Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Kerry’s slide

A New Hamshire poll shows the race dead even. Chris Suellentrop for Slate asks: Is it time for Democrats to panic? "If you’re a John Kerry supporter, here’s some bad news to chew on: Despite winning all three debates according to opinion polls, Kerry hasn’t taken the horse-race lead in a single poll that’s been released since the third debate, and he seems to be trending the wrong way." And this: "if you’re searching for the Occam’s Razor explanation for Kerry’s small but noticeable slide in the polls since Wednesday, his comment about Mary Cheney is probably it."

Discussions - 3 Comments

If you think this is bad news for the Kerry people, then take a look at this from Steven den Beste’s USS Clueless.
Very detailed, comprehensive graphing information on polling data.

What’s wrong with this picture? "Despite winning all three debates, Kerry is losing ground in the polls."

Only two conceivable explanations could account for this - the polls are wrong, or Kerry didn’t win the debates. Let’s examine this; the claim he won the debates is based on instant polls. Can those polls be correct, and the national polls correct as well? I cannot see how. Therefore, one set of polls is incorrect. As several knowledgable individuals have observed, the reliability of instant polls is far less than that of the national polls.

My conclusion: Bush won the debates. The instant polls were either based on nonrepresentative samples, or, equally likely, the pollsters’ questions underlying the polls failed to, in fact, determine who the respondent would support for President.

There is, indeed, a third possibility--that the American people do not consider debating skills to be a terribly important determinant of one’s ability to serve as commander-in-chief.

Frankly, I’m inclined to believe that the only people who think debates are important were already planning on voting for Kerry. These are the so-called "paragraph people" that David Brooks wrote about back in September.

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