Ted Cruz will be on Sean Hannity’s show at 8:30 PM tonight, discussing Fast and Furious, Occupy Wall Street, and no doubt many other topics. Since there does not appear to be a radio station that carries Hannity in Austin, and since I will be celebrating Nigel Tufnel Day tonight anyway, I guess I’ll have to catch it in reruns.
While on the subject of Cruz, I wanted to partially take issue with some of the assertions in the Kevin Brennan National Journal piece called “Popping the Ted Cruz Bubble.” Essentially it argues that Cruz is not the frontrunner and that previously mentioned internal Dewhurst poll shows that Cruz is way behind.
These two consecutive sentences get to the heart of the problem with Brennan’s piece: “Of course, a poll conducted for one of Cruz’s rivals is by no means a definitive take on the race. But that poll mirrors results of other surveys conducted privately in the state in recent months.”
The first part of that sentence is true but incomplete, since it is missing the word “internal” before poll, and the Dewhurst campaign has not deemed to share with us any of the methodology with which it was conducted. Despite Brennan’s assertion that its finding “come from live-call surveys that follow best-practices methodology most top-quality pollsters use, ” the only thing we actually know (thanks to Brennan) is that it was conducted by Mike Baselice.
Likewise, the second sentence makes assertions which are completely unverifiable to readers, and Brennan offers no convincing argument why we should take those assertions at face value. “Lots of super-secret polls that no one else but me has seen totally agree with the point I’m making.” Which polls? Conducted by who? Surveying how many voters? Registered or likely voters? With what methodology? With what margin of error? Etc. Without that knowledge, Brennan is simply making an unfounded assertion and asking us to take it on faith. And the rest of his article depends on taking those assertion at face value.
Honestly, if Dewhurst’s internal poll was rock solid, they would have released the full poll and methodology to the public, not merely leaked tidbits to favored journalists, especially given how favorable it is to Dewhurst. The fact that they haven’t indicates there are either methodological problems that can’t stand up to real scrutiny, or that the poll show other things (low likability scores for the Lt. Governor, perhaps?) that the Dewhurst campaign doesn’t want us to see.
There are some things in the Brennan piece I have no problem with: Dewhurst is indeed the frontrunner, and I would not take that University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll as gospel either. (Much less the Azimuth Research Group poll.)
Ultimately, Brennan uses those unnamed, unshared polls to offer the conclusion that “Cruz is virtually unknown among Texas conservatives,” a statement that is not merely false, but actively risible. The guy who was endorsed by Jim DeMint and the Club for Growth, has raised just shy of $3 million from contributors, and who was the poster boy for a laudatory cover story in National Review is “virtually unknown among Texas conservatives”?
Right. Pull the other one.