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No Joy in Mudville Leftovers

Topics: 2008 , The 2008 Race

Jay Cost ponders the history of national presidential primary polls and concludes they "are too volatile" to reach the conclusion that Hillary Clinton is inevitable.

Ezra Klein and Brenden Nyhan debate whether Hillary Clinton is "the most polarizing candidate."

Ed Kilgore has a nicer review of Mark Penn's Microtrends.

Jennifer Agiesta uses Quinnipiac University survey data on general presidential election match-ups in New York State to check the potential "home-court edge" for Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.

Kathy Frankovic shares worthy thoughts about survey disclosure and "what we need to know about a poll" (which reminds me, I'll have a Disclosure Project update on Monday).

The L.A. Times' Deborah Netburn gets reactions to a recent Rasmussen Reports survey showing Stephen Colbert reaching double digits as an independent.

Marc Ambinder ponders how Rasmussen's polls are perceived (and used) by the press, campaigns and their pollsters.

David Hill thinks Mike Huckabee needs to "rethink his bid" given his showing in national polls.

Katherine Seelye considers why John McCain appears to run stronger against Hillary Clinton than Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney.

Watch this space (or use your National Journal subscription) to read Charlie Cook's forthcoming analysis of Hillary Clinton's showing in national general election match-ups.

And oh, yes, my off-topic obsession of the last few weeks: Alas, no joy in Mudville means my home town retains its title as "most tortured of the tortured." But wait 'till next year.

 

Comments
Gary Kilbride:

Like virtually every analysis determined to downplay Hillary's lead, Jay Cost highlights 2004, and particularly Howard Dean's large edge at one point.

It amazes me no one ever mentions that several late '03 polls -- I specifically remember a Quinnipiac Poll and an Ipsos poll -- had Hillary leading Dean by huge margin at the same time Dean was surging above Kerry and everyone else. They were obviously polls of a hypothetical race, and Hillary no doubt benefitted from name suggestion, as in, "If Hillary Clinton were running..."

However, when the same person who is dominating the polling at this point also had an apparent huge plurality lead four years earlier, I begin to detect a trend and it's called widespread and ingrained support. That's not likely to be a vulnerable to the type of segmented collapse that Cost and others like to propose when searching for an avenue for Obama or Edwards.

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Anonymous:

Why no updates for your Bush approval chart in the last couple of weeks? Rather significantly, the president got his lowest approval rating ever, a 24, followed by a 25, but the chart hasn't been updated to reflect this. I've turned to Pollkatz instead.

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Anonymous:

Gary: It could also be a bubble. Democrats really do seem more undecided than polls suggest. Hillary started with a huge lead due to name rec, then any time she appeared at a debate she won by default "because she's ahead," as Chris Matthews or Tim Russert could tell you, then she was the formiddable favorite because she won all the debates and was in the lead, now she's the winner so people pick the winner. But none of this seems to be generating a majority of hard-core support, and none of this seems to matter much to Iowans, who have a history of popping bubbles when the pundits tell them how to vote. And if Iowans pick someone else, that someone else will suddenly be the winner. And polls will shift dramatically, just as they always do after Iowa.

Hillary is like a stock bubble: all price, no earnings. In Iowa, the first earnings statement will come, then we'll have a P/E ratio to examine. If Hillary wins, she'll be worth her valuation. If not, expect a flight to quality.

Until then, she just looks like an imposing Macy's balloon looming over Main Street, casting shadows on everyone's float, but quite vulnerable to a popping, should anyone make the effort.

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