How To Look At Polls - Part II

By Big Tent Democrat

Previous installment here. The new Time PA poll says Clinton by 8. But let's put it through our poll analysis system. More . . .

First, this is Time's first PA poll. Thus, the Time headline, "Clinton Hangs Onto Lead In PA" is utterly misleading. Time never had any data to say Clinton was in the lead to hang onto. But let's get to our analysis.

Time writes:

Clinton leads among white Democratic women: 56% to Obama's 25% [19% Undecided]. More evenly split, by contrast, are white male Democrats, who prefer Clinton by a narrower margin of 44% to 36%[20% undecided].

I will now apply the SUSA turnout model and assume an Obama 85-15 win among African Americans. Assigning undecideds on the same proportions as the Time polling we get, surprise - Clinton 56%, Obama 44%.

What does this tell us? Again, that the key to most of these polls is expected turnout. Time clearly expects African Americans to be more than 14% of the vote in Pennsylvania. They seem to be projecting around a 19% African American vote. Are they right? I do not think so myself. But we will see.

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    This whole lead-up to Pa. has to have been (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by scribe on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 03:32:13 PM EST
    the most boring, divisive, and useless part of the whole campaign.  And I like Pennsylvania, as a state!

    The set of voters will have been fixed in stone for an entire month (registration closed 3/24, IIRC).

    All the ads, speeches, polls, machinations and so on have been directed at moving that marginal number of voters who might change their minds.  It'll wind up being hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars spent per voters' mind changed.

    If you ask me, Democrats would do themselves more good, by doing like the new Representative Speier, who replaces the late Tom Lantos.  She came to Congress, got sworn in, and in her maiden speech immediately went after Bush, McSame, their war, and their desire to stay in Iraq.  Viz:

    Newly elected Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier ... was sworn into Congress this morning and delivered a fiery speech criticizing President Bush's Iraq policy that led some Republicans to boo and walk out of the House chamber.

    Speier ... was always an outspoken lawmaker in her years [in California state politics].  She served notice Thursday that she plans be just as aggressive as a member of the House.

    "The process to bring the troops home must begin immediately," Speier told fellow lawmakers .... "The president wants to stay the course and a man who wants to replace him suggests we could be in Iraq for 100 years. But Madam Speaker, history will not judge us kindly if we sacrifice four generations of Americans because of the folly of one."

    While Democrats applauded, Republicans began a chorus of low boos. Some Republicans who had congratulated her just moments before, including Rep. Darrell Issa, ... walked out of the hall in protest.

    Speier's 13-year-old daughter, who was watching from the House gallery, asked, "Why are they booing my mom?"

    After her speech, Speier said she had held more than 60 public meetings in recent weeks and the most common question was, "When will we get out of Iraq?" She said didn't expect the negative reaction from Republicans but it didn't bother her.

    "That's the combat that goes on here," she said. "I'm not a newbie to this process."

    Of course not - she was tough enough to get shot up at the Jonestown Massacre, survive, and go on to serve in state politics almost 30 years before this.

    We need more tough, hard-nosed sons and daughters of b*tches who are willing to take the battle to the Rethugs, rather than wail "my candidate's good, and your's isn't" and threaten to pick up their toys and go home if they don't get their way.

    that's what we were expecting from Obama (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by Josey on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 03:42:19 PM EST
    But our many contacts with him throughout 2005 and 2006 begging him to vote against war funding and support redeployment timelines - were futile.
    No - Obama was never "against the war from the start."

    Obama was in Harold Ford (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Virginian on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:17:59 PM EST
    camp of progressive blog support long before he was the darling

    It is interesting how the worm turned...


    I'm still guesing (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by cannondaddy on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 03:50:38 PM EST
    a 10% win for Clinton.

    I've read so much about Pennsylvania (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 11:40:49 AM EST
    I almost gave myself a nose bleed. I'm guessing at least 13%.

    She'll win by more (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:06:12 PM EST
    if Philly finds out that Obama paid street money out someplace where the race was closer.

    This poll (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by swiss473 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:31:36 PM EST
    This poll is interesting in that shows that the numbers from Pennsylvania will end up being pretty similar to Ohio.  As Louis said in Casablanca, "I'm Shocked".

    Consider the following:

    Obama has spent more money and shown more ads in PA than nay previous candidate in history.

    He has vastly outspent and outadvertised Clinton

    He spent a week touring the state, getting the endorsement of the sole Democratic Senator whose name and family is golden in Pennsylvania.

    Ever since the Iowa caucuses he has gotten the best media coverage and treatment that any politician has ever received, certainly the best in the last 40 years.

    NBC has literally become the National Barackcasting Company and every day and night pundits in the broadcast and print media have annointed him the winner, explained how it's impossible for Hillary to win, have implored her to drop out, and generally praised Obama as the Second Coming.  Even Senators Dodd and Leahy and Speaker Pelosi have pretty much proclaimed Obama the winner.

    He has had close to two months since he won 11 straight contests by an average of around 30 pts in states across the country in every region and has broken every single fundraising record there is.

    He gave a speech that was praised by the media as a mixture of Lincoln at Gettysburg and King at the Lincoln Memorial with a good measure of Christ at the Mount of the Beatitudes thrown in.

    All of the above and more

    And his #s in the key swing state of Pennsylvania appear just as bad or worse than they were in the key swing state of Ohio among key demographics that Democrats must have in order to win in November.

    Even more alarmingly, the % of Clinton voters who say they will vote for McCain is up to 33%, with another 18% saying they're unsure and only 56% of Clinton supporters saying they will vote for Obama in the fall.

    A big win for Clinton in Pennsylvania, followed by likely big wins in WV, KY and IN, along the continued shunning of key swing states Florida and Michigan is only likely to cause that number to grow and grow.

    If Obama was really such a strong candidate and had this wrapped up long ago as the media insists on telling us, there is now way that he should be losing in Ohio and Pennsylvania by such margins, pulling such weak numbers in key demographics, and not being able to improve on them despite spending millions, advertising more than any other candidate in history(100,000+ spots compared to 60,000 for Clinton and 14,000 for McCain), spending time in the state(s), receiving key endorsements and adulatory media coverage.  

    And he still can't close the deal.  He's had 4 chances thus far.  New Hampshire in January, Super Tuesday and California in February, Ohio and Texas in March and Pennsylvania in April and each time he came up short.  And this among a Democratic primary electorate that skews liberal, not a general electorate that includes conservatives, independents and Republicans.

    All of the above and more do not augur well for him in a general election against McCain, and yet just about the only way for Clinton wo win the nomination is to have 70%+ of the SuperDelegates go for her and possibly deal a crushing blow to the Party's relationship with blacl voters and young voters who support Obama overwhelmingly, and would no doubt seriously undermine her chance to win in November.

    All in all, it appears the part yis in a quandry and I don't see how they resolve it without a lot of damage.  Especially if, as it looks like it will, the campaign continues through to Montana and South Dakota on June 3rd with no clear winner being reached and both candidates having legitimate claims to the nomination.  A brokered convention would likely be a disaster for the party.  

    I just hope that there are some DNC and party leaders who have thought about this and figured out how to solve it, becasue things are looking bery tenuous at the moment.

    I suspect (5.00 / 6) (#24)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:10:35 PM EST
    that the party is being split for the simple fact that the democratic leadership have let it become so. Unless they have so completely drunk the kool-aid that they can't think straight, a number of facts should give them pause: 1-the ridiculously high number of voters per delegate awarded to Clinton in contrast to Obama (the effect of caucus states and disproportionate delegate allocations within states); 2-the electoral map itself which pretty clearly shows that Clinton has won the states that dems need to win in November, while Obama has won only Illinois - a state that Clinton would surely win; 3-the effects on delegates had our primary been winner take all rather than the insane delegate allocation currently used (Clinton would be ahead by several hundred delegates right now and would go over the top with Pennsylvania & Indiana); 4-FL and MI (need I say more); 5-the exit polls of all finished primaries showing that Clinton leads in the popular vote for declared democrats (that should tell us who is really choosing our candidate).

    The bottom line is to win, isn't it? And yet the DNC has continually shown us that it is willing to throw winning down the toilet to prop up Obama. There is a very noticeable bias for Obama from the DNC leadership. If they really want to win, they would not have adopted Obama's frame that whoever has the most delegates  - even if it isn't 2025 - should win. The points I made above should be guiding their thoughts. Also, it is very likely that Clinton will lead in the popular vote when this is over, even if she is still behind in pledged delegates. Our democratic leadership surely knows all these facts, and yet they persist to buy a frame that not only isn't true, but that only benefits Obama, not the party itself. Because we will surely lose if they throw their support to Obama anyway. Quite frankly, I think we are seeing a coup within the party.


    let's see (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by BlacknBlue on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:27:41 PM EST
    1-the ridiculously high number of voters per delegate awarded to Clinton in contrast to Obama

    What percentage of the popular vote does Obama have? What percentage of the pledge delegates does he currently have? How far apart are the numbers? I suspect not very.

    2-the electoral map itself which pretty clearly shows that Clinton has won the states that dems need to win in November, while Obama has won only Illinois - a state that Clinton would surely win

    So Clinton would surely win Illinois, but Obama wouldn't win New York or California? As far as I can discern, Obama won Illinois by a larger margin that Clinton did NY or CA. He also won Hawaii by a huge margin, WI by a huge Margin, MN by a huge margin, Washington by a huge margin, Maryland by a huge margin, DC by a huge margin, Vermont by a huge Margin, and Maine by a huge margin. Without those states, Clinton has no chance. So I guess she's screwed as well, no?

    3-the effects on delegates had our primary been winner take all rather than the insane delegate allocation currently used (Clinton would be ahead by several hundred delegates right now and would go over the top with Pennsylvania & Indiana)

    Obama would've campaigned differently. Instead of allocating resources to "no chance" states like Arkansas, he'd have focused on winnable states like CA or TX, NH, etc. You know, using the right strategy. To imply that the results would've been the same is intellectually dishonest. Personally, Obama AND Clinton setting up their campaign in places they had no chance of winning in the primary (like Hawaii or Rhode Island) is GOOD for the party. I like the system as is.

    4-FL and MI (need I say more)

    The respective state parties could not decide on a revote plan. Their loss, I'm afraid.

    5-the exit polls of all finished primaries showing that Clinton leads in the popular vote for declared democrats (that should tell us who is really choosing our candidate).



    Correction (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Chimster on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:10:39 PM EST
    "The respective state parties could not decide on a revote plan. Their loss, I'm afraid"

    Not their loss. All democrats will lose on this if the votes don't count in MI and FL.


    They will count (none / 0) (#41)
    by BlacknBlue on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:15:45 PM EST
    When Obama is the nominee. Just like Puerto Rico got to "count" when Kerry wrapped up the nomination in 2004.

    You are suspended (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:17:02 PM EST
    I just wrote a post telling people to stop the off topic comments.

    you have done this repeatedly now for days.

    Take a day off and see if you can control yourself.


    Doesn't explain why, after (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by andgarden on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:56:59 PM EST
    so much money spent, he's still so far behind.

    Believe it or not, many people actually like and prefer Hillary Clinton.

    exactly (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by swiss473 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:27:55 PM EST
    After Kerry and Gore won IA and NH, all the democrats pretty much fell in line, they would have had no trouble closing out the deal in a state like OH or PA.

    Even Clinton in 92 pretty much wrapped it up once he won the Southern States on Super Tuesday in Early March.

    And it's not just not closing the deal.  It's struggling to top 30% among white democrats in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia(don't forget, if Gore won WV which Bill did twice, he'd have been President and FL would have been irrelevant), after having basically won the nomination and having been annointed the winner by the media and much of the liberal/dem establishment.  That's not a good sign for November.  

    Gore and Kerry averaged about 42% among white voters and those margins gave Bush his victories.  Does anyone think Obama will exceed their totals among white voters?  It's far more likely he loses a few points from them, which would just about doom his chances.  Especially against a war-hero/military guy like McCain who has the attributes that appeal to them and factoring in the already simmering disaffected ness and resentment of the Clinton supporters.

    And this idea that people don't Obama doesn't hold up at this point.  Back in January?  Maybe.  But if you don't Obama at this point, you simply don't care and aren't paying attention anyway.

    Speaking of money, I notice no one really commented on the fact his receipts in March were about 30% less than they were in February even though March has 2 more days in it.

    Nnow perhaps it's becuase he didn't really have any big win in March and the Wright thing.  But if so, April doesn't look promising.  He'll likley lose in Pennsylvania and head ito May having gone since February without a big win.  Not exactly the way to continue to raise the big bucks.

    We'll see what happens, but limping into the convention having lost OH and PA by double digits and denying FL and MI representation(after losing both states), and having lost in CA, NY, NJ, MA, is not my idea of a path to victory in the fall.


    one of the problems folks don't talk about (none / 0) (#30)
    by Kathy on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:38:23 PM EST
    with a McCain/Obama match-up is that McCain will out-man him the same way Bush out-manned Gore and Kerry.  Dowd has already laid the groundwork for emasculating him, helped ever so graciously by Anne Holton, who called O the "first woman president."  It is, in fact, the way that republicans continually win these elections--by making their opponent seem weak.  What better way to do this than to feminize them (she says, batting her eyelashes).  It's an effective strategy they'll not soon give up on.

    All the basketball in the world won't change it.


    And your solution (none / 0) (#32)
    by BlacknBlue on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:42:54 PM EST
    To this is to nominate an actual female?

    oh, no (none / 0) (#33)
    by Kathy on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:45:52 PM EST
    well, I mean--yes, I think Clinton has earned the nomination (and will continue to win) but what they'll do is make her more masculine to try to tear her down.  That's what the repubs do to women.  I was just bringing up how repubs always try to make their male opponents into wishy-washy women.  

    And then they vote against gay marriage!


    Yes, it's grim... (none / 0) (#34)
    by sweetthings on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:50:15 PM EST
    But does Hillary's path look any better?

    She's trailing substantially behind Obama in national polls, she's consistently raised less money, her campaign troubles are quickly becoming the stuff of legend, and she seems to have the same trouble breaking into his core constituencies that he has breaking into hers. Barring some major upset, how do we elevate her to the top of the ticket without alienating blacks and latte-drinkers?

    I'm reminded of Matt Yglesias's post wherein he claimed that for all the talk of the Democrats having two strong candidates, in some ways we seem to have two weak ones.


    Both true (none / 0) (#59)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 08:18:48 PM EST
    At this moment, let's see where we are when the voting is done (for votes) and if Obama is nominee let's see his negatives in GE.

    Your only as good as your last poll (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Chimster on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:01:44 PM EST
    All of this talk about polls shouldn't mean much to anyone. Which ever way it tilts, someone from either camp will claim momentum. I personally only pay attention to them about two to three days out from the primary. ANYTHING and most like SOMETHING will happen between now and the Primary to change the polls yet again. It's always good to hear that she's up, but it means nothing currently.

    Also, the McCain versus Hillary and Obama polls are ridiculous. Until we have one nominee, it makes no difference who McCain is up against. A few weeks after we choose a democratic nominee, I have this crazy feeling the polls will show heavy Democratic momentum. But again, that poll won't mather either until a few days before the November election.

    So that's the answer... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Chimster on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:04:24 PM EST
    Nobody knows Barrack by now? This argument would have held up months ago, but his name recognition is doing quite well thanks to the MSM, thank you.

    I guess if there were more caucuses (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by lilburro on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 10:19:25 PM EST
    you'd have an opportunity to actually yell at us.

    Sigh (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:12:55 PM EST
    the problem with that theory is of course that the polls are now moving against Obama again in PA. They got to know him and now they don't like him you think?

    With due respect, we like to think the commenting here is better than the facile emptiness you just provided.

    heh (none / 0) (#26)
    by andgarden on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:15:36 PM EST
    nobody does it better.

    This is a little bit off... (none / 0) (#38)
    by mike in dc on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:11:32 PM EST
    ...the 7 polls out this week had the same turnout assumptions as the last week they did polling, and in most of them Obama has either moved up a bit or has held steady.  

    I guess we'll see what the polls say next week.  Usually there's one last set over the last weekend before the primary.  Whatever the range is there probably sets the range to expect for the actual primary.  


    Very few do what SUSA does. BTW, your comment was completely ON topic. One of the most on topic.

    Some others do discuss their assumptions.... (none / 0) (#46)
    by mike in dc on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:33:08 PM EST
    ...and most will note when they make any significant  change to either their assumptions or their sampling methodology.  I do tend to wonder about PPP's methodologies, though, considering their wild swings  in PA polling.

    PPP has NEVER released its turnout model (none / 0) (#68)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 11:19:38 AM EST
    Nor have Q or Rassmussen.

    I think you are wrong on your facts.


    SUSA has two more PA polls coming (none / 0) (#55)
    by Cream City on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 07:23:19 PM EST
    so I read, in the less-than-two-weeks left to the primary.  Those will be worth watching for, for the trend lines.  The trend lines are so useful in Gallup and Rasmussen daily polls, but neither is BTD's World's Greatest Pollster, SUSA.

    Blah, blah, blah. (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:31:46 PM EST
    Every time the phone rings with a new automated voice on the line asking a yes or no to a question that can't be answered yes or no I find beating the receiver against the floor comforting, but who can say how it registered in India?

    The point being, it's gotten to where I just want America to wake up and smell the sexism in this country and think, think, think.

    Then ask yourself, as a child, who always had your back, always showed up to events, always cheered you on, always gave good advice, always genuinely cared, always lent you money, always kissed it and made it better, always cared if  you had enough to eat, a place to sleep, clothes on your back, and a roof over your head?

    These are the qualities, perspectives, attitudes, and empathy of  good women -- of mothers, wifes, sisters, girlfriends, caretakers, and (again) women.

    Only Hillary brings this to the presidency. She's smarter, she's wiser, she's tougher, she's better.

    So, polls, sha-molls.

    Just, please, tell me what I can do in Florida to get her to sweep Pennsylvania, and the other nine contests, besides sit here and look pretty.

    Lady, you are singing to the choir! (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Kathy on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:40:56 PM EST
    I've been making calls through the Clinton website from right here in little ol' Georgia.

    It's not necessarily sexism (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by foobar417 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:58:16 PM EST
    Why do you assume "sexism" is the reason Obama supporters do not back Clinton? Should we assume "racism" is the reason Clinton supporters do not back Obama?

    Democrats have two good, possibly great, candidates. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Thinking, open-minded adults of either gender or any race are certainly capable of choosing Clinton or Obama as their candidate for admirable reasons.

    To assume otherwise reflects badly on you, not the typical American voter.


    This is funny (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:00:53 PM EST
    "Why do you assume "sexism" is the reason Obama supporters do not back Clinton? Should we assume "racism" is the reason Clinton supporters do not back Obama?"

    Brad DeLong believes that. Did you see my last post?


    Note what I didn't say in (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 07:18:38 PM EST
    my original post. I didn't mention racism. I wrote only of sexism. And there's nothing funny about it.

    Are there women who vote for Hillary because she's a woman? Yes. Are there men who vote against Hillary because she's a woman? Yes.

    Even though we live in a society that abides by "alphabetical order" and "ladies first" does Obama's name come before hers in all newspaper articles? Yes. Does he get preferred status in media coverage? Yes.

    Does she command the female vote? Yes.

    Is sexism playing a role? Yes.

    I didn't say she wasn't getting votes based on her experience, savvy, brains, and ability to be president. I'm saying sexism tips her scale both ways.

    And that men should stop and think about how valuable a role their mothers played in the success of their lives and the lives of their children. And after doing so, if they are voting against Hillary because she's a woman -- stop it.

    We need a woman in the White House. Now.

    Call me sexist. Still. We do.

    So. Take a poll.


    It's not funny either way (none / 0) (#39)
    by foobar417 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:11:46 PM EST
    Yes I saw your (BTD's) previous post. I was replying directly to the commenter's post that called it sexism. I disagree with assuming it's racism as much as I do with assuming it's sexism. Either way, such thinking belittles the American voter and suggests a distrust of democracy in the poster.

    Oh please, grow up. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:46:08 PM EST
    It is sexism. It is racism. Both exist.. Just as reverse sexism and reverse racism exists. I think Jerimiah Wright proved that!

    Face it. We are a sexist and racist country -- in denial of being sexist and racist.

    Would brutal honesty be so bad at this point?

    Instead of always trying to appear all innocent and all inclusive while blogging, why not just admit it we are all flawed in all ways and deal with it as a fact of life?

    True -- we aren't AS racist as a nation as we were 50 years ago. But Katrina proved, we are still racist.

    And the news coverage of this campaign reeks of sexism

    It's the expectation of perfection that's askewed polls and people. That pretense of saying the socially acceptable thing, so you look good to friends and neighbors. That peer pressure to follow the crowd to the grave.

    Dare to be unfair.

    If you admit to your prejudices, you can overcome them in spite of yourself.

    But hide behind rhetoric just because it looks good in print? How are you NOT like every other politico on earth?

    Ok. Let he (or she) without a drop of racism or sexism in them throw the first rock at me.

    Better yet, throw a poll.


    What? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 03:44:54 PM EST
    This comment seems off topic to me.

    And I did not write a Jackie Spier article.

    I am still trying to figure out (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Kathy on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:08:24 PM EST
    how you, of all people, can get away with that headline.  Polish immigrants have enriched American in countless ways, the generic classification of butterflies being just one I can mention.  We shouldn't have to be told how-or how not-to look at them.

    Seriously You Should Warn People (none / 0) (#11)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:19:22 PM EST
    I almost sent you a bill for my keyboard. I was drinking soda and reading casually, read your comment, pause for a second while my brain re-assembled itself, and almost splattered soda all over my keyboard.

    And let's not forget czarnina (none / 0) (#52)
    by Cream City on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 07:12:14 PM EST
    aka duck blood soup, a delicacy in my very Pollish city to this day . . . where today we mourn the passing of a great Poll, Bob Kujawa, who brought joy to many a wedding in a bowling alley basement.

    Bob Kujawa aka Bob Kames brought us the . . . chicken dance! Once you've youtubed it, you can come online with us in Mwokee at jsonline.com to share your "chicken dance memories" in Bob's honor.    

    There are dozens of posts already.  Hey, it's a slow news day in my town, where we will miss him.  I even got to meet the guy.


    I think the commenter was commenting (none / 0) (#7)
    by scribe on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:06:44 PM EST
    on my comment #1 this thread, in which I decried the uselessness of trying to push the marginal Democratic primary voter one way or the other, and the silliness of the repetitive polling, etc. on Pa., then compared it to the productive sort of Republican-bashing we should be engaged in, on all fronts, as exemplified by Rep. Speier's maiden speech today.

    Poll results are statistics, aren't they? (none / 0) (#6)
    by myiq2xu on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 03:54:42 PM EST
    Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

    A hint about AA turnout (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:12:07 PM EST
    in the 2004 Presidential election it was 13% of the total electorate in PA see here. Now, AAs can be expected to constitute a larger percentage of Democrats, so lets suppose they constitute 17% this time. I still think SUSA is right on the turnout.

    I believe (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:24:45 PM EST
    that we will see what happens.

    We have one further data point (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:28:46 PM EST
    In 2004, the AA turnout in TX was 12% of the overall electorate. This year in the primary it was between 16 and 19%.

    But you are right, we shall see.


    I suspect a waning (none / 0) (#14)
    by Kathy on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:29:45 PM EST
    of excitement is spreading into apathy among some groups.

    I don't (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:30:31 PM EST
    the great thing about this election (none / 0) (#18)
    by Kathy on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:41:32 PM EST
    is that there have been surprises for everyone.

    As with everything, we shall see.


    two things: (none / 0) (#49)
    by cpinva on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:47:24 PM EST
    1. AA's constitute only 10% of the total population of PA.

    2. they are highly concentrated in philly, not so much throughout the rest of the state.

    assuming every single AA was a democrat and they all voted for obama, he'd still lose handily, unless he can capture a fair chunk of the other 90% of the electorate.

    For all practical purposes (none / 0) (#51)
    by andgarden on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:54:27 PM EST
    all black voters are Democrats.  Obama, I think it's fair to say, will get ~85% of that, as he has in the past.

    The "other" chunk is very much in question at this point.


    yes it is, (none / 0) (#65)
    by cpinva on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:23:39 AM EST
    The "other" chunk is very much in question at this point.

    and it would appear to be trending downward for him, if polls are to be believed to have any basis in fact.

    i wouldn't be at all surprised if sen. clinton wildly exceeds expectations, and captures PA by 20+ points. given the bizarro method the dems. have of allocating delegates, this might not translate into a huge inroad into sen. obama's pledged delegate lead, but it would most certainly have a significant impact on the popular vote difference.


    This may matter in delegate count (none / 0) (#54)
    by Cream City on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 07:19:04 PM EST
    as in this respect, PA is like states where AAs are so localized into only one or two districts -- I did not know this about PA, too.  That can mean even a good turnout of AAs may mean more impact on the popular vote from PA than in pledged delegates, the latter determined geographically.

    Obama needs gains in both almost as much as Clinton does.  


    however (none / 0) (#64)
    by ghost2 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 11:50:35 PM EST
    the formula for the delegate allocation is complicated and depends on the turn out in the last couple of elections.  IF the 2004 turnout in those districts were good, they have more delegates.  

    It's a very complicated thing!!


    You know (none / 0) (#22)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:03:10 PM EST
    This has been said almost every primary, some it has been true, others it has not been. We'll see which one PA is in, as of right now it seems to be firmly in the NOT category.

    I am going off line now (none / 0) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:13:33 PM EST
    Any MORE comments NOT about the Pa primary will be deleted when I get back on line and the commenters will be suspended.

    KEEP ON TOPIC!!. the suspensions will be for 3 days.

    Everybody better straighten up. I'll put up an Open thread where you can all throw crap at each other.

    BTD - Bringing it! (none / 0) (#50)
    by scribe on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:48:54 PM EST
    This is "When the whip comes down." (Stones, '78)

    it's what Barack doesn't say (none / 0) (#44)
    by Truth Partisan on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:25:31 PM EST
    Hey, BTD, you rock.
    Maybe the reason polls go down again on Barack is because of the bottom-line things he does NOT say (and I SO wish he would)--clear support for basic programs that we Americans have relied on in making our lives. Things like that if we work hard we will share in the benefits that our work has provided--the old system, where workers were respected. Instead, he punts? on Social Security (on his youth tape he only calls for older people retiring with dignity and respect), and talks about if we all work together, we can put out our hands and pull down the rainbow--what if we're already working as hard as we can? And can't afford college?
    To be honest, when Clinton says health insurance will cost 3-4% of your income (which a reliable source told me she had said recently in a speech), I get out the calculator and look at my budget. It's less than we're paying now but might be too high, depending on pre or post tax, co-pays, etc.--I'm looking for a budget we can meet. Of course, if food prices would come down--and oil prices were affordable next winter (here the increase is hundred of dollars per each tank (I think around 199 to over 600/tank--since '99)), everything might work out. I can't evaluate Barack's proposals the same way because on many of them he does not offer clear guidelines--but I'd like to be able to do this.
    (Although, once more, I can't vote for B in the GE if he doesn't try to count the votes--C'd lose my vote in the GE for this too...but I can't vote for McCain at all--he has not disavowed the GOP's disdain for counting votes, as far as I've ever heard, and he's had about 8 years to do it!)

    what have debates (none / 0) (#45)
    by Kathy on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:31:07 PM EST
    generally done to the polls?  It is my recollection that they matter none, but I could be wrong.

    There's a debate coming up Saturday before PA is why I ask.  I just really feel like most folks are pretty entrenched by now.  The fact that these demographics basically stay around the same means that turn out is the only deciding factor.

    I hope someone has sent all the SDs a copy of the latest US census.

    Kathy, (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by swiss473 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 06:45:36 PM EST
    Based on your comment and the one above about the GOP "out-manning" the dem, I wonder if you've read this book "The Neglected Voter" about the GOP's dominance of the White vote, and particularly the white male vote, although the white female vote is important as well.

    I just don't see Obama improving on Kerry and Gore's dismal showing among white voters(male to a greater extent than female, although Bush beat Kerry by 12 points among white women).  Not only that, but thus far he appears to do worse among Hispanics as well, which certainly won't help matters.  Even if gets 100% of the black vote, there's simply way more whites and hispanics for him to win.

    Ironically, not only will Obama struggle with white male voters as other dems have but his tactics against Clinton and her general support probably mean that he can expect even lower white female support than usual, particularly if McCain selects a female VP(Rice, Palin, Blackburn, whoever)

    As for the PA polls, the important thing to note is that Obama's support has remained fairly constant in the 38-43 range.  Even the narrow polls were more a refelction of Clinton losing support than him gaining it.  After spending millions on ads and days in the state campaigning and being endorsed by Casey and all the rest, his numbers really haven't moved all that much.  When all is said and done, I expect Clinton win by around the same margin she had in Ohio, if not slightly greater.

    I noticed on TV tonight that Eugene Robinson on MSNBC said that he thinks racism will show up in the privacy of the voting booth in PA.  IOW, the media is already setting the stage to discount her win by basically blaming all the rubes in PA and going with the Ed Rendell "they just won't vote for a brother" routine.  The fact it's those same rubes the Dems NEED to win in November apparaently doesn't occur to them.


    A very bad stat for Obama in this poll (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Cream City on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 07:31:31 PM EST
    is that it finds only 30% of white voters for him.  That is even lower than his very worrisome average of about 35-36% (per different sources I've seen) of the white vote.

    Kerry and Gore got about 41-42% of the white vote, and it wasn't enough.  Even Obama's 85% of the AA vote is not enough to compensate for his showing in the white vote, and if it is dropping as we get to to PA, that is even worse.  Plus, some pollsters think that the AA vote cannot grow that much more in the general election -- that is, that the AA turnout for him in the primary has been so high that it may be already about the best it can be in the general.

    As for Robinson, pfffft.  He's the one who brought race into this right away in New Hampshire, denying Clinton her kudos by saying it was the Bradley Effect -- which only shows that he doesn't know what it means.  Pffft.  Robinson -- whom I used to read and watch regularly -- is just too biased for Obama to be reliable this time around.


    Let's use the "BTD Analytical Black Box" (none / 0) (#62)
    by barryluda on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 10:39:27 PM EST
    In his earlier post, BTD admits to an intense interest in polls, notwithstanding their relatively low value as compared to their inflated claims.  His reason is that they show how demographics have driven the race between Clinton and Obama.  I guess I also have a perverse and intense interest, but I'm not as smart at BTD so I'm not really able to figure out how to use the data to predict outcomes, although I follow BTD's step-by-step analysis, so it sure seems right to me.

    I guess the real reason for my keen interest is that I suspect it will impact the Super Delegates, or they'll at least use it as a crutch to justify whatever self-serving decisions they make (OK, I'm a bit cynical).  But assuming that an important criteria is who matches up better versus McCain, I wish I could use the "BTD Analytical Black Box" and take the demographics and the polls (and whatever else he uses) and figure out who would do best versus McCain.  If a convincing case can be made for the GE that "if we know the demographics we pretty much know the result" then I'd think this may well be (or should be) an important factor for the Supers.

    how do polls bias/account for geography? (none / 0) (#63)
    by BostonIndependent on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 11:44:02 PM EST
    Here's something that I would like to hear about. If polls that sample geographically widely (across PA) indicate only an 5-12 pt race in favor of Clinton, and if one believes the article in the TNR that suggests that Obama  might emulate Rendell in terms of concentrating his vote on a few cities / suburbs.. does that not lead one to conclude that the race is actually going to turn out tighter than everyone expects, and that Obama might actually pull of a surprise here? [I'm not an expert in polling -- just trying to educate myself about how the polls you cite account / correct for such geographically concentrated strategies. Thanks.]

    The Math (none / 0) (#66)
    by Lacy on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 08:17:24 AM EST

    If Hillary's best demographic is white women who support her at 56%, how she still have 56% when those backing her at lower percentages are factored in?

    I factored in the undecideds (none / 0) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 11:16:50 AM EST
    I think you're wrong (none / 0) (#71)
    by scorbs on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 07:03:31 PM EST
    I think Senator Clinton can win -- in a tight race -- against McCain.  You're hoping that Obama doesn't tank in some way because he's "the media darling."  But he also has to be more than that.  He has to be LIKED by the population, and there is a huge swathe of voters who find him arrogant and effete.  Look at George Bush in 2000 and 2004.  People thought he was a "nice boy."  Whether the media was with Bush -- and it mostly was not in 2004 -- didn't matter.  

    It was the personality Bush conveyed -- as someone you could have a beer with.

    Obama is not one of those types of guys.  He comes across as emotionally remote, condescending, lecturing of others.  Especially  his wife.

    Remember the spouse is also important in an election year, and on a Fox vote, Michele Obama came in THIRD of all spouses.

    A big reason Bush also won in 2000 and 2004 was Laura Bush.  You don't have that comparability with Michele, once again.

    So your totals are off and questionable, not factoring in likeability issues involving Obama and his spouse, not factoring in likely consternation over Obama gaffes and past associates.

    In fact, Obama is far closer to Dukakis than to Bush in 2000, 2004.

    As for Senator Clinton, if she has the programs to help solve the complex of issues out there, she will win -- whether beloved or not -- and there are many of us who simply like her.  

    Your state by state total are also simply off.