Long-Time Lonegan Strategist, Pollster Sees Much Tighter U.S. Senate Race Than Public Survey Results Reflect
For those who don’t know (maybe you’re tuning in for the first time this cycle), Rick Shaftan is a campaign strategist/pollster for Republican candidates across the country (and a couple Dems, including state Sen. Nick Sacco). His most famous client is Steve Lonegan, and their relationship goes back many years; Shaftan’s cameo in Anytown USA – a documentary following one of former Mayor Lonegan’s Bogota reelection campaigns – is well worth the watch.
I had a chance to catch up with Rick on the phone last night when he was in between an event and a campaign conference call (and I had just returned from a cocktail party and was settling down for a tedious evening of busy work and HBO GO viewing). His message to me concerning the 2013 U.S. Senate special election: don’t believe the public polls. “This is a single digit race,” Shaftan declared. Even his detractors who think Rick is crazy would never make the mistake of believing he’s stupid. I brought up the fact that conservatives (including yours truly) didn’t believe the 2012 public polling only to have those polls largely verified by the final result.
Rick Shaftan’s counter: 2013 isn’t 2012…
In short, Lonegan completely rejects the idea that Mayor Lonegan is trailing by large margins and that the nominee is underperforming with the GOP base; his argument is that the major public polls are failing to adequately screen for who is actually likely to show up at the polls to choose between Cory Booker (D-Twitter) and his candidate.