I wouldn’t touch this election with a 10-foot poll

A lot of Democrats are getting awfully nervous over national polls that show President Bush with as much as a 13 point lead over John Kerry. Well, that’s why the media focuses on the horse race… they want to make you nervous, so that you’ll stay tuned for every second of the homestretch.

For some reason people keep asking me for my prognostication, as if I have any special insight or inside knowledge. And they are usually surprised by my calm confidence that Kerry has the upper hand.

Admittedly, my opinion is based mostly on instinct, but I just don’t trust the polls. I believe that there are large numbers of closeted Kerry voters, struggling to admit their preference to themselves, let alone pollsters. Besides… does anybody really believe that the GOP convention was convincing enough to produce such a large and permanent swing?

Of course, I’m just an arrogant blowhard, so perhaps my optimism is based on wishful thinking. But I feel a lot better thinking wishfully after reading the latest “Kumbaya, Dammit” column by political consultant Dan Carol: “Forget the Polls“.

Well, the dirty little secret is that polling is less scientific than we’re led on.

So I am here to tell you, as a supposed expert on politics, that the race will stay ugly and close to the end — no matter what the latest polls say.

That plus this: we’re gonna win, for sure. No matter what the polls say.

Dan’s a thoughtful guy who has been running campaigns for a living for years, so he’s drawing from a wealth of personal experience. He’s also pretty well connected, so I’m sure he has access to the kind of inside information I can only dream of.

His thesis is that the polls are wrong because they rely on a faulty voter turnout model. He’s counting on Democratic efforts that have registered 3 million new voters nationwide (a 3 to 1 D-to-R ratio in Oregon), and a higher than usual youth vote. (Can anybody say “draft”?)

Personally, I think Democrats are just plain more enthusiastic about this election than Republicans. In Washington state, most of the media was quick to dismiss the Dem’s 20 point turnout advantage in last week’s primary, but I think part of that reflected an eagerness to go to the polls that will be repeated on November 2… nationwide.

Like Dan, I’m not suggesting you can sit back and relax. There’s still a lot of hard work that needs to be done. But jump into the homestretch with the confidence that we can and will pull this out at the end.

Comments

  1. 1

    Damnaged spews:

    Goldy,

    Your not the only one who sees this incessant whining from the Demo\’s as damning. How about a word from our sponsor?

    9/20/04

    Dear Friends,

    Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner — IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies. Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, \”Oh, it\’s all over! We are finished! Bush can\’t win! Waaaaaa!\”

    Hell no. It\’s never over for them until the last ballot is shredded. They are never finished — they just keeping moving forward like sharks that never sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking, lying.

    They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them — they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30% of the country calls itself \”Republican,\” yet the Republicans own it all — the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they\’ve been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It\’s because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.

    Look at us — what a bunch of crybabies. Bush gets a bounce after his convention and you would have thought the Germans had run through Poland again. The Bushies are coming, the Bushies are coming! Yes, they caught Kerry asleep on the Swift Boat thing. Yes, they found the frequency in Dan Rather and ran with it. Suddenly it\’s like, \”THE END IS NEAR! THE SKY IS FALLING!\”

    No, it is not. If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can\’t win… Dammit, of COURSE he\’s a lousy candidate — he\’s a Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win! What were you expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket? Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like him don\’t run — and neither do you or I. People like Kerry run.

    Yes, OF COURSE any of us would have run a better, smarter, kick-ass campaign. Of course we would have smacked each and every one of those phony swifty boaty bastards down. But WE are not running for president — Kerry is. So quit complaining and work with what we have. Oprah just gave 300 women a… Pontiac! Did you see any of them frowning and moaning and screaming, \”Oh God, NOT a friggin\’ Pontiac!\” Of course not, they were happy. The Pontiacs all had four wheels, an engine and a gas pedal. You want more than that, well, I can\’t help you. I had a Pontiac once and it lasted a good year. And it was a VERY good year.

    My friends, it is time for a reality check.

    1. The polls are wrong. They are all over the map like diarrhea. On Friday, one poll had Bush 13 points ahead — and another poll had them both tied. There are three reasons why the polls are b.s.: One, they are polling \”likely voters.\” \”Likely\” means those who have consistently voted in the past few elections. So that cuts out young people who are voting for the first time and a ton of non-voters who are definitely going to vote in THIS election. Second, they are not polling people who use their cell phone as their primary phone. Again, that means they are not talking to young people. Finally, most of the polls are weighted with too many Republicans, as pollster John Zogby revealed last week. You are being snookered if you believe any of these polls.

    2. Kerry has brought in the Clinton A-team. Instead of shunning Clinton (as Gore did), Kerry has decided to not make that mistake.

    3. Traveling around the country, as I\’ve been doing, I gotta tell ya, there is a hell of a lot of unrest out there. Much of it is not being captured by the mainstream press. But it is simmering and it is real. Do not let those well-produced Bush rallies of angry white people scare you. Turn off the TV! (Except Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers — everything else is just a sugar-coated lie).

    4. Conventional wisdom says if the election is decided on \”9/11\” (the fear of terrorism), Bush wins. But if it is decided on the job we are doing in Iraq, then Bush loses. And folks, that \”job,\” you might have noticed, has descended into the third level of a hell we used to call Vietnam. There is no way out. It is a full-blown mess of a quagmire and the body bags will sadly only mount higher. Regardless of what Kerry meant by his original war vote, he ain\’t the one who sent those kids to their deaths — and Mr. and Mrs. Middle America knows it. Had Bush bothered to show up when he was in the \”service\” he might have somewhat of a clue as to how to recognize an immoral war that cannot be \”won.\” All he has delivered to Iraq was that plasticized turkey last Thanksgiving. It is this failure of monumental proportions that is going to cook his goose come this November.

    So, do not despair. All is not over. Far from it. The Bush people need you to believe that it is over. They need you to slump back into your easy chair and feel that sick pain in your gut as you contemplate another four years of George W. Bush. They need you to wish we had a candidate who didn\’t windsurf and who was just as smart as we were when WE knew Bush was lying about WMD and Saddam planning 9/11. It\’s like Karl Rove is hypnotizing you — \”Kerry voted for the war…Kerry voted for the war…Kerrrrrryyy vooootted fooooor theeee warrrrrrrrrr…\”

    Yes…Yes…Yesssss…He did! HE DID! No sense in fighting now…what I need is sleep…sleeep…sleeeeeeppppp…

    WAKE UP! The majority are with us! More than half of all Americans are pro-choice, want stronger environmental laws, are appalled that assault weapons are back on the street — and 54% now believe the war is wrong. YOU DON\’T EVEN HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM OF ANY OF THIS — YOU JUST HAVE TO GIVE THEM A RAY OF HOPE AND A RIDE TO THE POLLS. CAN YOU DO THAT? WILL YOU DO THAT?

    Just for me, please? Buck up. The country is almost back in our hands. Not another negative word until Nov. 3rd! Then you can bitch all you want about how you wish Kerry was still that long-haired kid who once had the courage to stand up for something. Personally, I think that kid is still inside him. Instead of the wailing and gnashing of your teeth, why not hold out a hand to him and help the inner soldier/protester come out and defeat the forces of evil we now so desperately face. Do we have any other choice?

    Yours,

    Michael Moore
    http://www.michaelmoore.com
    mmflint@aol.com

  2. 2

    matt spews:

    I see what you saying but I wanted to say that I think that the gop is just as enthusiastic about this election as the democrats. I know that the GOP FEARS Kerry as prez. You point to the Washington primary as evidence, well that faulty, Washington is amongst the most liberal of states. The same deal goes with Oregon you say that its 3 to 1 in favor of the demo again Oregon is a liberal state and would have voted for Kerry anyway and beside it only have like 5 points in the electoral college. You guy says he does not trust polls because there are faulty (but yet uses them when they favor his point of view). So to say that this is the start of trend is real hopefully thinking on your part, I could say the same thing about the gop and point to southern states that are becoming more and more red. You say that youths are going vote in large numbers because of fear of draft (i do not get that because as youth myself I know there will not be a draft because starting that is a sure way to get kicked out of office so that never going happen), youth votes are going down in every election and I see that happening again this time.

  3. 3

    Goldy spews:

    Damnaged… thanks for pointing out the Michael More letter. I\’ll post a link to it where it will get greater visibility.

  4. 4

    Goldy spews:

    Matt… actually, Oregon was extremely clos in 2000… it is a very split state. As to the draft, sure it will be unpopular… that\’s why they won\’t talk about it until after the election. And as to the youth vote, there is a huge effort underway to increase youth voting, including a big name concert tour. If we can just get youth voter participation up to 1992 levels, Kerry will walk away with this election.