Last week, Senator Jason Rapert and the Republican polling firm Diamond State Consulting Group put out an internal poll that had Rapert winning 47-36 percent with about 17 percent undecided. (I’m rounding off those figures.) Now let’s be clear here, the only reason a politician releases internal polls is to set the narrative in a favorable light. We’ve seen it tried before and, in at least one instance, it’s blown up spectacularly in the face of the candidate whose campaign released it. Diamond State is there for just this sort of work, and that’s not a knock on them. I wish Democrats would get with the program and start a polling company that specialized in doing the same thing. That said, there’s something I really like about this poll-Tyler is viewed more favorably by the respondents than Rapert.
Tyler’s favorables are 38-20 and Rapert’s are 21-12 with a higher percentage of people in the district not knowing him than Tyler. This comes from Tyler having actually represented much of the district, something Rapert has not. Tyler is an aggressive campaigner-that’s how she’s won in tough years like 2010 when other Democrats went down, and with such a high percentage of undecideds after what was surely a pretty good push poll, it’s still pretty obvious that this one is anyone’s race, regardless of the internal poll game.