Scott McInnis is so still the frontrunner!

Don't accuse Scott McInnis spokesman Sean Duffy of letting his guy get battered without mounting a rapid defense. Shortly after the publication of a blog about an informal, unscientific survey showing Josh Penry ahead of McInnis in the Republican race for governor, Duffy rang up to dismiss the poll as the work of a fervent Penry supporter, Ben DeGrow. The approach mirrored one he used a few weeks back, when he decried what he referred to as the "extraordinary double standard" demonstrated by the press in its McInnis coverage.

As evidence of how McInnis is really doing, Duffy pointed to a new Wikipedia page devoted to the 2010 gubernatorial election, which links to a number of more scientific polls that show McInnis faring better. Among them: an August 14-16 survey by Public Policy Polling that had McInnis ahead of Penry by 21 percent (it also listed Bob Beauprez as the leading Republican senatorial prospect), and a September 9 roundup by Rasmussen Reports that surmised that McInnis would best current guv Bill Ritter in a head-to-head matchup, with Ritter narrowly topping Penry.

"Rasmussen is a heck of a bigger deal than Ben DeGrow," Duffy says, adding that internal numbers he can't make public at this point reveal "that we're way ahead." Besides, the positive Penry numbers hardly "came down from Mt. Sinai carved into tablets."

And the fight for hearts and minds continues.