You’d think so given the conclusions he made about the newly-released Quinnipiac University poll of the United States Senate race in Colorado.
The debate over energy is probably responsible for the race’s quickly shifting terrain. Schaffer has made it his No. 1 theme, battering Udall in their first debate and in the two weeks since for resisting more drilling in Alaska and off America’s coasts.
How did he come to this conclusion?
With the price of gasoline their highest-ranked financial worry, a majority of Colorado voters now support drilling in both areas, according to Thursday’s poll, which had a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.
There’s a problem here: Quinnipiac didn’t ask any drilling-related questions in the previous poll. In the previous poll, voters also rated gas prices as their most important economic concern.
According to Floyd Ciruli, “We have seen that the majority of the public is now in favor of offshore drilling, drilling in (the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge), and by a small margin in favor of nuclear. There has just been huge movement, and it’s shifted the Democrats to being on the defensive.”
But there’s no evidence of any “huge movement” between this poll and the last poll, because they didn’t ask about drilling in the last poll. The Rasmussen poll Riley also mentions only covers favorability and likely vote; it has no issues in it at all.
He also fails to mention the third poll that shows Udall with a healthy 9-point lead, casting serious doubt on the statement that “the past two weeks also seem to have left the Democrats’ carefully crafted campaign strategy in tatters.”
Riley pays a tiny bit of lip service to the fact that people are actually on Mark Udall’s side when it comes to solutions, so clearly he gets it. So why did he write the article?
According to the poll, 86% of the electorate thinks the government should be funding renewable energy development, and 6% used to oppose it but now support it. That says to me that the electorate is seeing movement toward Mark Udall’s position, not away from it.
Likewise, 72% of the electorate supports higher mileage standards for cars (including 5% who used to oppose it but now support it), something Bob Schaffer has historically opposed.
All that’s just the icing. Here’s the cake:
Which is the best way to help solve the energy crisis and make America less dependent on foreign oil – A) building new nuclear power plants, B) drilling offshore and in Alaska, C) developing renewable energy sources like solar power, wind power and biofuels, D) releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve or E) mandating higher mileage standards for cars?
A) Nuclear power: 9%
B) Drilling: 21%
C) Renewable energy: 54%
D) Strategic Reserve: 4%
E) High mileage cars: 5%
More than twice as many people support renewable energy development over drilling as a solution to the energy crisis. There are dozens of other nuggets in the poll that refute the idea that people think drilling is the answer. Read it for yourself, and tell Mike Riley to leave the commentary for the opinion pages.