DCCC, Campaigns Release Internals From Nine Districts

In any effort to fight fire with fire, the DCCC has released their internal polls from five House races as part of a push-back effort against a recent wave of GOP-sponsored polling that’s been flooding the zone. We only have top lines – no innards – so take these with the appropriate grain of salt:

AL-02: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (8/23-26, likely voters):

Bobby Bright (D-inc): 52

Martha Roby (R): 43

(MoE: ±4.9%)

NC-08: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (8/25-29, likely voters):

Larry Kissell (D-inc): 48

Harold Johnnson (R): 36

Thomas Hill (L): 6

(MoE: ±4.9%)

NY-24: Benenson Strategy Group (8/29-31, likely voters):

Mike Arcuri (D-inc): 50

Richard Hanna (R): 37

(MoE: ±4.9%)

SD-AL: Anzalone Liszt (8/31-9/2, likely voters):

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-inc): 50

Kristi Noem (R): 39

B. Thomas Marking (I): 4

(MoE: ±4.9%)

VA-05: Global Strategy Group (8/24-26, likely voters):

Tom Perriello (D-inc): 42

Rob Hurt (R): 44

Jeff Clark (I): 6

(MoE: ±4.9%)

Meanwhile, the campaigns of three Democrats have coughed up their own polls:

IL-10: Anzalone Liszt for Dan Seals (8/30-9/2, likely voters, May in parens):

Dan Seals (D): 49 (46)

Bob Dold (R): 36 (38)

(MoE: ±4.4%)

MS-01: Anzalone Liszt for Travis Childers (8/30-9/1, likely voters):

Travis Childers (D-inc): 46

Alan Nunnelee (R): 41

(MoE: ±4.9%)

PA-04: Anzalone Liszt for Jason Altmire (8/30-9/2, likely voters):

Jason Altmire (D-inc): 51

Keith Rothfus (R): 24

(MoE: ±4.9%)

UPDATE: We have one more!

KS-04: Gerstein | Agne for Raj Goyle (8/10-11, likely voters):

Raj Goyle (D): 47

Mike Pompeo (R): 50

(MoE: ±4.4%)

103 thoughts on “DCCC, Campaigns Release Internals From Nine Districts”

  1. Surprised that Anzalone-Liszt did not conduct the AL-02 poll. They’re top notch in polling in the South. Glad to see them polling in other areas too.

  2. on the Arcuri result. Still a nice change of pace, from the constant flow of Republican internals. If Democrats have polling that shows things aren’t all lost, why haven’t they been doing this kind of thing on a wider and more consistent scale? Seriously? Poor David is soon going to enter the “Abandon hope all ye who enter here” stage.

  3. A few weeks ago, Nate SIlver found that Republican internals historically exaggerate their candidate’s support slightly more than Democratic internals. I am therefore inclined to believe that reality lies closer to these within these races.  

  4. as well as the GOP internals with serious skepticism.  It is not hard to manipulate the likely voter screen to get a result that you want.

    The one thing I gather from these polls is that Bobby Bright will be in a much tougher race than has been suggested here on this blog.  A GOP wave might wash him away.  And without other evidence, I think it is possible that Arcuri might end up being the Jim Gerlach of this cycle.

  5. Well, as I commented earlier:

    Republican internals have historical exaggerated their performance more than Democratic internals, according to Nate Silver.

    So, even though I agree that reality is somewhere in between this and your own party’s internals, I’m going to go with the historical record and assume that it is somewhat closer to these than those.

  6. the Rasmussen ND-AL and SD-AL polls for awhile–and the motives behind them. I’m glad to see Sandlin doing well.

    And… hot damn! Look at Altmire. I know these are all internals, but Altmire up 27! Awesome.

    Also, one last thing, why have so many here been writing off Childers? I’ve seen very little polling to say he’s going down, and he’s been holding a pretty tough district over two elections.  

  7. I was thinking about this, and regardless of the validity of any of these polls, I’m so glad the DCCC released these today. The news has been so unremittingly bad on every news site today, that I really need this to cheer me up. Otherwise, I think I would have had to avoid SSP entirely, and I hate to do that!

  8. Last time, after the close call, they said, “This didn’t show up in our internals at all!”  Or something to that effect.

    On the other hand, I am excited about Goyle, especially with a potential libertarian bid brewing.  

  9. If you subtract 5 points from the Dem’s lead (or add 5 to the deficit) in each case, they’re all believable except for Arcuri. I’m surprised that he would be up on Hanna at all, let alone by 8. Sandlin doesn’t surprise me given the bad press Noem got.

  10. Then I’m glad of see these polls. And they gives good results, better still.

    I would wish to see some polls more for seats like:








    They are lots of interesting places for do more internal polls.

  11. Which sort of confirms my idea that Childress has a decent shot at holding on this year. If so the MS legislature will probably draw Southhaven into MS-02 which can stand to be a few points less black and a few points less Democratic, while adding a few more Democratic counties here and there to shore him up.  

  12. I’d also argue that this is less a response to Republican internal polls than to the narrative the entire media seems to be forming today about the Dems potentially disaterous fall.  

  13. Come now, the media stopped talking about it being “potential” about a year ago. This wave, if it occurs, will be as much a product of media attitude and self-fulfilling prophecies as anything. But yeah, with the AP now titling articles “Speaker-in-waiting” John Boehner says this and that. What a load of horse shit, (pardon my French). Talk about impartiality.

    But hey, I’m just saying, if the DCCC has polls with Michael Arcuri up, they have other good news too.  

  14. They are trying to save what is otherwise turning into a horrible news day for them.  I think that today is one of the most important news days of the whole election cycle as it ‘sets the tone’ because it’s the official start after Labor Day.  I don’t think these polls will get much play, though.  I think that they’ll get lost under those generic ballot polls that show the GOP up so much.  I’m waiting to see what other polls might come out today as well.

  15. There is absolutely nothing going wrong policy wise; this is all because of marketing and the media.  But we also need to make sure we blame ourselves, and heavily at that.  The media are a tool, nothing more.  If we aren’t making them sing then we’re the ones hitting the wrong notes.

    We are going to get voted out for stopping the economic collapse and for deficits, something that has nothing to do with the current state of the economy.  Fucking stupid.  Whatever, I decided yesterday that I live in crazy world, this is crazy world.  People want jobs and blame the government for not making it happen but then are voting for a party that thinks the government should play almost zero role in creating jobs.  This is crazy world.

  16. With several Republican internals, like from PA-06 and IL-11, (in 2008), being completely useless radically wrong samples. But with Anazalone-Liszt and Greenburg, and even Benenson, their polling tends to be fairly accurate if generally positive as would be expected.  

  17. He has work to do but he is in a stronger position than most, particularly considering the lean of his district.

  18. Survey USA pegged this race at 49-42 for Pompeo, so the poll has some corroboration.  All evidence is that Pompeo is a horrible candidate who could screw up what should otherwise be a surefire hold.  

  19. Just probably not this year unless Mike Pompeo turns into Bill Sali. But I’ve looked at his page and he seems like a pretty likeable, electable guy whose biggest problem is that he lives in Kansas and has a D next to his name.

    I’d obviously prefer that they be Republicans, but it would be nice to have some Indian-Americans in the House. They’re one of the largest ethnic groups not represented, and there’s only ever been two elected (Jindal and a Dem from CA whose name escapes me.) A few very good candidates this year in Bera, Goyle, and Trivedi.

  20. Bright is going to win reelection.  Most of the conservaDems are going to win reelection as our politics are heading back to being based on economic factors not values factors.  That means many of the suburbanites who voted their values are going to go back to the party that they historically associate with their economic interests while the conservaDem voters will do the same.

  21. This race is lean Republican until I hear otherwise.  It is the kind of seat that the Republicans are going to win this cycle.

  22. An R+3 internal and an R+7 public poll = leans Republican.  I was just challenging the notion that the internal was a wild-ass, fanciful result.

  23. …deciding to seek the Libertarian line, and getting it, and then spending his own money on the race.

    Will that happen?  I’d put the odds at less than 50-50.

    But you never know!

    The guy (whose name I can’t remember) surely knows he would throw the race to Goyle.  But he could then try to run in the GOP primary again in 2012, when Goyle probably would lose anyway in a 2-way.  But the guy’s being a spoiler in 2010 would hurt him in the 2012 primary.

    And is any of this stuff going through the guy’s head anyway?  We have no idea, we know only there’s a news report that he’s considering trying to get on the November ballot on the Libertarian line.  For all we know, he’s delusional and thinks he could WIN as a Libertarian if he spends enough.

    I have to agree Goyle can’t win this without a 3rd wheel helping him, OR if Pompeo keeps digging a deeper hole for himself and alienates even more voters despite the anti-Democratic environment.

  24. not a “conservaDem” one.  It includes areas which have voted for Republicans for the most part, Bright was the first Dem to win it since before Goldwater.  The biggest group of voters are Montgomery whites.

    Bright’s main asset is his connection to his district, but the voters in this district are Republicans.  They see their economic interests helped by Republicans.

    I would not rule Roby out here.

  25. And I’d factor in this is a Republican year and the turnout numbers will favor them. So I’d put it almost in the medium between the two.

    Also if Hurt is ahead in VA-5, even in a Dem internal I think we can confirm that VA-5 is going Red.

  26. Is I’ve heard of all of these pollsters before. Anzalone Liszt  was a very good pollster in 2008, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner is one of the biggest Dem internal pollsters out there and is pretty credible, and while I don’t like Benenson as much, i’d take them over a POS any day.

    This is as opposed to Magellan Strategies, who we’ve never heard of before 2010 and who also made that embarrassing internal poll for the MO-Sen GOP Primary (no undecideds, Blunt only up by 12? wtf?) and is as favorable or more to the GOP as Rasmussen. Or all these other ones (We Ask America, Talk Business, etc.) whose credibility has yet to ever be established, and could serve more as a narrative-driving push-poll than a credible poll. And we all know how POS did in that Gerlach internal: http://www.politico.com/blogs/

  27. He is exactly the kind of mainstream conservative who will easily win.  Even if Clark takes 10%, I think Hurt will win easily.  

  28. I personally love the guy’s politics, but it’s hard to see how he survives this one in a district like his.  The best he can realistically hope for is a squeaker where he ekes out a win the same way he did in ’08.  Something like that is almost certainly attributed to either dumb luck or a good ground operation, so I’d lean towards the former in an environment like this.

    Still, if other pollsters are picking up that he’s down 2-4 pts or so, I don’t think he’s someone to write off just yet.  A couple hundred thousand the DCCC spends in this race could be a couple hundred thousand Perriello spends to get his ground game up to task which will make the difference in this race.  If other pollsters, on the other hand, continue to insist that he’s down 10 pts, then the DCCC should really be working on other incumbents that have a shot at retaining their seats.

  29. Is going to be a very close race, for no other reason that the district is very republican.  Bright has essentially acted like a republican in every manner possible, with the exception that he has a D by his name.  That’s really all Roby has to go on against him, but with a PVI of R+16, in a year like this, that might be all she needs.  Bright does have a bit of a geographic advantage being from the south portion of the district and being mayor of Montgomery, so not all is lost.  

    That being said, I cannot envision a scenario in which the Democrats lose the House and Bright still wins.  Ditto for Frank Kratovil, Travis Childers, Chet Edwards, and John Spratt.  

  30. how elections are decided in the Deep South.

    Voters in the Wiregrass Region, but also in the Black Belt want earmarks. They are generally very poor. That’s why they return Shelby to the Senate.

    Bright should win, but if he doesn’t, he will get dragged down by the voters associating him more with SF and Nancy Pelosi. And I don’t know what you mean when you say AL-02 is a Republican district; I think most of the voters there are still conservative Democrats.

  31. Ok, you’re right in that it is a Republican district. It’s one of (if not THE first) the first seats to become a Republican stronghold in the South.

    The Montgomery voters are not the ones who will make it or break it for Bright. It’s the voters in the rural Wiregrass portion.

    This is where Bright has the advantage Roby does not. Bright served as Mayor of Montgomery while Roby was on the Montgomery City Council, so they both have ties to Montgomery.

    This race will be decided in the rural parts of the district, not Montgomery.

  32. that weren’t released.

    It would be interesting to know how many districts they polled. Five out of 20 isn’t a bad percentage, but five out of 50 would be.

  33. Internal poll or not, a high singles low doubles spread can’t be faked, and I don’t think the pollsters that are doing that work are the kind that show crazy outcomes.  Pomeroy and Herseth Sandlin are in for some of the toughest campaigning they’ve had to do for a while.

    I question whether the national mood will affect Pomeroy as much, though.  It looks like he’s been in Congress for nearly 18 years representing ND and that state is one of those small states that seems more inclined to protect incumbents so they can bring home the pork.  Republicans aren’t a lock for the House just yet, and even then, there’s no reason to believe that a freshman from ND would get any more clout on Ways and Means or Agriculture than a veteran like Pomeroy.  When it comes down to it, I think local issues will play much more heavily in ND than Rasmussen is leading people to believe.

    Herseth-Sandlin won this seat in 2004, which was quite nearly as tough a national environment as we’re seeing today.  It doesn’t seem like she would go down as easily as Rasmussen is showing, even if she were going to lose.  

  34. That was one of the districts that was supposed to be polled to see if they would cut off Pomeroy. The result was not released…

  35. Polls are expensive, but they’re an essential part of a campaign, and since the DCCC can’t coordinate with individual campaigns, they have to do their own polling and message testing to decide what ads to run, and where.

    I’m sure they’re polling EVERYWHERE.  And right now they’ve probably been polling recently in 70 or 80 districts or even more, as part of culling their list of districts to spend money on ads.

  36. Losing 75% of our vulnerable seats and having parts of the remaining 25% include worthless ConDems (and party switch bait) doesn’t make me confident.

  37. “They are the premiere polling firm on the U.S. political scene,” said Steve Cohen, a McKinley spokesman.

    The pollster in question: Public Opinion Strategies.

  38. She’s a little too conservative for the district on social issues, but she did a great job of consolidating GOP support after a very narrow primary and has an easy line of attack against Kosmas, who flipped her HCR vote.

    Reading through Adams’ issue page, she strikes me as a law-and-order Republican. Candidates like her may be helped out if immigration becomes a big issue down the stretch.

  39. is certainly interested again some day.  Oh what could have been with Bonoff.  Although we’d probably just lose it this election anyway so…..

  40. Midterm elections are much better for KS Democrats than they are for Dems elsewhere. In Kansas, lower turnout produces a better-informed, more-likely-to-switch-sides-for-the-better-candidate electorate. Presidential years just bring out the automatic down-the-line Republicans in bulk, which overwhelms the rest of the electorate. Examples: Dennis Moore first won in ’98 and hit his career high in ’06, Sebelius become governor in ’02, Boyda won in ’06 (and lost in a presidential year, ’08).

    The point is, Goyle is likely to be much better off with the 2010 electorate than the 2012 one, barring a very unusual spike in hardcore Republican turnout, which, this year, I guess could happen. But speaking of re-running candidates, if Goyle wins, who wants to bet that Todd Tiahrt would run to try and take back the seat he left for his ill-fated Senate run? Now that would be an interesting race.  

  41. …Dalip Singh Saund.  He was a Sikh and a Calfornia farmer who held some kind of low-level local office before winning his Republican-leaning Congressional seat in an upset.  The seat was geographically much of Ken Calvert’s district today.  Saund served 3 terms before a debilitating stroke ended his career.

  42. and should be even more of a Republican bias.  Oliviero I think is a slight-lean retention, but probably one of the first to go when things go real bad.

  43. the question is whether she can be painted as a Angle/Paul/Buck type nut.  If she cannot be painted as such, I think she’s going to win.  

  44. Arcuri may be on track to be this cycle’s Jim Gerlach.  He got his wake up call in 2008, realized that the health care bill was heavily unpopular and changed his vote.  

    I doubt he leads by double digits, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins.

  45. Speeding tickets may have a bigger impact in South Dakota than other places, remember former SD congressman Bill Janklow  killed a man while speeding in 2003.

  46. Hopefully, if it does show disaster, the model sucks as badly as his UK version from May. If it is positive I reserve the right to change my opinion!

  47. Depending on who you think will lose, as well as Obama’s perceived coattails, or lack thereof, that’s quite an assumption!

    Can you give some examples of candidates who might lose this time around and run in 2012 with Obama on the top of the ticket?

  48. At lot of legislatures will do what they can to block that. And it’s not normally something that happens all that much, regardless.

  49. It seems obvious that a lot of Democrats who lose this year will run in 2012? For all we know, 2012 could produce a terrible environment too.

    Sure, a few candidates might run again, but I highly doubt many will.

  50. AL-02 is a Republican district, which is what made Bright’s decision to run as a Democrat, and his eventual victory, a surprise in 2008.

    If it was a district with an ancestrally Conservative Democratic history, it wouldn’t even be on the radar.

    It’s history as a Republican stronghold is the ONLY reason it’s getting any mention.

    Put Bright in a district like GA-02 and he’d be like Gene Taylor.

  51. Anzalone Listz has Bobby Bright as a client, yes, but the first five polls in this post were conducted for DCCC, not each campaign.

  52. It also might not. Didn’t stop plenty of Republicans running in 2008 after losing in 2006 and several people who lost in 1994 came back to win.

  53. It’s a given that after a wave election, a lot of losers come back to try to win their seats back.

    This happened in 1996 after the ’94 wave, in 2008 after the ’06 wave, and this year after the ’08 wave.

    And some people do win their seats back.  No one did so in 2008 because people like Jeb Bradley and Jim Ryun were foolish enough to fail to recognize they were still in a bad cycle.  But David Price and others won their seats back in 1996, and some Repubs, perhaps Steve Chabot and Charlie Bass among them, will win their seats back this fall.

    Every seat that’s even a very light shade of blue, and some not even that, will be susceptible to a 2012 comeback attempt by a losing Democrat.  The prospect of a much-improved turnout model will encourage it.  For losers in districts with large numbers of black voters, like OH-01, Driehaus might try again or there will be strong recruitment by the DCCC for someone else for an opportunity that’s too good to pass up.

  54. but everything I have seen suggest a spike in Republican turnout.  My thesis is that there will be a late spike in Dem turnout as well and some of the enthusiasm gap will narrow.  But there absolutely will be a spike in Republican turnout.

  55. and only my guy feeling, is that Survey USA is pretty close to what is happening in VA-5.  Now I think Perriello will close the gap a little, but I would be shocked if he gets more than 40-43%. I predict,

    Hurt 55

    Perriello 41

    Clark 4  

  56. the Montgomery portion of this district actually went 55-44 for Obama and 65-35 for Bright.  Which still suggests that most Montgomery whites voted straight Republican, and Bright really needed black turnout to win 2008.  

    While I think black turnout will be more than people expect, it will still be a good deal less than 2008, and thus Roby should have a decent chance of winning the Montgomery (Mont, Autugua and Elmore counties) metro area with a good margin.  Roby also has a good chance of winning the Dothan area with a decent margin as well because people there are Republicans.  If she does that, then I think Roby has a good chance of winning this race.

    While I’m personally more comfortable with Roby than Bright, I would support a Bright party switch if he wins.    

  57. –especially– in the election after a wave, that a –bunch– of defeated House members of a losing party try to regain their seats.

    In the election after a wave, it is reasonable to expect some bounce-back. ’08 after ’06 was a fairly unique exception.

    And two years after a loss, a defeated rep of reasonable quality can keep the trappings of political machinery in place.

    Of course, whether or not they win their seats back depends in large part on the environment in that next election. That bounce back, in some cases, can overcome incumbency effects of the then freshman rep.

  58. 2012 will be different than 2008 in that an unpopular incumbent President will be on the ticket.

    Sure, some came back and won in 1996.

    2012 will be the first case of redistricting, so that could be a major factor in whether some candidates run again.

    Will some run? Sure.

    Will a ton? Doubt it.

  59. you want in an internal poll.  You can also play all sorts of games in asking the questions in a particular order as well. You can also take 10 samples, and release the result that is the best.

    Basically, I don’t have much faith in released internal polls.  

  60. most local offices in both Black Belt & Wiregrass elect conservative Democrats.

    I know Wendell Mitchell & Myron Penn (who was my state Senator when I lived there) represent that area for the Dems.

    But seriously look at the Alabama House of Representatives. A lot of Dems in that region.

  61. Release a poll with a LV model more favorable to their candidate? That partisan poll and this Dem one are quite similar. I think SurveyUSA and the methods they use are overstating the wave just as they did in the other direction two years ago.

  62. Campaigns don’t spend $20K and more for some PR stunt. They do polls–which cost a ton more than the crappy polls done by/for most media outlets–as diagnostic instruments to test messages and shape strategy.  

    Do do 10 samples, as you suggest, would cost a campaign a couple hundred thousand dollars.  It just doesn’t work that way.  

  63. While Republican turnout may spike nationwide, in Kansas, specifically, there aren’t a lot of reasons to think that it will. One difference with Kansas is that voters there have been dealing with crazy teabaggers for years, we just call them different names (including some unprintable ones). That’s why Republicans have been losing ground rapidly to Dems and unaffiliateds in party registration–teh crazy drives away the dedicated, educated voters who vote in every election.

    Turnout in the most Republican district, KS-01, will be down since Huelskamp is a lock. Turnout in the most Democratic district, KS-03 will be up, since that race is very competitive. In KS-04, Pompeo’s douchebagginess will motivate few, while Dems will sense that Goyle will be their best shot in a long while at turning the seat blue, and turn out for him. In KS-02, Jenkins is still seen as a moderate, so teabaggers hate her and aren’t going to turn out to support her (she’ll still win). Statewide, Dems are running sensible technocrats and KS Republicans have put up a slate of hardcore conservatives (Brownback/Colyer & Kobach) or nobodies (like their underfunded treasurer guy). The smartest move they made (nominating Moran over Tiahrt) means Moran’s a lock and everyone knows he’ll win whether anyone turns out or not.

    My point is that all politics is local and paradoxically, 2010 is shaping up to be a pretty decent year for KS Dems.  

  64. …then of course it’s out there.

    But there are surely other ways to get information to candidates more privately, probably.  And I’m sure all major party committees do that.

    Ultimately only the cash-poor campaigns who can’t spend on their own polls would be so desirous of DCCC results, but those same campaigns are lost causes anyway.  Viable campaigns would love private access to DCCC polls for comparison, but it’s not essential since the DCCC directs them legally to competent pollsters they use themselves.

  65. When you look at everyone outside of SurveyUSA they all say the same thing: Perriello’s in a dead heat, despite the partisan leanings of the district (R+5 or 6). He’s not dead yet and more importantly he’s exactly the type of Democrat you want to keep around. A progressive who can win in the red areas.

  66. He could regain his popularity.

    My point is that it’s a bit far fetched to assume a ton of candidates who lose will run again.

    I’d say it’s better to discuss after November, that way we’ll know exactly who lost.

    If someone like Childers or Bright did lose, I don’t see them running in 2012 even if Obama is popular.

  67. it’s not far-fetched.

    The question is whether or not it’s realistic. And of course, that depends on the candidate, district, etc. In the bounce-back to a wave, it will be in many cases.

    Such bounce back generally happens in districts with some positive D PVI, as it depends on a bounce-back from a wave.

    And the districts of Childers and Bright don’t fit those categories. However, I could see John Barrow winning his seat back in ’12 if he happen to lose in ’10 (and chooses to run again).

  68. The more endangered seats are open seats, but maybe we see some successful returns. I think the redistricting in some states under blue control will help to this. Of course they are other states where the redistricting will help to 2010 republicans, and a bid for return is very unlikely.

    If Barnes loses this year, the redistricting in Georgia can be very hard for J Barrow and J Marshall while S Bishop can have a more blue district.

  69. At this point of the cycle, the republicans what show not good internals have not good internals. That mean, we can see so good polls about these districts. And NY-24 was one of these districts.

  70. But those SD-AL results seem really different from Rasmussen. It’s like they are polling a different electorate.

  71. ….pointed to that as explaining variance in the enthusiasm gap across their own state polls.

    It makes perfect sense that Republicans in Kansas aren’t as driven as Republicans in Pennsylvania.  Consistently winning actually dampens your own side’s enthusiasm the next time around, and Kansas Republicans win everything, all the time.

    The only glitch in the reasoning is that Kansas has had a Democratic Governor for 8 years, so maybe Republican enthusiasm there for another Republican Governor will help them spike in turnout.  But Sebelius was very popular, not like they hated her outside the hard-right wing of the GOP, and Brownback’s victory is so foregone a conclusion that any turnout spike for him seems unlikely.

    I do think Goyle has a shot.  It would be nice if Wink Hartman really jumped in as a 3rd wheel, I might go so far as to call Goyle a very slight favorite in that case.  But if Democrats in that district smell opportunity and show up, it could be a surprise.

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