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March 26, 2005


Fan assault? What's pro basketball got to do wi... oh. Heh. Never mind.

From the NY Times:

"The public is beginning to sense a whiff of extremism in the Republican leadership in the House and the Senate," said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "If it continues, it could prove very detrimental to them and good for us."

It is not just Democrats who share that view. In a regular e-mail commentary he distributes, former Senator Dave Durenberger, Republican of Minnesota, wrote, "If I were a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota in 2006, I would make DeLay the issue in the campaign right now."

and another thing...

Republicans are "going to get kicked around a lot," said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. On the other hand, he sees a silver lining in the otherwise miserable polls: The minority that does back congressional action probably supports it intensely, while the majority that disagrees "won't remember this woman's name in a few months."

Note how republican apologists are reaching for any straw here. See also david brooks today.

The GOP may have screwed up in historical prroportions, the public may hate what they've done, but the liberals just aren't moral (and they're hiding behind process).

You've got to wonder, though, whether Sabato had seen those CBS numbers before he said that.

I mean, what he said would ordinarily be a fine comment to make off the top of your head, but 82 percent disapproval can't be swept under the rug by intensity of feeling. And 68% among evangelicals? Come on.

"On the other hand, he sees a silver lining in the otherwise miserable polls:"

makes me think he saw them. what numbers did he see that we didn't? Or... gasp... is he making shit up?

He certainly could have seen them. In fact, you used to be able to expect that a journalist writing a story that would include specific polling results and reax (check me out with the "journo biz" lingo) would have shared the polls they're citing with the pundits they're quoting. But as we've come to learn, that's not always the case anymore.

Sabato certainly could have been talking about other polls that show miserable results on the Schiavo case, but not as miserable as 82% negatives. I mean, if Sabato sees a silver lining in 18% support, he's got to be using an electron microscope. Are you missing one, Page?

By the way, what ever happened to that directive from Hastert (was it Hastert?) that they wouldn't be bringing bills to the floor that didn't have the support of 60% of the Republican Conference? Anybody have a cite to that handy?

This bill can't even get 35% support among Christian evangelicals. Think the Conference has stepped in it here?

yep. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of power-hungry corrupt lunatics.

Does the media even do in-depth polling of the issues? It seems as though they do a very short, straight-forward poll, with far fewer variables than campaign polls or party polling.

I've actually gotten to see the internal polling of past campaigns (all at least before 1990), and it's so much more complicated than the stuff the media does.

The media polls aren't worthless. Certainly, a whiff of negative media for the Republicans can never hurt the center-left, and media polls can indicate which way the wind is blowing and sometimes show intensity. However, to get at the Democrats' next move on this issue, the internal polling would probably be needed.

I wish someone would make the point that had the Democrats been in charge in Congress, the Terri Schiavo bill likely would never have even been brought up for a vote.

Two things:

Saboto is the most overated of the supposedly "impartial" pundits. I actually thing Cook and Rothenberg are farily decent, but Sabato I think just says some of the most banal things you could imagine. In my mind, there's not a lot of difference between him and Cokie.

Newsie--isn't it revealing to see real polls? Gives you an idea of how miserable media polls are as grounds for the conclusions that are made based on their results, even when the polls are done competently. And you also get an idea looking at real campaign polls--and hopefully the polling memos and crosstabs--that campaigns aren't run to appeal to a constituency, but instead of several different constituencies, and that a Presidential campaign relies on themes that can encompass several different messages to several different demographics.

DHinMI...the more I learn about polling, the less I can watch Jeff Greenfield and co. bloviate about it. They all make me want to throw a shoe at the TV.

The funniest part is when media types talk about the politicians who are out of touch. The national press corps is as out of touch as any politician.

I've gotten a look at a couple of powerpoint presentations with crosstabs and such. I can say one thing...I do not want to be a pollster. I can't take the statistics involved, especially when microtargetting is the new rage.

The key difference between someone like Sabato and people like Cook and Rothenberg is that Sabato has a day job.

It's also a one-off of the theoreticians versus practitioners thing -- as a professor, Sabato has things other than being analytical and quotable to worry about, whereas that's actually Cook's and Rothenberg's job. Two other things facto into this as well: 1) Sabato's audience, when he's not at his day job, is reporters, who in turn have to translate what he says for a general consumption, whereas Rothernberg's and Cook's audience is partialy reporters, but also political professionals (and these days, near-professionals), to whom they can speak in richer temrs, and; 2) Rothenberg's and Cook's sources are the primary actors in the field they cover, while Sabato's sources are Rothenberg and Cook. So reading Sabato is like reading a second-generation Xerox.

Cook and Rothenberg do do a decent job of things. The only reason I ever said I didn't particularly care for Rothenberg was because he was so quick to bash bloggers. And not just any bloggers -- I would have concurred on a general bash -- but he bashed some of the very few bloggers who actually do directly contact primary actors in politics as sources. In other words, he bought his own hype, and bashed people who do almost exactly the same thing he does (and with almost the same level of experience and "qualification" for the job) without even realizing it.

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