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Two Weeks Worth of "Outliers!"

Topics: Barack Obama , John McCain

Desmoinesdem has some surprising advice for partisans on the receiving end of message testing polls they find offensive: don't hang up.

Kathy Frankovic ponders the potential for a perceived patriotism gap between McCain and Obama and reviews the problems that early voting creates for pollsters.

Frank Newport considers the value of pre-election polls in June, and lists five things you might not know about the election.

Gary Langer reviews misconceptions about the Hispanic vote.

Jennifer Agiesta reviews the Post/ABC numbers on McCain, Obama and Supreme Court appointments.

Kyle Dropp looks at public opinion on immigration.

Tom Schaller doubts Barack Obama can win in the South.

Nate Silver disagrees.

Election-Projection.net offers yet another election projection web site.

DemFromCt asks why the networks can't read polls.

Jay Cost considers Barack Obama's media buy strategy and his decision to forgo public funding.

David Hill doubts Barack Obama will convert GOP and independent youth and questions whether evangelical Christians will desert the Republicans.

Mark Mellman ponders what angers gun owners most, and addresses the "myth" that gay marriage initiatives determined the outcome of the 2004 election.

Jonathan Stein scores the Obama spreadsheet (via Bialik).

From last week, reviews on reaction to the Supreme Court's gun ownership decision from Jon Cohen, Gary Langer and Frank Newport,

And PPP polls the all-important topic of Andy Griffith and how his character might vote in 2008.

With that, we bid you a Happy 4th!

 

Comments
Will O'Neil:

In your recent National Journal piece you have a graph of Gallup and Rasmussen daily trackers vs. other polls. My knowledge of polling is largely limited to what I read in your columns but I'm pretty familiar with time-series analysis and the periodicity in the Gallup daily tracker is truly striking -- so much so that there's little need to do a statistical test to feel sure it is highly significant. It's really hard to believe that's truly in the underlying population. Is there something in Gallup's measurement or estimation methodology that can explain it?

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Undecided:

At every chance I read Jay Costs articles. He asks why Obama is ignoring Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Arkansas. He sees a correlation to Hillary's landside victories.

Another article to read is Tom Schaller (political science professor at University of Maryland) on Obama's Southern strategy. Although intuitively it makes sense to depend on African-Americans (half live in eleven former Confederate states), Schaller explains why it is not that simple:
1. Black voters already vote at higher rates than white voters in the South.
2. The more Democratic voters that are black, the more likely white voters vote Republican.


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RS:

Here's my response to Jay Cost's article:
http://randomsubu.blogspot.com/2008/07/jay-costs-take-on-obamas-ad-buys.html

"President Clinton had his winning electoral map; but that doesn't mean that's the map a Democratic Presidential candidate should follow in 2008. A decade later, ground conditions and state politics/demographics are different, and Obama has strengths and weaknesses that a Kerry or a Gore did not have."

Schaller has his book and his opinions, but that doesn't mean his is the only way. VA - surely part of Dixie - could very well turn Blue this year. Barr could bring Georgia into play (ummm, I am personally not too keen on Nunn as VP). Though going by his website's blurb, Obama is indeed trying to win the Mountain red states and - gasp - Alaska!
[I wish - perhaps in vain - that Obama would pick Governor Napolitano for VP and make McCain fight for AZ, another of Schaller's non-southern states.]

As the Obama campaign keeps saying, there are many ways to 270.

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Undecided:

I will stick with Jay Cost and Tom Schaller. They base their "analyses" on statistics.

Notably, Jay Cost did not take a position for or against the Obama and in fact stated "This is why I think the Obama campaign can be summed up as one of promise or peril." (One really needs to read the whole article.)

Additionally, Schaller made some very legitimate points while also acknowledging "The demographic makeup of the electorate in Virginia is unlike that of any other state in the South. The black population in Virginia is, as a percentage, among the lowest in the region." (Again... need to read the entire article.)

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Undecided:

Regarding Arizona, McCain won his 4th Senate election (2004) with 77% of the vote.

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RS:

I'd like to think that I also base my interpretations on statistics (one needs to read my blogpost before making judgments otherwise). I imagine Senator Obama's campaign does the same and surely at a much higher level than I ever could. Besides, remember that I did not say Schaller or Cost are wrong. Just... different interpretations.

Governor Napolitano won reelection with 63% - not as good perhaps as 77% against a "sacrifical lamb", but still pretty darned good, I'd say.

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RS:

Actually, it would appear that Cost and Schaller are at odds. Cost says any Democratic candidate should first try their hand at KY, WV, LA, TN and AR. But Schaller says Dems should whistle past Dixie (except maybe VA)!
http://www.whistlingpastdixie.com/

Anyhoo - these pundits and unpaid, blogging-for-fun folks like moi can interpret data any way they want; so do the campaigns. We'll find out who is right come November. Caveat emptor, and all that.

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James:

Is the Bush approval chart only being updated monthly now? And even if so, isn't it due for an update?

And I wonder if Bush will be the only president ever to spend an entire term below 50%?

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1magine:

Not sure where to post this, but.. New Zogby Polls. Same old Same old. http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1523
Obama leading McCain nationally and a larger electoral vote lead overall.

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