The poll showed 42.5 percent favored Boyda; 41.2 percent favored Ryun and 16.2 percent were undecided. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 4.6 percent.
The sample was from voter rolls, and the poll was run by a local pollster who is handling other campaign work. Nothing unusual there.
The point here is not that Boyda is necessarily actually ahead. Campaign polls are only peripherally intended to tell the candidates who is winning over all. A good campaign poll ought to be accurate, of course, but with such a small sample size, the interest is more in how specific groups or areas are responding to the campaign and its message. Smart campaigns do lots of polls like this. And in a random sample of a lot of polls, you can get a fluke. That’s why, on its own, this announcement doesn’t tell us a lot
What’s almost more interesting is Ryun’s response. If his internal polling put him well out of Boyda’s reach, that’s all he’d say. He’d release a poll that put him up by the 15 points he won by last time, and put this to bed. Instead the Ryun people just point to a hit piece they planted in the Star a few days ago. Yes, Boyda is running an outside the Beltway campaign. She was saying that in the winter. It isn’t news, and it isn’t surprising. Kansas is pretty far from DC, and apparently from Jim Ryun. Boyda didn’t ask for DCCC help, nor for backing from the big PACs. She’s running a grassroots campaign, and that’s praiseworthy.
This will be a tough race. When he was younger, Jim Ryun made his name blowing his competition away. These days, it seems like he’s taken up jogging. He’s skipping candidate fora, flip-flopping on debates, and not really governing.
You can drop a couple dollars on Nancy Boyda to help her on her way.