Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Eight Percent Solution

The Martin O'Malley campaign has good news from the latest New Hampshire primary poll.
The candidate is at a distant third at 8 percent.
I know, I know, go ahead and say it: "That's good news??"  Well, it's all about perspective.  This poll actually shows Marty moving up, into the high single digits.  And a spokesperson for the O'Malley campaign framed the improvement, however small, in these terms:
"According to the latest Public Policy Polling report, Martin O'Malley now has one supporter for every five that Hillary [Clinton] or Bernie [Sanders] has in New Hampshire. Three weeks ago he only had one New Hampshire supporter for every forty or fifty that each of them had. We are continuing to grow and gain traction here on the ground. This is double what the same poll had us at near the end of October and that's still with 50 percent of respondents not knowing enough about us yet. This is proof that our focus on personal, one-on-one connections with voters is what will help us come February. The more people learn about Governor O’Malley, the more support we gain."
Okay, if you're a Hillary-lover, you're obviously going to laugh at all of this and dismiss this as spin.   I don't deny that any presidential campaign polling far behind two candidates in a three-person field is going to make the best out of a bad situation even when they know the best isn't good enough.  But the pace of Marty's climb is impressive considering that, in early autumn, he was polling so low that his name was followed by an asterisk instead of a number.  He's gotten badly needed exposure through the Democratic presidential debates held so far - both of them - and he's grabbed as many chances to appear on forums and talk shows as possible and made the most of them.  José Díaz-Balart and Rachel Maddow have had him on their MSNBC shows so frequently, they're quickly becoming his two best friends.
It should be noted that Bernie Sanders is still making progress against Hillary Clinton by making similar inroads in the polls, and Sanders has an easier task to overtake Mrs. Clinton simply by having something in the polling that O'Malley hasn't obtained so far in this campaign - double-digit numbers.  But Marty is still making progress, despite the news media's collective decision to ignore him - except for those in the media who ridicule him - and he's in a good position to reach a point where no can neither ignore or ridicule him.  He's not giving up just yet. :-) 

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