Friday, October 31, 2008

Barone on Senate races

An Anon commenter the other day praised Michael Barone’s political astuteness and reminded me to pay more attention to him.

I’ve been a Barone admirer for years, but Anons reminder was welcome, especially now with the election at hand.

Barone posted at his blog last evening: "Election Prediction: Democrats Won't Get a Filibuster-Proof Senate."

He provided thumbnail assessments of each of the senate races considered “in play.”

He concludes his post:

What's my bottom line? If I had to bet $1,000 on each of these races, I would bet on Smith (OR) and Dole (NC) to lose, and Coleman (MN), Chambliss (GA), and McConnell (KY) to win. That, assuming Sununu (NH) doesn't somehow pull it out, would leave the Democrats with 58 seats. (But I could easily be wrong on any or all of these races, and I reserve the right to change my prediction before Tuesday.)

Fifty-eight Democrats would be enough to stop filibusters if they can get a couple of Republicans (and not drop any Democrats) on an issue, but not enough to run the table.

It's a little scary to think that major differences in public policy can be settled by the outcomes in just a few close Senate races. But then, major differences in public policy were settled by George W. Bush's paper-thin victory in 2000.

Our representative democracy gives both parties huge incentives to squeeze just a few more votes out, because they can make a huge difference in the long run.
Here’s Barone’s thumbnail for NC:
In North Carolina, Elizabeth Dole trails Kay Hagan, 46 percent to 44 percent. Hagan made much of the fact that Dole did not spend much time in the state in 2005 and 2006, when she chaired the Senate Republicans' campaign committee, and Dole has not led in any poll since early October. But neither candidate has been ahead by 7 points in any poll since July. This looks like a real nail-biter.
Dole is running very negative ads. When an incumbent does that in the last few days of a campaign, you know it’s a certain sign the candidate’s internal polling is saying she’s in trouble.

Barone's entire post's here.

A few weeks back I posted in response to Barone's column: "The coming Obama thugacracy."


Anonymous said...

John, A pollster was asked a very interesting question. How do you reach young adult voters? He said his polls were conducted by telephone.

The questioner then said he knew no one that had other than a cell phone, and asked how they reached cell phone users? The pollster said that was becoming a problem, as they can’t randomly poll cell phone users.

Another question was how many people refuse to take part in your poll? Answer: Over 50%.

So now we have it, his polls represent only land-liners, and over 50% of those called will not participate.

Polls are worth what to who? The poll margins are narrowing.
I believe it is CYA time for pollsters.