Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Obama >50%

A basic rule of poll interpretation among campaign strategists is that when the incumbent is under 50%, he's vulnerable. When the challenger is over 50%, the incumbent is toast. If the Republican candidate is the de facto incumbent this year, guess what's for breakfast? Wake up and smell the despair.


  1. I don't trust the likes of ABC or Newsweek to work my toaster. Every time you let them close to the thing the bread comes out burned on one side.

    Why ever do we assume polls are at all accurate. The usual argument is that the pollsters depend upon trust for their revenues and so have an interest in accuracy. The same could be said of the New York Times and NBC News. How's that working out.

    Is it even safe to assume that we understand their financial interests? Or that those interests are served by accuracy. There are similar assumptions that Hollywood makes movies based on financial interests as well. That's led to really popular movies about current events, has it? What most of us don't get is that in that case we misunderstand the actual financial interests that drive the industry - for writers and producers getting a movie financed is the big hurdle, making boxoffice is secondary.

    With polls the question is who is actually giving them money. It isn't the guy watching the news or reading the paper, is it. We aren't the ones sending cash to Gallup. It is the Obama-beholden, horse-race-obsessed press writing the checks. The golden rule applies.

    In short there is no more reason to believe the polls than to believe anyone else selling a political information product.

  2. While I agree with your pessimism, it's useful to recall that McCain is NOT GWB.

    And he's been making that case for about 8 years.

  3. Yes, but he is not the incumbent!