Thursday :: Nov 20, 2003

The Self-fulfilling Prophecy of Polls

by CA Pol Junkie

by CA Pol Junkie

Love them or hate them, polls are a fundamental part of elections and governance. We have become so dependent upon them that they become self-fulfilling prophecies. Polls showed Bush was "popular", so the Democrats didn't challenge him and thus he remained "popular". The same goes for polls during the primary period - we're coming to the point in the primary campaign cycle when polls are lifting the fog from our crystal balls.

John Kerry is currently victimized, as polls in the last month have shown him losing New Hampshire to Howard Dean by 22, 21, 14, 13, and 23 points. NH is key for Kerry to show his appeal, since he is a well-respected and well-known senator from a neighboring state. Now his fundraising is lagging: Kerry's fund raisers are telling him it's getting next to impossible to find anyone willing to write a check to his campaign. Of course, without funds, Kerry will not be able to compete effectively, and will go down further in the polls.

Kerry should be thankful nobody has been polling in his home state. Quinnipiac has been polling in Connecticut, and the results are devastating for Lieberman:

November 12-18 (October 1-7 / July 23-29 / April 22-28)
Lieberman: 28 (33 / 37 / 46)
Dean: 23 (17 / 17 / 6)
Kerry: 14 (14 / 17 / 18)
Clark: 9 (14 / - / -)
Gephardt: 8 (5 / 8 / 9)
Braun: 3 (1 / 4 / 1)
Edwards: 3 (3 / 3 / 3)
Kucinich: 1 (0 / 0 / 0)
Sharpton: 1 (2 / 3 / 5)

From the progression of the poll, it seems like Lieberman is destined to lose his home state to Dean, without Dean even having to spend a dime there. If Lieberman isn't going to win his home state, it's going to make his potential supporters wonder if their cash would go to more effective use as compost. So, Lieberman's fundraising will dry up like a banana slug in the Sahara, he won't be able to compete, and Howard Dean will indeed beat him in Connecticut. Contributors can more efficiently allocate their resources, but some of the democratic fire of the primaries is extinguished before a single vote is cast.

CA Pol Junkie :: 2:49 PM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!