Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Don't Trust the Polls Part II -- Follow the Candidates

As has been said many times, if you want to really understand how a political race is going, follow the candidates. The polls this year are questionable at best, outright rigged at worst. But if you follow the actions of the candidates, you see an entirely different story.

McCain made another appearance in Pennsylvania. Why? For two reasons, as it turns out. A Daily Kos diary reports that internal Obama polling was accidentally released and it showed that Obama was only ahead by 2 points. Given the Bradley effect, that may well mean he is behind. Note that the attitude on the far-left leaning Kos site reinforces two points that I have been making for a while now. One, the voter advantage to Democrats this year is all hype and little fact:
This is important because, if it is true, it undermines the argument that we have a substantial partyId advantage this year.
They want to believe that people are flocking to the Democratic Party this year despite the fact that historically people never flock to one party or the other. An unbiased statistical analysis has shown party affiliation barely changes year-to-year, election-to-election. Yet the left and the media (sorry for repeating myself) have been pushing this idea very hard for over a year now.

Two, the diarist has a goal in mind with all this spin:
We need to get on this story as soon as possible before it spreads any further. I don't want them to have any hope left, Let's crush their spirits!
After all, this isn't an important election during troubled economic and world times, right? This real enemy are "those conservatives like Sarah Palin" and they shouldn't just lose, they should be crushed! Pathetic and disgraceful.

So that is one reason that McCain is trying hard in Pennsylvania but there is another one, detailed here. Suppose McCain loses Colorado and Virginia (unlikely but that is what the biased polling is trying to tell us) but wins Pennsylvania. That makes the electoral map look like this:

Is there any doubt, now, that McCain is making a smart move?

Also note that McCain and Palin are headed back to Iowa this weekend. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.)
The weekend schedule would be McCain's fourth visit to the state since mid-September, and Palin's second trip to Iowa in that time.
The common talking point was that Obama's support of corn subsidies (and McCain's opposition) had flipped Iowa blue and it was a done deal. Averages at RealClearPolitics supported that argument. But internal numbers must be saying something different, if McCain and Palin are spending the time and energy of six visits to Iowa as the election closes.

The overall point here is that don't trust the polls, don't be influenced by lies, damn lies, and statistics.

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