Big Unanswered Questions: Anyone think this was an oversight by the Obama campaign? Can Obama just blame David Axelrod? How much of a commission will Axelrod gain from running ads in a state that doesn't matter?
No. Yes. Whatever he gets.
If it were Clinton or Edwards running ads in Florida you bet Obama would make a stink about it because it's clear to me he favors a scorched earth policy when dealing with competitors.
The poll is by Zogby Interactive, which means it's an online poll (missing, say, elderly voters) and is not a random sample of the population so right out of the box, it's got technical problems.
The Zogby Internet polling has a questionable track record in statewide races for Senate and Governor in 2006, where they often far over-estimated the competitiveness of races compared to conventional phone polls taken at the same time. One way to make sense of those problems turns out not to help much here. It is reasonable that the people who volunteer to take political polls over the internet are considerably more interested in politics (and likely more strongly partisan) than is a random sample of likely voters. That should be expected to lead to fewer people with "don't know" responses as better informed and more partisan respondents are likely to both know more about the candidates and to have made up their minds sooner than a proper random sample. That helps explain why Zogby's 2006 internet polls looked as they did.
Without access to the raw data it is impossible to test any speculation here. But here is one possibility: Internet polls, presumably including Zogby's, use weighting to adjust for non-representativeness in their volunteer respondents. (There is a huge debate about whether this, and more sophisticated approaches, can produce generalizable population estimates with good statistical properties, but we'll leave that for another day.) Clinton has more support among women and somewhat older people. Both those groups are likely to be underrepresented in any pool of internet respondents. As a result the responses of those with these characteristics who ARE present in the sample are likely to be weighted up quite a bit to reach population proportions in the weighted sample. If the relatively few older women who are in the sample are ALSO atypical in other ways that both make them volunteer for internet surveys AND be less disposed to support Clinton than are non-internet volunteering older women, then weighting these respondents up won't properly capture Clinton's support and will lead to a systematic underestimate of her support.
That could do it, but it sounds pretty tortured to me.
I'd check the software one more time.
And based on the large outliers the Clinton results produce, I'd hold off on the Reuters headline until I saw some confirmation from other polls.
This is a bullshit proposal and I say that as the spouse of a long-term government employee.
You know what government needs to work better? More people. Good people. Qualified people. My husband's workload has increased a) because he's very good at what he does and b) there aren't enough people hired to help take on the work that needs to be done.
Public service is not seen as a viable employment option. The hiring process takes too long. The private sector offers better and higher salaries. Do you have any clue how many contractors are working for the federal government, making lots of money but doing very little? Too many.
There are going to be lots of retirements coming up in the federal workforce. Who will replace them? Solving that problem will go a long way to help change the way government works, not some bullshit technology proposal from a freshman senator who has not the first clue about how the federal government actually operates.
But because it fell from the lips of Barack Obama, it's perfection.
Obama will integrate citizens into the actual business of government.
Here's some advice: You can't get anything done by committee. If he wants to improve the actual business of government so much, learn how it operates first.
Brilliant, my ass, especially if he's still saying stuff like this:
I am running for president because I am sick and tired of Democrats thinking that the only way to look tough on national security by talking and acting and voting like George Bush Republicans.
I don't give a shit he's calling out Hillary Clinton. He can find a more creative way to do that without running against the Democratic Party. He's been criticising them even before he officially declared.
Hard to say he wants to lead the United States of America and sing kumbayah about how he loves being a Democrat when he never gave a damn about the party to begin with.
Axelrod is known for operating in this gray area, part idealist, part hired muscle. It is difficult to discuss Axelrod in certain circles in Chicago without the matter of the Blair Hull divorce papers coming up. As the 2004 Senate primary neared, it was clear that it was a contest between two people: the millionaire liberal, Hull, who was leading in the polls, and Obama, who had built an impressive grass-roots campaign. About a month before the vote, The Chicago Tribune revealed, near the bottom of a long profile of Hull, that during a divorce proceeding, Hull's second wife filed for an order of protection. In the following few days, the matter erupted into a full-fledged scandal that ended up destroying the Hull campaign and handing Obama an easy primary victory. The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had "worked aggressively behind the scenes" to push the story. But there are those in Chicago who believe that Axelrod had an even more significant role -- that he leaked the initial story. They note that before signing on with Obama, Axelrod interviewed with Hull. They also point out that Obama's TV ad campaign started at almost the same time. Axelrod swears up and down that "we had nothing to do with it" and that the campaign's television ad schedule was long planned. "An aura grows up around you, and people assume everything emanates from you," he told me.
One of the comments over at the Politico raised a good question: Just who was behind the unsealing of Jack Ryan's divorce records? Who first raised the allegations that Blair Hull (Obama's primary opponent) threatened to kill his wife during an argument?
Chicago politics what they are, could it have been someone associated with Obama's Senate campaign? Or someone who was vested in Obama winning?
The man who has honed that message for both candidates is veteran Chicago political strategist David Axelrod, who guided Obama's Senate campaign and Patrick's gubernatorial bid and is now a top strategist on Obama's presidential effort.
Axelrod said Obama was the first person he called when Patrick's campaign approached him to work on the governor's race, and that Obama was "effusive" about Patrick.
This is either true -- or it's a lie. If part of a dirty tricks operation, it's odd that John Edwards would be the target.
I like and respect Huffington Post's Sam Stein who wrote the first thoughtful inquiry into what might be going on. Others have rushed to judgment, perhaps wrongly.
But given the tailwind this is getting in the blogosphere -- even among the left end -- Edwards will either have to zap hard those promulgating this extramarital drama and disavow her (as well as explain the $114,461 that went for some pretty lousy campaign videos), or he'll have to do his best at pulling an Alexander Hamilton, something Bill Clinton should have done regarding Monica Lewinsky.
More on Hamilton's confessions about adultery and denial of corruption here.
When challenged, Clemons said he was raising "the same questions tactfully that Sam Stein is." How thoughtful.
And Clemons' reaction to Jerome's post? Apparently, Hunter's denial wasn't worded correctly for him:
Technically, I wish Hunter had said flatly: "I had no sexual affair of any kind with John Edwards." Some on the right will read her statement as a non-denial denial.
But at least someone has said something in defense of Edwards as he has been quiet. If the veracity of Hunter's denial is solid, then Edwards and/or Hunter should demand a retraction from the National Enquirer and sue if they don't get it.
And because this story had appeared on HuffPo and Slate--"not exactly bastions of conservative conspiracy" according to Clemons--there must be more than a grain of truth to what's being said.