Admittedly out of my area here, but does it make any more sense to read a lot into Jacob’s loss than Bilbray’s win?
These interim elections and polls way before the main event remind me a lot of the point in a jury trial when you get notes from the jury during deliberations. Sometimes, they’re a real window into what the jury is thinking about the case. Other times, they’re just quirky (e.g., one juror has a funky question, so the rest of the jurors agree to send out a note just to satisfy the one juror’s curiosity … but it’s not at all a reflection of what the others are thinking).
The lawyers live and die with these notes — while you’re waiting for a verdict, there is nothing else to do but over-analyze them. But they very often end up not meaning very much.