The thing to remember here is that – as any honest pollster will admit – polling a primary race is notoriously difficult. Turnout for a primary in a non-presidential race year tends to run dismally low, and the lower the turnout, the harder it is to predict the results. In that regard, McDaniel may see some light at the end of the tunnel, since the same poll shows him leading 53-35 among self-identified Tea Party voters and by a 45-44 margin among those describing themselves as “very conservative.” If the turnout is indeed extremely low, these are the folks who will be the most motivated to show up on primary day.
This radio show history is going to be a problem, though. Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) will be drooling over a chance to pour through the tapes and transcripts of the shows and shove whatever juicy quotes they can find in McDaniel’s face, along with asking every other Republican candidate in the country to comment on them. (Shades of Todd Akin, here. And I think Christine O’Donnell eventually came to regret all those shows she did with Bill Maher.) I assume that any competent political staff would have anticipated this and already has the tapes and transcripts ready so they could respond. If that’s the case – and this may sound crazy – maybe they should just yank off the bandage, release them all now, and put the issue behind them. Otherwise this is starting to look like too much of a goldmine for the Democrats, assuming that McDaniel somehow closes the margins and makes it to the general election.