Independent candidate Jeff Vanke is defending his campaign’s release of a two-question push poll that was touted in e-mail as showing him within four points of incumbent Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte.
“My campaign is not ’tilting at windmills,’ as one journalist asked me about,” Vanke wrote in an e-mail to members of the media Thursday morning in reference to the push poll, which presented more than 1,000 respondents with information about Vanke’s central campaign message of balancing the federal budget and criticisms of Goodlatte’s support from the agribusiness sector in terms of campaign donations and his support for the agribusiness sector in his voting record.
Given that information, respondents to the push poll still favored Goodlatte in the race, but only by a 46 percent-to-42 percent plurality.
Vanke said most of those polled knew little about him before receiving the phone call, “and yet nearly half were willing to support me against Goodlatte based on just a couple of facts that I selected, and that I represented accurately.”
“I won’t pull even with Goodlatte in neutral polling unless my current fundraising acceleration accelerates fast enough. But he is certainly beatable by an independent, based on his big-spending record, and he can be beaten on a fraction of his own funding,” Vanke said in the e-mail.
The Goodlatte campaign has not had any comment on the Vanke poll. The campaign of Libertarian Stuart Bain issued a press release on Wednesday offering the observation that the poll “mimics the same type of poll that telemarketers use when they are calling to ask you ‘Press 1 if you want a product that won’t leave you streaks when you mop the floor or Press 2 if you prefer streaks.'”
“Perhaps in his next ‘poll’ he should tell voters to ‘Press 1 if you want to vote for Jeff Vanke and receive an extension on your retirement age and a decrease in your Social Security benefits or Press 2 if you want to vote for Stuart Bain and shrink the size of the overbloated, overregulating federal government and take strong actions to cut the federal budget and growing federal deficit,'” the release continued.
“Stuart Bain has attended any number of public events. His public recognition and support has increased significantly after each event. At every event, Stuart or members of his staff have been asked, ‘Who is Jeff Vanke?’ Obviously Jeff has not polled any of these people,” the release concluded.
Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at [email protected].