Licht Poll Shows Weygand Slippage (posted August 16, 2000)
The Licht Campaign today released poll numbers showing that the gap between Congressman Bob Weygand and Senate Candidate Richard Licht has narrowed to 12 points and that Weygand's support has plummeted from 49% to 39%.
"This race has tightened as we always expected it would once voters began to focus on the issues that matter to them," Brian Murphy, Licht Campaign Manager, said in a press release. "Unfortunately, Bob Weygand's reaction to the race tightening has been to sidestep the issues, hide from and distort his own record and attack Richard personally."
The poll of 400 likely Democratic Primary Voters was conducted August 12 through 13, by Mark Mellman of the nationally known and respected Mellman Group. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.9%.
When asked for whom they would vote if the election were held today, 27% of those polled said they would vote for Licht (up 10% from May) and 39% said they would vote for Weygand (down 10% from May). The number of undecided voters has remained steady at 34%.
In addition, Licht's support has grown most notably among voters who identify themselves as "Strong Democrats." Among these voters he has moved from a deficit of 38 points in May (16% Licht, 54% Weygand) to a 5-point lead in August (39% Licht, 34% Weygand) - a net increase of 43 points.
"This is a clear sign that Richard Licht is in touch with Democratic primary voters," Licht Campaign Manager Brian Murphy said today. "And we have every reason to believe this shift toward Licht will continue as the positions of both candidates become better known among primary voters."
A copy of a memorandum from Mellman on the poll results follows.
To: Richard Licht For Senate
This analysis represents the findings of a statewide survey of 400 Democratic primary voters in Rhode Island. Interviews were conducted between August 12-August 13, 2000. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 4.9% at the 95% level of confidence. The margin of error is higher for subgroups.
Our just completed poll shows that Richard Licht is rapidly gaining ground on Bob Weygand in their race for the Democratic nomination for the Rhode Island's U.S. Senate seat. Since our last poll, which was conducted between May 23-May 27, 2000, Licht has narrowed Weygand's lead from 32 points to only 12 points with less than a month to go before the primary.
Richard Licht has made significant inroads into Weygand's support since our May 2000 poll. Overall, Licht's share of the vote has risen from 17 percent in our May poll to 27 percent in August, while Weygand's support has dropped from 49 percent to 39 percent, while the number of undecided voters has remained steady at 34 percent. In addition, the difference in the number of voters who strongly support each candidate has been virtually eliminated since May. While the number of voters who support Licht strongly has more than doubled from 9 percent to 19 percent, Weygand's strong support has declined from 32 to 22 percent, giving him an edge of only three points.
Licht's support has increased across demographic groups, but has grown most notably among voters who identify themselves as "strong Democrats" and among pro-choice voters. Among "strong Democrats" Licht has moved from a 38 point deficit in May (16% Licht, 54% Weygand) to a 5 point lead in August (39% Licht, 34% Weygand), a net increase of 43 points. Licht's strong stance in favor of a woman's right to choose an abortion has clearly resonated among pro-choice voters. While Weygand held a 25 point lead among voters who believe "abortion should be allowed in most circumstances" in our May poll (23% Licht, 48% Weygand), Licht has now taken a narrow lead among these voters (36% Licht, 34% Weygand).