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September 26, 2008

Come On, Knock It Off Calling Me "Defeatist"

I post links to polls that show McCain behind and I'm "defeatist."

What is my option? To not link these polls at all?

To link them but spin them? Guys, I've spun them before. Dozens of times. A lot of people on the internet are spinning them. Do you still need them spun?

Do I really need to say, everytime a poll shows McCain/Palin losing, the following crap you've all heard before and can regurgitate as well as I can?

1) Sampling favored Democrats.

2) Polls always favor Democrats, especially weekend polls, because Republicans are out of the house doing stuff.

3) There's a lot of time left/debates can change everything/a week is a year in an election season/most undecideds or soft leaners only make up their minds 72 hours before the election, or in the voting booth itself.

4) Polls have been wrong before. Dewey defeats Truman. Kerry's six-hour presidency.

5) The margin of error applies to both candidate's levels of support. A +/- 3 point margin of error means that either could be plus or minus three points, meaning the whole poll can be off six net points.

6) Every poll will be outside the margin of error 5% of the time.

7) Some other polls show McCain doing better/McCain has internals showing him doing much better.

8) Cherry picked state polls show some reason for optimism.

9) The Bradley Effect.

10) Obama's cultists are unreliable voters.

11) Obama is effectively "the incumbent" in this election and most undecideds will break 70-30 in favor of McCain.

12) The only poll that counts is on Nov. 4.

Look, just because I don't say these things every time I put up a poll post doesn't mean I don't agree with them (or most of them).

But I'm now putting up polls every day. Sometimes twice a day. Are you really requiring of me, in order to show I'm not defeatist, that I put up disclaimers 1-12 after every single post about polls?

Why? Is anyone on this site unaware of those caveats? Have they not been mentioned six bazillion times before?

Maybe I'll just start automatically linking this post to show I'm not a "defeatist."

I don't know what's being asked of me -- that I embargo all negative news, or engage in pointless repetitive spinning every time I mention it. Clarification on this point would be helpful.

Seriously, this stuff is obvious and has been said a billion times before. I have no new fresh take on it. I cannot really add to it in any interesting or novel manner. It's not my forte.

Jim Geraghty can add interesting analysis of this sort. (And check out his earlier posts on Virginia and Pennsylvania.) But I don't have that gift, alas. I do what I can. Usually I have no particular comment.

Now I can try to link Geraghty more (I had six of his posts open that I wanted to link yesterday, but, alas, I got single-minded on the credit crisis), but, come on, have some perspective. My posting a bad poll without comment is not equal to me pronouncing, with Harry Reid, "The war is lost."

I haven't said that. I will continue not saying that. I will say we're behind -- not by an especially large amount; many campaigns have overcome such slight margins in the past -- and that the direction is currently against us. And, knowing that, we can guess at the cause (the credit crisis) and therefore guess at what it will take to reverse this (one, spread the word far and wide that this is almost entirely a Democrat-created crisis, John McCain sounded the alarm but Democrats refused to vote his bill out of committee on a party-line vote, and three, try to convince socialist-fearing Republicans that seriously, we almost certainly need to do something dramatic here, unless we want to go into the election in a huge economic downturn with Obama preaching the Opiate of the Unemployed Masses, true old-school socialism).

Anyway. I don't know. You want a cocoon? Liberals cuddle up in the warm protective cocoon of carefully-scrubbed news guaranteed to tell them only what they wish to hear, and it does not work very well for them.

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posted by Ace at 05:54 PM

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