Conventional wisdom: US Senate candidate Terrence Wall is not a viable candidate because of the issue regarding his non-payment of taxes from taking advantage of every tax break available.
However, looking at the Rasmussen polls, Wall does not seem to have been affected too much by the issue.
February 17th, Feingold led Wall 47% to 39%
March 18th, Feingold led Wall 49% to 40% (the Tommy Thompson poll)
April 22nd, Feingold led Wall 49% to 43%
Wall has moved from 8 points down to 6 points down in the same poll. Not much of a gain but then we’ve had the intervening Tommy Thompson drama. Wall has been successful in keeping within striking distance of Feingold despite the issue of his taxes.
Does that mean Wall’s explanation of how he managed to avoid a tax liability for 9 of the last 10 years is starting to take hold? Or does it simply mean that voters are not paying attention yet? Or does it mean that, if it wasn’t for Wall’s taxes, he would be beating Feingold by now?
It would be interesting to find out if any polling or focus group research was done on whether the voters would be willing to listen to an explanation regarding Wall’s avoidance of owing taxes. I would assume at this point Wall’s campaign has done some investigation of the issue in order to justify Wall continuing to pump his own money into the race.
Of course, if it’s not an issue, wouldn’t that have leaked out by now?
Perhaps Dick Leinenkugel’s campaign will release poll numbers justifying his entry into the race. Leinenkugel’s reason for entering the race (besides health care) is that he can defeat Feingold and Wall can’t. Perhaps Leinenkugel would catch less flak from talk radio and conservatives if he can demonstrate it.
Meanwhile, Ron Johnson’s entry into the race is also premised on the weakness of the candidates in the race already. After all, if Wall were beating Feingold in the polls right now, why would anyone turn to a candidate they never heard of? Will we see polls showing Leinenkugel unable to win the Republican Party nomination, while Wall is unable to beat Feingold?
It’s not like these campaigns can’t afford to do the polling and the focus groups.