In an unscientific online poll up since Friday on the front page of the Mankato Free Press, Allen Quist has now captured the fancy of 51.9 percent of the 335 readers who answered the question: "Which candidate do you favor to face Tim Walz for Minnesota's 1st District Congressional seat?"
Waseca state senator Mike Parry trails in third place with 19.7 percent; "Neither" is second with 27.46 percent of the votes cast.
The City Pages Blotter picks up on Parry's poor showing in Mike Parry polling behind "Neither" two weeks before 1st District GOP primary.
More serious friends have suggested that the commanding lead that Quist enjoys may reflect the Nicollet County farmer and retired Bethany College professor's proximity to Mankato, as well as the strength of the Ron Paul and Tea Party movements in the greater metropolitan Mankato area.
An unscientific online readers' poll in a newspaper in Parry's senate district stomping grounds of Rice, Steele and Waseca Counties, they argue, might reveal a similar skewing toward Parry.
Regardless, those of us writing about the primary feel rather frustrated by the absence of hard polling data by media outlets, campaigns, or anybody. While Bluestem can understand the reluctance of various Republican entities from releasing data about a race in which there's no endorsement, one would think that other players might share.
That neither the Parry nor Quist campaign has released triumphant survey figures merely suggests that both campaigns simply don't have the money for a well-designed and conducted poll.
Screenshot: The Mankato Free Press online poll results about 10:35 am July 31, 2012.