Clinton's plateau of peaking

Rasmussen, in Clinton is unstoppable?

There are still a lot of people backing an alternative. Particularly among the young millennial generation for Obama, and throughout the progressive blogosphere for Edwards, but neither group of supporters would be able to say with a straight face that they expected Clinton to be gaining in the race, at this point.

If Obama doesn't at least make a race of it ( his rise & crash already foretold on intrade), his future stock will be down quite a few notches below if he'd not made the race. Given the money he's got, and the organization that his campaign touts is there, he can't totally be dismissed. his downfall has been early enough in the race that he could time a rebound from the ashes, but it's a longshot.

Edwards too, given he's gone to accepting matching funds for his campaign, is actually going to have an even better 'dark horse' shot at making an upset. He's got to be considered strong still in Iowa, considering how out-spent he's been to this point. Up to another $20M for funding of his campaign will do wonders in the area of longevity of his chances, even if Clinton does win Iowa.

If Clinton wins Iowa and New Hampshire, neither Obama or Edwards is going to exit the race before Feb 2nd. They'll both look for enough delegates to deny Clinton the outright nomination, and it isn't beyond the realm to see them joining forces against Clinton.

Update [2007-10-15 14:16:8 by Jerome Armstrong]:Edwards (email) landing the SEIU endorsement in Iowa helps him considerably: "I'll be returning to Iowa later today to receive a major endorsement. I was honored to learn that I have earned the support of the Iowa State Council of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and from a number of other SEIU state councils across the country."

Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards (all tags)



biggest lead?

Maybe I can't read tables but yesterday Hillary had a 27 point lead.

I wish the undecided number was charted. At 22% it is pretty significant and makes Hillary's lead a little less intimidating.

by JoeCoaster 2007-10-15 10:27AM | 0 recs
oh - weekly not daily

I was looking at the daily tracking poll.

by JoeCoaster 2007-10-15 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking
That "Clinton is unstoppable" quote (also reported by CNN) didn't come from Gore himself. My guess is that it's from Mark Penn, who worked on Gore's 2000 campaign. Just another shifty spin tactic, no big surprise.

One strong backer of the beaten candidate in 2000 told The Sunday Telegraph that the Nobel Prize had "increased his artillery" should he decide to risk making a second bid for the White House, but added that this was now likely only if Mrs Clinton made an unexpected slip.
by PD1769 2007-10-15 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking

I think Donna Brazille, the campaign manager of Gore 2000 said that Hillary is in a very strong position to win and she is close to Gore. Gore is not going to run and get the past get a hold of him in the race.

He is enjoying his life.

by American1989 2007-10-15 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking

Mark Penn didn't work on Gore's 2000 campaign. He and Gore had a falling out before the race even got underway because Penn's polling advised Gore to embrace Bill Clinton's record and use Bill on the campaign trail. Gore was sure that "Clinton fatigue" would be a negative and wanted to distance himself from the Clinton/Gore administration.

Penn left the campaign after the blowup over strategy and spent the 2000 campaign as the chief strategist in Hillary Clinton's successful NY Senate race.

by hwc 2007-10-15 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking

I think it is safe to say that if Hillary wins both IA and NH, she is the nominee.

Edwards and Obama can try to deny her the delegates, but it will be hard. She has most of the superdelegates (Governors, Senators, etc.) and I cannot fathom a situation where the others will deny her the nomination after winning those states.

Regardless, I think that the "decider" is going to be MI and FL. The DNC can ignore them, but the nominees will not and it is a big mistake for us to disenfranchise them!

I am confident that many Democrats in MI and FL will feel betrayed as their votes might not count.

by American1989 2007-10-15 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking
The fact that there are delegates vs. "superdelegates" is the real problem.

Regardless of who you support, it's my longtime belief that the electoral college system is an anachronism that should go the way of the buggy whip.

by PD1769 2007-10-15 11:06AM | 0 recs
Delegates and "superdelegates"

In a sense the "superdelegates" have already been selected by the voters. For the Democratic Party "superdelegates" consist of the elected Democratic Governor of the state (if any), the elected U.S. Senators of a state (if any) and the elected U.S. Representatives of a state (if any). The fact that a state has Democratic governor, senator(s), and/or representativee(s) is considered reward worthy for that state. In fact, a state's allocation of delegates was increased if the Democratic Party's candidate carried the state in the previous election (I'm not sure if this still holds) - again, as a reward for, well, being Democratic.

In my state there are several types of delegates. Delegates are allocated and elected by congressional district (if the Democratic Party's candidate carried that district, you get more delegates). Delegates also run at-large at the state party convention. Finally, PLEO (party leader/elected official) delegates are elected by the state party committee members. In each of these cases the allocation of delegates is proportional to the primary vote, with a 15% threshold. Since my state has one Democratic U.S. senator and four Democratic U.S. Representatives (and no Democratic governor) we will have five "superdelegates".

The Electoral College system is a process for electing the President and Vice-President of the United States as enumerated in the Constitution.

by Michael Bersin 2007-10-15 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking

Without a doubt if she wins IA and NH, she's politically unstoppable. The question is, if she doesn't win IA and NH, can she come back?

Gore in 2000 would have been, at best, a long-shot had he lost NH to Bradley, and Mondale came back after losing NH only because he had months to recover before the next big states. There's a big risk to front-runners if they don't live up to expectations.

I think the best analogy here might be Bush in 2000. He lost NH and came back only because he had a firewall of support in key southern states, plus the resources and willingness to go very negative on McCain. If Clinton doesn't win IA and NH, where's her firewall? Will she have spent away her advantage and have all her donors maxed out, against a candidate who would be getting an infusion of new donors, plus matching funds?

As for her willingness to go negative in that scenario, there's no need to discuss it. Whether she could do so as effectively as George Bush is something that I suspect we are going to find out.

by desmoulins 2007-10-15 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking

As for her willingness to go negative in that scenario, there's no need to discuss it. Whether she could do so as effectively as George Bush is something that I suspect we are going to find out.

Do I read that as you saying that yes, she undoubtedly would go negative in that scenario?  If that is what you are saying, what are you basing it on?  Neither Clinton has ever gone negative against Democrats in anything other than the subtle ways that are approved for intra-party negativity.

If you think she would treat Democrats the way Bush treated McCain in 2000, I very strongly disagree. I don't see that happening.

by Trickster 2007-10-15 11:51AM | 0 recs
A couple of other analogies

1996, when Buchanan and not Lamar! beat Dole in New Hampshire, Dole was effectively guaranteed the nomination.  It matters very much who Hillary loses to in Iowa and New Hampshire.  

1980, when Bush knocked off Reagan in Iowa and had him on the ropes in New Hampshire.  Reagan came back on the strength of one line "I am paying for this microphone, Mr ..."

In a large number of close races, the nomination has turned on a single moment where a candidate's strength or weakness was revealed (eg in '84 Mondale's where the beef line).

by fladem 2007-10-15 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: A couple of other analogies

Yep. And we've already had that defining moment in this election:

"Well, he's not standing here tonight..."

by hwc 2007-10-15 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking

I sure hope rationality prevails and there will be a chance for whatever candidates survive IA & NH to show her or his love for the very important voters of Florida & Michigan.  

by howardpark 2007-10-15 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking
Thank you for not forgetting Florida, my home state and Michigan my native state. After all there are merely 4,000,000 registered Democrats in Florida, more than there are people in Iowa and New Hampshire combined. Nice that someone remembers that. Oh also there are 44 electoral states in two peninsular states, four times as many as New Hampshire and Iowa have.
by Reference Librarian 2007-10-15 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking

Your math is wrong

Iowa is over 3 million and NH is over 1 million, and I hear that a lot of your Democrats vote Republican whereas hardly any of ours do.

by Simon Stevenson 2007-10-16 06:34AM | 0 recs
Hillary's lead

is within the range of the swing created by a front runner losing in New Hampshire.

As I noted in my diary on the subject, the average swing New Hampshire created in National polling is 33 points.  Twice, in 2004 and 1984, instances where the front runner lost New Hampshire,  the swing in national polls created by New Hampshire was 48 points.

More than enough to give either obama and edwards the lead.

I am preparing an update on my work on how Iowa has effected the results in New Hampshire, but one thing I have noticed is that the effect in New Hampshire from Iowa occurs in the first 48 hours, so there is enough time to translate a win in Iowa to a win in New Hampshire even if there are only 5 days between Iowa and New Hampshire.

by fladem 2007-10-15 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary's lead

Actually wasn't the peak of the shift (I remember seeing this somewhere) for the winner of IA maximal at 5 days out rather than longer? That is for Kerry bounce after IA?

by bruh21 2007-10-15 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking

I expected her to build on her lead once she began campaigning in February, but I thought the other candidates would close the gap over the summer. I'm not sure how she has managed to go from strength to strength, but I think it has something to with never taking her lead for granted and taking the risk of reaching out beyond her comfort zone into Obama's independent base.

The campaign finance focus of both the Obama and Edwards campaigns a few months ago was a huge waste of time, it is more of a Nader/meta issue. It left the field open for her to roll out her health care and then middle class positions.

by souvarine 2007-10-15 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking

Yea, I agree on the campaign finance focus being a mega waste of time. Campaigns get themselves into thinking it's all about the money because that's what they spend so much time on doing themselves-- raising money. For those that give, which is a small fraction, it's not even that big a time consideration. And for those that don't give, the super-majority, it's not something within the realm of their deciding on whom to vote over.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-10-15 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking

So what you're saying is that all the hubub created by Edwards and Obama - especially Edwards - over the summer about HRC's lobbyist money actually ruined them?

Wow, I think you're onto something.  Perhaps if Edwards was busy hitting her on Iraq and healthcare THEN, not now because it's too late, then Edwards may be in a better position today.

I guess this is a lesson:  don't get too involved with the inside baseball stuff because the voters don't care.  Btw, didn't MANY MANY people here on the blogs predict the lobbyist issue was going to be Hillary's downfall?  

by jgarcia 2007-10-15 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plauteau of peaking

I think the lobbyist attack could have gotten some populist traction, but Obama is not a populist so it would never work for him and Edwards framed it as a process issue which doesn't work. Lux at openleft seemed to think it could have a big impact in Iowa, but I think Hillary's middle class issues resonate more there these days.

by souvarine 2007-10-15 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plateau of peaking

I think that Biden, Dodd will exit the race after IA. They will most likely lend their support to the winner of IA. I am confident that it will be Hillary. If Hillary is not the winner there, the two mentioned will not leave and be there until SC.

Biden will probably drop and support Hillary. Dodd has the support of the Firefighters and that will help him.

Edwards will be forced to drop out after SC. There is NO chance that he will win NH. He came there 4th in 2004 even after a upset "win" with the second spot at IA.

Obama will be strong in NH, but Clinton has a much deeper and committed base and the independents are starting to break her way.

SC is the showdown between Hillary and Obama. If Obama wins SC, then it could become interesting. If Hillary wins there, it is over and we have a nominee.

Then, our eyes should be focused on the GOP and defeat them

by American1989 2007-10-15 10:36AM | 0 recs
Biden won't support

Obama.  He doesn't seem to like him anymore.

by bookgrl 2007-10-15 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plateau of peaking

Edwards' problem is that he has shown no traction in either NH or SC.  Even if he wins Iowa (which I think is becoming less and less likely), Clinton has a firewall against him.  Then, he has serious money problems going forward.

I am less convinced that Clinton has an impermeable firewall against Obama.  He can match her dollar for dollar, and the electorate could conceivably get excited about his prospects IF he wins Iowa.  Personally, I think that if Clinton wins Iowa, it's over.

To me, the only way Clinton could be likely stopped is if: (i) Gore threw his hat in the ring; and (ii) Obama dropped his campaign and agreed to run as Gore's VP.  That would capture the public's imagination and have a very good chance to work.  Plus, 95% of Obama supporters would totally be on board (myself included).  Problem is - it's not going to happen.

As of October 15, I put Clinton's chances of securing the nomination at around 90-95%.

by NC State Dem 2007-10-15 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plateau of peaking

(i) Gore threw his hat in the ring; and (ii) Obama dropped his campaign and agreed to run as Gore's VP.

At this point such a move (and early VP candidate announcement) would look extremely desperate and come with a gigantic backlash.  It probably would turn a lot of undecideds completely off both Gore and Obama.  You are probably right that such a move would never happen, because it would come with a very strong negative counter reaction.

by georgep 2007-10-15 11:23AM | 0 recs

The immediate Gore/Obama ticket is the only way I've thought it would be feasible or likely for Gore to run.

Gore enters the race and immediately has campaign operations in the early states and money to work with (plus the huge wave of cash that would come in from both Gore's large fundraising network and Obama's already impressive fund).

Obama gets to save face and avoid being defeated by Clinton while also landing the #2 spot on a winning ticket and setting up a run in 2016.  Gore and Obama seem to have very little conflict, and I think Gore has to be enticed not only at the prospect of 8 years to implement progressive policies, but at the prospect of having an Obama Presidency follow his, making sure the programs of the Gore Administration won't be scrapped the minute he leaves the White House.

Now I know this thought is far flung, but I don't see how it could be perceived as desperate, at least on Gore's part. (Sure, it would show Obama doesn't think he can beat Hilary for Prez, but gives him the best out possible - defeating Hilary and being the VP)

IMO, The only very strong negative reaction would come from the far right, seeing their future and power vanish in the face of 16 years of Progressive Presidencies.

Am I missing something?

by Benstrader 2007-10-15 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Desperate?

The polls I had seen over a month ago stated that a majority of Democrats did not want Gore to run at this late stage.  I'll dig those polls up later tonight, but remember that those were over a month ago.  I am sure at this point that feeling has solidified further.  People want a fair vetting process. They want to "kick the tires" in the debates, campaign stumps, at gatherings (i.e. AFL-CIO, AARP, NAACP, etc.)  I don't believe for a moment that Gore (who is one of my favorites and whose candidacy I spent 3 full weeks working for full-time in 2000)  would not experience a backlash if he were to enter at this late date.  Then why not sooner?   Why coy?  Why state you are not going to run?  

Obama would be considered totally desperate for throwing his candidacy down the river before the first caucus/primary, and his career would be severely damaged.   It would be the most ridiculous, desperate move by a major candidate since....forever.   Has there ever been a major party president/VP candidacy before the caucuses/primaries?  Not that I can recall, at least for the Democrats.  

Anyway, it is a nice thought, but there would be a major backlash, and for Obama to throw away his standing like that is not very realistic.  

by georgep 2007-10-15 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plateau of peaking

We have been told by many posters over the months that 'now' Clinton has "reached her absolute ceiling," but that just has been adjusted upwards and upwards, with no "ceiling" in sight, only more and more strength gained by Clinton with any downturn for Obama, Edwards or the second-tier generally going to Clinton at this point.  

by georgep 2007-10-15 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plateau of peaking

heh, for a moment I had a flashback and remember writing such things on RagingBull in early 2000 :)

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-10-15 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plateau of peaking

Getting even almost 50% in a contested, non-incumbent primary (with at least 3 serious candidates) is pretty impressive.  It's hard to spin this as anything other than a positive for Senator Clinton, and I won't try to do so.

I don't get how the Gore/Obama thing would seem desperate.  It shores up Obama's weakness (i.e., "he's just not ready") and would spice up a Gore candidacy.  Combines Gore's experience with Obama's appeal to young people and independent-minded voters.  Gore is certainly peaking, stature-wise, and if he was ever going to make a move, it would be now.

But I really don't think he will.

by NC State Dem 2007-10-15 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plateau of peaking

I don't see how there could NOT be a backlash.  Most Democrats aren't clamoring for Gore.  If he were to enter today, he would get some support, sure, but others would not like that he suddenly decided to come into the game.   There is an obvious bonus for those who went through the process from an early date on, have gone through all the work that went into the campaigns.  Obama throwing away his candidacy would "shore up his weakness"?   I don't see it that way.  It would make him look like a defeatist.   It would be different if Gore entered and campaigned on his own merits.  If he then won and chose Obama as his VP, that would be one thing.   A pre-caucus/primary tandem has never been attempted in modern history (that I am aware of) because it comes with a lot of negatives.  

by georgep 2007-10-15 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plateau of peaking

This doesn't look like a plateau to me:

by hwc 2007-10-15 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plateau of peaking

I agree, more like a continual peaking.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-10-15 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plateau of peaking

I think Clinton is stoppable if two things happen almost simultaneously:

1. She makes a major gaffe.

2. Obama gets his act together and really starts to shine in debates, etc. -- showing with vigor and clarity what he's FOR.

Though some say he has to go on the attack against Clinton, my sense is that going negative has hurt him more than it's hurt her.

I don't think Edwards can do it, though I wouldn't mind being proved wrong.

by Coral 2007-10-15 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plateau of peaking

Not going to happen

by American1989 2007-10-15 11:56AM | 0 recs
B certainly wouldn't be enough

to beat Clinton.  Her voters are the most committed.  They like what she's offering.

by bookgrl 2007-10-15 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton's plateau of peaking

That last part is important:  Going negative has been the worst possible thing Obama and Edwards could have done.   Yet, they have increasingly gotten into that, despite ample evidence that that is the worst thing they could have done.   It essentially presents the nomination to Clinton.   There is still a little time left, but Obama and Edwards have to abandon the track they are on immediately to make inroads.  That is very unlikely (although I can see Axelrod at some point soon come to that realization)

by georgep 2007-10-15 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Are the numbers firm?

rather than linking - I will cut and paste:

""Dueling Memos and Late Deciders

The article discusses voter behavior versus polling data in the primary season. Here to me is the money section:

Iowa - 2004
Decided who to vote for in...
Last 3 Days 21%
Last Week 21% (42% cumulative)
Last Month 27%
Before that 30%

New Hampshire - 2004
Decided who to vote for in...
Last 3 Days 35%
Last Week 19% (54% cumulative)
Last Month 19%
Before that 26%

South Carolina - 2004
Decided who to vote for in...
Election Day 19%
Last 3 Days 14%
Last Week 21% (54% cumulative)
Last Month 26%
Before that 20%

New Hampshire -- 2000
Decided who to vote for in...
Election Day 15%
Last 3 Days 11%
Last Week 21% (47% cumulative)
Earlier This Year 34%
Last Year 18%

So, what does this data tell us? Well, it suggests, although not with any certainty, that most voters don't make their minds up about primary decisions until late in the process. As in- a few weeks out. This means we will not know really what's happening in this race until we are directly on top of the first primary. This, by the way, is where I must thank Big Tent Democrat who said that we have been concentrating on things that will ultimately not matter. That the polls right now are meaningless. I don't know if that's fully true, but I do understand looking at this data that we can't know what's going to happen in 2008.

There are, of course, counterarguments. again links to the counterarguments here: 07/09/parsing_the_polls_is_thompson.html

"Most respondents to these exit polls may not want to admit that they made up their minds months ago, instead of at the end of the campaign after thoughtful consideration of the issues and the candidates. Second, the way the exit poll question is asked tends to favor late-deciding responses. The options often offered to respondents are "today," "in the last three days," "in the last week," "in the last month" or "before that" -- three "late-decider" options and two "early decider" options, a fact that may subtly influence voters to choose a late option even if they made their decision much earlier."

This quote to me is problematic. First, it's basically saying that a large percentage of voters are just making it up. What I mean is that it's not saying a certain percentage of voters will say they are going to say vote regardless of gender or race or Democratic or whatever, and not do it. Instead, it's claiming somewhere around 70 to 80 percent of voters are doing this. That seems to me to require alot of people equally motivated by the same sorts of voting behavior. What size of the voting population in any behavior is motivated in such a large block to act this way? Maybe there are some traits that are this large, but I would certainly like to know why so many people would be so concerned over seemingly like they were more deliberative than they are?

Without more, it seems rather to be opinion rather than actual data to back up the assertion. I am not per se saying it's wrong. It could be right. But there is a lot more needed than what is given.

The other point is this. I will have to look up the numbers, again, if someone could help me with this, I would appreciate it. But, doesn't much of the hardcore support for all three candidates circle somewhere around 20 percent? That would seem to reflect the idea that most people haven't decided yet to me.

The second point that the question itself may have a subtle influence has greater credence to it. The wording of questions can change outcomes. That's a given in polling. However, even this point, is well, again unconvincing primarily because I don't see how the choices subtly may influence the listener. It's true that people may often remember the first thing they hear and choose that in a long list, but it's also true they may just choose the last one they hear as well. If we look at human behavior, and are going to play loose like this with it, then it could just as easily be the case that voters would choose to apply the extreme adversion bias. That is "most people will go to great lengths to avoid extremes. People are more likely to choose an option if it is the intermediate choice." Looking at the numbers, it actually shows a fairly even spread across all choices from the most extreme on both ends.

So, what does this post suggest? Well, anyone looking to present polls to figure out what will happen in Jan 2008 may as well look to tea leaves. You will have just as much insight. This all dove tails nicely into Fla Dem's diary: 42/944 It may explain why so many elections tend to be decided by the first primaries. If people are by a great majority undecided until the end. Maybe, and this is speculation, the unslaught of other psychological principles are at work. Namely, concepts like the herd mentality come to mind. ity These sorts of behavioral forces suggest, for example, that the narrative at the time of a few weeks out before the election will have far more impact, and the coverage narrative during the early states, than any of the coverage this year. Including the debates. This is all speculation. But it does seem to fit with human behavior. nitive_biases"

I will also add this point with regard to how hard the numbers are for any of the candidates: 734/80

Finally, there is this to fully deflate your argument: ryId=1746

Let me repeat, your argument depends on believing that the numbers are firm.

by bruh21 2007-10-15 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Are the numbers firm?

I think that many people might say they decided the last moment just to look as if they were really measuring all the candidates. I think it is stupid for the people to just wait around and make their decisions in January. They need to think and look at all the candidates and then make that determination.

by American1989 2007-10-15 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Are the numbers firm?

Provide analysis backed up by data, and then let's talk.

by bruh21 2007-10-15 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Are the numbers firm?

I don't have numbers for it, but I wonder how many people abandon the candidate they liked earlier in the race because all the polling shows that that candidate doesn't have a prayer.  Why waste a vote on Kucinich or Dodd when everyone knows they don't have a chances? Thus you get to January, and you've got the 1-3 "viable" candidates, and folks make up their minds.

And then, people like voting for the winner, which means having enough info to know who's going to win.  Where does that info come from?  Major polls reported on by the media.

What I'm saying is that a bunch of folks may decide to vote for Hillary in January largely because she's led the polls the entire way.  This will only be countered by something BIG showing that she's less than viable, like the media turning against her.  I wouldn't hold my breath.

I am really an Edwards fan, but I have no idea how he can catch Clinton at this point.  Too many people think he's a hedge-fund backed, all-talk guy with expensive haircuts to recognize that Hillary is a hedge-fund backed, all-talk woman with expensive haircuts.

by Flynnieous 2007-10-15 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Are the numbers firm?

I have no idea how you can say that given the numbers above taking into account also Fla Dem's analysis of prior races. basically, all you are confirming to me quite honestly is that Americans are strictly short term immediate analysis in their thinking. If you can show me historically, behaviorally or in some other terms that I should give now any especially weight then fine. but all i've heard thus far about putting the data into context is 'now is different.' okay- why? back it up with something because the evidence seems to the contrary of what bloggers re claiming right now.

by bruh21 2007-10-15 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Are the numbers firm?

let me be clear- even the 'now' part of the analysis i've provided above contradicts the claim that these numbers are solid for anyone. clinton can most certainly win this. she is indeed the front runner. that's not however the point. the question is how solid are her numbers. to what degree is this merely narrative of the moment that sells websites (and keeps us coming) and newspapers etc, and to what degree is it indeed useful more than a few weeks out or even the week of to think we know the outcome. clearly by the way your definition of viable isn't the same as others.  so what are you defining as viable?

by bruh21 2007-10-15 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Are the numbers firm?

While the current polls of the moment are only a snapshot, one also has to have plausible scenario about either an extraordinary break of the undecided or "soft" support for one candidate at the expense of the front runner.  Virtually every wait-just-a-minute post or scenario I've seen reduces to whistling-past-the-graveyard.

Dean's implosion in Iowa did not surprise me.  Any similar cratering for Hillary would astonish me.  (Note: a sucker bet.  Neither are the campaigns nor the candidates of 2008 equivalent to 2004.  Trying to audition Hillary for the Dean front-runner role is particularly ludicrous.)

by InigoMontoya 2007-10-15 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Are the numbers firm?

You are absolutely correct.  Being a frontrunner comes with a few pitfalls, but on the flipside they come with a media focus and face time that ad money can't buy, and it eventually becomes a self-fulfilling thing.  Look at what has been happening:  The other two candidates in the running have pretty much abandoned their own campaigns and are going after Clinton, thereby freezing their own positives, raising their own negatives and making it more and more "reality."   That is why Gallup has published that no candidate they have ever shown at 20% or higher nationally in their national polls in the month of September has failed to eventually win his party's nomination.    Once you surge ahead like that late in the game, it is very hard to get past that for a candidate who is behind.   Now, 2004 was a year in whch Dean looked formidable for a while to collapse dramatically, but that was a major exception, not at all the rule (remember the scream?)

by georgep 2007-10-15 02:50PM | 0 recs
still clinging to that very thin reed

There is a good deal of evidence that the poll showing people "decided" late is pretty meaningless. Any after the fact poll is suspect (a larger portion of people report voting for the winner than actually voted for the winner, more people report voting than actually voted) but panel back tests have shown that people settle on a candidate much earlier than they report "deciding".

Even if it is true that many people don't "decide" until they get to the polling booth, what does that mean? Does it mean they change their mind or that they decide on the candidate they were already inclined toward? If it were the former then polls would be completely unpredictive, but they are not. Modern polls from professional pollsters are usually very close to the actual result, well within their MOE. So in and of itself when people decide does not matter, since they appear to decide as the polls predict they will.

The real question is will people in Iowa change their minds between now and caucus day, and which people will go to the caucus. Candidate support in competitive primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire is usually volatile, in other words people change their minds a lot, but this cycle people who have decided to support Clinton have been pretty consistent while the supporters of other candidates have slowly migrated to Clinton. Most of the current evidence suggests that Clinton's support will hold up in Iowa, and that Clinton would have to do something to change that dynamic.

by souvarine 2007-10-15 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: still clinging to that very thin reed

in a very long post I didn' see one link from you disproving any of what was written. I don't need a thin reed. You apparently, however do. My point- and my sole point is the one I made. Not about outcomes. Not about certainty. But about uncertainty. Something again apparently you can not handle because again a long post from you- not one link. Not one actual data point. Just what souvarine things. I knew that before you posted. In my post You will find much more than what I think.

by bruh21 2007-10-15 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: still clinging to that very thin reed

by the way- iw ant to make myself abundantly clear. Each time I bring up some actual data point on this site, i am continously told it doesn't matter. Yet, having been lurking here and also been here for a few months I watch as each of you then use it in your analysis even as you disavow the importance of the issue raises. ie, the whole favorability doesn't matter for example that is until you use it for your advantage.

by bruh21 2007-10-15 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: still clinging to that very thin reed

I could dig up references to the 'winner' effect in post-election polls, and the 'voted' effect is a common example of social pressure. I didn't link to data, but data showing these effects is easy enough to find.

Data is never sufficient to an understanding of what is happening, you have to have a theory that predicts results. I proposed an alternative theory of the data you are relying on, and I indicated the data that supports my theory. You are welcome to challenge my theory, but so far you have not done so.

Your example of favorability is illustrative, many Clinton supporters here suggested that negatives are not immutable, that a well known candidate can improve their favorability and that in any case any candidate's favorability would approach the R/D split. If you look at recent polls you will see that Clinton's negatives have gone down and that core opposition has gone up for all of the other candidates. This is an example of data proving the theory of Clinton supporters and disproving the theory of anti-Clinton people.

by souvarine 2007-10-15 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: still clinging to that very thin reed

let me know when you dig up data that refutes all the data I've provided, and with people who are in the know about the subject matters we are discussing.

by the way, never said clinton's favorables were immutable- they go up,a nd they go down- the average however lingers around mid 40s over a period of 15 years. right now she's  having a good run. the question is what happens when she's not.

see here's how i see things- the democrats see clinton the way that the GOP once saw bush. the problem is the same for each party.

by bruh21 2007-10-15 06:27PM | 0 recs
by souvarine 2007-10-15 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: still clinging to that very thin reed

these are based on exit polls. your analysis isn't about that. your analysis is of a diffrent phonenon of which I am familar. namely the number of people whos ay they voted for x or y later will depend on where that person's ratings are. HOWEVER, do not explain the data that I am referring to regarding the first posting about when people choose a candidate OR about favorability over time.

by bruh21 2007-10-15 07:51PM | 0 recs
Re: still clinging to that very thin reed

It is socially desirable to claim to have given lengthy consideration to all of the candidates, hence the misreporting of when voters decided in exit polls. At least that is a theory. Polling and ground experience supports it, hence the shift from persuasion to GOTV in the last months of the campaign. Undecideds usually break the way the polls overall are.

For favorability over time just look at the latest Gallup poll. Clinton's unfavorable has dropped from the 50s to the mid 40s.

by souvarine 2007-10-15 10:41PM | 0 recs
Re: still clinging to that very thin reed

a) none of your links show what you say in the first paragraph.

b) you are saying that 70 to 80 percent of voters engage in this behavior. I address that at least in general above.  THe problem with this statement is that it's unproveable. Even the social desireable behavior that you refer to is somewhere around 10 to 20 percent- not 70 to 80 percent of the population- as I remember. Even conceeding your argument- you are left with 50 percent of voters who really dont decided until the last month.

by bruh21 2007-10-16 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: still clinging to that very thin reed

when i say by the way that you are saying 70 or 80 percent- its because thats the number who say they decided in the last month in my links. Your argument requires us to believe that not only a small percentage of peop do this but the bulk of voters upwards of  80 percent. Thats the unbelievability of your argument. I don't pretend to know outcomes. I don't pretend to know what will happen this cycle. I just as suspect of the numbers. Especially when I think anecdotally of my apolitical but voting friends. THey just reinforce what the numbers say. They simply aren't paying attention- and as one said ironically- "I probably want start looking at this until January."

by bruh21 2007-10-16 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: still clinging to that very thin reed

I should clarify a little, you can reasonably claim that undecided voters decide later, in fact by definition they do. If you look at a chart of 2003 national polls and add up the percentages you can see that a good 40% were undecided through the end of the year. What you cannot claim is that a significant percentage of voters who have decided are likely to change their minds. I don't have 2003 polls for Iowa, but  you can see that Dean hit his Iowa percentage (18%) nationally a little after the third quarter. That is about what Dean got in any state where he competed. I do not believe that 70% of his supporters changed their minds after the third quarter, since that would mean that large numbers of people who did not support him at that point decided later to support him and get him back to 18% in the election returns.

This year the undecideds are usually in the single digits. Those currently undecided who choose to vote will obviously decide later, but most of the 70% of Iowa voters who currently support a candidate and go to caucus will probably vote for them and it is very unlikely that 70% of those voters will change their minds.

by souvarine 2007-10-16 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: still clinging to that very thin reed

The numbers aren't simply based on 2004. One mistake I see the clinton supporters often making is to reduce all conversation to one election cycle. The percentage of the actualy voting population that is undecided- under even your analysis- is so huge that it practically throws out the usefulness of trying to pretend we know remotely where the outcome is going to be as Armstrong claims. That is my only point. I can't say my candidate is going to win. I can't say if yours will win. I am simply arguing in favor of uncertainty. Something that maybe isn' t a sexy as advocating for definites- but seems more true than the prognostications. And the undecides by the way can be tested through other measures. I think I provided a link above to how many people among all the candidates, includin Clinton, who would twitch if say Gore entered the race. It's a measure of their rock solid support. It doesn't mean they will not pick they candidate they have now. I have a science background. I try to find data that disproves my theories rather than prove them. That's why I am doubt of Armstrongs argument. There is contradictory data. That's about all i think anyone should really say. but regularly I see people make rather broad assertions.

by bruh21 2007-10-16 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: still clinging to that very thin reed

Your "late decider" argument is based on a single poll after the 2004 election.

You can see examples of my point above if you look at the polls leading up to any presidential primary, I chose 2004 because it is easier to find pretty charts.

by souvarine 2007-10-16 10:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Are the numbers firm?

There's something to be said for not depending upon the last election on which to base your expectations of the next election. For example, all the insiders in DC said it was over once Dean broke the quarterly record for fundraising in the Dem primary. Didn't work out that way.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-10-15 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Are the numbers firm?

I am not depending on what happened prior. I am critiquing your certain regarding the data you have in front of you, and asking you to do the same.

by bruh21 2007-10-15 05:32PM | 0 recs
Jerome, can you proofread your posts?

What kind of sentence is this?

If Obama doesn't at least make a race of it, his rise & crash, already foretold on intrade, will future stock will be down quite a few notches below if he'd not made the race.

by John DE 2007-10-15 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, can you proofread your posts?


by Jerome Armstrong 2007-10-15 05:02PM | 0 recs
Obama and Millennials

I wouldn't be so certain about Obama and the Millennials.  There's lots of data suggesting that eh could virtually split the youth vote with Clinton.

Fact Checking the Iowa Caucus Youth Vote

by Mike Connery 2007-10-15 04:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Millennials

I agree with you, but that doesn't mean the majority of Obama's support doesn't come from millenials, especially in Iowa, which sure seemed the case to me.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-10-15 05:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Millennials
Ah, I see what you meant now. Fair enough.
by Mike Connery 2007-10-15 06:14PM | 0 recs


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