Her campaign says she is. They’re touting a poll by Jefferson Research, which is the “polling arm of The Watson Voice And Data Transmission Company” – which we’ve never heard of, but here is the company’s website – which has her ahead of Dan Claitor, Paul Dietzel and Garret Graves and into a runoff with Edwin Edwards.
The release contained this…
“We attribute Rep. Whitney’s surge in the polls to two factors,” said Chris Comeaux, spokesman for the Whitney Campaign. “Lenar has surged primarily because of her endorsement by the Tea Party of Louisiana. Her endorsement by the EBR Republican Party, which she shared with Sen. Claitor and Paul Dietzel, also appears to have played an important role in boosting her candidacy” added Comeaux.
Experts have long pointed to Livingston and Ascension Parishes as being key to Republican success in this race. Accordingly, Whitney polled highest among Republicans in Livingston with 20.9% of the total vote. Dietzel was right behind her, trailing by only 0.9% (20.0%). Likewise, the two GOP front runners, Whitney and Dietzel, both led the Republican field in Ascension, with Dietzel having a slight lead (13.0% to 12.6%).
In Terrebonne Parish, Whitney is leading all candidates, including Gov. Edwards, pulling in 46.4% of the total vote. Rep. Whitney is the only Republican in the field who resides outside of the Baton Rouge metro area.
“It’s clear that Lenar has a base of voters from her home region who are eagerly supporting her,” said Comeaux. “She has been a conservative champion in the State Legislature and for the bayou region, and the voters there believe in her ability to do the same in Washington for the entire Sixth District.”
Which is OK. And it might even be true – there hasn’t been a very authoritative poll on the 6th District race, and when polling has been done it’s been by the campaigns themselves – and most of the results show only a few points’ difference between the four major GOP candidates. So with the right sample, maybe Whitney is in the lead.
But Whitney’s campaign manager is Jeff Giles. And this was his poll.
Literally. Check the Secretary of State’s office to see who owns The Watson Voice And Data Transmission Company, and you’ll find this…
Again, this doesn’t mean the poll is wrong – the 11-page poll release is extensive, claims a sample of some 4,800 respondents and has all kinds of numbers in it – but it’s Jeff Giles’ company doing the poll.
So give its results the weight you want.