the Mayor’s television campaign is not working, because the more people see him, the more they dislike him. His only saving grace is to turn out the vote, otherwise come November 6, the voters will turn him out.

  • Bart Doesn’t Lie

    The poll was released yesterday afternoon by its sponsor and the pollster. Within an hour, they recalled it, recalculated, and released new numbers.

    I’m no O’Connor fan, but anyone who looks at this poll, in historical/Marion County perspective, has to see it’s flawed.

    I think the race is tighter than Bart would like. But no way it’s this clsoe.

    And…to follow-through on your council analysis: there are four at-larges, and if you follow past patterns, they go with the Mayor. Current district councillors are 14-11 Republican. I detest at-large positions as a principle, but they’re there, and we’re not changing it soon.

    If the math you described is accurate, and I question it, the council will likely remain the same.

    But there are more Republican or open-Republican districts in play than Democratic.

    ???

    Also: heard Fred Peterson today. He sounds like a wodnerful guy, but he said, more than once, that anyone who voted for him was showing good common sense. It’s a tad insulting, by inferrence, to conclude that those who support my candidate (Bart), and the loyal opponent (Ballard) are somehow less sensible.

    Good ‘ole Fred lost some good will today.

  • Anonymous

    No wonder there is a surge in new voter registrations this year.

    The cemeteries are going to have to vote more than usual to make sure peterson wins.

  • Irvingtonian

    I would digress from your statement that Mike O’Conner is “on of the smartest political operatives I’ve ever”. O’Conner has never worked a campaign that didn’t have loads of cash in the bank before he came on board. Take the cash away and Mike is just another hack, not a professional. Stack him up against the likes of the late Matt Reese and the late Bob Squire, both whom I had the pleasure to work years ago and O’Conner rates a 3 on a 10 point scale. But Reese and Squire were before your time Abdul.
    That being said, precisely how do you assume that Peterson will win on the ground? The phrase “get out the vote” means many things and the history of Marion County politics shows that sometimes various and sundry shady means are used to coerce the African American community to get to the polls and vote for whom their “leaders” tell them to vote for. Will it work this time around? I don’t think so. It’s a muny election not a national one. Yes, stakes are high, so high that there will no doubt be isolated cases of fraud in the Dem “get out the vote” effort.
    The African American community will deliver an average number of votes but this war is going to be won or lost in the Townships outside of Center.

  • Anonymous

    “Peterson campaign manager Mike O’Connor dismisses the poll, saying it doesn’t reflect the internal information they have”.
    Here’s a thought..
    MAYBE THEIR INTERNAL INFORMATION (POLL) IS WORSE THAN THE STAR’S????????

  • BigRic

    I can’t say that I like the fact there is a 3rd Libertarian candidate in this specific race. However, the fact that his last name is also “Peterson” will be interesting. I wonder how many Bart Peterson voters who aren’t paying attention might accidently punch the Fred Peterson ballot?

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone considered that O’Connor might want the Star numbers to be low to ensure his base GOTV’s?

  • Irvingtonian

    With 12 days to go if O’Cooner’s poll data reflected something radically different from the Channel 13’s he’s have shown us the money and upped the ante. Polls work a couple ways, they tell you where your candidate stands and they can be used as a weapon against your opponent. If O’Conner’s numbers showed Peterson substantially ahead of Ballard he would have used those numbers to demoralize the Ballard effort. He didn’t because he couldn’t. Peterson is in trouble, serious trouble and time is running out.
    Ballard does not need to put together a get out the vote effort, Peterson does.
    If Ballard get just enough TV time this match is over. In match play golf terms, Ballard is dormie one right now. He’s one up with one hole to play. All Ballard nneds is a par on the last hole.

  • voter

    I’d have to question that O’Connor is all that good, A second grader would have told Bart to deal with Monroe and his tactics. I have a feeling that this city is in for a positive change. Monroe I hope you get everything you deserve, and then again maybe you are.If the Mayor loses he has you to thank.

  • Check Yourself

    Irvingtonian has it about right.

    Center will, as usual turn out 16-20%. They don’t know how to get out more because they don’t have to in order to win their area’s races. They have never cared about the countywide situation–but they bang on tables and make demands as if they are the sole reason Democrats win county-wide. And heretofore, conty chairs and countywide candidates mostly took the bait.

    This year, as in the past, the countywide races will be won or lost in the northern three townships. And all three ar now Democratic, by ever-increasing margins. Up there, they’ll vote three or four times as many folks, percentage wise, as Center.

    All the screamers, who try to tell us there is massive vote fraud in Center, don’t know what they’re talking about. Massive voter fraud would take a lot of effort, and they just don’t work that hard in Center.

    There’ll stil be pulpit money for the ministers the Sunday before election. There’ll still be WAM (Walking Around Money) for “lunches” and “gas” for election day in Center. And they won’t turn out one pecentage point more than they have in past municipals. Yet, tens of thousands will have found its way into certain pockets, just like always…candidates are scared that the money-receivers will not get out their vote. As if they ever DID.

    It reminds me of Shaq. Capable of scoring and rebounding at a very high rate every game, but laziness gets in the way, and he whines instead, about half the time. A prized athlete under-performing, is exactly what Center is.

    If O’Connor had any streetwise brains, he’d find a way to get Center’s turnout up around 35%. If eh does, it’s over by noon. And if they don’t turn that vote out, after Bart wins, again if O’COnnor had any brains, he’d tell Center to go eff themselves in the future, because they make demands and don’t deliver.

    But he won’t, and they won’t, and it won’t be voer until 6 pm And Bart will win by six or eight instead of more.

  • Anonymous

    Demoralizing Ballard’s team would look mean and arrogant…something the D’s are already accused of. Lay low, downplay the Star poll and turn out the vote sounds like a good strategy to me.

    Plus, the debates are done with, Ballard will not be up on TV and his name ID will drop just as quick as it shot up (the Star poll was done in the midst of 3 debates…)

  • Bumpy Johnson

    I love the fact that O’Conner won’t reveal his own poll findings.

    C’mon Mikey,I showed you MY pole now show me YOUR pole! I bet my Pole is BIGGER tham your Pole Mikey! C’mon, show me your pole you weenie! I won’t tell anyone Mikey.

  • Per Usual

    Is history forgotten so quickly?

    Think back to the 2006 general. Pollsters had Julia Carson & Eric Dickerson nearly even just days before the election. She won by more than 10,000 votes.

    Everyone seems to be forgetting about the Carson political machine. Honestly, I don’t care for the woman pretending to represent us and drawing a six-figure paycheck for “convalescing,” and I think it’s time for her to go. HOWEVER, the woman has spent decades building a motivated and formidable grass-roots network to be reckoned with. The “JC Factor” obviously isn’t quantified in these polls.

    Make no mistake, her operatives will be out in full force with church vans scooping up people on the streets and driving them to the voting booths. Yes, even in a muny election. Ballard would do well to only lose by a single-digit margin.

  • Anonymous

    Who is the Carson Machine?

  • Irvingtonian

    What is this so-called Carson Machine going to do?

    What are her operatives going to do, prop her up on horse, open the castle gates and send her into battle like El Cid on election day ???????????

    The black church vote? They pay taxes and are victims of crime just like the rest of us. The chickens come home to roost this time and I don’t mean fried chicken at Julia’s place on election day. Those days are gone.

  • Anonymous

    Irvingtonian-

    Your dismaissal of Carson’d “machine” is exactly why Bart and Julia keep winning.

  • Irvingtonian

    Read my post again Anonymous. I’ve lived in Center Township all my life and this so-called machine is a now history. They won’t legally poll 15% on election day. Doesn’t matter, this race will be won or lost in the other Townships.

  • Anonymous

    FYI – Irvingtonian, Irvington is in Warren Township, not Center.

  • Per Usual

    This “so-called machine” is a group of community-level volunteers who are incredible at GOTV. They have interwoven ties to urban-dwellers that traditional campaigns either brush aside or fail to engage. People without home phones can’t be reached for telephone polls and I highly doubt these researchers are panhandling the patrons at the Shell station at 38th & Illinois with surveys!

    Just because this illusive “machine” isn’t composed of traditional politicos in suits & ties mingling at fundraisers and spinning soundbytes to the media doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!

  • Irvingtonian

    Did I say I lived in Irvington?

  • Irvingtonian

    Anonymous, did I say I lived in Irvingtion?

  • Bumpy Johnson

    Well, we shall see what this “machine” can do on election day. And they better have all their papers in order including the photo ID.
    Their votes will washed out by the Township vote regardless.
    BTW, are felons allowed to cast votes. Just curious.

  • Anonymous

    Irvingtonian, one would logically infer from a screen name fashioned after a demonym that the user of that screen name would be an inhabitant of that place, but I digress…

    “Little Flowerite” and “Emerson Heightser” don’t have quite the same ring, do they? =)

  • Anonymous

    many incorrect assumptions about the electorate in the above.

    the 7th district and marion county are not one in the same. marion county is significantly more republican. look at the congressional district maps. geist and much of decatur, perry, and franklin are not included.

    the northern 3 townships are not majority democrat, lawrence in particular. that being said, the 4th CD could easily swing dem while the 2nd CD may, in fact, go rep. the 5th is so rep, the dems didn’t even bother.

    the black clergy are being characterized as uniformly pushing for the current democrats. that is not the case. some are speaking out against the status quo and have endorsed republicans this years.

    finally, the african american families moving out to the townships — especially pike — are increasingly solidly middle class. they are mad about property and income taxes too. hmm, two of the republican at large CCC candidates are black (and fine people too).

    funny thing about the way that poll estimated blacks, it might actually not represent their current voting tendencies at all.

  • Anonymous

    Why does Gloria Jean Harvey’s link on the Marion County Democrat candidates’ website link to Indygov.com. She’s not ON the council (nor does it appear she will be). She’s a candidate. Sloppy at best.

  • voterette

    Am I off base here or is this Wilson 4620something a goof or what.

  • firefighter

    Bart, you said you wouldn’t take any monies from Public Safety yet IFD lost 800k, that’s a lot of money for an agency that was strapped anyway. Did you lie or what let us taxpayers know.

  • Anonymous

    wilson is more of a gadfly. he worked for the carson machine for years and continues to promote it. he is widely alleged to have done inappropriate things to opponents. he doesn’t seem to have anything better to do than watch blogs and post pro-marion co. democrat propaganda. what have the carsons done for him? it does not appear much. it’s sad really.

  • THanks

    Huge thanks to whomever or whatever muzzled and leashed Wilson!

  • Wilson46201

    Once again, the anonymous nobodies are finding time to gossip about me instead of discussing serious Indianapolis politics. Some fools are so easily distracted…

  • Anonymous

    wilson, when have you participated in a serious discussion about politics in comments on a blog? you have been outed as making inflammatory posts, and then posting a rebuttal to yourself.

    i made the 5:31 post. i stand by everything i said and i would like to point out, i am not the first to say it . . . on this or other blogs.

    apparently voterrete is new to the blog world. as a courtesy to that individual, i wanted to clue her in on your nature. i chose my words carefully.

    you: sad gadfly.

    btw i am a long time democrat and we are acquaintances (barely) but operate in very, very different circles. i am done with the patronage and corruption around in marion county and am on a mission to be a part of the solution. i am keeping an open ear around friends and at gatherings, make a note of what is said, smile politely, but keep my thoughts to myself. i am not alone.

    i am not distracted; i have laser focus right now. we will know if a few days, but i think it is making a difference. in fact, i know in one particular CCC race, it is making a difference.

    off to dinner with some of my “fellow” democrats. they are very nervous and as, certainly as you know, the internal polling is not good and there is something going on between the governor and the mayor. it’s only heresay now but i hope to have facts later. we have so much to discuss.

  • Anonymous

    The only poll that matters is the one on election day, and that is only if Beth “Incompetent” White has her act together. Oh, by the way, if my polling place is not open at 6 am and ready to roll, I will gladly stand up and file an official complaint and pursue it.

  • Yep

    “…there is something going on between the governor and the mayor.”

    Do their wives know? *grin*

    Seriously, though, this sounds juicy! Do tell!

  • Anonymous

    Greg Ballard has produced 3 television ad’s this week and they will be on the air next week.
    The Eagle is about to land!

  • Anonymous

    Fellow Hoosier Taxpayers:

    Before we can make a more extensive analysis of the Governor’s tax proposal, it is most critical to look at the timing of his statement. Originally the tax plan was to be unveiled prior to the 2008 session of the General Assembly. Why announce it two weeks, to the day, prior to the 2007 municipal elections?

    Point 1 — The word on the street yesterday was that Mayor Bart Peterson’s internal tracking polls have been showing him three points behind Greg Ballard.

    Point 2 — For several weeks many in public life have been discussing the purported ‘deal’ between the Mayor and the Governor, to not mount any serious opposition to the re-election of either. The timing of yesterday’s tax plan would appear to lend credence to these rumors.

    If you are the Governor, and the candidate from your Party stood a chance of taking over the State’s largest City, wouldn’t you let his Democrat opponent stir in his own property tax problems? Why go on prime time on all local network stations two weeks before the (close) election and make it appear that there is nothing to worry about, property tax wise, ‘all is well’, there is no need to man the polls and throw out an incumbent serial tax raiser. If this works for the Mayor, can the Governor expect any less cordial treatment from the opposing party in 2008?

    If I were Greg Ballard I would be furious at the leader of my own party taking such actions, just two weeks before the election. Obviously, those in authority hope that those of you who are not in authority will just go home, leave these tax questions to them, and stop being so intrusive into public affairs. Let it not be.

  • Joe

    Question –

    Is it just me, or does Center Township start reporting its numbers well after the majority of other townships have reported their numbers?

    If I remember correctly, it seems as though the last few elections CT starts to report 2-3 hours later, and all of a sudden the votes seem to swing towards the Dems, even if the early vote reports from CT are trending the other way.

    Maybe I am mistaken, but does anyone else think its odd that if a Republican has an 8-10% lead during the early count, Center Twnship all of a sudden swings it 20+% the other way.

    Maybe I am just imagining things, if so let me know. I would hate to think that there are voting irregularities going on in the city.

  • Bob

    Joe, you make a very good point and I’m going to take it a bit further. It is my understanding of the Voter ID law that if a person shows up to vote and they do not have the required ID then they are allowed to vote using a provisional ballot (paper ballot). These provisional ballots are then, by law, subject to a fact finding to determine if the person who voted was indeed who they said they were and if they in fact live where they said they did. The Marion County Election Board, I believe make the final determination as to whether to allow the vote or to toss it out. The Board is controlled by Democrats.
    These provisional ballots, and there will many, could be used to swing this election in the Center Twp precincts long after the polls close.
    Republican candidates and their organization need to be aware of this and mount challenges if needed.

  • Reserve

    Can someone tell me why the entire Reserve Division of IMPD was pulled from their normal service districts and is now required until the election is over to work the Irvington area? A group page came out yesterday about it. This days after Peterson gets lambasted about crime in his neighborhood meeting in Irvington?

  • Irvingtonian

    Reserve,
    The Mayor’s campaign manager and Marion County Democratic Chairman, Mike O’Conner lives on N.Audubon in Irvington and was the one who gave the order for the Reserves.
    Hope that answers your question.

  • Brad Bentley

    Any Citizen, Police and Fireman that has some freetime on election day, can you please donate some time to pass out election material for Greg Ballard? Show your support and make a difference! Take an active roll to make our city better for the next 4 years!

  • Anonymous

    here’s why: they are concerned that mary moriarty adams is going down. it’s looking like that’s going to be the big CCC shocker.

  • moneyguy

    I have received two calls from pollsters. The first call was the normal questions age, political part etc.. Now the bulk of the questions surprised me. The first poll a couple of weeks ago hammered on all of the good (take with a grain of salt) things Mayor Bart has done. Sewers, charter schools, crime prevention, more cops on the streets. A number of these statements were taken (possibly out of context) from the Indy Star. I kept telling the pollster that most of these things that were done raised my taxes. I also told her there has been no proof that the merging of the police departments have saved any money. After I got off the phone I told my wife that it sounded like a Democratic poll. Thursday night I get another call the same questions up front. Then the pollster starts to quote the Star and state that Ballard is going to raise taxes (build a new government center to the tune of 35 Million) in every statement she reads me (also quotes taken from the Star). I stopped her and asked if this was a Democratic poll. There was a long pause and she said she was calling from Florida. Was this a legit poll or are the Democrats using scare tactics to frighten the voters into voting for Mayor Bart? So are these calls being made from Florida or is this the Democrats using scare tactics??

  • Bumpy Johnson

    The calls are coming from out of state because thats where the companies are that the Peterson Campaign has contracted run their polling centers from.
    Hell, Bart’s got $1.5 million to burn before elction day so I would put my answering machine on if you don’t want to be bothered.

    I guess Abdul must have had a stroke after the Indianapolis Star endorsement came out. I damn near had one myself.