Jim, one has to be careful with analogies. We are in a situation — with neither an incumbent president nor incumbent vice president running — that we haven’t seen since 1952. This election features the oldest nominee ever versus the first black nominee. We’re having an election in the middle of two wars and an economic meltdown. So mining history in search of an apt analogy may be a waste of time.
The other day, a friend said to me, “Well, Al Gore was ahead by 11 and lost.” Yes, but Gore was the de facto incumbent in 2000, and George W. Bush was the fresh young face of change. The analogy doesn’t fit.
On the general topic of polling, it is worth mentioning that we’ve got a lot more polls to look at now than we’ve ever had before, and all available with one click at Real Clear Politics. (Eight years ago, RCP didn’t exist and when my job at The Washington Times required me to put together weekly swing-state poll roundup graphics, that meant Google searching and compiling them myself.)
Now, one can see all the battleground-state polls on one page. Also, there are now five national daily tracking polls (Gallup, Rasmussen, Zogby, Battleground and Hotline) which means that there is less likelihood that we’re going to be misled by a bad sample or a short-term statistical glitch in one poll. So while, yes, polls have been wrong before, we now have access to a much larger pool of data and surely some of it must be right.
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That’s right, the Grinch (Joe Biden) is coming for your pocketbooks this Christmas season with record inflation. Just to recap, here is a list of items that have gone up during his reign.
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