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ARG Vs. Gallup

This month, ARG is polling every state in the presidential contest. Recently, they released the first 20 of these polls and the results looked pretty good for Kerry. How much faith should we put in these polls? How well did their polls turn out in 2000 when they also polled all 50 states?

Alan Abramowitz has looked at ARG's track record and here's what he found:

My analysis of ARG's September, 2000 poll of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia indicates that, in general, the poll was highly accurate. On average, the state by state results yielded an average lead for Al Gore of about 1 percentage point in September. On Election Day, Gore actually lost the average state by an average margin of 3.6 percentage points even though he narrowly won the national popular vote. This is due to the equal weighting in the average of heavily populated states and sparsely populated states. Gore carried 6 of the 9 most populous states while Bush carried 15 of the 20 least populous states.

The 4.6 point shift to Bush between the ARG poll and Election Day can easily be explained by the fact that the poll was conducted at a time when Gore was leading in almost all of the national polls, before the first presidential debate. By Election Day, of course, the race had narrowed to a virtual dead heat.

The ARG September poll accurately predicted the winner of 45 of the 50 states, missing only Missouri, West Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. I am, of course, counting ARG's poll showing Al Gore leading George Bush in Florida as a correct prediction since Gore did actually receive more votes, or at least intended votes, than Bush in Florida.

The correlation between the ARG September poll results and the actual election results is a very impressive .95. This means that the results of the ARG poll explain about 90 percent of the variation in the state-by-state election results.

The ARG 50-state poll, done well before Election Day, provided to be a much more reliable predictor of the actual results of the 2000 presidential election than the Gallup tracking poll which gyrated wildly in the weeks leading up to the election, sometimes showing sizeable leads for Bush, sometimes showing sizeable leads for Gore, and sometimes showing a close race. Indeed, only 10 days before Election Day, Gallup's tracking poll had George Bush leading Al Gore by 13 points--similar to Bush's lead over John Kerry [among likely voters] in Gallup's most recent 2004 poll.

Therefore, we can have a good deal of confidence in the accuracy of ARG's 2004 50-state poll which, based on the first 20 states that have been released thus far, seems to indicate that, contrary to some (but not all) recent national polls, we have a very close presidential contest. Kerry is leading by a comfortable margin in every blue state. More importantly, he is leading in 4 of the 5 battleground states included in the first wave and is only trailing by 1 point in Colorado--a state that George Bush carried by 9 points in the 2000 election. Another very recent newspaper poll in Colorado shows the same thing.

My advice is watch the rest of the ARG state polls as they are released....I predict that they will continue to show a very competitive battlefield in the 2004 presidential election.

ARG releases the rest of their state polls on September 22. Stay tuned.

Comments

Ruy-

Thanks, as always, for the info.

On the whole, I'm persuaded. I'm not sure that a correlation of .95 is actually that impressive in this context. In particular, given that there are some states that are *very* heavily Republican and some *very* heavily Democratic, there will be a limit on how low the correlation would be. To get to -1, Massachusetts would have to *heavily* end up voting for Bush, and Texas for Kerry.

If I get the chance, I'll run a correlation or two on different state polls now. But I'm tired and still need to finish one thing before I can get out of here tonight.

Four more years of what exactly? Just curious what you think will be helpful to the Republicans in a second Bush Administration. Regardless of whether you are partisan or not, you have to realize Iraq is not going to get better for (according to military and common gut level viewing of the news reports) a few years- and its going to get worse before it gets better. You do realize other international crisis looms which will leave our military forces under even greater strain (even if one ignores Iran and N Korea- there are other hot spots) You do realize not all of this is the "vast liberal conspiracy" right? How is this going to help in mid-term elections? And lets not forget we will be one step close to the retirement of the ultimate group of selfish bastards- the babyboom generation. For that matter, how is it going to help your party's long term agenda of remaining in power to have the neocons and social conservatives lording it over the Goldwater conservatives, fiscal conservatives and libetarians and social moderates? Do you really think its a good idea to be weeding out Chafee, Whitman, Specter and other moderates in your party? You already see some of the faultlines now- they will only grow in Bush's second term. It is easier- as Newt Genrich will atest- to act as the loyal opposition than it is to bring together an effective governing majority. Not that I care- in fact- of all the parts of me that looks at this election- that's the part that on a strictly student of political history level wants Bush to win. I know what's going to happen next. You will have a divide, or closely divided, Congress, and the fault-lines that are so evident between your parties moderates, and the social conservatives will start to become even more self evident. So again, what exactly do you think a second Bush term will accomplish for the Republican party? Maybe the S. Ct - is that the hope? Seems like a hollow victory if you destroy the basis for your wins over the last few decades. A word of advice- not that you will get it- sometimes the best thing that can happen for a party is to lose occasionally. Just like the loses of the Democrats in the 80s lead to the moderates gaining greater and greater control- a la the guy the right loves to hate Bill Clinton and his "new democrats" and the issues and positions that he successfully reclaimed for the Dems is the reason why Kerry even has a shot at winning this year. I don't know if he will win or not , but I am certain of the reasons why he will win if he does. But plse ignore me- I am just a left of center guy who looks at all of this through the eyes of not quite being left enough to be a true leftist, and definitely not right enough to get your support of Bush.

Honestly, I think whoever wins this election is screwed. While I want Kerry to win, I don't really see what he could do to repair what Bush has done. It is not just Iraq and the deficit, but Bush has polarized the nation in a way I have never seen before. It's like the nation is a big dysfunctional family. It is almost unfair that somebody else should have to take responsibility for what Bush has wrought.

First, a comment about the comments. The last posting got over FIFTY comments, most of them useless drivel. It isn't, as some have suggested, a matter of filtering out pro-Republican or pro-conservative critiques; the problem is jerks, including those who respond to the likes of BJ Clinton, especially in cootchie-coo language. French fry had a reasonable point that Ruy T seems to critique polls based on LVs when they are less favorable to Kerry a lot more than if they are favorable. This should not be treated with sneering disdain. Either someone should review the comments several times a day to weed out the useless stuff or someone (who knows how to do those things) should set up an alternative website that culls out the intelligent comments). Otherwise the intelligent discussion, like the comments from Tony -- one of them -- which are VERY helpful and informative gets buried in filibustering.
Incidentally BJ, Michael Moore, like myself, are to the LEFT of the Democratic Party, and only support Kerry to any extent as the lesser of two evils because we consider Bush and the Republicans to be so awful. Most Americans seem to want a change of leadership, but are discouraged from voting for Kerry, in part by his failure to provide timely effective response to the flipflop spin citing its falsehood.
I am a pro-Kerry skeptic who is very doubtful about all these rosy optimistic predictions about the polls. I really like objective analysis and the information that assists in making an objective analysis, much of which is found here. But the polls really don't seem to look as good for Kerry as is suggested here, even if the race is still winnable.
I see a redux of Dukakis 1988, where his failure to respond in a timely way to completely fatuous issues like the Willie Horton ad put Bush pere (who I also couldn't stand but not as bad as jr) in the White House. For MONTHS the Republicans have been claiming Kerry to be a flipflopper on NAFTA and the Patriot Act and he has failed to respond to this falsehood (even though I oppose his 'critical support' of both). An ad on NAFTA featuring Sweeney explaining his consistent disagreement with Kerry on this issue, ON WHICH KERRY IS STILL MUCH BETTER THAN BUSH from his standpoint, might help. On Iraq, his NYU speech, tho a good and eloquent attack on Bush's record, failed to answer the key question -- which is NOT what is his 'blueprint' for the future. (By the way, he kept saying "I have a plan" -- what IS it, then?)
What Kerry must do, in a really lengthy and detailed speech on Iraq, is explain the situation in more rigorous depth rather than sound bytes, and especially his own votes and statements, and articulate how they are compatible with one another. He could explain the various conditions on authorization that he voted for but didn't pass in 2002, and what he said at various times in the Senate about the war, rather than just alluding to these statements, as he did at NYU. As long as he can explain his main statements (that he would have voted for the authorization knowing what he knows now, and also that this is the wrong war at the wrong time, and explain clearly why he voted for and against a spending provision as leverage to insist on paying for it by rolling back tax cuts on the rich. He can challenge mainstream media figures like David Brooks by name who have used the flipflop template to defend their position in light of his arguments -- that he is any more of a flipflopper than Bush or anyone else.
As for Dan Rather, he is NEVER to be trusted as far as you can throw a mosquito. At the Democratic Primary debate before Super Tuesday he cited approvingly a "study" purporting to show that Kerry is THE most liberal member of the Senate. Now he 'accidentally' is helping the Republicans by covering for Bush whose obvious connexion-based National Guard career had already been exposed by the time CBS came up with its proverbial bloody glove.
As for electoral analysis, I am curious not only about polls (and are the ones presented here selective to the ones more favorable to Kerry?) but analyses of why Kerry is running ahead of or behind expectations in particular states, and how those expectations, other than 2000, are formulated. For example, he seems to be running way behind expectations in WI and WV, and failing to leverage Yucca Mountain into a lead in NV, but leading mysteriously in many polls in CO. I can see why he might run more strongly than Gore in NH, but why so weak in IA and strong in AK? Analyses looking at various polls over time in a particular state, combined with references to local press about expectations and how Kerry is doing relative to them might be helpful, to look at the WHY of the poll numbers on a state by state basis and not just the WHAT.
CLOUDY

First, a comment about the comments. The last posting got over FIFTY comments, most of them useless drivel. It isn't, as some have suggested, a matter of filtering out pro-Republican or pro-conservative critiques; the problem is jerks, including those who respond to the likes of BJ Clinton, especially in cootchie-coo language. French fry had a reasonable point that Ruy T seems to critique polls based on LVs when they are less favorable to Kerry a lot more than if they are favorable. This should not be treated with sneering disdain. Either someone should review the comments several times a day to weed out the useless stuff or someone (who knows how to do those things) should set up an alternative website that culls out the intelligent comments). Otherwise the intelligent discussion, like the comments from Tony -- one of them -- which are VERY helpful and informative gets buried in filibustering.
Incidentally BJ, Michael Moore, like myself, are to the LEFT of the Democratic Party, and only support Kerry to any extent as the lesser of two evils because we consider Bush and the Republicans to be so awful. Most Americans seem to want a change of leadership, but are discouraged from voting for Kerry, in part by his failure to provide timely effective response to the flipflop spin citing its falsehood.
I am a pro-Kerry skeptic who is very doubtful about all these rosy optimistic predictions about the polls. I really like objective analysis and the information that assists in making an objective analysis, much of which is found here. But the polls really don't seem to look as good for Kerry as is suggested here, even if the race is still winnable.
I see a redux of Dukakis 1988, where his failure to respond in a timely way to completely fatuous issues like the Willie Horton ad put Bush pere (who I also couldn't stand but not as bad as jr) in the White House. For MONTHS the Republicans have been claiming Kerry to be a flipflopper on NAFTA and the Patriot Act and he has failed to respond to this falsehood (even though I oppose his 'critical support' of both). An ad on NAFTA featuring Sweeney explaining his consistent disagreement with Kerry on this issue, ON WHICH KERRY IS STILL MUCH BETTER THAN BUSH from his standpoint, might help. On Iraq, his NYU speech, tho a good and eloquent attack on Bush's record, failed to answer the key question -- which is NOT what is his 'blueprint' for the future. (By the way, he kept saying "I have a plan" -- what IS it, then?)
What Kerry must do, in a really lengthy and detailed speech on Iraq, is explain the situation in more rigorous depth rather than sound bytes, and especially his own votes and statements, and articulate how they are compatible with one another. He could explain the various conditions on authorization that he voted for but didn't pass in 2002, and what he said at various times in the Senate about the war, rather than just alluding to these statements, as he did at NYU. As long as he can explain his main statements (that he would have voted for the authorization knowing what he knows now, and also that this is the wrong war at the wrong time, and explain clearly why he voted for and against a spending provision as leverage to insist on paying for it by rolling back tax cuts on the rich. He can challenge mainstream media figures like David Brooks by name who have used the flipflop template to defend their position in light of his arguments -- that he is any more of a flipflopper than Bush or anyone else.
As for Dan Rather, he is NEVER to be trusted as far as you can throw a mosquito. At the Democratic Primary debate before Super Tuesday he cited approvingly a "study" purporting to show that Kerry is THE most liberal member of the Senate. Now he 'accidentally' is helping the Republicans by covering for Bush whose obvious connexion-based National Guard career had already been exposed by the time CBS came up with its proverbial bloody glove.
As for electoral analysis, I am curious not only about polls (and are the ones presented here selective to the ones more favorable to Kerry?) but analyses of why Kerry is running ahead of or behind expectations in particular states, and how those expectations, other than 2000, are formulated. For example, he seems to be running way behind expectations in WI and WV, and failing to leverage Yucca Mountain into a lead in NV, but leading mysteriously in many polls in CO. I can see why he might run more strongly than Gore in NH, but why so weak in IA and strong in AK? Analyses looking at various polls over time in a particular state, combined with references to local press about expectations and how Kerry is doing relative to them might be helpful, to look at the WHY of the poll numbers on a state by state basis and not just the WHAT.
CLOUDY

First, a comment about the comments. The last posting got over FIFTY comments, most of them useless drivel. It isn't, as some have suggested, a matter of filtering out pro-Republican or pro-conservative critiques; the problem is jerks, including those who respond to the likes of BJ Clinton, especially in cootchie-coo language. French fry had a reasonable point that Ruy T seems to critique polls based on LVs when they are less favorable to Kerry a lot more than if they are favorable. This should not be treated with sneering disdain. Either someone should review the comments several times a day to weed out the useless stuff or someone (who knows how to do those things) should set up an alternative website that culls out the intelligent comments). Otherwise the intelligent discussion, like the comments from Tony -- one of them -- which are VERY helpful and informative gets buried in filibustering.
Incidentally BJ, Michael Moore, like myself, are to the LEFT of the Democratic Party, and only support Kerry to any extent as the lesser of two evils because we consider Bush and the Republicans to be so awful. Most Americans seem to want a change of leadership, but are discouraged from voting for Kerry, in part by his failure to provide timely effective response to the flipflop spin citing its falsehood.
I am a pro-Kerry skeptic who is very doubtful about all these rosy optimistic predictions about the polls. I really like objective analysis and the information that assists in making an objective analysis, much of which is found here. But the polls really don't seem to look as good for Kerry as is suggested here, even if the race is still winnable.
I see a redux of Dukakis 1988, where his failure to respond in a timely way to completely fatuous issues like the Willie Horton ad put Bush pere (who I also couldn't stand but not as bad as jr) in the White House. For MONTHS the Republicans have been claiming Kerry to be a flipflopper on NAFTA and the Patriot Act and he has failed to respond to this falsehood (even though I oppose his 'critical support' of both). An ad on NAFTA featuring Sweeney explaining his consistent disagreement with Kerry on this issue, ON WHICH KERRY IS STILL MUCH BETTER THAN BUSH from his standpoint, might help. On Iraq, his NYU speech, tho a good and eloquent attack on Bush's record, failed to answer the key question -- which is NOT what is his 'blueprint' for the future. (By the way, he kept saying "I have a plan" -- what IS it, then?)
What Kerry must do, in a really lengthy and detailed speech on Iraq, is explain the situation in more rigorous depth rather than sound bytes, and especially his own votes and statements, and articulate how they are compatible with one another. He could explain the various conditions on authorization that he voted for but didn't pass in 2002, and what he said at various times in the Senate about the war, rather than just alluding to these statements, as he did at NYU. As long as he can explain his main statements (that he would have voted for the authorization knowing what he knows now, and also that this is the wrong war at the wrong time, and explain clearly why he voted for and against a spending provision as leverage to insist on paying for it by rolling back tax cuts on the rich. He can challenge mainstream media figures like David Brooks by name who have used the flipflop template to defend their position in light of his arguments -- that he is any more of a flipflopper than Bush or anyone else.
As for Dan Rather, he is NEVER to be trusted as far as you can throw a mosquito. At the Democratic Primary debate before Super Tuesday he cited approvingly a "study" purporting to show that Kerry is THE most liberal member of the Senate. Now he 'accidentally' is helping the Republicans by covering for Bush whose obvious connexion-based National Guard career had already been exposed by the time CBS came up with its proverbial bloody glove.
As for electoral analysis, I am curious not only about polls (and are the ones presented here selective to the ones more favorable to Kerry?) but analyses of why Kerry is running ahead of or behind expectations in particular states, and how those expectations, other than 2000, are formulated. For example, he seems to be running way behind expectations in WI and WV, and failing to leverage Yucca Mountain into a lead in NV, but leading mysteriously in many polls in CO. I can see why he might run more strongly than Gore in NH, but why so weak in IA and strong in AK? Analyses looking at various polls over time in a particular state, combined with references to local press about expectations and how Kerry is doing relative to them might be helpful, to look at the WHY of the poll numbers on a state by state basis and not just the WHAT.
CLOUDY

sorry about the triple posting, it didnt seem to be working when I clicked the mouse

Nice analysis on the ARG vs. Gallup state by state polling, Ruy Whether it is state or national polling, your article is further evidence on how unreliable Gallup has become these days. Anyone who belives that Bush is ahead of Kerry by 13% nationally ought to be given a sedative and encouraged to spend the next few days in a room with padded walls.

Speaking of Maximum Leader George, Dubya is such a total loser and in so much denial these days that even GOP senators like Hagel, Graham and Lugar can't seem to keep their mouths shut until election day about the godawful mess he made in Iraq. It was nice to see Kerry quoting Hagel and fellow GOPers in his speech on Iraq today. According to Kerry, "Just this weekend, a leading Republican, Chuck Hagel, said we’re “in deep trouble in Iraq … it doesn’t add up … to a pretty picture [and] … we’re going to have to look at a recalibration of our policy.” Republican leaders like Dick Lugar and John McCain have offered similar assessments."

Recalibration of policy? Forget that. The critical independent voters are going to know that the only way to fix Iraq is to dump the loser who got America bogged down in there in the first place. Anyone with half a brain can see that Iraq is coming apart faster than anyone expected and all of Karl Rove's fancy spin can't change that basic fact. The meltdown of Iraq is clear for everyone to see, and even senior GOPers (at least those who have retained a sliver of integrity) can no longer deny it. Kerry is right to focus on the mess in Iraq. Those independent voters, who already have a pretty negative view of Bush, are going to go into the polling booths on November 2nd with Iraq on their minds and vote Dubya off the island and exile him to the fate he so richly deserves.

4 more months! ... and then our long national nightmare is finally over!

Go to hell, freeper.

Anybody with a brain knows that Bush's policies are disaster for this country. Mr. BJ Clinton obviously believes in big defecits, supports a man who is ignorant of policy issues, and has no character. Under President Clinton, we had budget surpluses, (oh yeah, he increased taxes on the wealthiest 1.2%-Horrors!), a group that BJ Clinton believes needs welfare from the Government. So Mr. BJ Clinton go back to your ignoramous right wing web sites where the intellectual level is down to your level.

Very thoughful column by Mr. Nolan on historical reasons why Bush is in trouble. Just one for ex: the 3 presidents who failed to get reelected failed to get the popular vote 1st time around.
Well worth reading:
URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/09/19/INGJ68OT8L1.DTL

I just love it when troglodytes like BJC come around and say, "give us the details..." in concerns over Kerry's plans. Where were those calls for exact details from the first Bush campaign in 2000? They weren't there. And when Gore and the Dems called for them then, the press and the GOP spinsters all cried foul and said they were all picking on poor Georgie. So the handwringing over Kerry's detailed plans is just a little more than posturing and isn't at all believable.

Kerry is outlining his plan in speech after speech. The lazy press isn't picking up on it, and the pundits don't want to recognize it. The "bring us your plan..." lines are all GOP talking/chant-points. Not worth getting upset about.

FACTS are, Bush has worked very hard since day one to be a poke in the eye to the majority of people that voted for the "other guy" in 2000. He has led a party that has delt in cheap political pot-shots and polarization schemes that is dangerous for the country. I'm sure people(?) like BJC believe division is good...you know, drive out the "radical fringe" from their wet dreams of attaining a 1950's America again, where Mayberry is real and represents the blueprint for the social agenda they're promoting. Well...it ain't gonna happen.

Furthermore, The Bush record is abyssmal in more ways than can be posted here. Entire books exist (and are being written) cataloging the worst presidency in our history. In short, he SHOULD be fired and replaced and the neocons run out of town on a rail. Some should go to jail. And some may, under a Democratic administration...which is why they're fighting so hard to keep power.

Lastly, Freepers really get off on riling anyone that isn't hard right. They're not going to get to me. I find their needling and moronic jabs only motivate me more to work harder, contact more people, write more, and volunteer more to show people how this president is the most cowardly, sociopathic, pathetic, and fascist person we've ever had in office in more than 200 years.

No more years.

"Change horses, or drown."

Oh Man, It is painful to watch you Libs flail, spin & whine while defending a candidate with no backbone. Read my bytes: ARG is a heavily Dem leaning organization from New Hampshire - They exist to provide false comfort to their next door neighbor from Mass & nothing else.

How about an analysis of the battleground poll, a well respected survey run by Dems & Reps, showing Kerry losing by 7??

The fact is, GWB WINS BY HOLDING SERVE, winning states he won last time; KERRY MAY NOT WIN NJ, MD & IA, much less any of GWB's red state. Kerry is sucking wind to hold on to NY, ILL & CA for crying out loud!!!!!

And what are you Libbies holding out hope for: That Kerry's 23rd position on Iraq is his last, That Rathergate will provide him the needed positive news in the papers, That the voters will forget his 20 year Senate record vehemently opposing our military???

Frankly, judging from the responses of some of the Bush haters around here, they may have to find another country when Kerry gets blown away this Nov 2.

Smooth Jazz repeats talking points but lacks substance. Kerry has been amazingly consistent on Iraq, arguing in favor of the authority to wage war as leverage and against how Bush has handled the decision to go to war and the war itself. On this front, he is joined by an all-star cast of Republican generals, consvervative and liberal scholars of international politics, and most people with a brain. Now, you can scream and moan about cynically out-of-context quotations all you want, but most people who believe that facts and events should shape our judgement would conclude that, over the last few months, it is no longer possible to argue that the world is safer since the US invasion. This is not the conclusion we would have reached in January or February.

Refusing to admit failure or mistakes because of concerns about politicla fallout is far more "spineless" than anything Kerry has done or said in his life, from Vietnam through the present.

I suppose if partisan Democrats are going to be seletive about their polls, than Republicans like Smooth Jazz can be as well. I would be very surprised if Kerry is in trouble in my home state of Maryland, let alone New Jersey. The numbers in New York and Illinois and California are fine, particularly given where Bush is in even the worst polls (for Kerry) and what range he has given the MOE.

Anyone who doesn't believe IA (or MN, or WI) for that matter were going to be close is high. My question is, given Bush's numbers in SC, FL, AK, MO, CO (leads or ties within the MOE in most recent polls), and the fact that WA and NH don't even appear to be competitive, why you're so excited?

This is still a close election, and everything will hinge on differential turnout. Which is kind of depressing, no matter who wins, if you think about it.

Meanwhile, Chimpy's still sinking:

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - September 17, 2004 - President Bush's ratings have slipped to 45 percent positive and 54 percent negative, the lowest ratings of his presidency, according to a new Harris Poll. These numbers compare to 50 percent positive, 49 percent negative in June and 48 percent positive, 51 percent negative in August. This downward trend no doubt helps to explain why the lead which the president enjoyed over Senator Kerry immediately after the Republican convention in New York - the so-called "convention bounce" - has now disappeared.

BJ Clinton, annoying though he be, has this time articulated some serious concerns regarding public policy. I think there are good answers to them, and we should think seriously about articulating those answers. This blog is probably not the best place though, and I haven't the time right now.
So I shall content myself with a more flippant answer to one of his points: How can we not see through Kerry's two-facedness? Well, I think we all see it, but figure that unlike W., at least he's likely to come out right _half_ the time!

cloudy-

Thanks for the kind comments (assuming they were meant for this tony!)

And I agree with your thoughts about the site. Drivel is starting to make it hard to find the substantive (a metaphor for politics in general these days).

My God, this blog is sinking fast.

Ruy- maybe it's time to switch to Scoop and require posters to log in. The noise level has peaked rapidly and it discourages sincere debate.

Thanks to those people who have called for more substantive conversation here. When it comes to ad hominem attacks and fact-free criticisms from the right or the left, they're a waste of our time and do a likely disservice to more thoughtful liberal and conservative points of view. Try sticking to the polling issues, please.

Encouraging this ARG info. Thanks again, Ruy.

This morning Sep 21
http://www.electoral-vote.com/
Kerry already showing movement. I think his numbers will continue up after the debates.

And I again recommend this essay on historical reasons Bush is in trouble.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/09/19/INGJ68OT8L1.DTL

> "Change horses, or drown."
>
> Posted by suff'rin sucatash at September 21, 2004 06:32 AM

That is totally awesome. I'm making a custom bumpersticker out of that.

makestickers.com

From those Libruls at the WSJ Sep 20:
If election held today, Kerry would win 297 EV:
Read it 'n' weep freeper turds. Check the last sentence:

Quote:
The latest Zogby Interactive poll of 16 battleground states shows Mr. Kerry ahead in 11 states, one state fewer than in a poll taken during the Republican convention two weeks earlier. Because Mr. Kerry's lead is thin in several states, including Florida, where the candidates remain less than a percentage point apart, the race is even closer than 11-5 state tally depicts.

Let's run the numbers.

To recap, in analyzing Zogby's results, we begin by assuming that the District of Columbia and the 34 states that aren't in the battleground poll will vote for the same political party this November as they did in the 2000 election. (That assumption has become less firm since Mr. Bush picked up strength following the Republican convention. More on that later.) Thus, in our analysis, Mr. Bush starts with 189 electoral votes, while Mr. Kerry begins with 172. To win the White House, a candidate must capture 270 electoral votes.

From that starting point, we add in the electoral votes from the latest poll, regardless of the margin of error or the spread between the candidates. Mr. Kerry's 11 states control 125 votes, while Mr. Bush's five states have 52. Thus, if the results on Election Day match the findings of the Zogby poll, Mr. Kerry would win, 297-241
End Quote

> Smooth Jazz repeats talking points but lacks
> substance. Kerry has been amazingly consistent on
> Iraq, arguing in favor of the authority to wage war as
> leverage and against how Bush has handled the
> decision to go to war and the war itself.


I think there are some encouraging signs that Kerry is gaining traction with Iraq -- at least he has been talking about the right things lately. His message is now quite simple: "Shrub" and his pals have repeatedly shown poor judgment, made bad decisions while ignoring outside advice, and the United States is now paying dearly for it in Iraq. If you like what Wolfie, Rummy, Condi, "Right Wing Dick" Cheney et al. have been doing during the last few years, by all means give "Shrub" another four years. If not, vote for Kerry/Edwards...

It is a pretty powerful argument (except if you are a dumb conservative white male who only look at "Shrub's" supposed "determination", "integrity" and "strength" while stubbornly ignoring everything else). Now, Kerry won't win the Iraq debate if the President's supporters are able to frame the discussion in terms of vague and abstract values like that. But he has got an excellent chance if he starts linking the numerous, specific mistakes made by this Administration to less admirable traits such as poor judgment, incompetence, stubbornness etc..

I don't think a smear campaign focused on "Shrub" being a lying coward who avoided National Guard duty will work; his _personal_ approval ratings are too high for that. However, attacking his _competence_ and _judgment_ is an entirely different matter. He now has quite a track record of things that haven't worked out as expected (Iraq, the impact of his tax cuts on the economy & jobs etc.). As a result, significantly more Americans than not think their country is on the wrong track under George W. Bush.

If Kerry can exploit this very fundamental weakness in the current President's reelection message (and particularly if he gets a couple of "lucky breaks", i.e. further bad news for the President on the economy or Iraq), I still think he has an excellent chance of winning. In a way, Kerry's job should be easier than Al Gore's since "Shrub" now has a track record; he cannot hide as easily behind platitudes such as "compassionate conservatism" or "uniter not a divider". We finally know what specific *policies* W. stands for, and a majority of Americans don't agree with them.


MARCU$

P.S.: It's sad that so many Freeper trolls are now wasting bandwidth here. Maybe Ruy should require readers to subscribe to his site before posting comments?

Very encouraging. Kerry's speech yesterday was dynamite; his message from now to Nov. 2 should be: it's about incompetence, stupid.

One question for Ruy: I heard of very high registration among new voters. These kids don't get polled because they use cell phones. Does anyone have any idea how they'll vote? I'm thinking Democratic 2:1, but does anyone have any information?

I would agree with the first commenter: the correlation coefficient is not very impressive due to the majority of states being "safe" and relatively stable pollwise. I'd like to see an analysis of only "battleground states" where this term is defined by, for example, a poll spread of less than 10 points (this is a pretty wide definition and, of course, could be narrowed). These polls will be most heavily influenced by sampling error (which ARG can't control) and methodological errors (which ARG can, to some extent, control).

With regard to methodological error, I did the following calculation after the primaries: I took the data from several firms who polled many of the states (ARG, SUSA and Zogby) and compared their results to the actual results. I calculated the number of times that each pollster was outside the max. sampling error as one measure of methodological error (I know this method has flaws, but it does provide a rough measure of such error albeit mixed with other factors). I found that ARG and SUSA "missed" roughly 50% of the time while Zogby missed 25% of the time. This makes me very suspicious of extrapolating from close poll results.

Just a question (warp president!): What do you all think about Survey USA? What is with them coming up with numbers like in New Jersey or Maryland?

BJ writes:

----------------------------------------------------------
"Yes, I know it was Bush's mistake (in your eyes), but isn't that beside the point? If Kerry is elected, he will have to make a decision. Does he continue along the same path and condemn more men to die for a "mistake" or does he pull out immediately and leave the Iraqis to their fate?"

"In his speech yesterday, Kerry outlined four points, all of which are already being done. He just claims he would be a more effecient administrator. So, on what basis does Kerry reconcile his famous quote with his plan for Iraq?"

"Either he was wrong then or he is wrong now."

------------------------------------------------------------

Libertarian blogger Andrew Sullivan provides a very good answer:

-------------------------------------------------------------

The key for Kerry, then, is not to make the argument that this president is evil or a liar, as the Michael Moore left has stupidly done. And it is not to revisit the arguments for and against war in the first place. That merely traps Kerry back in the tangled rhetorical knots he tied for himself. It is to make the argument that this president is out of touch and incompetent. It's Dukakis again--competence, not ideology--but this time, with a real record of incompetence to point to.
[...]
What Kerry has to do is simply remind people that this is the reality. Yes, he needs to say how he would guide the country through the dark days ahead; and he failed to give concrete ideas about how or whether to, say, reconquer Falluja. But politically speaking, the reality of our present quandary will be eloquent enough. To claims that he isn't fit for command, Kerry simply has to ask, "You think I could run a war worse than this one?" And to every counter-sally by Bush on Kerry's own record of inconsistency, Kerry should simply say, "Stop changing the subject."

In the first debate, Kerry should keep hammering on specifics: Why have we spent almost no reconstruction funds? Why are we relying on the National Guard to do the army's work? How able are we to respond to other national security threats with our current troop levels? What are you going to do about Falluja? Kerry has to wrest the subject of Iraq from the past and the abstract to the present and the concrete. The American people will listen. Because they know a problem when they see one; and they don't appreciate a president who refuses to see what's in front of him.

------------------------------------------------------------

I think Sully's "Dukakis was then but this is now" observation is a good one. Willie Horton, fuzzy math, inventor-of-the-Internet etc. non-issues that focus on personal likeability and abstract notions about "true American values" mattered in the 1988 and 2000 elections, because the Democratic candidate wasn't able to show how incompetent the Bushes were. There simply was no presidential track record to attack!

Fortunately there is, now. That's why Kerry isn't as hopelessly dead as Dole and Mondale were at this point in the election cycle in 1996 and 1984, respectively.


MARCU$

The Chicago Tribune headline brightened my morning:

Kerry: Bush failed in Iraq.

Trolls. I find it fascinating that this particular blog seems to attract much more than its share of pro-Bush trolls. Go to any other prominent pro-Kerry site and you'll find hundreds of pro-Kerry comments for every one troller.

I wonder if Ruy's analysis is cutting a bit close to the bone of a key Repub strategy? That is, flog the favorable polls in the popular media when you can to demoralize the Dems and hold down turnout.

Go Ruy!!!

Obrigada Ruy, you give me hope!!!

RE:
"If Kerry is elected, he will have to make a decision. Does he continue along the same path and condemn more men to die for a "mistake" or does he pull out immediately and leave the Iraqis to their fate?"

See Bob Novak's latest column:

"Inside the Bush administration policymaking apparatus, there is strong feeling that U.S. troops must leave Iraq next year. This determination is not predicated on success in implanting Iraqi democracy and internal stability. Rather, the officials are saying: Ready or not, here we go."

http://www.suntimes.com/index/novak.html

In other words, all that stuff about staying as long as it takes and how important it is to plant democracy in Iraq may just go out the window since the administration now knows that it can't win in the long run. So they'll leave the "ordinary iraqis" hanging in the wind and get the hell out.

But I'm sure if Novak is right all the Bush supporters will find a way to rationalize it...

Too much time on my hands - I found some data on ARG from 2000 "battleground states" whatever that means in this context (see http://www.evote.com/index.asp?Page=/news_section/2000-09/09212000Poll.asp) and compared to election results. The correlation here is now only around .5 and there are significant mismatches: the polls give AR,KY,LA and MO to Gore when Bush won and makes no mistakes in the other direction - a significant electoral swing!

Looks pretty weak to me.

To Frenchy Honey:

I view Survey USA in much the same way I view Mason Dixon (which I refer to as "Rebel Polling") -- they almost always skew heavily in favor of Republicans.

A few months ago, I noticed that a Survey USA poll listed whether the respondent had voted for Gore or Bush in 2000. The 2004 poll, taken in a state which was virtually a dead heat in 2000, had a sample of which about 55% of respondents reported voting for Bush in 2000 (and the 2004 poll therefore had Bush leading by about 8%, in stark contrast to the findings of other polls from that state). I pointed this fact out to SurveyUSA, noting that I hoped it was an honest sampling problem, and not an attempt to misportray voter sentiment in that state to assist the Bush re-election effort. I never received a response from them, but I believe that was the last poll by them in which they posted the results of the "Gore/Bush" question.

The removal of that data from their poll results (thus making it impossible to call them on a wildly pro-Republican sample), and their consistently bizarre pro-Republican results, has led me to take their results with a giant grain of salt.

At this point, I believe that the only reliable polls are Zogby, ARG, and maybe Research 2000 (plus the Economist and, of course, Democratic pollsters like Democracy Corps, which I take with a much smaller grain of salt). Rasmussen appears honest, but I know he is Republican, so I follow him closely but remain wary.

Hope that helps with your question.

There are those on this site who seem to think that this race is about John Kerry. However, I insist that the race is about George Bush. Its about determining if he should be given his first elected term in the white house or removed from office.

Its a tad bit unfortunate that Kerry's campaign is only now getting traction, but the electorate will make a decision on Bush's tenure and not Kerry's potential.

Its therefore not required for us on this site to detail Kerry's plans but to outline and highlight Bush's failures.

For those who support Bush on this site, its your responsibility to highlight bush's successes and defend his failures. Its your responsibility to showcase Bush's future and show how his proposed plans can benefit the repub party, the dems and the world at large.

If as Bush supporters you cannot effectively perform the above responsibilities, then you are simply deceiving yourselves, living a lie, misleading your public (on this site), turning a blind eye and being dull and ignorant. Now, if you are comfortable living this way, then its fine but in my opinion, you are stupid and there must be a place in this world for stupid people also.

Ranting and raving about Kerry is therefore pointless as I am confident that the electorate wont be passing jugement on Kerry as much as they will be passing judgement on bush.

GOPers can have a field day rejoicing about polls which favour bush, but to do so begs that you explain why bush' favourable rating in just about every facet of his governance is slipping but yet polls can still show him with a lead over Kerry or tied.

In the mean time however, Kerry's favourable ratings are climbing, albeit slowly, and yet he still cant seem to get traction in the polls. In this regard, those GOPers who find solace in these polls without finding a geniune rationale for the above stats., are really spitting directly into the wind.

I strongly recommend that everyone on this site vote for Kerry as Bush's tenure is devoid of anything progressive, developmental or successful. Based on any criteria considered, Bush's grades dont meet the passing mark. I am sorry but thats the real truth and not GWB's truth.

Cheers

Two things...

First, there's a new George Washington U. poll out, with Bush up 7% in a three-way, 4% in a 2-way. Interestingly, there are 14% undecided in the three-way, only 5% in the 2-way. Not sure what that means.

From the Real Clear Politics list, which is mostly LV, here are the latest polls from the 9 groups who have surveyed after the Republican convention. Numbers are all the Bush % lead in a head-to-head.

Rasmussen +2
Fox +2
Zogby +3
IBD +3
Battleground (GWU) +4
Newsweek +5
CBS +8
Time +12
CNN +13

That helps put the Time/CNN double digit lead stuff in some perspective. Not to mention their very peculiar Rep/Dem sampling. Gotta run now. Hope to track down Battleground details later.

I butchered that Battleground/GWU poll. The 7% difference is when they just asked who people would vote for without naming the candidates. The 4% is in a 3-way. They did not ask head-to-head.

And as a complement to that earlier report, here are the 12 different polling organizations' most recent take, since the Republican convention.

Harris: Kerry up 1%
Pew Bush up 1% (all others are Bush up)
Zogby 3%
IBD 3%
Battleground 4%
Fox 4%
AP 5%
Newsweek 6%
ABC 9%
CBS 9%
Time 11%
CNN/Gallup 14%

The median is a 4.5% Bush lead. And these are mostly LV's (all but CBS and Newsweek), so there's the quite plausible argument that these are skewed in favor of Bush.

Keep repeating the mantra...this is a close race. Get out the vote!

I just read Kaus's piece:

http://slate.msn.com/id/2106976/

It does not "devastate" the idea of sample weighting by party ID, in my view. I had three main reactions:

1. You can still get poll movement in a race when weighting for party ID, namely when shifts occur WITHIN groups (i.e., within Independents, within Republicans, and within Democrats).

2. The theory proffered in the Kaus piece (someone else's idea that Kaus passes along) is that the RNC convention re-ignited the post-9/11 increase in GOP party ID that had been diminishing over the last three years. But the advocate of this theory admits that there's only "a little evidence" for this proposition.

3. The person Kaus quotes also talks about how, in 2000, the Democrats had the mindset of being on a two-election winning streak. The problem for that theorist is that Democratic turnout equaled or exceeded GOP turnout in '92 and '96 also.

I just heard that the 2nd debate is going to be a free form type and the people asking the questions are going to be chosen by Gallup. If Gallup is repb bias what good is the debate anyway?

Ed... if Gallop provides the questioners and they are biased, it would mean that Kerry would get another opporunity to nail bush and answer the GOP questions directly... its about perspective... it about how Kerry views things.

Thx Bell, I never thought about it that way. I heard about the debate on Air America today they interviewed Kerry's step-son..............

Young Voters Paying Attention
Young voters prefer Sen. John Kerry to President Bush by 46% to 40%, according to a new MTV Choose or Lose poll, "although they do not feel overwhelmingly positive toward either candidate."

www.politicalwire.com

"I believe Bush intends to do some bold things in a second term. "

Bold, yes, but uniformly disastrous.

"Social Security private accounts for example. Can you, an educated person, really be afraid of that."

Yes, I can, and it's BECAUSE I'm an educated person. Under privitization - and this was all explained back in 2000, by the way - if you take current contributors' funds out of the system
in order to enable them to be put in private accounts, additional monies would have to be found to cover benefits owed to past contributors. This by itself would entail between $1 and $2 trillion of new government spending. And what would be the benefit? The SSC's 2001 75-year analysis shows the market returning 3.6 percent annually, while Social Security gives a result of 3.0 percent; after we factor in managers'
fees for the private funds, and the guaranteed
return for the SSTF versus the variable risk of the
market (on a side note, consider that under Bush's economic policies, the market is still down 5% from whereit was when he took office),
Social Security comes out ahead, and this
without spending additional trillions (which would have to be paid for with higher income taxes).

"How about school choice? Unless you are in the damnable teachers union, does that really scare you? "

First of all , without unions, you'd be working
100-hour weeks from the age of 10 for 10 cents an hour, breathing toxic substances while wearing no safety equipment. THATS what I would call 'damnable.'
School choice? Taking public money away from the public sector - away from schools which don't have enough money in the first place - to send a small number of kids to schools where studies show they don't do any better (and in some cases do worse)? We liberals, on the other hand, continue to work to redistribute funds in a more
equitable fashion so that EVERYONE gets a good
education, something which you right-wingers oppose at every turn.


"How about medical malpractice reform? John Edwards and his slimy ilk... "

A man who fought a company which made
a faulty pool drain that caused a little girl's intestines to be RIPPED OUT OF HER BODY (!) -
a company which had concealed numerous injuries from said product (which it continued to manufacture unaltered), a man who fought and won enough money for that little girl to provide her
with the care she would need for the rest of her life, without which she would DIE - this is a man you call 'slimy'?!? Wow.

"...won't like it, but doesn't the majority win on this issue?"

The majority want bad doctors to pay for the harm they do (I thought right-wingers were supposed to be for law-and-order and personal responsiblity? Guess not. ) Besides which, malpractice suits only account for about 2% of the increases in health care costs. A far larger percentage of the increases comes from drug costs,
which are a result of unethical practices on the part
of pharmaceutical companies, which the right not only couldn't care less about, but more, tacitly encourage."

" Demagoguery aside, doesn't No Child Left Behind (yes I know it was not fully funded) deserve a chance to succeed?"

FirstDo you really believe in trying something over and over again which has always had the same poor result? It - and other programs like it - have had their chance, and failed. Second, do you really believe that one annual test should be the sole indicator of a student's performance for that year? Third, do you really believe that 'teaching to a test' - the inevitable result - yields a better education than actually teaching the subjects involved? Fourth, do you really believe that mentally disabled students should have to meet the
EXACT SAME testing standards as all other students? Fifth, do you really believe - as regards funding - in a 'stick' approach rather than a 'carrot-and-stick" approach?. Sixth, do you really believe
that schools should be forced to turn the school records of 18-year-olds over to military recruiters -
which said students would then be forced to listen to - but not allow voter-registration organizations into the schools at all?

You do if you like NCLB.


"You think the Dems would have ever done a damn thing but talk? For all their professed love of minorities and the unrepresented, isn't it time to walk the walk?"

Where have you been? Democrats have been fighting for minorities and the unrepresented
since there have been Democrats : unions, abolition, the New Deal (WPA, PWA, CCC, Social Security, etc.), the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Great Society (Medicare, tc.), AFDC, Pell Grants, student loans, Head Start, Smart Start and on andon and on. Whereas what have Republicans done? Except for liberal Republicans (who are Democrats in everything but name)...nothing. Not a damn thing. After Lincoln freed the slaves (and by the way, he was not a Republican, but a Whig) - you promised blacks 40 acres and a mule. Did they get it from you? No. They waited almost 70 years for you to do something, and you did nothing.


"Make your idealogical arguments against these things, but don't base your objections on protecting special interests. Please! "

Done.

( Unless you consider workers, minorities, women, children, young people and the elderly to be special interests.)

Sergei Rostov

I took some time to run a correlation for comparison to the data in Ruy's original quote (from Alan Abramowitz). I had mentioned in the first reply to this thread that the .95 correlation wasn't all that impressive, necessarily.

To test this (very, very loosely), I went to race2004.net and found all states that had both ARG and Rasmussen polls within either August or September. I found 13: Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Maryland, Maine, and New Hampshire. Note that most of those are battlegrounds. There was a considerable time gap for some of the polls. Some were 2-way, some 3-way. I'm sure there were other differences. All of these should serve to reduce the correlation. Nonetheless, the correlation across the two for % choosing Bush was .772, for % choosing Kerry .832, and for the difference between candidates, .832.

This obviously isn't conclusive, but it reinforces the notion that a lot of that .95 correlation is that places like California and Maryland were going for Gore in both September and November, places like South Dakota were going for Bush.

In fact, if I drop those three from my list of 13, the correlations drop to .180 (Bush), .678 (Kerry), and .525 (difference).

Tony, Could you translate that for the laymen here?

Nov 3rd BJ

Beatdown in Dallas

You're IT

I can't wait to get a free chance to beat up a pasty faced white guy who drools freeper madness.

Until then, I've nothing to offer you except insults, since none of your statements are worthy of any response. You're a sick puppy, or you wouldn't be here. Trolls are created by their emotional needs, not any ideology. You're a few bricks short of load, and you therefore gain a perverse pleasure from making what you perceive to be clever responses to the enemy.

Nov 3rd all that cleverness will evaporate when you realize you've really picked the wrong guy to act tough with this time.

You'd better stop typing and start trying to figure out how to get taller, quicker and stronger.

Maybe Kerry should have another meeting with the Vietnamese in Paris in order to hammer down his plan for Iraq, because right now, he's got bupkis.

Sep 21
2 data points do not a trend make, but Rassmussen has Kerry leading by 1 pt in FL and PA.
Certainly within MoE, but who knows?

goethean-

[This got really long. The first part strikes me as somewhat hard to follow, but basically an attempt to restate more clearly what I said just a bit ago. The second part, marked off by ****** is a new way I thought of of presenting the data that might be easier.]

I'll give it a crack. In Ruy's piece that start's this thread, he cites an analysis by Abramowitz about the virtues of the ARG polls. One of the points made is that there was a correlation of .95 between ARG's state polls in September 2000 and the actual results in those states.

A correlation is a measure of how much two things go together. Height and weight are correlated, for instance. Taller people, on average, are heavier.

.95 is a *huge* correlation for most purposes. Consider that the correlation of word length and word frequency is around .84. We use the word "a" a lot more than, say, "polyhedron."

But I wondered if .95 was all that big of a correlation in this instance. Suppose there were just two states in the US, Texas and Massachusetts. *Any* poll would have found a correlation of opinions in September with actual votes in November. In particular, any poll would have shown Texas voting for Bush in both September and November and Massachusetts voting for Kerry in both September and November. That is, there's a correlation that could have been conducted by virtually the worst poll in the world.

Suppose we broadened that out and looked at all of the strong partisan states...California, Rhode Island, etc. for Gore, the Plains and South for Bush...Again, the results of *any* poll in September would be closely correlated with results in November.

So...I wondered if the ARG September/November big, big correlation was largely due to the fact that some states are just really, really easy to predict.

Ideally, I'd go back to the ARG data from 2000 and recalculate the correlation after dropping all the blowout states. But I don't know where to look for those data, so I didn't.

Instead, I looked at the correlation of two different state polls, Rasmussen and ARG for this year, and in particular for August and September. Unfortunately, there were only 13 states that had polls from both groups. [I'll repeat the exercise tomorrow or Thursday after ARG puts out the rest of its polls....] So, the test is not ideal. When I used all 13 states, I found big correlations, though not quite as big as the .95 ARG found in 2000. My correlations were from .77 to .83. But if I dropped the three states of my 13 states that are not battlegrounds, the correlations drop to .18 to .68. That's a pretty hefty drop, but I'm not sure that I have a good way to quantify it. We usually talk about "percent of variability predicted." Including all states, I could predict 59% to 69% of the variance in one poll from the other. Dropping the three gimme states, that drops to 3% to 46%.

***************************

OK. Let me try my general point again. Maybe this is the best way to put it. It's easy to predict the real partisan states. It's hard to predict the battleground states. Abramowitz touts ARG getting 45 of 51 (the states + DC) predictions right in their September poll. But wouldn't just about anyone have been able to get about 40 of the states right in September?

Right now, I predict that the following states will go to Kerry: Hawaii, California, Washington, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Rhode Island. So will DC.

I predict the following will go to Bush: Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi. Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Indiana.

I bet I get 31 of 31 on those predictions.

That leaves 20. Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maine.


Suppose I flip a coin for each of these 20. I should get about half of them right. That will get me to 41. So...predicting 45 states accurately isn't all that much better than what I'd get by simply making a prediction (without a survey) about the solid partisan states and tossing a coin (without a survey) for the rest.

What I'd really like to know is, for ARG, how many states in which one candidate had a lead of x% in September did ARG get it right in November? Then I could look at 2004 and see, for a state in which one candidate has an x% lead how often that magnitude September lead switched in November 2000. And that might help me get a handle on what will happen this year.

But even then I wouldn't be too certain. Was 2000 a strange year? Or, framing it differently, is 2004 a strange year? Can we use the past to predict the future?

I'm skeptical. I think there are 20 states that are kinda hard to predict. Some are maybe a bit easier. I'd be pretty darned surprised to see Kerry lose Michigan, New Jersey, or Maine. I'd be pretty darned surprised to see Bush lose Tennessee, Virgina, or North Carolina.

So make that 14 states (Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire) that are pretty hard to call in September. Suppose that there were 14 such states in September 2000 as we looked forward at that time. We know that 5 states changed from September to November then. In a way, the fact that there was that much change gives me hope that as many as 5 of those 14 above could turn this year.

Unless the polls in these 14 states start to get *way* out of kilter, I'm inclined to believe that not so huge events, changes in turnout, etc. could change the results in any of them. And so I think that it's most important just to keep at doing what we, as individuals, can do to make the events turn our way. And that we not get too euphoric or panicked as the polls roll in for the next several weeks.

I hope that helps. It actually helped me to think through a bit more where that train of thought was going.

Ah Merzbow, more ad hominem attacks on Kerry. So a cheap shot at protesting a senseless war (or do you think Vietnam was a good idea?) is all you've got?

And as for this bupkis nonsense, did you read the NYU speech? I mean it doesn't get any more specific than that.

If you don't think Kerry has a plan, you're either in extreme denial or else you're just an ideologue towing the Republican talking-points. Kerry has a plan, and has outlined it in exacting detail. How Republicans can still try to use this "we-have-a-plan-and-they-don't" nonsense baffles me. If you have a different plan, go ahead and say so, but don't try to sell us the line that nobody has a plan but you.

BTW, looking back at the Abramowitz post, I think it would be really interesting to know more about the variability in the Gallup tracking poll. That might help remind us of how difficult this prediction job is, at least for the states that are on the margin.

creature, there's only one word for a person who meets with the foreign leader of a nation America is at war with, on foreign soil, while a still an officer in Armed Forces, for his own purposes - traitor.

And there is nothing specific in that speech, just a bunch of worthless platitudes about getting the UN involved. So we defeat the insurgency by having French troops take out Fallujah instead of American troops, while at the same time magically saving billions of dollars? Fantasy.

Merzbow

You do know don't you that Kerry was in Paris and Hanoi with a delegation of distinguished Americans to deal with MIAs and POWs in 1993?
You do know also that a Navy board just released as report that said that Kerry's medals were awarded according to Navy regs?
When duty called, Kerry said, "I must". He went to Vietnam, first on a cruiser, then on the so-called Swift Boats which, by the way, had among the heaviest casualities in Vietnam.
John Kerry has physical courage beyond anything this effeminate jerk and spoiled momma's boy now in the White House courtesy of the Supreme Court.
Kerry met the test of manhood, something you ideologues and right wing creeps and "trolls" will never understand 'til the day you die. His crew, all except one loser and discipline problem, worshipped him. They would have followed him thru the gates of Hell. That's called leadership and grace under fire.

Whether he wins in Nov or not, he's a man and an outstanding American and genuine war hero.
Bite your tongue you little nerd.

Breaking into the commercials to bring some news...

new Zogby polls show Kerry trailing in NC by only 5% in a 3-way, and 2% in Virginia in a 3-way.

Both of these confirm prior polls. In NC, a Survey USA poll a little ways back showed Bush up by 4%. In Virgina, a Rasmussmen poll in the last week showed Bush up by 5%. It should be noted that a Rasmussen inbetween the two NC polls showed Bush up by 13%. I just can't imagine Bush losing NC, but maybe it will end up interesting. Stay tuned.

And two more Zogby's...he has Kerry trailing in a 3-way race by 1% in both Arizona and Colorado. Colorado is consistent with pretty much everything we've seen.

As for Arizona, back in August, Arizona State showed Kerry trailing by only 3%, but two polls since then, by Mason Dixon and Market Solutions both showed double digit Bush leads.

I'm getting this information from www.race2004.net.

warp resident

Thanks for exposing "BJ Clinton" as an overweight, womanless coward who never wore a uniform, but is tough on crime, terrorists and heaven-knows-what-else so long as some other dumb bastard and mother's son has to do the fighting and dying.
Another poster pointed out that these turds are driven by emotion and not ideology. They're losers in the worst and most pathetic sense of the term. Never had a wife, girlfriend, kids, the respect of other men. Sad bunch of sad sacks.

warp resident

Thanks for exposing "BJ Clinton" as an overweight, womanless coward who never wore a uniform, but is tough on crime, terrorists and heaven-knows-what-else so long as some other dumb bastard and mother's son has to do the fighting and dying.
Another poster pointed out that these turds are driven by emotion and not ideology. They're losers in the worst and most pathetic sense of the term. Never had a wife, girlfriend, kids, the respect of other men. Sad bunch of sad sacks.

Navy regs were very lax as far as getting medals awarded, and Kerry abused the system to get Purple Hearts for minor, even self-inflicted injuries. He did not miss a single day of combat for his injuries - what do you say to that? And why did he do this? To invoke a seldom-used privilege to get shipped home only 4 months into his tour - a privilege that almost nobody else took in Vietnam. And he signed up for Vietnam just when his college deferment was ending, and at a time when Swift boats were used for coast patrol, way outside of combat. Kerry had no intention of seeing combat. He was an opportunist and a coward, pure and simple, dressing up his resume. And afterwards, even worse, he was a traitor.

And here are some eye-opening charts that show that for almost every major poll that releases party ID breakdown info, the party ID shows a dramatic shift to Republicans during August and September. This debunks the latest liberal theory that Republicans are being oversampled in the most recent polls. Because all the polls are showing such a shift, it is not an error, but representative of changing public opinion in favor of the Republican party. And you can see that the shift began in August and heightened in September, so it was not all due to a convention bump.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1222964/posts

re: Virginia and NC

I don't have any hard facts as one of the posters requested above, but I can offer some reasons why NC and Va are in play. 1) The two states although very Republican in past Presidential races are not always so in either Congressional (Edwards just to name one in NC) or state wide offices (Govt Wilder and Warner were both Dems). 2) They are are heavy manufacture/retail states (bleeding jobs out right now due to outsourcing abroad- stuff by Elain Chao and other Bush officials about it being a good thing isn't helping Bush in a state like NC or VA (if the Kerry compaign were smart- he would play ads in the state regarding outsourcing (I am not sure if they are or are not doing this b/c I don't live there anymore). 3) The demographics of both states are changing due to a) the tech booms in the triangle areas of NC and NoVa/ex-surburb areas of VA. 4) Heavy African-American population this is still kind of pissed over what happened down in Florida (so says my family down there) and c) Influx of latino population. The factors working against Kerry are a) both states are socially conservative (Va is the birth place of both the Moral Majority and the Christian Coaliation down in Norforlk I think? This is the state who said it was okay to take a kid from the mother b/c the mother was lesbian and give the kid to a father who had been convicted of murder) and as for NC (who can forget the Jessie Helm's black guys hand, guess whose got your job ad in the early 90s- I certainly never will forget it) b) Heavy military concentration, c) its the south- tends toward interia in changing preferences d) the whole Iraq = terror divergence from reality. So it comes down like it will in a several states to probably two things- can Kerry convince people they will get more crapy judgement from Bush in a second term and the pocketbook issues v. people voting for things that they think the Pres controls (such as gay marriage) although he does not.

And the corollary to my previous post is that this is also evidence why polls like Zogby (and to a lesser extent Rasmussen) that force-weight to a set party ID breakdown are bullshit.

Merz

Not to speak for others, but I don't think their point is that people at any given moment may not change their sentiment, but whether they vote that way. For example, even you must admit there is a problem with the polls showing a higher number of people claiming to have voted for Bush than the percentage that actually did vote for him in the 2000 elections? Maybe its a sign that they wished they had? (assuming this would be your spin) or maybe the people on my side are right that it means Republicans were over sampled- I don't know, and don't claim to know. But, I do think its odd, and points to the need to understand behavior and whether it fits with prior elections including whether these spikes will normally happen and disicpate as time goes on. Also, its an issue of outliners as well- when so many other polls even ones that are not weighted are not trending this way. Also, yesterday, the guy from Pew I believe was on NPR discussing this. He indicated that the volatility of the polls are to be expected, and frankly, unlike what either side has been saying here, its hard to know which methodology is correct b/c polls are snapshots (who sort of took a cope out and said that each is valid within its own methodology whatever that means).

Hey Lumpy. You still here? Thought you'd have enlisted by now. Whatsa matter, army couldn't find a piece of Kevlar big enough to cover your fat ass?

Your country is calling for you. There's brown people needin liberatin. C'mon Ben. Tough talk alone won't git the job done. Answer the call.

Let freedom reign!

Man,

It is painful to watch you guys spin these polls until you've deluded yourselves. It's come down to this guys & ladies: The Libs have nominated a halting, gangly dud for a candidate, facing a popular President in a time of war - A war that he voted for.

He offers nothing but hyperbole and platitudes, constantly twists himself up like a pretzel, and is basically reduced to rooting for terrorists in Iraq to win so he can get some shelf space. Pathetic!!

Another poll is out tonight indicating he is getting trounced in OH 54, 43:

http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/special_packages/election2004/9721570.htm

Insofar as OH is a relative barometer in the country in that it is party ID balanced, not too Dem & not too Rep, being behind 11 points in OH is NOT good news or Kerry.

Four more years of what exactly?

Let's do it Letterman's way:

10. It's not actually a monarchy, but it will do for now.
9. My activist judges can beat up your activist judges. Constitutional right to sleep in a box under a bridge will be protected against the hideous specter of employment.
8. National Endowment for the Arts acquired by Hooters in a stock-swap deal.
7. No longer have to pretending to have lost the Civil War.
6. Foreigners tremble when they see our might.
5. We get to keep our guns -- of course, no one was taking them away, but let's not nitpick...
4. Gays and coloreds and women know their place.
3. Iraq is still the best damn reality series on TV -- no one else has real people getting killed on-screen.
2.At Jesus' name every knee shall bend -- or John Ashcroft will know the reason why, dammit!

And finally.....

1. All change will STOP!

This site is really to discuss mainly polls, and a lot of people merely want to root for their candidate, often completely without substance. It's fascinating how Bush enthusiasts like BJ Clinton get all agonized about Bush policies supposedly helping the inner cities and black males -- they indirectly tip their hand as to their real agenda there. For example, you want to help African Americans? Rescind the tax cuts on the top 5% of income and wealth and use it for job creation and urban redevelopment, as well as to finance a Medicare reform that isn't an insurance industry ripoff. That would be good for starters. Here's one stat to check out: the median income for black individuals in the US as a percentage of whites'. Under Republicans like Reagan, it goes down. Under Clinton it goes up. Under W Bush, way down. Still they protestate how their policies are better for persons of color. Even with TV stations giving super coverage to black conservatives (FAR greater than their proportion of support among blacks) and only selected progressives most of them nonauthentic, the Republicans are hardly making inroads, even as the in party.
Let's get real -- you want the rich to get richer at the expense of the rest of us, ravage the environment under bills entitled "healthy forests" and "clear skies" for corporate profits, running up strategic megadeficits to use as leverage to eviscerate Social Security and Medicare benefits, and maximum feasible militarism while everyone else is supposed to do their duty and justify the lying. It's all about what's best for the elite (as well as conservative social values like the supposed threat of gay marriage. Why not just come out and announce that that's your agenda or is their still to much by way of remnants of freedom for that to be convenient yet?
CLOUDY

And the ARG polls are out.

http://americanresearchgroup.com/

I've submitted some observations, using two separate posts, on the state thread for Wednesday.

ARG's mostly accurate track record of 2000, assuming it's right, is encouraging news when applied to its current polls. But I don't know how they had Gore ahead in Louisiana and Kentucky, when as I recall every other survey had Bush winning them handily, as he later did.

For the most part, though, the recent ARG polls are heartening, but they shouldn't be singled out as gospel.