Election polling!

Kerry up by 2 in Ohio:

http://www.ipr.uc.edu/PDF/OhioPoll/2004_Prez_032604.pdf

That’s the ballgame right there, more or less.

http://www.emergingdemocraticmajorityweblog.com/donkeyrising/archives/000453.shtml

Missouri having Bush up by seven is a strange outlier, though. It’s usually dead even…

FOX, CNN and NBC all reported last night that their polls show that the great unwashed American public has been completely unaffected by Richard Clarke’s testimony.

FOX went further, of course, and claimed that the majority now had greater faith in GW.

That kind of gives the game away that some of this is about biased media spin; but all the same! How can people not be affected by what Clarke has to say? I’m a fairly non-partisan foreigner living in the USA* - and this is the first time that domestic politics has made me really angry. In any other country there would be mass demonstrations and rioting in the capitol.

You Americans are weird. Maybe y’all just don’t pay attention.

  • (since the late 90s) - I don’t get to vote until I finish jumping through all the hoops it takes to become a citizen (many years from now).

For the average American, this is 100% correct. Why else would we have 50% voter turnout for the Presidential elections, and 20+% less than that for the off year contests?

I think it’s more that polling is a strange art. Some information immediately moves votes, some doesn’t. People will give you one answer on the approval rating, another on the re-elect.

I think Clarke and Rice mean nothing now.

It is how it will be used as the election comes closer, that will be the payoff. When in debates and ads it can be thrown back at Bush.

Chet

Bingo. Very observant of you, ironically.

The vast majority of American voters are apathetic. Neither party truly represents their interests, so it’s the extremists wackos on both sides who run the country and who actually become politically active.

What kills me is how ignorant most people are about what’s going on. People still buy the Republican line that they’re for lowering taxes for all Americans (get back $300 now while our rich buddies save tens of thousands… oh, and we’ll need you to pay many, many thousands later in Great Depression #2!), that they’re for lack of goverment interference (but we’d like to dictate your marriage habits, your sexual practices, and your reproductive choices, please), etc.

I’m not sure there’s a Democratic analog for the Religious Right. The closest is The Green Party who aren’t even Democrats and aren’t remotely as well organized or funded as various Christian coalitions. There’s no question in my mind which party is the whacko party at this moment in time.

What’s amazing to me is the apparent free pass Dubya is getting on his WMD joke.

Bingo. Very observant of you, ironically.

The vast majority of American voters are apathetic. Neither party truly represents their interests, so it’s the extremists wackos on both sides who run the country and who actually become politically active.
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Unless one of the candidates really implodes in a very public way, most of the tracking polls mean little until after Labor Day (early Septermber, for those of you outside the US). The US electorates attention span is about 10 weeks, and it’s way too early for them.

Dunno, the Religous Right walks right up to the line of theocracy and dances on it. Not sure of anything comparable in the Democratic party; our crazies split off intto third parties. :D

That’s because those are two different questions. The first is usually phrased “Do you approve of the way X has done?”, the second as "Do you feel that X deserves to be re-elected. You didn’t even mention a ballot test, which would give yet another, probably different, result. I can approve of how someone has done, but not feel that they should be elected, and vice versa. And if you give me a Y to consider instead of just X, that further complicates the scenario.

The art of polling is synthesing those data points into an accurate picture of what’s happening. Unfortunately, that Emerging Democratic Majority analysis reads more like wish fulfillment than careful examination.

I’m not sure there’s a Republican analog for MoveOn.org. The closest is The Libertarian Party who aren’t even Republican and aren’t remotely as well organized or funded as various liberal coalitions. There’s no question in my mind which party is the whacko party at this moment in time.

Personally, I find all the news attention given to polls, as a voter, to be offensive. We’re choosing our next leaders, not placing bets. As a voter, it doesn’t matter to me who is “leading” and who is “trailing”, I want to know where the candidates stand, how well their platforms mesh mine, their record of performance, and what issue they’ve choosen to focus on. Endless talk about the minutia of who’s gaining where doesn’t help me choose a candidate. Now, as a political professional, I care a lot, but I can’t see how such coverage helps the average voter make an informed decision about their vote.

The problem is, it’s easy news to cover. It’s simple facts, dished out as a easy to digest press release, with a nice white paper to go along in case the reporter wants to add a few details. Reporting on issues is hard. Candidates tend to want to avoid going on record with a specific postion, it’s murder trying to wade through all the spin on a candidate’s position papers, and the facts in general are murky, open for debate, and a big fat target for claims of bias. But damn if I wouldn’t love to see some real coverage on real issues.

Tracking polls are mildly interesting, because they’re simply voting indicators, unlike opinion polls which, I agree, tend to be way overused to set policy.

There was a science fiction story some time ago by (Asimov? Simak? Someone Else?) which postulated that polling became such a science that the pollsters and their computers would pick one voter, and whatever that voter cast would be the election result. It seemed rather inane at the time, but these days…

in the story, the guy picked didn’t get to choose the candidate, they just picked him and called him representative of all voters.


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Oh, come on SK, MoveOn are just folks who thought the Republican obsession with persecuting Clinton was full of crap, and quite possibly dangerous to the health and security of our nation, and happen to believe currently that President Bush and his gang are incompetant nits. Don’t confuse them with real leftist nutters like International ANSWER who inspired sane left leaning folks to keep funding MoveOn as a rational alternative. MoveOn people are mostly Democrats and independants.

They don’t hold a single candle to the nutty of Falwell and Robertson. These guys believe that by helping Israel to expand we’re bringing on the glorious Apocalypse, the Rapture and the return of Christ. They believe America is good and anyone who opposes America is evil and they’re the only ones qualified to judge what’s holy and pro-American enough for us. These guys have burned books and called roleplaying and computer games evil. Not just misguided. How, again, does this compare to MoveOn’s mild mannered activists?

Libertarians are nothing like modern Republicans. Bush’s giant deficit combined with his interventionist social policies proves that he and his neocon friends are about as anti-libertarian as it is possible to be. I’d vote for a socialist before I’d vote for Bush. At least the socialist has an internally consistent philosophy.