September 20, 2006

Polls: Beyond The Numbers

The MSM loves reporting about "newly released polls" (especially if they like the results) because frankly it's easy enough to throw out raw (and often select) numbers and make suggestions as to what they mean in the grand scheme of things.

But whether you like the results or not, it's critical to put them into historical context. This is just what Rich Galen of does on the recent data showing a trend in favor of the Republicans:

The big news was the answer to the question: "If the election for Congress were being held today which party's candidate would you vote for in your Congressional District?" This is known as the "generic vote;" it is asked without using candidates' names because the incumbent is often much better known than the challenger and will tend to sway the results.

Among likely voters, the answer was: Republican 48%; Democrat 48%. A Tie.

Among some Republican electoral experts, the feeling is: If the GOP is in the minus five percentage point range going into election day, that's good enough because the Republican turnout operation will overcome that.

He goes on to point out that, at this same time in 2004, the Democrats led Republicans on the generic ballot 45-41. The final result? Republicans won 50% to 48% at the Congressional level.

Yes, things are looking gloomy again for Democrats. But Republicans should be aware of what has made this shift. It's not so much a referendum on President Bush as it is on his anti-terror policies. And as long the GOP are able to keep the focus on this most important issue the more voters are inclined to keep to the status quo. Unless you're an unhinged Bush-hating moonbat, why risk it otherwise? Republican candidates should embrace the President on this issue.

Democrats, on the other hand have focused their full firepower on the President counting on the countries uneasiness over Iraq to be his undoing. Galen explains why this "strategery" is flawed:

I have thought this because the Democrats are making the same mistakes this year as we (I was running GOPAC that cycle, so I take my share of the blame for a flawed strategy) made in 1998: It was all anti-Clinton all the time.

The Democrats have placed all their electoral eggs in being all anti-Bush in the same strategic way. They have no positive message and, with less than two months to go, the chances of finally crafting a coordinated national message which will attract a majority of voters in a majority of the Congressional Districts are fading fast.

Of course, the vote for Members of Congress is not a national vote. It is 435 separate elections and while there are only seven weeks to go, there are still seven weeks to go.

Personally, I hope they keep it up.

Posted by: Gary at 07:10 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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September 13, 2006

13 Point Lead For Lieberman In New Poll

Personally, I get a little skeptical when a sample size is less than 1,000. But this just-released SurveyUSA poll (sponsored by ABC News) has Joe leading Ned Lamont 51% to 38% - Republican Schlesinger has 7%, an all-time high.

It's still early but not a single poll since the primary in August has had Lamont leading (though he has been close). Lamont has less than eight weeks to convince non-Moonbats in CT to move in his direction. The closer we get to November 7th, the harder that task will be. It's not a name-recognition problem considering the amount of national press this race has received.

And with races tightening up in PA, OH, and MD, the DSCC has to decide how much resources they are willing to keep pouring into this match-up.

It may not be long before Ned Lamont and his nutroots supporters find themselves on their own.

First the sizzle, then the fizzle.

I ran across this article in The Weekly Standard while I was away on vacation. The web hype for Ned Lamont's candidacy doesn't seem to be able to translate into a lead against an independent Lieberman. In light of this point, I quote Louis Wittig who compares the internet buzz that built up "Snakes On A Plan" to that of the Liberal blogosphere. In both cases, expectations end up falling short (ahem, Dr. Dean?). Wittig makes an excellent point:

The problem is that most people, both insiders and outsiders, misunderstand the internet's advantages and limitations.

It's perfectly understandable when political junkies and box office watchers conclude that web buzz augurs big things, but it's also perfectly backwards. We look at the humming activity of the blogosphere and assume the cadre of online enthusiasts behind it constitutes the tip of an off-line iceberg. It is assumed that for every posting on MyDD, or SoaP rap on YouTube, there must be dozens of people out there itching for impeachment of python gags.

Reality is just the opposite. People go to the blogosphere because they can't find a sizable number of people in their everyday, off-line lives that are as enthusiastic as they are. The blogosphere gathers together atypical fans and brings them together in what quickly becomes a broadband echo chamber. The louder and more intense the online community gets, the farther it's likely drifting from what is happening offline.

The nutroots keeps waiting for this Liberal "revolution" to take Washington by storm because they're under the delusion that they represent the majority point of view in America.

But whenever reality hits back at them, they seem unable to accept the idea that they really are nothing more than a fringe. And they resolve to just try harder for the next election.

Posted by: Gary at 12:23 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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