A Look Under the March / April Straw Poll, Part Two

In the first part of this data crunching, I looked at second place choices for potential 2008 Democratic Presidential contenders among readers of MyDD and Dailykos. In this post, I will look at the last place choices. Who do readers of MyDD and Dailykos not want to win the Democratic nomination?

Well, through the magic of instant run-off voting, I am now able to provide that answer. The first 840 people who filled out the entire ballot in the March / April straw poll gave the following last place results:

Clinton: 23.6%
Biden: 22.1%
Bayh: 13.8%
Daschle: 12.2%
Kerry: 9.5%
Vilsack: 8.5%
Feingold: 3.4%
Clark: 1.9%
Edwards: 1.9%
Richardson: 1.7%
Warner: 1.5%

I did not count those people who included either "other" or "unsure" as their last choices, since such votes don't actually tell us anything. These numbers, however, do tell us quite a bit. Here are my thoughts:
  • First, a lot of readers here really do not like Joe Biden. He is not that prominent in the Democratic leadership, is not considered a strong contender for 2008, but he still nearly topped this poll as people's last choice. Whoever wins, please, for the love of God, don't pick Biden as your VP.

  • Second, there are no major "anyone but" campaigns for the online favorites: Clark, Edwards, Feingold and Warner. Combined, they make up less than 9% of all last-place choices. I find this a tremendous relief. Perhaps supporters of these candidates will be able to act in a civil and productive fashion to one another online during 2007. It also seems like people are supporting those four right now because they like those four, nto because they despise someone else.

  • Richardson has a shockingly low number of last-place votes. In fact, outside of Clark, Warner, Feingold and Edwards, he is the only candidate with fewer last place votes than first place votes. This guy is the anti-Biden. I don't know what Richardson's 2008 chances are, but clearly people would not be upset to see him on the ticket. If only he were as good looking as Matt Santos...

  • Kerry hating is definitely subsiding online. There was a Dailykos "last place" poll a while back that had Kerry tied with Biden and Clinton for the top spot. Perhaps Kerry hasn't won too many new supporters online with his recent actions, but he has lost a lot of haters. That is a type of progress.

  • When it comes to Vilsack, who regularly finishes last in these straw polls, it isn't so much of an anti-Vilsack sentiment as it a "whatever, dude" sentiment. Reminds me of Bob Graham.

  • Memo to Daschle: don't bother.

  • For what it is worth, Feingold and Edwards supporters were more anti-Biden than anti-Clinton, while Clark and Warner supporters were more anti-Clinton than anti-Biden. Half of the anti-Feingold vote came from Clark supporters, but even then Feingold only received 13% of the last place votes from Clark supporters.
I should be able to produce this data faster next time around. Then again, markos may have a cool new polling interface by then, which would make the MyDD IRV straw poll obsolete. I guess we shall see. It is still a long way to 2008.

Tags: 2008, netroots, Straw polls (all tags)

Comments

32 Comments

no Biden ever.

Among his many many annoyances and sellouts, that guy created the RAVE act.

Which cracks down on "illegal" raves and parties in the name of drug prevention, but in reality just is an excuse to quash free speech and freedom of assembly in the name of the war on drugs.

Biden is, among other things, an enabler of big government crackdown on free speech.

-C.

by neutron 2006-04-11 11:16AM | 0 recs
possible methodological flaw

I don't know how reliable this data is. I don't rank my ballot that deep because I know one of my first, second or third place choices is going to win (i.e. Edwards, Feingold, and Clark). The people I hate and even the ones I don't care about I just don't bother ranking. I think there are probably enough people like me to make this data suspect, if not entirely meaningless.

by Gpack3 2006-04-11 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: possible methodological flaw

Ditto

I don't vote for Clinton, Biden, and some others because I would not consider them for President.  In my case, not including them in my list ties them for last place = absolutely unacceptable.  I think it would also be instructive to see how many voters didn't rank each candidate at all.  Then tie those into the negative rating.

by The lurking ecologist 2006-04-11 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look Under the March / April Straw Poll, Par

Chris, I think you're reading to much into the lack of last place votes for Richardson. People are going to fill out these ballots from the 2 ends - who do I put at the top, and who do I put at the bottom. All the rest, the "don't have much of an opinion", will go in the middle. As a 2nd tier candidate, and without any obvious negatives, Richardson's just "not worth" putting in the last spot.
On the other hand, for someone like Warner with high visibility, I agree, this number is important.

It might also be interesting to sum up the votes for the last 3 positions. You might see some differences show up between the bottom 5 candidates (Feingold-Warner).

by msn1 2006-04-11 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: A Look Under the March / April Straw Poll, Par

While I understand this point, look at how the other DLC candidates ended up.  It's not like Bayh or Vilsack is a big name but they get their share of last place votes.

My suspicion is that few people love Richardson but everyone respects the foreign policy gravitas he would bring to the ticket.

It's hard for me to imagine anyone picking Biden as the VP, by the way.  Who was our last vice-president that had anywhere near the ego of Biden?  Presidents like their second banana to stay in the background, something Biden would never do.

by Steve M 2006-04-11 12:06PM | 0 recs
Who was our last vice-president . . .

. . . the current one, perhaps?

by Adam B 2006-04-11 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Who was our last vice-president . . .

Well, perhaps I should have said a public ego.  With Cheney, it's not so much that he does what Bush tells him, it's that he's willing to operate behind the scenes.

It's hard to imagine Joe Biden ever serving in a role where he can't be free to be a spokesman for All Things Joe Biden.

by Steve M 2006-04-11 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look Under the March / April Straw Poll, Par

Is Biden somehow less "second-tier" than Richardson? Clearly more people (like myself) have a sincere loathing for Biden and have a generally decent feeling about Richardson.

by nate pdx 2006-04-11 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look Under the March / April Straw Poll, Par

I think this is a nice way in looking at Richardson.  I think many see him as a "middle of the pack" candidate and put him as such.  Whereas someone like Bayh, who is also middle of the pack, but in my opinion closer to the top than Richardson, suffers from his position closer to the middle of the political spectrum, which translates into the higher "bottom" numbers.

I see Clinton and Biden as both "statement" candidates...in that they are voted for to make a particular statement.  The statement against Hillary needs no further clarification (I should hope) and the statement against Biden is that of contempt at the Democratic leadership over the past 6 years.

by dumbledore 2006-04-11 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look Under the March / April Straw Poll, Par

Richardson's not my first choice, but there's a lot to like about him.  Not only does he have a ton of governing experience, which is definitely a positive in terms of governing, if not necessarily politically, he's done a lot of good in New Mexico.  The "spaceport" idea in particular may be pretty silly, but it's going to create a hell of a lot of jobs, which New Mexico certainly needs.

Basically, Richardson seems a lot to me like what the DLC should be.  I don't agree with him on everything, but he has a lot of good ideas that make sense from a centrist and liberal perspective, instead of just mealy-mouthed weak conservatism which Vilsack and co. seem to like.  Anyhow, bottom line is, Richardson seems like a great VP candidate, if not necessarily a top of the ticket stud.

by DanM 2006-04-11 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look Under the March / April Straw Poll, Par

Chris, this poll will never be obsolete.  I think its becoming evident that while MyDD and dKos have some overlap in terms of readership, they also have largely exclusive readers as well.  There may be elements represented here not represented at dKos.

Plus, the more polls, the more fun.  SUSA doesn't go out of business whenever Gallup expands its operations.

by KevinH 2006-04-11 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re:

please forgive me, I am new to the site, so go easy.  I saw Biden on "Real Time with Bill Maher" and I thought he did great - he even had Bill Sammon nodding in agreement to a lot of the points he made.

Why don't people like him?  I haven't done any research on him yet to see how he votes, important issues, etc.  Any insight to why he isn't popular among this crowd would be helpful.

by ruggerjen 2006-04-11 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re:

I can only speak for myself, and not the larger community as a whole, but I perceive Biden as the "insider" who has done very little to stand up to the Bush Administration over the past few years.  In a lot of ways Biden suffers from his presence on shows like Meet the Press and Bill Maher -- He's seen as the public face of the Congressional Dems who have, for the most part, been pushovers.

I agree he does make nice points and he typically handles himself well in these interviews, but (again my opinion) I don't see him as "presidential material."  There are certain politicians who are fine in their role in Congress, but that's where many think they should stay.  This is also the case with a potential candidate like Tom Daschle.

by dumbledore 2006-04-11 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re:

He's also got some skeletons in his closet that would likely come back to haunt him in a national election.

by fwiffo 2006-04-11 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re:Biden

One other reason to give Biden the thumbs-down. He was the author, sponsor, and major water-carrier for the disgusting "bankruptcy reform" bill that was passed last year. Officially, he represents Delaware, but in reality, he represents the credit card companies and banks.

I am not a particularly cynical person. Biden, however, went out of his way to out-Republican the Republicans on the bankruptcy bill. It is a terrible piece of legislation for Ma & Pa America; the only people who really benefit from it are the banks and credit card companies.

Biden was my last choice in the poll. He'd be darn close to my last choice if the poll had included 100 senators. He wouldn't nose out Santorum, but let's just say they'd be "right neighborly" on my list.

by KB 2006-04-11 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re:Biden

Every candidate on the list has hurt the working class. Hillary's husband gave tax cuts to upper income people and said there isn't enough money for the poor.  Mark Warner did the same thing.  That's what politicians do is help the corporate interest.  Dems do it to a lesser extent than the GOP.  So, if you want to have a straw man, it isn't justified here.

by mleflo2 2006-04-13 04:38AM | 0 recs
Re:

I acknowledge how Biden might not be popular for the bankrupcy and RAVE bills.  That said, he is probably one of the best candidates when it comes to foreign policy experience - pushing for greater US action in Bosnia, for payment of UN back-dues, predicting the need to combat assymetric terrorism prior to 9/11, pushing for ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and non-proliferation efforts (something this administration has completely forgotten about -see India nukes deal).  While sadly he voted for the Iraq war resolution, he has been Rumsfeld's harshest critic among the Democratic leadership since.  He's definitely Secretary of State material in my mind, if nothing more.    

by Mr DC 2006-04-11 06:56PM | 0 recs
The ticket

It seems that if MyDD could pick the ticket today, it would be Feingold- Richarson in a second, which I agree with totally.  You have a northern, Jewish, civil libertarian liberal senator balanced by a centrist, Hispanic, southwestern governor with strong foreign policy credentials.

by Max Friedman 2006-04-11 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: The ticket

That's a good point.  Richardson and Warner wouldn't be near the top of my list of choices for president, but I would be quite happy with either them on a Feingold ticket.  I also like Feingold-Clark.

by fwiffo 2006-04-11 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re: The ticket

Richardson's problem with the netroots is that Clark is way more popular at the moment and offers many of the same positives that make Richardson good for the ticket.  Richardson has executive experience, which would definitely matter at the top of the ticket, but I'm not so sure it means anything for VP.

by Steve M 2006-04-11 01:54PM | 0 recs
A better way to poll?

It's great to see the appreciateve numbers for the five guys who have demonstrated early that they are the most deserving of consideration from liberal/progressive Democrats.(Feingold: 3.4% - Clark: 1.9% - Edwards: 1.9% - Richardson: 1.7% - Warner: 1.5%)

Any one of these five will be both an election winner and someone whom I can liberally support. The point is, none of these guys deserves to be brushed off. They are all working hard to spread the good message.

For better polling, however, I'd really like to see a positive/negative instant run-off poll.  It would go like this, ballots have six votes -- three positive and three negative. Therefore you can rank your top three with a 1st, 2d and 3rd choice and then rank the three you think are the worst choice for the ticket with a -1 vote, -2 vote & a -3 vote.

This type of poll would demonstrate a broader picture of the most preferred top contenders while simultaneously showing those (Biden etc.) whom we know are shipwrecks waiting to happen.  

Imagine seeing a poll like this, which is something closer to what I think is the mood of the core democratic party.

Edwards:   23%
Feingold:   22%
Clark:        19%
Warner:    16%
Richardson: 7%
Clinton:      6%
Kerry:         5%
Daschle:    2%
             *  0% *
Vilsack:  -  0.4%
Bayh:     - 27.5%
Biden:    - 72.1%

I would like an outlet to express better a sense of how our strongest and weakest stack up relative to each other.  With this type of poll, everybody starts at 0% and some will end up in the positive range and some will end up well below.  

That would be a much more helpful and illustrative type of poll. This is truly a way to show support for strong candidates, ambivalence toward the unknowns and express "no" votes for those we think will hurt the ticket.

Is/has anyone done a poll this way?

sláinte
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by Caoimhin Laochdha 2006-04-11 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: A better way to poll?

How about a -10 to 10 rating on each choice? More expressive still!

I'll give Feingold a 9, and Richardson an 8, and Clark a 2, and Clinton a -5, ...

That's my preferred model of ballot, since it is expressive and still easy enough. That's the default type to set up on my web tool, betterpolls.com

by bolson 2006-04-11 02:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Kerry haters..

I look at the Kerry hating crowd as consisting of two particular types, firstly, the same neo-con and neo-leftist fascists who hated him anyway, and are just continuing to triangulate to continue with their divide and conquer campaign. Secondly, those weak-minded enough to allow themselves to be spoonfed neo-con and neo-leftists memes..

Every time I've read an anti-Kerry screed online, it's always seemed to be aping the latest right wing anti-Kerry propaganda.. ie.. "no one takes Kerry seriously any more."

I see all the spewing and attempts to discredit Kerry even today as springing from the fact that the republicans recognize Kerry as a serious competitor to any republican candidate come '08.

Kerry has been correct about absolutely everything, more people are remembering Kerry's plans for Iraq, the economic problems we're mired in.. he was and still is the real deal. The neo-left are just as determined to sink him because they fear him for the same reason.. he's one more reminder that the majority of Americans will never recognize the far left as a base of anything other than insanity... that democrats do embody the activism that the neo-left can only fake.. and that's from a traditional leftist democrat.

by MaryM 2006-04-11 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Kerry haters..

Kerry couldn't communicate to voters, and couldn't defend himself against attack at the most critical point of the election.  He pissed away a lead in the polls going down the home stretch, and left us with four more years of commander coocoo.  No thanks to him as a pres. candidate again.

That said, there are definitely worse senators out there, and he is fine in his current role.

by Valatan 2006-04-11 04:47PM | 0 recs
Histogram, non-IRV methods

I've done my own analysis of the voting here:

http://two.bolson.org/mydd0603.html

Note that I've inverted rankings (1st, 2nd, 3rd) into ratings where higher numbers are better. 1st became a rating of 13, 2nd = 12, etc.

Also, I've built a web tool that in my fabulous opinion is better than demochoice in every way. So, check out betterpolls.com and get the above sort of feedback automatically.

by bolson 2006-04-11 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Histogram, non-IRV methods

OK.  Your results from the link suggest that only 5 candidates' voting distributions are above the median (7).  Those are: Clark, Feingold, Edwards, Warner, Richardson and Other (whoever that is).  Clinton is basically a flat, uniform distribution, and Kerry nearly so.  The others' bell curves peak below the median.

This analysis doesn't seem so different from Chris's, except perhaps that it is a little more obvious to visualize.

by The lurking ecologist 2006-04-11 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look Under the March / April Straw Poll, Par

Second, there are no major "anyone but" campaigns for the online favorites: Clark, Edwards, Feingold and Warner. Combined, they make up less than 9% of all last-place choices. I find this a tremendous relief. Perhaps supporters of these candidates will be able to act in a civil and productive fashion to one another online during 2007. It also seems like people are supporting those four right now because they like those four, nto because they despise someone else.

LOL, don't count on a "civil and productive" primary.  In just one 08-related thread at DKos a few weeks ago, I had to defend or correct misinformation about Clark, Kerry, and Warner.

Richardson has a shockingly low number of last-place votes. In fact, outside of Clark, Warner, Feingold and Edwards, he is the only candidate with fewer last place votes than first place votes. This guy is the anti-Biden. I don't know what Richardson's 2008 chances are, but clearly people would not be upset to see him on the ticket. If only he were as good looking as Matt Santos

He hasn't been on the radar as far as online activists are concerned.  Clark, Warner, Feingold, and Edwards have been on the radar for online activists. I've been doing 08 roundups on my blog, and there's enough dirt that'd stick to Richardson to make him an 'eh' candidate or an 'insider who must have skeletons" type of candidate.  I can totally see him being someone who gives off an icky vibe. Also, Richardson once negotiated the freedom of hostages in Iraq.  He had to meet with Saddam Hussein. I bring this up, because Richardson used this in ads when he ran for governor in 2002. I saw them, because Richardson's media guy gave a presentation at my college. Richardson can't believably claim that it's unfair for his opponents to bring it up, when he used them in ads in 2002. I can see this being used against him to great affect and sinking his chances.  This on top of the fancy taxpayer-paid for jet he got for his office, and other things...

Kerry hating is definitely subsiding online. There was a Dailykos "last place" poll a while back that had Kerry tied with Biden and Clinton for the top spot. Perhaps Kerry hasn't won too many new supporters online with his recent actions, but he has lost a lot of haters. That is a type of progress.

Kerry still has no shot at the nod. He's just so 2004. Kerry hating may be subsiding, but that doesn't mean that the positive are going up.  The sentiment is "great, he's speaking up now... but he's not getting my support in the 08 primaries."

by Newsie8200 2006-04-11 07:25PM | 0 recs
No need to toss ABB stickers

Just tell folks you mean Anybody But Biden.

Let's face it: Biden loses because he is a douchebag.  The guy is a stereotype of a political climber.  

Ditto for Hillary.

Bayh is the "Why even be a Democrat?" candidate.

And Feingold is the "OMG, we'd be called commies!" candidate.

Only Biden can be scrapped on the face of things, and that's because he is obviously a disinterested political climber.

Even Hillary, on her very worst day, has some punch.

by jcjcjc 2006-04-11 07:47PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look

I am glad that Joseph Biden is winning.  He is the most practical LD out there and he comes from a state that is in the north but has cross over voters out there southerners as well as northerners.  So, he can win both northerners and southernes.  I am supporting him.  Even though he supported Iraq, he has been even more critical than Clinton and sometimes Kerry.  He will not get tagged like Hillary or John Kerry did as a northeast liberal, because his voting record isn't that liberal.  He comes from the Senate, so he can be attacted, but everyone has weaknesses: Mark Warner doesn't have national security experience, Biden is on the foreign relations cmtee.  So, for the people that say he will be attacked by the right for his voting record, everyone can.

by mleflo2 2006-04-11 08:18PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look

I am glad that Joseph Biden is winning. etc.

Um, you might want to read the original post a little more closely. He's tied for "worst choice."  

Your analysis is spotty, too. Sometimes he's not that liberal. You are right. Like when he gave the credit card companies a massive gift in the bankruptcy bill, which completely screws virtually everyone who might need to declare personal bankruptcy.

You are wrong, though, too. He won't get any southern crossover votes. Yes, Delaware is south of the Mason-Dixon line, but the only people who care are historians. Delaware is pretty darn blue. People in red and purple southern states are going to think of him exactly as a northern liberal.

Like many others (apparently), I'm no Biden fan. The travesty of his bankruptcy bill ensured that I would be voting for other candidates at every opportunity.

by KB 2006-04-12 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: A Look rebuttal

If you look at every Dem on the list you can pick out something that screws the little guy.  Hilary Clinton's husband gave married people a tax cut while screwing the welfare worker.  He lied and said we had no money and gave tax decreases to married people in 1997.  Mark Warner gave tax cuts to wealthy in VA. And so on and so forth.  So every Dem screws the poor in some way. They are owned by corporate interest.  That is why among young people they don't vote.  As far as cross over voters is concerned, he can put a Phil Brendeson on the ticket or a southern Governor and he can bring cross over appeal.  The reason why Edwards didn't work for Kerry, because MA is much more liberal of a state than DE.

by mleflo2 2006-04-12 08:37PM | 0 recs
Another visualization

here  I linked it kind of late in the first post; re-linking here in case anyone missed it.

by carlmanaster 2006-04-11 09:07PM | 0 recs

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