Articles and Analysis


PA-12: 2010 House Special (PPP 5/15-16)

Topics: poll

Public Policy Polling (D)
5/15-16/10; 831 likely voters, 3.4% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone

(PPP release)

Pennsylvania 12th Congressional District

2010 House Special Election
48% Burns (R), 47% Critz (D)


Field Marshal:

This is indicative of the Cook Partisan index giving the district an R+1 rating. Spot on. Its going to be all about turnout.



If the GOP wins this one they deserve to celebrate, but if they win Hawaii it is a joke.

If Utah had a special election with two Republican candidates, of course a Democrat would win. I doubt they would do anything as stupid as Hawaii did.

Fox news probably paid the Democrats in Hawaii just to find a way to embarass Obama.



For all of the attention this race has gotten, I think its outcome will be even more potent than expected in creating cheer/fear about November, mainly because a plausible argument can be made for each side having the advantage at the moment.

The argument Democrats would have us believe is that McCain winning there means that a Republican win does not presage the Republican stomp-down some expect. The reality is that a loss would be much more devastating for the Democrats for at least three reasons: (1) the seat has been democratic since the Depression, (2) democrats have an overwhelming edge in registration, and (3) it is one thing to fear sharks in the water; it is another to see yet another one savaging a swimmer no more hapless than you.

Most importantly, Democrats have won about 10 special elections in a row, giving rise to magical thinking. It is much like a BB player who hits 6 shots in a row then starts thinking he need not even get open to shoot. Democrats have been doing the political equivalent: playing solely to their own base (remember the contempt for Rove for the same strategy?), thinking that the push-back from the majority will easily dissipate since it is misinformed, stupid, attributable to malicious lies by the small segment of media that is conservative, and, most critically, comes from Whites. Despite the fact that the liberals politicians and liberal commentators themselves are overwhelmingly white, they appear to believe that whites who do not agree with them have no standing to speak out because they are obviously racist and ignorant. Hence the truly stupid taunting ("tea-baggers" !!!) and slanders directed to Tea Party members and sympathizers.

Though liberal politicians and commentators will spin furiously to downplay the significance of a Burns win, I think that if Burns does win we will see another wave of Democrat's filled with desire for belated quality time with their families.

November is still a long way away, and Democrats will close the gap between now and then. How much, of course, is the big question. A couple of weeks after Labor Day, things will become much clearer. Right now we are all guessing or simply stating our preferences or using selective logic to make the best case for our side.



"Fox news probably paid the Democrats in Hawaii just to find a way to embarass Obama."

I think Democrats have an amazing ability to do stupid things and need no assistance whatsoever. They are even worse than Republican politicians, which is mind-boggling.

Usually Democrats get away with them, thanks to a news media that muffles, justifies, or, if possible, omits things that show prominent liberal Democrats being stupid or venal while high-lighting and exaggerating mistakes made by conservatives. In this case the media can't help them because both are liberal democrats.

If Fox were a network news able to reach more than a small slice of the public, Democrats would face scrutiny equal to that received by Republicans. They would fare very, very badly, especially Obama. It is hard to imagine Obama facing what Bush or Reagan did, no matter how often he exaggerates, deceives, or slanders while hypocritically accusing others of the same behavior, and not matter how often or egregiously he abuses the dignity of his office.



Seg Unplugged!


If media were anywhere close to impartial, there is no way BOBO could have gotten elected.

Media covered for him, and now the country is paying the price.

Lack of responsible and impartial media = end of democracy.



The Gop will win every House Race tommrow,because the Elections are fixed,i was listening to a local radio station here in Saltlake city in this guy called in said the Bdo company who makes these bogus voting machines has been fixing these machines where they would switch a vote from a Democrat to a Republican,he told the host they did it in 2008 in Georgia in Missouri,thats why Obama lost,but they couldnot switch enough votes to steal the election because to many exit polls was showing Obama winning in a landslide that day,but in Newjersy he confirmed over 100,000 votes where switched from Corzine to Christie,and over 125,000 votes where switched from Coakley to Brown in Massachusetts in January,of course the host thought this guy was a wacko,but he told the host to watch the elections very closely tommrow,because the Democrats will lose every House race,in they will never lead all night,the Gop will be winning by 4% most of the night,the Democrats will be trailing by 4% from start to finish,because those machines are going to be setup that way,he told the host back in November when Corzine lost,he trailed from start to finish in a very Blue State,now is that suspious,he said this is what going to happen on Tuesday in the house races,those voting machines are maded by a conservative company he said,he quit because his mind start playing with him,he just couldnt do it anymore,he told the host the federal govt needs to investigate that company,he said that company is working with Rasmussen,thats why Rasmussen is getting most of these races accurate,thats all this guy said to the host,he would not give his name,but he was 100% sure these elections tommrow along with the mid-terms are going to be stolen,he predicted at least 4.2 million votes are going to be switched in November from Democrat to Republican,which would give the gop at least 50 house seats and also 10 Senate seats,this is scarey,the feds need to get in contact with that radio station before our democracy be destroyed by this company.OMG



@ Melvin

No need for conspiracy theories. The Republicans will probably win because one race is in a Republican district, and the other has two idiots who have decided they would rather let a Republican win then be grown ups and secure an easy victory. Far more mundane than any theory about vote stealing and conspiracy.



"Lack of responsible and impartial media = end of democracy."

I agree the media use to have the job of informing people, now the job seem to be about creating and highlighting conflict to sell ads, papers whatever. Read any article about something coming up, financial reform, oil spill, AZ immigration law. No one says what it will do, just what the politicians are accusing each other of.



Is there any way to stop this melvin conspiracy nutcase spammer?

Just why would it be a joke if the GOP won Hawaii, farleft? Would you also consider it a joke if meeks somehow managed to win florida with 34% of the vote? Of course not. Meeks is a democrat.

It's all down to the wire on the last day. Can the democrats save this seat after pumping millions into it and even bringing in Bill Clinton to try to save it?


Field Marshal:

Very well said seg. Hard to argue with any of that. The media is so beyond the corrupt level today. Anyone who believes anything said on NBC, ABC or CBS is a fool. AS Thaddeus said, they used to have a job of informing. That changed severely when Bush was elected. From that point on it became about getting Dems elected by spinning the news. Even using outright deceit (see: Dan Rather and NYT re: McCain).

The clearest evidence is how the left is informed on the AZ law. You can clearly tell who got their news from the NYT or MSNBC from those who got it from the WSJ, FOX and PBS.



"If media were anywhere close to impartial, there is no way BOBO could have gotten elected"

Then how was it Bush was elected twice? How was it republicans held congress for 12 years?

If the liberal elites in the media, government, and academia are so strong, how come we don't have liberals win 80% of the time?

Why is it the tea parties are reported on more than millions of anti-war protestors worldwide in 2003? At best 2-300,000 people go to a tea party in Washington and it's indicative of an amazing movement. But when 1 million come out in central park, it's child's play and no one cares.

I get so tired of the liberal media argument. That used to be John Birch Society foolishness. Now it's mainstream conservative thought. It undergirds EVERYTHING they think! No democrat could possibly win if the media didn't distort everything.

1) at least 40% of Americans watch NO NEWS REGULARLY. So at best they reach somewhat more than half the population, and many of them are uninformed.

2) Journalists are liberal. Ok, fine. But their bosses are CORPORATE TITANS interested in one thing: making money. Numerous studies have been conducted that show if any bias DOES exist, it is toward whoever the media "thinks" will be the winner.



No need for conspiracy theories or the men in black jumping from flying saucers.

The reason the democrats are going to lose both Houses in Congress is because the people are fed up.

We're going to throw the bums out!!



Tomorrow is going to another big day for THE MOVEMENT. Don't worry America, The Tea Party is coming to the rescue.



Tomorrow is going to be another big day for THE MOVEMENT. Don't worry America, The Tea Party is coming to the rescue.



Tomorrow is going to be another be day for THE MOVEMENT. Don't worry America, The Tea Party is coming to the rescue.



Silly argument, Aaron.

Are you telling me that I am unable to discern for myself if a media outfit is liberal, conservative or neutral? Are you telling that to the rest of Americans? Maybe just posters on this site. You know, I have this magical, unique ability, having read a columnist, or watched a TV show host to determine their political leaning. But maybe, I am not alone after all. There is plenty of polling done on the subject over the years. In the past, self-id'd cons and mods considered MSM as too liberal, while self-id'd libs considered it middle of the road/about right/fair. Well, no $h!t! To a liberal ear, it sounds about right/fair. More recent polling shows that even self-id'd libs now say that MSM is a little too far to the left.

You mention tea party coverage. Ha! MSM avoided them for a long long time. Then, once they could not ignore it any longer, they covered them as nut jobs radicals, racists, pig-#u&kers, etc.. And STILL do. As that how they covered anti war protesters?

I'll just give you one tiny example from recent news. Elena Kagan WH propaganda video job. MSM barely brushed by that story, even though it affected MSM directly since WH did the job MSM considered their birthright. Had this been Bush's WH that did that, it would be raked thru coals for weeks.

40% of people don't watch news? Sure, but then again, 40% of people don't vote. Pretty high correlation there, I bet.

News outfits are owned by CORPORATE TITANS? Like who? GE? Still the biggest market cap co in the world, I think. Pretty titanic. So NBC is conservative? Maybe, maybe not, but it's CEO is sure trying to kiss BOBO's ass every chance he gets. GOOD BUSINESS in this case. NYTimes corp conservative? How about Ted Turner?

In BO's case, had the media not had thrills up their legs about him, they may have been more honest in their reporting about his ideology and associations that who himself wrote in his memoirs, for example, which would have exposed him as way way waaaay far to the left of nation's electorate. They really had the wrong idea about who he was.




The power of the liberal media conspiracy is so strong that you are completely taken by it. You're insulting the intelligence of the 69 million who voted for Obama worse than you think I'm insulting your conspiracy theory.

There is a sub-field within communications called media studies and they have tried to test the "bias" for 30 years. One problem is that it's very hard to find the right variables, because "bias" is subjective. But even when using a right-wing perspective, little quantifiable bias is found. What most have concluded is that the "bias" in people's own heads because they feel not confirming their prejudices counts as bias. You probably see them as biased because they don't get up there and say "Day #390 of the worst presidency EVER!"

No one is saying journalists are not liberal. I'm saying they're the hired help. You know as well as I do that given the chance, they would break a bad story about democrats. Look at what the NYT broke about Richard Blumenthal. The media liked Obama because he was new, good looking, fresh face that excited young people, and getting younger people to watch TV is more important than older ones. Plus the conflict between him and Clinton was ratings gold.

"MSM avoided them for a long long time."

What are you talking about? The tea party was organized in early 2009. There may have been some germinations before that, but what we know as "tea parties" were organized mostly by FreedomWorks and their various organizers, promoted by talk radio, Fox News, and right wing blogs like Michelle Malkin's.

Dick Armey was on Meet the Press in spring 2009 promoting it; it was the first I heard of it, although there had been events in Feb 2009. Yeah real liberal biased press giving one of the tea party's major organizers time on a Sunday news program before their nationwide protest on April 15.

As I recall, anti-war protests during the Bush era were noted but dismissed. Those are nothing new; not important, regardless of their size. About 30% of Americans disagreed with the war in 2003, and those protests reflected that...no matter. About 18% of people identify with the tea party, but much more media attention is given to them.

"Had this been Bush's WH that did that, it would be raked thru coals for weeks."

How do you know? You have absolutely no way to confirm this statement. It's just your intuition and a hypothetical scenario based on formulaic thinking.

Prior to WWII, people read the paper that reflected their biases and did so proudly. During WWII, somehow the press became more "patriotic" and got the "objective" role that we associate it with today as the ideal. That evolution was the biggest part of the problem right there.

The liberal bias myth started after WWII when some journalists were found to have communist ties and people like Joe McCarthy accused others. The theme was picked up by right wing groups like the John Birch Society and others since it fit their notions of victimization and the infiltration of large organizations. The theme continued through the 60s... Nixon blamed the press a lot...and by the time the 80s rolled around you had alternate media like Rush Limbaugh proclaiming themselves as the opposite of the media's so-called bias.

Politicians always claim the press is biased against them when they don't do well, hence the idea that Obama won because of the press. Who do you think said the following:

"And we must also face the fact that no administration has ever before enjoyed such uncritical and enthusiastic support from so much of the press as this one."

Hint: it wasn't a republican, and it's not even recent.



Whose quote?

I'll take a shot in the dark.. Adlai?

How am I insulting 69 Mil voters? They voted on info that was presented to them. Had they gotten their info from conservative sources, rather than broadcast networks nightly news, where majority still get their news, they would have formed different opinion.

"little quantifiable bias is found" How do you know that people doing the study were unbiased? There are actually quantitative bias to be found. People have studied, for example, all references to "tea party" or "Barack Obama", or "Sarah Palin", or "John McCain" and counted how many of the references in the media with the highest circulation/ratings were positive and how many negative. What do you think the outcome was.

Aaron, it's damning enough that non-conservative polling outfits find time after time that liberals find MSM to be fair/accurate/just and mods and cons find MSM to be biased to the left. Is that obvious enough? I don't turn on CNN and hear left bias because I expect it from CNN. I hear left bias becasue/when it sounds left biased. I don't need to know what I am reading and who the author is to figure out who is biased in which direction. The left media, which STILL has the vast majority of eyes and ears of the voters, simply overreports the positives for their guy and the negatives for righties, and vice-a-versa. Right media does the same.

Sure, it is not absolute. How a pol handles the media matters as well. They hated Reagan with the exact same passion and for the exact same reason they hate Palin now. Eventually, he won them over with his charm and wit.(Not that Palin can match any of it). They hated Bush jr, especially after 2K election, but quickly turned around after 9/11. Maybe they loved BO partly because he was charismatic, rather than because he was a lefty, but nevertheless, they did not do their job of vetting him and did what they could to push him along..



"I'll take a shot in the dark.. Adlai?"

Good guess! That was from Adlai Stevenson's 1956 acceptance speech at the DNC. In his defense...the media establishment did like Eisenhower, but who wouldn't? He did do a lot to win WWII. The point was, a lot of politicians cry media bias because they are resentful they did not do better.

"How am I insulting 69 Mil voters? They voted on info that was presented to them. Had they gotten their info from conservative sources, rather than broadcast networks nightly news, where majority still get their news, they would have formed different opinion."

You're basically saying the people that voted for him were duped. I read both his books, plus a couple of the "anti-Obama" books published during the election season and watched almost every democratic debate. I felt I knew enough about him.

Again, the people watching broadcast news are overwhelmingly over 50. Look at the commercials they play on cable news.. it's investments and hoverchairs. Those people voted for Obama at a much lower rate. Younger people voted for Obama at a much higher rate and they get their news from the internet, facebook, daily show, twitter, etc... In my experience, and I work at a college, they get no news at all. They get their news organically, they don't sit down and watch it...and it's mostly the news they want, which is usually entertainment-related. They voted for Obama because he was easier for them to identify with him and McCain admitted he didn't even know how to send an e-mail. I remember one young woman telling me about McCain, "He tells stories like my grandpa, and never gets to the point." Plus, young people hated Bush worse than others. I think the younger generation will be similar to this younger generation circa the early 80s that fully rejected Carter and still vote republican for the most part. But I digress.

I fully reject that is was broadcast news that influenced them. Newspapers? Again, only older people read those. Magazines ie: newsweek: no one reads those.

So how much influence does this liberally biased MSM really have? It seems to me they are becoming more and more irrelevant thanks to technology and cultural shifts.

" it's damning enough that non-conservative polling outfits find time after time that liberals find MSM to be fair/accurate/just and mods and cons find MSM to be biased to the left. Is that obvious enough?"

I'm talking about peer reviewed studies and you're citing polls to back up your point. I could really care less what public opinion is, since the right/left paradigm in the media is so distorted that it's useless. What people "think" is not reality.

Here's a psychology article that concludes the bias is more within the news consumer:


Here's another one that looked at presidential election coverage since 1948, and finds little bias.


Here's one that explains that it's not political bias, but rather bias toward importance in the context of the news cycle. This would be part of what I would call "money bias," which is primarily what I think the media has.


You can see from the citations there has been a lot of work on the subject.

I have academic access to a lot of these journals. Sorry if you don't. Sometimes to learn stuff the library is still the best place.

Of course, the whole thing is a mute point if you simultaneously believe that academia is liberally biased, than anything any researcher says means nothing.



Tea Party lost this one.



yeah when is this big Republican tidal wave coming. Even Scarborough said today that this should have been an easy win for the Reps. PVI of +1 Republican and still couldn't win it. I think Reps are going to net maybe 2-3 seats in the senate. I am not so sure about the house anymore. I think they are going to pick up a few just becaause the dems won so many swing sits in the 2006 and 2008. Not as many as Gingrich has been saying if they can't win PA-12.


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