Sunday, March 23, 2008

'A rather startling error'

Megan McArdle (now recovered from her bout with vertigo, one hopes) catches TNR's Jamie Kirchick confusing Irish Catholics with (historically Protestant) Scots-Irish.

Kirchick committed this ethnic error while trying to explain why "Barack Obama leads John McCain by only 49% to 42% in Massachusetts, the bluest of blue states."

If, as Kirchick implies, ethnicity is everything, well . . . far be it from me to suggest there are any racists among Massachusetts voters. (Although somebody might want to ask Rev. Wright what he thinks.)

The more likely explanation for the Massachusetts poll result is this: It's only March!

Normal people don't pay attention to politics in March. Those people in the Massachusetts poll probably have only the vaguest notion of what policies Obama and John McCain stand for. So to read those numbers and conclude that McCain has made inroads into "Kennedy country" is just silly. Come November, Massachusetts will land reliably in the Democratic column.

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