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"Outliers" for April 4

Topics: 2008 , Barack Obama , CBS/New York Times , Frank Newport , Hillary Clinton , Mark Penn , Mike McDonald , PPP

Mark Penn meets with the Columbia's U.S. ambassador to discuss a free trade agreement then admits to an "error in judgement," drawing comment across the blogosphere.

Annette John-Hall (of the Philadelphia Inquirer) considers "those crazy polls" in Pennsylvania.

David Leonhardt sees evidence in the NY Times/CBS poll that Obama supporters are more optimistic about the future than Clinton supporters.

Frank Newport notes that Republicans oppose a federal government bailout to "to help prevent people from losing their homes because they can't pay their mortgage."

David Sirota plots Barack Obama's support in the primary states against the rank of each state's black population and sees evidence that "racism is a powerful force" in the Democratic contest.

[And Bob Somerby points out that the middle states in Sirota's chart held caucuses, not primaries (via comment by Pollster reader kingsbridge77)].

Brendan Nyhan finds problems with Sirota's graphs and puts forward nine more of his own (both items via TPM).

Michael McDonald (PDF) finds that a mail-only revote in Florida would "cause disproportionate problems with the delivery of mail ballots to African-Americans" (via John Sides).

PPP gets a call from "Barack Obama."

 

Comments
kingsbridge77:

Blumenthal tells us that Sirota claims "racism" is a big force during these elections because Obama has "destroyed" Hillary in states where black population is small.

But the Daily Howler has criticized Sirota for his omitting an obvious fact: Almost all of those states held caucuses as opposed to primaries, and we all know that Obama benefits greatly from this type of voting system. Obama "destroyed" Hillary in the Washingon caucus, for example, but beat her only by 5% in the WA primaries:

Daily Howler (4-4-2008): It's true: Sirota's graph does in fact show that Obama has destroyed Clinton' in the states with the smallest black populations. (The states in question on Sirota's graph are these: Idaho, Vermont, Maine, North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska and Kansas. We dropped Hawaii, for fairly obvious reasons.) Sirota is careful enough to say that this pattern is likely due to racial dynamics in part. But as good pseudo-progressives must do, he then moves straight to the racial insults, failing to note other obvious factors which could explain this clump of outcomes.

One such factor is fairly obvious. These are almost all caucus states; on Sirota's chart, all the data from these states (except Utah and Vermont) reflect caucus events. How different might these data have been if these states had conducted primaries?

In other words, Obama supporter David Sirota wants you to think that the Clintons are racist, and in his mind, no other factor could explain Obama's success in this bunch of states.

http://dailyhowler.com/dh040408.shtml

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lsmakc:

called the latte states as well, the caucus favors activists. it is an unsavory and rather off putting event where many can be chagrined, to put it nicely, by derisive noise which explains why so many choose not to attend. it is not a private ballot and therefore those that choose to go tend to be outspoken. hardly an accurate sampling of what the real voting demographic is in a legitimate primary. thus obama's staunch refusal to have such in michigan and florida.

but i would like to call to mark's attention the never before utility of the pollster. previously the polling concept has created more harm than good, at least to this reader. it tends to mis-predict outcomes, influence voters on election day before they have cast a vote and thus marginalize them and it tends to whip up frenzies to frothiness generating data on itself.

BUT, now more than ever, we need you. without florida and michigan voting there is frankly no other way for the democratic party to walk into denver and know enough about what its members want.

therefore, it is of the utmost importance that pollsters back track to these two states - something they hate doing giving their addiction to predictive stats and their forward looking mentality. However, this time it's imperative. We the voters, we democrats, we independents, require these statistics heading into the summer months. there are no other options now to get us out of a quagmire that will assuredly derail any nominee. worse than the supreme court debacle, this one will invalidate any winner unless they carry in their hip pocket legitimate proof in numbers from these states. and the only numbers we can now are polling numbers.

you should shoot for a poll of polls every two weeks from these states. Dean would be a fool not to pay attention to this vital tool in the absence of anything else. the media will lock onto it, natch, and frankly, the DNC has nothing else, no ballast for this sinking ship.

except you!! you're it! so good luck and let's start seeing you trot back and haul some data.

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Jed:

Your "across the blogosphere" link is missing a URL....

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Latest ARG poll from Pennsylvania has Clinton and Obama tied at 45 apiece. Looks like another good week for the Obama camp.

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