What better time to talk about the difference between the Republicans in the race than the day after their debate in Lynchburg?
In my COMPREHENSIVE analysis of the only independent and public poll on the race, I noted that there are three tiers right now: generic no-name Republicans, Ken Boyd, and Robert Hurt.
But it's not because Hurt is better than Boyd, or Boyd better than everyone else. The candidates fall into these tiers because of name recognition in the district. Give anyone, Verga or McPadden for example, the same name ID as Hurt and I will bet you they'll be running the same against Perriello as Hurt. Period.
Boyd runs 6% ahead of the generic Republican average by picking up just less than 1% of total voters from the Democratic column, almost entirely Democrats who had been undecided, 2% of total voters from the Independent column, almost entirely Independents who had been undecided, and 3% of total voters from the Republican column, almost entirely Republicans who had been undecided. As I said before, there's no significant dent to Perriello's base numbers unless you run Goode.
The difference between Hurt and Boyd is entirely among Republicans, with Hurt adding just 2% of total voters to his performance from the ranks of undecided Republicans. Hurt has twice the name ID as Boyd. Some people want to read into that 2% difference, which may not even be statistically significant, and say Hurt is the only candidate who can defeat Perriello. I say that anyone who can keep the Republicans and conservatives together can defeat Perriello.
Some people claim that Hurt is the only candidate who can defeat Perriello because of some non-existence network of support he's built up over the years running in races in one of the most Republican areas of the state. Hurt's never had to campaign a day in his life before going up against Perriello. You want to see what a network of support looks like? Here.
Others bring out the money issue, as if Eric Cantor is going to hold a grudge against someone who defeats Hurt in the primary. We all know where Hurt's big money is coming from. When Hurt is defeated in the Republican primary, Eric Cantor will be on the phone that very night with the new Republican nominee lining up fundraisers for him or her. Why? Because Cantor knows that Perriello is too much of a target to give him a pass.
When casting your vote for the Republican primary, don't make your vote based on a belief that so and so is the only candidate who can win because of some showing in a poll. Don't make your vote based on an idea that someone can raise more money. Or has a history of winning races. Make your vote based on who you think will be the best member of Congress.