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"Outliers" for April 9

Topics: Frank Newport , Mark Mellman , Pollsters

David Hill ponders the fall of Mark Penn and the reasons why "pollsters are the red-haired stepchild of politics when it comes to holding truly significant roles in major presidential campaigns."

Karen Tumulty chronicles Penn's demotion and recalls a forgotten tidbit from 1999.

Jason Horowitz reports on Penn's post demotion status.

Peter Feld says Penn's "biggest lapse" was a "failure to correctly apply his signature approach, the creative segmenting of the electorate."

Penn's Facebook application has few fans.

Mark Mellman lists the mistakes of the Clinton campaign.

Andrew Kohut considers how voters feel about the Democratic candidates, and how the candidates make the voters feel about themselves.

Brian Schaffner compares the question text and demographics of three Pennsylvania polls.

Frank Newport lists the countries that approve of political leadership in the U.S.

Carl Bialik takes an informal poll of pollsters on the recent Harris Interactive online survey on cell phones.

And James Fowler finds a Colbert bump (via Monkey Cage)

 

Comments
Gary Kilbride:

Mark Mellman: "there is no doubt that had Clinton won Iowa, she would be the presumptive nominee today."

IMO that's silly, an over reliance on the traditional momentum-based theory of early primaries.

The young voters who have avalanched for Obama were not going to scamper away, resigned to defeat, if he had failed in Iowa. The Big Money mistake by Hillary's team had already been made. Likewise, the devastating Big State error.

The impact of those blunders had not been felt, but how was an Iowa reversal going to prevent the basics from unfolding, more or less as we've seen them? Hillary would not have netted many delegates out of Iowa, even before the post-caucus adjustment which severely tilted in Obama's favor, when Edwards' delegates changed allegiance.

The major gaffe, not mentioned in Mellman's article, was Hillary emphasizing South Carolina despite insurmountable demographic disadvantage. The isolated spot on the calendar apparently forced her hand, plus over confidence based on "first black president" labeling of Bill Clinton. Hillary was up 2-1 at that point and could comfortably afford a defeat. She couldn't afford the perception of the race card being played, which surged black voting percentage to 9/1 or higher in Obama's favor, and re-established the theme of the Clintons willing to do anything to win, even among Democratic primary voters.

I agree Big State/Small State was "an error as big as they come," running an electoral college-type race in a proportional distribution scenario. When I asserted Hillary had foundational edge based on women and older voters, I had no idea she had brainstormed to ignore 1/3 of the states.

If I bet on Tiger Woods, there's no worry he's decided to abandon his wedges and putter. That would be the golf equivalent.

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lemonfair:

Curious about the Oregon D poll, which says Clinton is up by 10, though the latest poll of the very few shown has Obama up by 10. This represents a switch in the lead, so I understand caution, but what's the rationale for still saying Clinton is up by 10?

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