Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Law of Diminishing Returns

The latest Q-Poll is fascinating. It seems that during the last couple of months, while the Thompson campaign has spent money like it has been shopping at a 99 cent store, and the Bloombergistas like Michael Jackson on steroids, the mayor's poll numbers have begun to sink: "Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appears to be losing some ground in both his approval ratings and his probable race in November against City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. for a third term, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday."

The actual decline is around ten points: "But in a hypothetical matchup against Mr. Thompson, Mr. Bloomberg leads by 47 to 37 percent. Mr. Thompson, who is black, has made strides in particular among black voters, who support him by 56-30 percent, and Democrats, who narrowly support him by 45 to 42 percent."

Which leads us to speculate that this may very well be an example of the law of diminishing returns-and the more that the Bloomberg message gets repeated ad nauseum, the more the folks begin to simply pull their hair out: "More voters also say that Mr. Bloomberg, who has spent $36 million of his fortune on the campaign so far, is “a case of overkill,” according to the poll, with 61 percent saying so in July, and 56 percent saying so the previous month."

What is truly fascinating, however, is the disconnect between the mayor's personal approval rating and his electoral support. It will be interesting to see how this plays out-because if Thompson really begins to gain some traction this could become a horse race-and in a close contest, the mayor's money may actually become neutralized to a degree as the free media pounces on the day-to-day dramatics. But from this poll it would be hard to argue that, at least from Thompson's standpoint, the best thing that the mayor can do for him is to keep on spending money like a drunken stockbroker.