Category Archives: polling

>READT: Post-convention polling? I told you so!

>John McCain goes over the magical 50 percent mark in a major national pool, and leads Barack Obama by anywhere from 4 to 10 points. The top story on AOL declared Obama now to be the “under dog.”

For those who have been tracking my unwavering prediction — a McCain win (even when few believed that possible) — this is precisely the trajectory I outlined. The only chance Obama has is the success of a massive registration effort and a very, very lopsided turnout.

For sure, there is massive registration going on on the Democrat side at the moment, and the GOP is lagging. However, expect the Republicans to close the registration gap before November (with Sarah Palin being part of the stimulus), and the pachyderm party holds an edge historically in being able to get their folks to the polls.

The hard line progressives are NOW claiming that these polls do not mean much. There basic position is that these are national polls and you reall have to look at state-by-state polling to see what happens in the Electoral College. The irony that they would be hoping for an electoral victory even if not a popular vote victory should not be overlooked. However, most independent polls show McCain with a win at the electoral level too, if, as the say, “the election were held today.”

Despite Lincoln’s admonition, we are a nation divided, so you can expect the lead to go back and forth a bit, and vary from poll to poll. But barring any major screw up by McCain (always a possibility), this election is over except for the official tally on Election Day.

>OBSERVATION: Figures do not lie, but liars figure.

>I was about to give the progressives (nee radical lefties) the benefit of ignorance. However, I have come to the conclusion that their distortions are malicious propaganda mongering. Shakespeare said “a rose is a rose.” For the off-the-chart-liberals, apparently a rose is what ever they choose it to be.

Hot Seat, one of the informal opinion surveys that pop up on my computer screen posed this question after General (nuisance) Wesley Clark demeaned the military hero record of John McCain. “Should John McCain’s war record be an issue in his presidential bid?”

(Let’s pause here. First, in terms of useful information, I personally think these “informal’ [read that unscientific] opinion surveys are akin to newspaper horoscopes, advice to the lovelorn columns and check-out counter newspapers. Worthless. Second, any reader of this blog will know that I am not the most enthusiastic McCain supporter on the planet.)

Having said all that, I was interested to hear (hot) Air America’s gab maestros noting that according to Hot Seat, 57 percent of the nation said the war record was pertinent. It carried a majority in every state except Maine. Apparently “as goes Maine, so goes the nation” is as anachronistic an adage as “two chickens in very pot.” (For the younger readers, no, the latter was not an advertisement for the soup at KFC. They are both ancient political rallying cries.)

The on-air liberal talk show hosts were all a twitter in their opinion that the pseudo poll validated General Clark’s unseemly assault on McCain’s war record and its value to his perspective on the presidency. A cheap shot, to be sure. It never occurred to these wishful thinkers that maybe a lot of those who said “yes” to the online survey thought his experience was relevant and valuable in a positive way. Duh!

Now least you think this is a stretch. It was only last week that these same counterclockwise media spinners were alleging great public opposition to the Supreme Court’s gun ruling by noting that only 23 percent of the public approve of the work of the highest court in the land. This, they proffered, proves that the conservative court if not very well like.

Again, it did not occur to these ethereal radio voices that a lot of the disdain of the Court is from conservatives who do not like a lot old rulings, such as election reform, abortion, affirmative action, etc. I am an example of what I say. My one-time contempt of court has gradually given way to greater respect as the newer justices have restored a strict constructionist, originalist majority. Without qualifying the source of the disdain, the general opinion cited on (hot) Air America is meaningless. Duh!

The left seems particularly conditioned to using statistics like the drunk uses the lamp post – more for support than enlightenment.

>OBSERVATION: Polling and voting … nothing in common.

>Funny how many pundits were writing Hillary Clinton’s political obituary just a few short weeks ago. It was over, and time for her to throw in the towel.

These are the same pundits who counted McCain out of the running a month or two before he took an all but unstoppable lead.

Well, if you think the pundits are the big losers in all this, just consider the pollsters. After all, they use scientific means to predict outcomes – not just educated guesses. I remember they awarded New Hampshire to Barack Obama on the eve of the election. Clinton pulled off what they called an “upset victory.” I think the pollsters were the only ones upset.

Just before Ohio and Texas, we were told that Clinton’s lead had slipped away. Obama would take Texas for sure, and maybe even Ohio. Of course Clinton won Texas and crushed Obama in Ohio.

After 40 years of watching and running campaigns, I have become a polling skeptic. Skeptic? No! I really think it is all voodoo and bull stuff. They are almost never more correct than an educated guess. I know a lot of political groupies who can predict an election outcome with a 3 to 5 point margin of error every time. (If you cannot read the cartoon, click on it for larger version)

I always wonder how the polls can wind up being wrong beyond the margin of error, as they often are. That makes the “margin of error” nothing more than empty words.

Every time the pollsters are egregiously wrong, they hid behind an unprovable claim. A “last minute shift by the voters,” they say. To which I say, “Bah humbug!” Unless there is some unprecedented occurrence in the last week, voters do not change their minds. Most are decided loooooong before Election Day, and the rest are usually locked in on a candidate at least two weeks ahead of time. The only reason polls are wrong is because they are wrong.