National horse race numbers give the Harper Tories their strongest score since a week before the 2006 election, 38% to 31% for the Liberals, 14% for the NDP and 8% for the Bloc.
• Tory strength in Ontario too: 40% to 35% for Liberals.
• Quebec numbers are a very different story: while the Tories (24%) are only a point below their 2006 election score and have essentially erased their bad summer scores in Quebec, the Liberals are at 32%, which is three points higher than in another house's poll a week ago and that party's highest score in Quebec since the Adscam audit. The Bloc, at 31%, continues to slide
As I already said at Olaf's, those Ontario numbers seem somewhat odd, given the other regional breakdowns of recent polls, which show the Liberals with a big lead. Did the attack ads have a positive result for the Tories? I want to see some more polling before I backoff my earlier "gloating" about those ads being a failure, but these numbers do give you pause.
To clarify, I agree that attack ads work, and I see the merit in the "seed" argument. I just don't think these ads were particularly strong, in fact they were surprisingly amateurish, given the warchest available. I also think these type of ads, prior to an election, are unprecedented, which makes predictability, based on past successes, all the more problematic. In addition, these ads are unique, in that the media is afforded complete focus, far different from the barrage of an election campaign. Were people's impressions of the ads formed through viewing, or were they aware, first, from the abundant coverage? I would argue the coverage was less than favorable, and allowed for plenty of partisan rebuttal, which furthers my opinion that the ads weren't effective. Having said that, I doubt many Liberal strategists are smiling at the Leger results.