Poll puts Paccione ahead

Oct 312006
Authors: J. David McSwane

An independent poll published Monday shows the race for the 4th Congressional District seat will be a tight squeeze

The poll, conducted by RT Strategies and Constituent Dynamics, gives Democratic candidate Angie Paccione a three-point lead over incumbent Republican candidate Marilyn Musgrave.

The survey of 991 potential voters showed Paccione had the support of 48 percent of likely voters, leaving Musgrave and Colorado Reform Party candidate Eric Eidsness with 45 and 5 percent, respectively.

The poll yields a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent, which the race falls within.

“This just proves what we’ve been saying all along,” said Paccione campaign spokesman James Thompson. “It’s a dead heat. It’s gonna come right down to the line”

But Musgrave’s campaign hasn’t been so willing to acknowledge a close race. They conducted a poll of their own, which gave Musgrave a voter support of 45 percent, Paccione 38.5 percent and Eidness 9.3 percent. That poll has a margin of error of 5 percent.

“They’ve been trying to pass off their polls to the media for quite some time,’ Thompson said. “We believe they are suspect.’

Thompson adds that the Musgrave campaign has not released the data gathered from their surveys to the public.

The Musgrave campaign could not be reached for comment.

But judging by the Republican’s last minute efforts to have some heavy hitters visit the district and some significant campaign expenditures in the last weeks of the election, they are ready for anything on Nov 7, said John Straayer, a CSU political science professor.

“What I found interesting about this poll is it seems to validate large sums of money being spent on the two campaigns,” Straayer said. “Nobody wants to pour money into a losing cause.”

And The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News reported Monday that President Bush has planned a visit to Greeley Saturday to support the Musgrave campaign.

Historically, Straayer says, parties only send out the big guns in races they recognize will be a close call on Election Day.

“This is extraordinarily interesting,” he said. “It is an extraordinarily thing when you have the 4th Congressional District this tight.”

The Republicans have held the 4th Congressional District for the last 34 years.

The Collegian conducted its own poll Tuesday. Of 100 students who participated in the survey, 76 percent either chose “yes” or “maybe” when asked if they intended to vote. Of those potential student voters, 44 percent said they support Paccione, 12 percent support Musgrave, 8 percent support Eidsness and 36 percent were not sure.

City editor J. David McSwane can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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