New poll results leave replacing Senator Cardin entirely up to Independent Rob Sobhani.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gonzales Research, a well-known, well-respected Maryland-based survey research firm, has just this morning released a statewide poll of 813 likely voters. The poll covers the races for President and US Senate, as well as ballot issues related to Dream Act privileges, gay marriage and gambling.
According to the poll, which was conducted between the 17th and 23rd of this month, after Independent Rob Sobhani started running television commercials to introduce himself to Maryland voters, incumbent Democrat Ben Cardin will get 50% of the vote and Republican challenger Dan Bongino only 22%, just one point better than the 21% showing by Independent Rob Sobhani who didn’t enter the race until earlier this month. The margin of error is 3.5%.

Only 7% are undecided, not enough to make any difference. What the poll didn’t attempt to determine is how many voters indicating a preference for Cardin might be willing to change their minds.

More to the point, consider the breakdown by voter affiliation. 56.3% of the 813 participants were Democrats, 30.1% Republicans and 13.5% Independents, meaning that they do not consider themselves to be affiliated with either major party. Here, in a table taken directly from the Gonzales report, is how these three groups broke for the candidates.

It’s not complicated. Cardin is getting almost three-quarters of the Democrat vote, almost 40% of the Independent vote and a few Republicans. Add up those pieces, he’s expected to get half, 50% the total vote “were the election held today.” But it’s not, being held today that is, and a lot can happen in the next six weeks.

Unfortunately for Rob Sobhani, Republican Dan Bongino’s campaign is having near zero impact on Cardin’s favorite son party support. Despite months of campaigning, mostly pitched to his base which may be the problem, Democrats just aren’t interested in Bongino’s candidacy. Unless substantial, unexpected money shows up on Dan Bongino’s September 30 FEC report, his campaign has had it. These poll results, showing him to be 29 points behind the incumbent, have just killed any chance he had to get RNC and NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee) money.

Without big money behind him, if Dan Bongino’s campaign hasn’t caught on by now, it’s not going to. Too bad. Were Dan Bongino a more effective candidate, he might have been able to attract enough Democrats to push Cardin’s share of the total vote low enough so that Rob Sobhani could squeeze out a win with a percentage of the votes under 40%. That’s got to be Rob Sobhani’s objective. He’s just going to have to do the heavy lifting himself.

“How’s that?” It’s simple really. Rob Sobhani, starting immediately, needs to use every dollar he’s got to go after Ben Cardin. In a straightforward, entirely honest, matter-of-fact, professional way, in every speech, press conference, radio show call-in and op/ed piece, and in every commercial he runs, Rob Sobhani has got to look prospective voters in their eyes and tell them what a huge waste of time and money Ben Cardin’s first term in the Senate has been. Senator Cardin’s lack of legislative productivity. His demonstrated failure to focus on, or even understand, the major economic, fiscal and social issues of our time. The millions of dollars of special interest PAC money his campaigns have received – for precisely what in return? (Sobhani makes a point about not taking special interest money.) Say nothing inaccurate that can’t be easily verified. Rob Sobhani, with just the right tone, has got to go “honest negative” in a compelling way with everything he’s got.

And in the process, he also has to dismiss Dan Bongino as too inexperienced to effectively represent Marylanders in Washington. Rob Sobhani needs more of Dan Bongino’s Republican and Independent votes, and needs to portray Dan Bongino as a sure loser – politically, not personally – for whom votes are wasted if replacing Ben Cardin is the objective.

Needless to say, it’s essential that Rob Sobhani make sure that he’s included in any debates with Ben Cardin and Dan Bongino.

Dan Bongino doesn’t have the money or the message, and Cardin himself certainly isn’t going to voluntarily discuss his own shortcomings. That leaves Rob Sobhani with a whole lot of ground to make up. If he doesn’t point out the reasons why Ben Cardin has failed to earn re-election, no one will and that will be that.

-Next Contestant

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6 thoughts on “New poll results leave replacing Senator Cardin entirely up to Independent Rob Sobhani.

  1. I hope Bongino gets it. He has now been endorsed by Freedom Works.

    • Hi. Dan’s a good guy. No question about it, he’s smart and dedicated to Marylanders and our country. Unfortunately, brains and heart aren’t enough to unseat a seasoned, very well-funded incumbent like Ben Cardin.

      This is Dan’s first venture into politics, his first race. To be honest, he should have started by running for a local office that he had a better chance of winning. He’s only 37. There’s plenty of time for him to learn his political craft and develop a broader-based following.

      While it’s true that Dan and Rob Sobhani scored a total of 43 points in last week’s Gonzales poll, with 7 points still undecided, their total percentages don’t count. The fact is, Dan is 28 points behind Ben Cardin and not likely to close that gap with what amounts to two candidates he now has to beat.

      Rob Sobhani is well-funded. Dan isn’t. Sobhani is running for the Senate for the third time and, while his campaign is far from perfect, he’s executing better than Dan. Running as an Independent when Congressional approval ratings are in the toilet has its advantages. And, to be perfectly honest, Rob Sobhani is more qualified, more than Dan and more than Ben Cardin, to represent us in the Senate.

      Rob Sobhani has a specific plan he’s putting on the table. Whatever its merits, at least he has a plan. Dan, on the other hand, has been running more of a crusade than a campaign. It may help to energize his Republican base for his election, although the poll doesn’t indicate that, but you can’t win anything in Maryland with only Republican support.

      I like Dan Bongino. I just don’t think this is his year. Maybe next time.

      -Next Contestant

  2. Political Register says:

    Dan Bongino has always been a really bad candidate. The fact that Freedom Works, known for pushing amnesty and illegal immigration, has endorsed him, just proves that he is not the candidate for those of us who are interested in controlling the borders and the rule of law.

    Sobhani has proven that Republicans and Tea Party folks are doing a bad job of vetting their candidates. Cardin should have been easy to beat, but when you bring in another Republican Rino like Bongino, Cardin is going to remain untouchable.

    At a meeting in Hagerstown last week, Bongino supporters were trying to tell those in attendance that Sobhani was an Iranian and supported Iran; making a clear inference that was neither truthful or honest.

    This attempt to smear an American citizen shows the desperation of the Bongino campaign and gives us another reason not to vote for him. In addition, Bongino’s sidekick Brian Murphy doesn’t help his cause either.

    As a registered independent, I will be voting for Sobhani, and I wish Bongino would realize that he was NEVER going to get more than 20% of the vote and if he really cared about Maryland he would drop out of the race.

    Defeating Cardin is Sobhani’s job now, as he is the only true alternative to Cardin and his Democrat machine.

    • Hi. Needless to say, making a play, proffering a flagrant lie based on the native nationality of a candidate’s (Rob Sobhani’s) parents, who had the courage to immigrate here, is ludicrous and a flagrant insult to our American heritage. It’s also stupid, given that he’s American, not Iranian, having been born in Kansas.

      That said, I don’t think vetting candidates had anything to do with it. It’s more that the best Republicans didn’t want to risk their political capital running against Ben Cardin whose victory they believe, I think wrongly so, to be a foregone conclusion. Even Rob Sobhani left the Republican Party to run as an Independent. The truth is, nobody in Maryland, even many Maryland Republicans, like the party’s complicity in turning Congress into the dysfunctional mess it’s become.

      Real question… So if you were Rob Sobhani’s campaign manager, an given Dan Bongino is in the race sucking votes that Rob Sobhani might have gotten and with only 30+ days to go, what would be your victory strategy?

      Or is he really just running for Governor?

      Thanks for stopping by.

      -Next Contestant

      • I purposely googled his nationality because, as I was listening to a local radio station yesterday, I heard a political ad from him saying he understood minorities because he is also a minority. When his name was repeated at the end of the commercial (the “I am … and I approve this message.”) I then started to wonder about his ethnicity and immediately ruled out the top 3 minorities. So, if he says in his own ad that he’s a minority, but says something different elsewhere…

        • Hi. According to his bio on Wikipedia, Rob Sobhani was born in Kansas, the son of Iranian immigrants. His parents subsequently moved back to Iran, and then later back to the United States to stay. In any case, technically, that makes him an Iranian-American and a member of that minority group.

          Thanks for stopping by.

          -Next Contestant