Re: Robert Stacy McCain’s Live by the Poll, Die by the Poll:
Can you really invoke Hillary Clinton? It’s not so much that she got behind in the polls, but that her strategy stunk, fueled by her and her husband’s assumption that she was entitled to win and the apparent dislike of them both within the Democrat party that neither apparently saw or understood.
As for the polls now? Given that it appears that some have been cooked liberally with essence of Obama to give unbelievable numbers, who can trust any of them — except those, perhaps, that do show McCain in the lead or essentially even with Obama?
After all, that goes against all the MSM-promoted fantasy that voters absolutely love Obama and that he is actually now president with one teensy-weensy glitch — he has yet be nominated and elected.
— C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia
Polling is not an exact science? I disagree. Polling as done in America is not a science, it’s a scam. Seriously. You call less than 1,000 people who agree to be polled and this is supposed to represent the over-all desires of over three hundred million people? Does anyone really think these things are accurate? Most of them tell us they have a margin of error of 3-5 points. In a poll where the results over in the mid forties, that’s as much as a ten percent margin of error. The difference between the two Gallup polls mentioned is more than twenty-five percent.
No, I would say that polling is not exact, and it’s certainly not a science.
— Charles Campbell
Bandwagon psychology, that of wanting to vote for a winner, surely does not apply to an overwhelming majority of Democrats. Their self-immolation mind-set, demonstrated in the last two elections does not seem to have changed. In fact it has worsened, fueled by the vitriol of Daily Kos and MoveOn.
When this nightmare has ended, if Republicans prevail at the polls once again, Dems will have a new wound to nurse. We will have proven that we are RACISTS as well as every other despicable figment of their imaginations.
Obama is their Pied Piper. They are they are his entranced rats.
“To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled…
And ere three notes his pipe had uttered…
Out of the houses rats came tumbling–
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
Brown rats, black rats, grey rats, tawny rats,
And step by step they followed him dancing,
Till they came to the voting booth, prancing.”
With apologies to Robert Browning.
If we thought Gore died hard in 2000 or Kerry went less than gently in 2004, just wait for an Obama narrow loss!
— Diane Smith
Polling data will matter only if there is a significant enough bump for McCain — as perceived by Obama’s strategists — that it forces head-to-head debate. Considering Obama’s track record minus a Teleprompter, that bump would have to be significant.
Without that, direct contact between the two candidates will be kept to an absolute minimum.
— Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
I have no idea why I punish myself by reading anything about political polls — especially those for presidential campaigns. Twisted sense of humor is my best guess.
I don’t care how “scientific” the polling is, 876 people, or 1,258 people, or even 3,507 people cannot accurately indicate the sense of several million voters across 50 states and the territories.
Add to that the fact that many pollsters have a firm bias about the candidates and can bend the results that way. This is especially true of media-driven polls.
We know that a genuine random sample in these magnitudes cannot possibly be accurate, so they must “adjust” the sample. They never tell us how they “adjust” the polling sample, however. Just as they never tell us how they determine the “margin of error.” Ouija board, probably.
If on any given day we could have a complete election — by secret ballot, of registered voters only — we would have a firm statement of which candidate is “leading.” If we then compared that result with the dozens of polls done on that same day, none of them would give the same result. Proof, if proof be needed? They rarely give the same result as it is, as Robert McCain’s article shows.
Does anyone seriously believe that so many voters change their minds so often? Nonsense. That is far harder to believe when the pollsters and the media want us to think that they’re changing their minds between two candidates so extraordinarily wide apart in every significant way.
We have polls for two reasons. The media, becrazed with the need to announce the winner, adore them because they can have a new story every day in which they can announce the winner. Pollsters — so many of them — do it because they can earn a good living from it, while helping the media to, you guessed it, announce the winner.
Every election year, the polls start with a huge margin which gets closer and closer as we approach November, when the numbers in all the polls show a virtual dead heat. It’s the only time all of the pollsters will agree. Beside themselves with glee, the media will report, “too close to call.” This is a necessary conclusion because the media will start the race all over again for the election itself, and the day MUST start with a race “too close to call” or there will be no drama.
And the winner is….
— A. C. Santore
Re: Peter Ferrara’s What Kansas Knows:
As readers of The American Spectator & others, we also know what Kansas knows. It is frustrating that our ostensibly conservative politicians don’t work to educate the American public at large that they know this also.
I’ll say it again, the wheels came off the conservative leadership the day Tom DeLay was forced to quit Congress. Republicans (not conservatives) said “hooray” and have been in the tall grass ever since. True Conservatives are admittedly still students of liberty, and that political class still needs a leader that will keep them in line.
— P. Aaron Jones
What Harvard tried on Mr. Ferrara, UCLA tried on me when I studied for my Master’s in Journalism. It didn’t work then; it doesn’t work now.
— Dolores Teus
Thank you, Peter Ferrarra, for this tremendous article. It is the best encapsulation of the recent history of the Democrats I’ve read. If the terminally timid and inarticulate Bush could talk like this, he would have been a successful leader. If John McCain could think and talk like this, he would win in a landslide. It’s Capitalism, stupid!!
— Michael G. Novak
Ellicott City, Maryland
Re: Lisa Fabrizio’s Gullible Travels:
Lisa Frabrizio assumes — quite erroneously — that Americans know their own history, and that substance trumps symbolism.
Ask Hillary Clinton if that’s true, Ms. Fabrizio.
— Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
CITY OF ANGELS
Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Fault Lines of Freedom:
Is there any city in any state more deserving of government imperialism than Los Angeles and its ban on fast food restaurants in poor neighborhoods? When you’ve successfully convinced a large segment of the populace that they’re nothing more than victims, anything you do to “help” them seems completely logical — and oh so compassionate.
Here’s hoping they ban hip-hop for the same reason. Maybe that’ll snap some people out of it.
— Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
Like Mr. Homnick, I enjoy a good play on words. And let me say, in this article his plays were very good. However, this mandatory Fast Food Fast that the City of Angles is attempting to force onto its populous is just the latest in health-nazi action. I moved to the Austin area a little over a year ago, and was not greatly surprised to find a city-wide public smoking ban not only within the city itself, but also the satellite towns of Round Rock and Pflugerville.
The reason I wasn’t surprised was a trip I took about a year before my move to Dallas. I was completely surprised by the bewildered look given me by the waitress when I habitually asked for the smoking section. It wasn’t until my friend told me about the city-wide public smoking ban that I realized the problem. My immediate reaction was along the lines of A smoking ban in Texas? And included a lot more obscenity. I mean, which state more embodies freedom and a big um… “up yours” to the micromanagers than Texas? And Austin? The “Keep Austin Weird” Austin? Austin City Limits Austin? Named for Steven Austin, one of the major leaders in early Texas history and independence — that Austin? Yeah, I know it’s a liberal town, but it tends more towards the “leave me alone and let me be me” kind of liberalism than the “big government is our friend” type of liberalism. Yeah, it’s hard for me to figure it out.
Tennessee recently passed a public-smoking ban throughout the state. New York City has banned (or is considering banning) trans-fats. Remember that John Edwards failed presidency included a supposition of mandatory yearly check-ups and exercise routines. The health-nazis are marching forward. We can stand up together and start fighting all cases of governmental abuse of power and extra-constitutional action.
— Charles Campbell
Add the L.A. Nannies to House Majority Whip Clyburn (D) and you get a much better episode of You Can’t Make This Stuff Up than Will Rogers ever dreamed of retailing!
From the articles in the papers claiming that poor families are starving to death because of high food prices, illustrated with photos of mothers and daughters who weigh individually more than my refrigerator, to articles that reveal a congressman ranting that “Climate Change Hurts African Americans More” and demanding that Whitey be taxed and the money “redistributed” to, um, Blacky as Reparations (doing what exactly to stop Global Warming?), life is becoming so bizarre that even comedians can’t keep up.
And here in Toronto we have an unkempt hippie ratbag who has for the past five years been stealing bicycles and storing them in garages all over the city. Yes, storing them: 3,000 bicycles and counting, some of them extremely high end machines, in garages from one end of Toronto to the other. And his wife is a Chinese concert pianist. (Igor Kenk is his name. Google him for a great laugh.)
You cannot, simply cannot, make this stuff up.
— Kate Shaw
GOLDBERG WOULD BE UPSET
Re: Ken Shreve’s letter (under “All Ears”) in Reader Mail’s Restored Confidence:
Mr. Shreve writes: “That question is, why do conservatives and those with libertarian leanings steadfastly refuse to call a spade a spade when it comes to Obama and his ilk. Obama is NOT a leftist. Obama is a Socialist, one that borders on being a Marxist.”
Ken, apparently you didn’t get the memo. For conservatives and those with libertarian leaning who belong to the cognoscenti the fashionable term is liberal fascist. Socialism and Marxist! Please, how passe can one get?
— Mike Roush
P.S. “Call a spade a spade when it comes to Obama.” Marvelous turn of phrase, Mr. Shreve.
LOOKED IN A MIRROR LATELY?
Re: Mike Roush’s letter (under “Soul on Ice”) in Reader Mail’s Restored Confidence:
It is evident that Mike Roush needs to look over some of his own letters. He seems to have lost perspective.
— Clifton Briner