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Over at the DailyKos they had this to say about a leaked poll that shows Russ Carnahan very slightly ahead of both Ed Martin and Ann Wagner in a potential run for the 2nd district congressional seat:

A Russ Carnahan internal poll made its way to Dave Catanese’s hands, showing the de-districted Democrat with tiny leads over possible Republican opponents in the new 2nd CD. Carnahan leads teabagger extraordinaire Ed Martin 42-40 and former state party chair Ann Wagner 40-39 in the survey from Lake Research. I’m not so sanguine about these results, though, as MO-02 is very red territory and Carnahan would have to contend with Barack Obama at the top of the ticket.

But, I ask, didn’t the redistricting changes to the 2nd do something to dilute its former makeup? Also, as a resident of the 2nd district, I’ve never found it to be as virulently red as the election of Todd Akin would suggest – lots of old-timey, “moderate” GOPers out here. Their votes for Todd, who for a long time kept his wilder tendencies pretty low key, were more a Pavlovian response to the GOP bell than an endorsement of Todd Akin’s extremism. And now that the Tea Party’s ringing that bell, lots of them are a little less enthusiastic than before about the GOP brand.  

That’s only my read, of course, and, I could be very wrong – poll respondents did rate the Tea Party five points higher than President Obama after all, and there is also  some evidence that the poll results could change as voters become more familiar with the candidates:

The August survey found Carnahan up two points on Martin, 42 percent to 40 percent and leading Wagner by a single point, 40 percent to 39 percent.

After being read positive messages about both candidates, Martin leads Carnahan by five points, 47 percent to 42 percent.  Under the same scenario with Wagner, it’s a closer race, with the Democrat besting the former ambassador 44 percent to 43 percent.

I’d like to know the content of those “positive messages.” When negative messages about Martin and Wagner were read, it’s also interesting that, overall, pointing out that they posed a threat to Medicare was pretty effective in lowering their approval rates – but emphasizing Ed Martin’s past record of corruption also got lots of negative traction.