by Jim Nintzel
It's hardly an unbiased source, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today released the results of a survey that showed Congressman Ron Barber leading his Republican challenger, Martha McSally, by 14 percentage points in the race for Congressional District 2.
The survey of 400 likely voters, conducted Sept. 27-30 by Grove Insight, showed that 54 percent like Barber, while 40 percent were behind McSally. Only 6 percent of the voters were undecided.
The survey also showed that Barber was viewed favorably by 51 percent of voters and unfavorably by 32 percent. The numbers weren't as positive for McSally; 38 percent had a favorable impression, while 32 percent had an unfavorable impression.
Daniel Scarpinato, the former Arizona Daily Star reporter who now serves as a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, dismissed the survey in an emailed comment.
“Democrats know this poll is completely bogus,” Scarpinato said. "If it were even close to accurate, then why are they planning to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in television ads beginning this week to distract from Ron Barber’s record of walking lock-step with Nancy Pelosi?”
We suspect the race is closer than the DCCC survey shows, but we'd guess that Barber is still in the lead. His name ID is still a lot higher than McSally's in the district and the national mood has been shifting in the direction of Democrats, so she's got a steep hill to climb to pull off an upset in Southern Arizona. On top of that, the NRCC has yet to reserve air time here in Southern Arizona, which suggests the NRCC and other third-party groups don't see much value in backing McSally—and given that the targeting map is mercilessly poll-driven, that means the polls can't be that good for her right now.