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Saturday, September 04, 2004

Sesame Street Polling

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm sure you remember the classic song from that seminal show, Sesame Street, which went (in part): One of these things is not like the others/One of these things just doesn't belong. Well, now it's time to play our game:

Presidential Trial Heats

So, who're you gonna believe? This site is a Democratic site, but I do my best not to cherry-pick or engage in overly optimistic spin. This Time poll, though, is just a bit hard to believe, based on everything we've seen over this whole, very, very long campaign season. I'm gonna wait until we get a few more data points before even thinking about panicking. Even Bob Dole got a fifteen-point bounce out of his convention, according to ABC News at the time. You think that was legit?

(Graphic from the front page of PollingReport.)

UPDATE: Ruy Teixeira, the #1 authority on all things poll-related, raises all sorts of questions about the Time poll, concluding that "[t]he simplest hypothesis then is that the Time poll, for this period, is exceptionally pro-Bush and therefore should be viewed with skepticism." The bigger problem, of course, is that this one skewed poll becomes a powerful GOP (and media) talking point for days. Fortunately, it's Labor Day weekend and no one's paying attention. And since I'm all but certain this poll doesn't reflect the reality on the ground, it can only help us if the GOP gets over-confident as a result of one survey.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Newsweek has released a poll which shows a similar Bush lead. Again, this poll pushed leaners, which in my mind makes the bottom-line results questionable.

Posted at 01:00 PM in General | Technorati


My first reaction was also that there was something seriously wrong with the Time poll, but the fact that a Newsweek poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates on 9/2-93 also shows an 11% Bush lead in a head-to-head contest, makes me fear that it might be correct.

We've got our work cut out for us.

Posted by: Gary at September 4, 2004 01:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Newsweek just released a poll and it has the President up 11 points (54% - 43%). Can both of these polls be incorrect?

Posted by: David at September 4, 2004 02:15 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Lordy, I didn't hear about the Newsweek poll until just a little while ago. But as I said before, all of my Democratic friends around the country are very worried--we're worried because a palpable shift towards Bush seems to have taken place in this election.

I think part of the problem we Democrats are facing is that the "anybody but Bush" mantra doesn't apply to the undecided voters. If it did, they wouldn't still be undecided! For whatever reasons, Kerry has come off as a somewhat aloof figure. Furthermore, the GOP managed to get the flip-flop label to stick to Kerry, and now the Swift boat veterans have managed to not only get him off track but also to keep him on the defensive. In just about every poll I've seen, Bush holds a large majority in terms of who will be more effective in fighting terrorism. In the post-9/11 world, that may be more important than the economy. At any rate, the GOP has contolled the flow of the campaign for just about the entire month of August. As a result, there has been very little talk of the economy. Instead, it's been more about the Vietnam War. This is utterly insane, but the GOP machine seems highly organized and extremely effective in taking Kerry completely off guard or keeping him on the defensive.

There has been a lack of direction in the Kerry campaign right now, which is why so many of us are feeling very nervous right now. Unless you're wearing rose-colored glasses, there is no question that Bush's post-convention bounce has been much greater than Kerry's. It's also obvious that it's Bush and the GOP that have a direction and are moving forward in an increasingly inexorable manner to the finish line.

This shift to Bush is from undecided voters, who obviously have been open-minded about Bush all along. Kerry has not made me passionate about his campaign--I am voting against Bush rather than for Kerry. If Kerry has made me so unexcited, imagine how many undecided voters must feel. It's not enough for them to vote for someone just because he's not George Bush. I suspect that Kerry has failed to excite them, and more and more of the swing voters are choosing to stick with a known entity rather than a not very personable man who in many ways remains a big question mark.

Posted by: Pepe at September 4, 2004 04:05 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


You're very articulate about all that's wrong with Kerry and the Democratic bid to remove Bush from office. You seem to have a lock on pessimism around here, in all the comments threads.

Why not turn around for a minute and give us a disquisition on what's wrong with Bush, and run down all the reasons why we *mus* get rid of him. I'd ber *extremely* interested in hearing your point of view about that.

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) at September 4, 2004 05:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

give us a disquisition on what's wrong with Bush, and run down all the reasons why we *must* get rid of him

My pleasure:

1) Universal health coverage, if it ever happens, will only occur under a Democratic administration--unfortunately, Kerry hasn't, to my knowledge, pushed this very forcefully. Better health care for all of us is my number one reason for supporting the Democrats.

2) Gay marriage (or unions or whatever you want to call them) will only happen under a Democratic administration--I feel Kerry is much more sympathetic about this than he says in public. I forgive him for not being more forward about it for the time being--after seeing what happened in MO, it would be suicidal for him to explain why gays deserve to have the same basic rights as everyone else in the USA. If elected president, I have a hunch he'll back a national law granting gays who wish to marry the same rights as heterosexual couples currently enjoy.

3) Less likely to "pull another Iraq", though I'm not sure what a Kerry administration would do with the mess Bush created by overthrowing Hussein. I know he's mentioned getting countries like France and Germany involved, but they have no intention of sending their troops there. So will he continue status quo, remove troops, reduce troops or increase troops? I have heard him speak of doing nearly all of the above, so I'm not necessarily comfortable with his lack of a position on Iraq.

4) Improve the environment. Anything he does will have to be an improvement over Bush's complete diregard of it.

5) Improve relations with France and Germany, and get us more involved with the U.N. Right now, I feel we're too isolated. True, Britain and Italy have been strong allies, but I know for a fact that their people strongly disapprove of their leaders' support of the USA in Iraq. I'd like to see the USA a stronger force within the world community rather than remain relatively outside of it.

6) Reduce the influence of the Fundamentalists and so-called "Moral Majority." These groups scare the hell out of me, because they want to impose their beliefs on all of us. As long as the GOP remains in power, they will yield too much influence.

7) Appointing Supreme Court justices. The next president may be appointing up to three of them, and I fear the worst if Bush gets to appoint them, as it would have far-reaching and long-term consequences.

Those are probably my main reasons. You will note I didn't include the economy. That is because I don't believe a Kerry presidency would make much of a difference in that regard. I think the trend is that some regions will always do better than others, and it's a cyclical thing. When you think about it, that is pretty much how it's always been. Also, the unemployment numbers aren't alarmingly high, and they are roughly what they were under past administrations. In fact, they're much lower than what you would find in most European nations. Also, there are other factors besides the president that determine the econmic outlook of the states. For one thing, the competency/incompetency of an individual's state government has a lot to do with a state's current state of health.

Regarding terrorists, I don't know if a Kerry adminstration would be more effective in the war on terrorism, though I'm willing to take a chance on that. I feel that if/when the terrorists want to use suicide bombers here like they do in Israel, for example, no president can hope to stop it 100% of the time. Same goes for other such acts of terrorism, which are very hard to stop--even in a small, tightly guarded country like Israel. The acting president (Bush or Kerry) will probably take the blame for it when it happens, but realistically, it's hard to stop a suicide bomber.

For the record, I have never been a Kerry fan, and prior to his nomination, there was never a time when I thought he was the best Democrat available. I still believe that. I was actually hoping Howard Dean would receive the Democratic nomination. Dean got crucified by the media, which I believe resented him from the beginning--perhaps because he was the first candidate who managed to get into the limelight without the help of the traditional media. I found him energetic, passionate and much more thought-provoking than the safer choice of Kerry. Sour grapes on my part? Perhaps. But Dean is the past, and Kerry is the present. I do want to see anybody but Bush for the reasons listed above, but I'm (I think) realistic, rather than pessimistic about the current state of the race. I am simple stating how I feel rather than what I want to believe.

Posted by: Pepe at September 4, 2004 06:53 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I understand your desire for univeral health care. However, I wish you would research Canada's and UK's univeral health care programs. The quality of the programs are bad. Under Universal health care, visiting the hospital/doctor would be like going to the DMV or the post office. I have heard of horror stories concerning the waiting list for various procedures under the Candaian system. A lot of wealthly Candadians come to the U.S. when they face serious medical problems. Ask yourself, why are these people coming across the border if the Canadian systems is so wonderful?

Concerning the appointment of Supreme Justices. If President Bush appoints two to three U.S. Supreme Justices during his next term the balance will more than likely stay the same due to the fact his replacement will be replacing current conservative justices. His consverative appointees will probably replace current Rehquist (spelling), O'Connor and Stevens. Kerry's appointments will probably tip the scales. Even though I am conservative, I would prefer for the court to stay equal. Just as I do not want the court to be too liberal I also do not want it to be too convervative.

Speaking of France, it has never been our ally in troubling times and probably never will even if Kerry is elected.

Posted by: David at September 5, 2004 08:17 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Actually, it isn't just Wealthy Canadians crossing the border...It is many Canadians. The government will pay for them to use US doctors. Most Canadians I know use their people for regular health visits, but use US for major surgery. Main reason is better training and better facilities.

I am not sure if I favor univeral health care in the same sense of the Canucks. However, something needs to be done. I have several familiy members with no insurance because of job loss and they can't afford CObra or any other plan.

I am in favor of a US healthcare plan...this plan would be an alternative to a universal service. Anyone would be able to access the care. In addition, businesses can still offer health care from insurance companies. Their will be tax advantages to the businesses for doing this. Then employees can either elect US healthcare or Insured healthcare. If they pick insured healthcare, they get a small tax credit, since they are not using the US plan (although it should not be the actual value of the plan, just a little something to make it worth not being on it) Hopefully this provided for those with no insurance and helps to limit the numbers using it by making it advantageous to do the business healthcare plan.

Posted by: Michael at September 5, 2004 03:01 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Thanks for the information. It sounds good. I just hope, if the plan you described is implemented, companies will not simply eliminate health care coverage due to the fact that the Government is providing health care coverage. I feel for your family members that do not have health insurance. I have been fortunate all my life with health insurnce.

Posted by: David at September 5, 2004 05:21 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment