West meets East

From: Tom Ponsford <tponsford_at_theriver.com>
Date: Wed Oct 27 15:54:04 2004

>> That opinion cuts both ways, of course. . . with an election this close
>> and with a population so thoroughly divided we can assume an equal number
>> of pissed off folks no matter who wins the election.

As if there were not many in the last Presidential election!

> Call me crazy (or worse) and throw pies at me (or worse),
> but I think this perception that this is a "close" race is wrong.
You could be right!!
> I think it's going to be a debacle for Kerry just as it was for McGovern
> in 1972.

And it could just as easily go the other way!.

One of the things that pollsters hate is uncertainty, and, in an effort to
make polls more reliable, they tend to want responses from people who
actually, reliably vote, not just register.

Herein lies to problem. The polls tend to, credibly, give more weight to
people that have previously voted in the last election. presidential or
otherwise. If you are polled by one of the numerous survey companies, one of
the more pertinent questions, and sometimes the very first one, is: "Did you
vote in the last election" Your answer to this one goes a long way to the
weight of your response to the survey company.

The general accepted perception is that, employed, and middle-class tend to
vote more than the unemployed and lower-class that elderly vote more than the
young, and that whites vote more than minorities. It is also generally
perceived that these are all general characteristics of more republican voters
than democrat voters. There are anomolies, of course, There are a lot of
wealthy middle-class democrats and black or hispanic republicans. But
pollsters have generally NOT been surprised when these general perceptions are
followed in polling.

What throws a monkey wrench into things is when a group or groups of voters do
not follow the general perception of pollsters. This happens when a lot of new
voters are registered, when voting groups become active after histrically
being nascent, or when an election polarizes groups.

It seems that these factors are all hallmarks of thise election.

Case in point; Arizona, normally a conservative, mostly republican, state
elects a democratic female democratic governor, over a conservative
well-supported, state senator. As expected, a study of all the precincts show
that everybody voted as expected. Conservative suburban precints showed the
normal high turnout, minority inner-city had a small higher than expected
turnout but really not enough to turn the elction around. So what happened!

A ballot initiative that would have reduced and heavily taxed Indian Gaming
and would have allowed racetracks to enjoy the same gaming priveledges as
Indian Reservations was put on the ballot. This caused a massive Indian voter
registration drive to defeat the measure (which the republican party
mistakingly supported) and lead to an overwhelming vote by the hereto
unregistered Indian voting population.

The verdict is still out obn how this will effect this Presidential election,
some Indian voters like Bush and there is no Indian Gaming propostion on the
ballot. Wht this voting population will do is anybody's guess as it is a new
and untested voting population.

Other points: although Al Gore won the election by 500,000 votes, in all the
rust-belt states where there is a heavily democratic presence as well as
voters, a large percentage of them "voted with their feet" and did not vote,
due to Gore's support of NAFTA and other pro-business, anti-union stances.
These non-voting voters are not counted as heavily by pollsters, as they are
now considered unreliable.

New voters by the score. Generally the perception that newly registered voters
tend to vote or register democratic. If this perception is true then the huge
new-voter registration in this election would tend to favor democrats WITH the
caveat that these voters are "unreliable"

If these voters are reliable, they are not as heavily weighed or not counted
at all by the pollsters, leaving a huge gap between what is polled and what
actually transpires at the polls,

> Of course I may be wrong, it happens.
> Y'all will know then how to judge what I say in the future.
> But, if it IS a debacle, and you thought it was going to be a "close" race,
> you have to ask yourself, "Why didn't I see this coming?"
> I'd say it's because our opinions are malformed due to all the
> thalidomide the media is spewing.

What the media sees is a result of the polling!! (see above)

> I think we're suckers to soak it up uncritically.
> But it will be heartening because so many saw through all the BS.

One man's BS is another's gospel truth.

> And if you're wrong about this election -- it's not close, it's a debacle,
> then likely your opinions on other things such as Iraq, Afghanistan and
> N. Korea need some re-evaluation as well having likely been formed by
> the same disinforming media.

Or they could be spo-on or have nothing to do with what the media says or does.

> I think this election is like when we see someone on eBay hawking some
> bit of old computer hardware as "rare!" and people fall all over
> themselves bidding on the thing. Some of say, Hell, I've got 20 of
> those and walk away.

Many do not sell the twenty items, as they appreciate the intrinsic value as
opposed to what they could fetch on ebay.
> Of course, if it IS close, maybe I'll join Sellam and go elsewhere
> because how could so many people be fooled.

Dubya expressed it so eloquently:

There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in
Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you
can't get fooled again.
--President George W. Bush, East Literature Magnet School, Nashville,
Tennessee, September 17, 2002.
> Guess I'll go eat worms as the ditty goes.

Fried with hot sauce is best.



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Received on Wed Oct 27 2004 - 15:54:04 BST

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