Thursday, August 05, 2004

Pols on Polls

There are polls all over the place these days, and the stupid media, obsessed with horse races and 15 second sound bites will only give you their myopic, uneducated, beauty-pagent summary of what these polls tell us.

I spent some time today looking in detail at the Washington Post - ABC News Poll taken July 30-August 1 and here is what I found out.

  • Point 1 - These poll takers ask stupid questions like the following:

    12. Regardless of how you might vote, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of (NAME) or perhaps you don't know enough to say.

    8/1/04 - Summary Table-- Registered voters

    Favorable Unfavorable No opinion
    a. John Kerry 51 32 16
    b. George W. Bush 47 45 8
    c. John Edwards 49 18 33
    d. Teresa Heinz Kerry 34 24 42

Now I understand why they are asking about Dumbya and Kerry. But how come they are asking this question about Edwards and not Cheney? And how come they are asking anything about Teresa Heinz Kerry? Why not ask the same question about Laura Bush? Or Jenna Bush? Or Neil Bush? Or how about Ashcroft and Rumsfeld? WTF???

  • Point 2 - On a more serious note, the reason why Kerry did not get a post convention bounce is truly because there is no elastic to bounce on. The details of this poll shows that positions have hardened on the right and the left such that there are very few undecided voters left.
  • For example as of August 1, 80% of registered voters say they are following the presidential race closely (either very closely or somewhat closely). In 2000 that kind of attention to the race was not even seen 3 weeks before the election.
  • Of registered voters 85% say they are "certain to vote" in the current poll (with 94% either certain or probable). In August of 2000 the "certain to vote" number was only 78%.
  • Of registered voters, 83% of Kerry supporters and 79% of Dumbya supporters say will DEFINITELY vote for their respective candidates with no chance of changing their minds. In contrast, in August of 2000, 65% of Gore supporters and 68% of Bush supporters said the same thing.

Anyway, the more you dig into this thing you find hardened positions and attitudes. There are very few votes up for grabs, unless you can register a whole lot of new voters.

It's going to be a nail biter.