Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Haslam Claims He's Leading by Double Digits

Posted by on Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Our next governor?
  • Our next governor?
Bill Haslam's campaign is touting a new internal poll showing their guy with a commanding lead in the Republican governor's race. According to the campaign, the poll shows:

Bill Haslam 37%
Zach Wamp 24%
Ron Ramsey 15%
Undecided 24%

Poll conducted June 1-3 by Ayres McHenry Associates, Inc. 600 respondents of likely primary voters. The margin of error is + 4 percent.

Haslam's money people are sending this poll to supporters to try to turn these results into campaign cash. An accompanying memo from pollster Whit Ayres says Haslam has almost tripled his support since February. On the other hand, Ayres says, Wamp and Ramsey have failed to make significant gains.

"Ever since he went on television during the Winter Olympics, Bill Haslam has been on a steady, consistent march to the front of the Republican gubernatorial primary race," Ayres writes.

Haslam is ahead across the state even in Wamp's 3rd congressional district.* In East Tennessee, Haslam leads with 39 percent to 32 percent for Wamp, and 13 percent for Ramsey. In West Tennessee, Haslam leads 35 percent to 18 percent for Wamp and 11 percent for Ramsey. In Middle Tennessee, Haslam leads 36 percent to 21 percent for Ramsey and 16 percent for Wamp.

Contacted by Pith, Ayres wouldn't release any other results from the poll. We were especially interested in name IDs or negative/positive data. Ayres did say:

"This is the kind of progress you look for in my business—steady, consistent growth over time. It's a much more stable number than a number that shoots up rapidly in the course of a week or two. It's also encouraging that his two opponents have been essentially flat. The fact that Zach Wamp is in the same place today as he was the first of March and that Ron Ramsey is in the same place today that he was the first of February is a very good sign for Bill Haslam."

Update II: Ramsey flack Rachel Taylor spins the Haslam poll.

"Well, if yesterday's primaries have taught us anything it is that polls two months out truly don't seem to matter on election day. Well, that and candidates who hail from D.C. tend to typically fare poorly in this political climate. It's telling that even after Haslam has spent close to $3 million on this race so far, his own polling shows that two-thirds of Tennessee's primary voters have rejected him."

* We incorrectly reported earlier that Haslam's poll shows Wamp trailing Haslam in the Third District. Actually here's what Ayres' memo says: "In the East, despite Zach Wamp's strong base in his 3rd Congressional District, Haslam leads with 39% to 32% for Wamp, 13% for Ramsey, and 16% undecided. The East provides almost half the votes in a Republican primary."

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