I Don’t Buy It

I just don’t buy these polls:

New York Democrat Hillary Clinton had a good day in the Newsmax/Zogby daily tracking poll ahead of Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary, following a strong debate performance in Philadelphia Wednesday night, and now holds a 47% to 43% advantage over Barack Obama of Illinois.

The two-day tracking survey, which was conducted April 16-17, 2008, showed that 10% were either undecided or supported someone else.

The telephone survey, conducted using live operators working out of Zogby’s on-site call center in Upstate New York, included 602 likely Democratic primary voters in Pennsylvania. It carries a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points.

The race appears stable, as Clinton retained a sizable lead in western Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, while Obama continues to lead by a large percentage in eastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia. In the central part of the state, including the state capital of Harrisburg, Clinton leads by eight points.

I have no analysis or anything really other than my gut (and this being a blog, what else do I need!), but I just do not think the race can be that close. It would really, really surprise me if it is that close, and I fully expect a Clinton win by anywhere from 6-12 points. I will be glad to be wrong, but I just think a four point race is unrealistic.

Not that any of it matters anyway, because even if Clinton loses PA, let alone win by close to double-digits, the race will go on, even if the delegate math does not get any better for her.






53 replies
  1. 1
    zzyzx says:

    I don’t buy these polls either but it’s becoming a lot of polls to dismiss. Rassmussen: 47/44

  2. 2
    Benjamin says:

    For what it is worth, Rasmussen went from C50 O41 in PA on Monday to C47 O44 yesterday.
    So they have in common the closeness but they see the movement in another direction.

  3. 3
    Billy K says:

    John, you’re not thinking clearly. Here, sprinkle some of this magic dust on your Cheerios. There you go…

  4. 4
    Jake says:

    I think most of us are just really hesitant to believe all the negative campaigning may actually be hurting Hillary.

    What’s the over/under on her staying in the race? I say is even if she outright loses, she stays in for another couple of states before pulling out.

    She’s as stubborn as a bad case of herpes. Or p.luk. Take your pick.

  5. 5
    Original Lee says:

    What I don’t buy is that 3% +/- 8% is a sizeable lead. Didn’t Clinton have a 20% lead not all that long ago? I would call 20% a sizeable lead, not this statistical dead heat.

  6. 6
    bjd says:

    Hillary by 12 and Team Obama needs to be setting expectations low.
    Then it’s Obama by 18+ in NC and a near split in Indiana. After these 3 primaries any net gain in pledged delegates will be marginal.

  7. 7
    Original Lee says:

    Sorry, make that 3% +/- 4%. (Note to self: don’t call the spread the error.)

  8. 8
    Soylent Green says:

    All bets are off on this one.

    If it’s within five points, then the end is near, insha’Allah.

  9. 9
    chopper says:

    the polls in PA have been all over the place. i don’t trust any of em.

  10. 10
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    The Quinnipiac Poll for Pennsylvania, released April 15th, shows Clinton by 50/44. This is pre-debate however, I don’t see Clinton getting more than a two or three point bounce from that circus – especially in view of the fact that these polling results were unchanged from those of April 8th.

  11. 11
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Pollster’s latest averages had it C48/O42, and if you split PPP’s 3 point Obama lead with SurveyUSA’s 14 point Clinton lead you’re in the same area. So I’m still going with Clinton winning by between 5 to 10. Though after Wednesday, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Obama get a bump.

  12. 12
    cleek says:

    I say is even if she outright loses, she stays in for another couple of states before pulling out.

    she’s proven to be impressively impervious to the mathematical reality, so far. i wouldn’t be surprised if she takes it all the way to the bitter end.

    i wonder if she thinks she has enough support within the Party elite that they will give it to her no matter how the primary votes come out. but that can’t be true, since she’s such a proven enemy of “disenfranchisement”.

  13. 13
    The Other Steve says:

    Actually I’m amazed that Newsmax does polling.

  14. 14
    zzyzx says:

    If it’s 5 or lower, we’re going to see massive superdelegate movement after a day or two to let Clinton leave on a high note.

  15. 15
    Dracula says:

    If I wanted reliable and agreeable polling, I’d head to a strip club.

  16. 16

    Pollster.com is where I go to read up on polling data. Individual polls don’t mean all that much, but Survey USA seems to be the most accurate over the course of this nomination process. I’ve seen analysis that says Clinton will most likely pick up a net of 6-12 pledged delegates. That will probably be the nail in the Clinton campaigns coffin. Funding is drying up already, so look for SD’s to start jumping on the Obama bandwagon next Wednesday. Dean’s calling for a decision to be made now so that will probably give the SD’s enough cover to make a move.

  17. 17
    PK says:

    I live in Pennsylvania and I have not seen a single Obama sign in my area and a total of two Hillary signs. I have no idea how people are going to vote. My only gauge is that the candidate I support always looses eg. Al gore, John Kerry. Maybe I should vote Hillary!

  18. 18
    Tim Fuller says:

    Obama will probably win the state. His voters are less likely to be polled. This is the “Dewey defeats Truman” event of our era folks. Back then, Dewey supporters had more telephones than Truman and it skewed the telephone polls resulting in the famous headlines. People will soon be pointing at me, searching my past posts, calling for interviews, etc, once they see how prescient I am about these things.

    Proof exists in cyberspace. It’s how I found out for sure that Bush and his minion were perverted war criminals who sit around the table micromanaging torture details on prisoners like some latter day Marquis de Sade.

    Enjoy.

  19. 19
    Zifnab says:

    Sorry, make that 3% +/- 4%. (Note to self: don’t call the spread the error.)

    I was going to say… 8% margin of error? That’s a horrible poll.

    If the polls are getting played, I’m sure this is one of those “Look how Hillary came from behind!” games. She can wave her 47/44 poll and point to her 53/47 win and announce how she’s the Come Back Kid all over again.

    Eventually, the Super Delegates will decide this in favor of Obama and it’ll be all over. I can wait, even if I don’t particularly want to.

  20. 20
    jnfr says:

    If we learn nothing else from this election season, it is that there should never, never be a six-week gap between primaries again. I can’t wait for PA to vote and be done with it.

  21. 21
    mike in dc says:

    If she loses PA, even by one vote, she’s done. The media will be merciless, and the big league uncommitted SDs will jump to Obama if he wins there, because there will be no ambiguity remaining–he’ll have proven he can win a big state, will definitely be ahead in pledged delegates AND popular vote, and there will be nothing left for her to hang her campaign on.

    If she were to somehow to say she’s going to hang in there, I’d expect Obama to phone Al Gore to clear some space on his weekend schedule…

  22. 22
    The Other Steve says:

    This is bizarre

    This woman hates Obama, because, well… She is actually bitter.

    I feel sorry for her, and pretty damn disgusted that Clinton’s campaign and the news media is using her like this.

  23. 23
    John Cole says:

    This woman hates Obama, because, well… She is actually bitter.

    I feel sorry for her, and pretty damn disgusted that Clinton’s campaign and the news media is using her like this.

    You could have gone through that article and replaced the name ‘McCabe’ with any of the following:

    Taylor Marsh
    Lambert
    Larry Johnson
    big Tent Democrat
    MYIQ
    P. Lukasiak

    And the article would not read any differently. Hillary has actively courted and captured the crazy vote.

  24. 24
    Dork says:

    If she loses PA, even by one vote, she’s done.

    she’s not losing PA, and she’s not quitting. Ever.

  25. 25
    PanAmerican says:

    Clinton 5 to 10. She would have been better served by continued short gaps between primaries. This long delay only allows Obama to put the money to work on name recognition, highlights her funding issues and the lack of any real hope she can pull it off.

    Though I would NOT be shocked if they are at least thinking about an independent run.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    she’s not losing PA, and she’s not quitting. Ever.

    Hillary the third-party candidate!

  28. 28
    zmulls says:

    I’ve seen several Obama signs and a handful of Hillary signs — but in my neighborhood the Kerry signs were very thick in 2004, so I’m not a good bellwether.

    I am taking all polls with massive salt. Zogby has gotten a lot wrong, and I do think it’s Hillary’s to lose. I do think the general momentum is in Obama’s direction, but I refuse to believe it’s enough to win.

    That said, it’s all going to come down to turnout, which is a cliche that’s going to be very true this time. The factor that could cause an Obama surprise win is the “youth” vote. Pollsters (I think) count the youth vote low because historically, they haven’t shown up. But this is one election where it might be different, and one candidate that has been bringing the youth vote in.

    If the youth vote comes in droves, and the African-American turnout in Philly is big, and the older-demographic Hillary vote feels discouraged and skips the primary…..that could give Obama a much better showing, maybe a win.

  29. 29
    John Cole says:

    BTW TOS, read this WIll Bunch take on McCabe.

  30. 30
    Mary says:

    I’d cut McCabe some slack. She’s been through some horrible times, has reacted as many non-crazy people would, and after speaking to the NY Times, is given a chance to ask the question on live tv. She’s not the moral equivalent of Marsh or BTD, or, God forbid, myiq or p. luk. I think she’s wrong, but she’s also sincere, not trolling, gloating or digging up whatever far-flung dirt or near-dirt she can find.

  31. 31
    Kirk Spencer says:

    I ran across an interesting technique that’s turning out fairly decent for predictions.

    Use the median of the last 30 days of polling. If it’s an incumbent, give the 2/3 of the undecided to the challenger. Otherwise, just split them evenly. Here, there’s no challenger, so it’s an even split.

    That gives Clinton +9 in PA. Since “conventional wisdom” was 20, and expectations were lowballed at 15, that’s underperforming. But it won’t have her out.

    Oh – and while on the general subject… I figure we’ll see a (for lack of a better phrase) superdelegate caucus sometime in late June. By then we’ll be short Nebraska’s vote, maybe one or two others depending on how early they do it. So I’m not really bothered by this ongoing train wreck – all things considered it’s been good for the Democrats.

  32. 32
    dslak says:

    It’s not the fault of people like McCabe that ABC sees fit to give them a platform. Most of us would probably make an ass out of ourselves on national TV, too, if only somebody put the microphone in our face.

  33. 33
    dslak says:

    Kirk Spencer, are you saying you don’t want the vote of Nebraskans to count? P.luk is gonna be all over you on that, Sir!

  34. 34
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Mary Says:

    I’d cut McCabe some slack. She’s been through some horrible times, has reacted as many non-crazy people would, and after speaking to the NY Times, is given a chance to ask the question on live tv. She’s not the moral equivalent of Marsh or BTD, or, God forbid, myiq or p. luk. I think she’s wrong, but she’s also sincere, not trolling, gloating or digging up whatever far-flung dirt or near-dirt she can find.

    I really hope the netroots shows some class by NOT giving McCabe the countertop treatment. We don’t need any citizen “journalism” here. If you don’t like what happened, concentrate your ire on ABC. This women has is entitled to her opinions and is not at fault for the way she was used by ABC.

  35. 35
    KCinDC says:

    We’re in the midst of yet another game of Clinton goalpost moving. As in Texas and New Hampshire (and probably a few others), somehow expectations are being magically adjusted from “Of course Clinton will win by 20 points” to “If Obama doesn’t win this, he’s failed.” As long as the media continues to go along and ignores the delegate math, the contest will go on and on, and McCain will continue his free ride.

  36. 36
    Kirk Spencer says:

    dslak,

    For myself, there are good reasons to let this run clear out to the convention. There are good reasons not to do so as well. But I think it immaterial. There are too many people with influence who say the issue will be closed by the fourth of July. Folk in Clinton’s campaign could be dismissed. Howard Dean, and others like him, are harder to dismiss.

    Starting with Pennsylvania next week, we go into another flurry – primaries and/or caucuses every week or two – till June 2 (New Mexico and South Dakota). Then we’ve got about six weeks to Nebraska and its 33 delegates.

    The best reason for waiting to see the flurry resolve is the past six weeks. That’s when the stuff started showing that’ll be heavy in the general – not the substance, but the whispers. This upcoming flurry – the next seven or eight weeks – will let the superdelegates see if it hampered or enhanced either candidate. Not in the paid polls but in the “ones that matter”. No effect is informative too – in particular it kills the ‘vulnerable to dirt’ worry. But Nebraska won’t tell anyone anything new (besides how Nebraskans split for the two). And while I would really prefer letting the Dems of that state practice their GOTV plan to find the flaws and because it would help the down-ticket dems, I don’t think that’s going to be the dominant concern at the superdelegate level.

  37. 37
    dslak says:

    Kirk, that’s the wrong answer. The correct answer is “Nebraska only counts if it goes for Hillary. Otherwise, fuck ’em.”

  38. 38
    Sasha says:

    My prediction:

    If Obama actually wins Pennsylvania (a real possibility since he is the beneficiary of a double Colbert Bump), the primaries will continue through to the end as a show of involving the entire country and Hillary will concede. The only way the superdelegates could possibly be convinced at that point to award the nomination to Hillary is if absolute evidence of the MUP being Osama Bin Ladin’s catamite shows up. Otherwise, virtually every argument the Clinton campaign has made in her favor (vetted, able to win big states and get the white man vote, etc.) will be rendered moot.

  39. 39
    SLKRR says:

    Nebraska’s caucus already went big (68-32) for Obama, so they already don’t count.

  40. 40
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Dslak, I try to be … patient, especially as regards Nebraska. I lived in the state for four years, and I’ve no real desire to increase that number. That said, there are worse states.

  41. 41
    tjproudamerican says:

    One good thing about Hillary is that we can finally see the phony Democratic supporters like Taylor Marsh and “Obama-supporting” Big Tent, Armando, for what they are:

    A Blue Dress waiting for another Clinton installment.

    Bah! Hillary and Bah! Bill. During Clinton’s “successful” two terms, he made himself and women he used a running joke, he led the Democratic party to losing BOTH Houses of Congress, he enriched himself and his wife and all their BFF by hundreds of millions.

    And what a fighter! He lied, his wife lied, and he was impeached. By Bill Clinton Standards, Andrew Johnson should be on Mt. Rushmore with Bill, George W., the Father H.W., and Hillary.

  42. 42
    grandpajohn says:

    Actually this McCabe thing may well work to Obamas benefit since it serves to emphasize the correctness of his observation about the bitterness of the ordinary everyday voter/citizen toward our Washington pols and their neglect and total disregard in solving the problems that do affect the lives of the ordinary voter/citizen

  43. 43
    chopper says:

    I’d cut McCabe some slack. She’s been through some horrible times

    so she’s bitter?

  44. 44
    grandpajohn says:

    the contest will go on and on, and McCain will continue his free ride.

    No problem, the free ride for McCain by the MSM will continue all the way to Nov regardless of when the Dem primary is over or who wins.

  45. 45
    Cain says:

    I really hope the netroots shows some class by NOT giving McCabe the countertop treatment. We don’t need any citizen “journalism” here. If you don’t like what happened, concentrate your ire on ABC. This women has is entitled to her opinions and is not at fault for the way she was used by ABC.

    My reaction has been pretty much the same as everyone else who posted here about this woman. We had actually discussed this on yesterday’s Hillary thread. She seems like an honest person who has gone through some tough times. Ironically, I would think Obama’s message would resonate with her. But whatever.

    I don’t think she’ll get the Malkin treatment because most of us at least in the liberal side have this thing called “empathy”. You’d have to be a total partisan tool to not have some kind of empathy for her plight. I wish her and her husband,good health and a hope they get some semblence of a normal life.

    cain

  46. 46
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Actually I’m amazed that Newsmax does polling.

    Newsmax can’t count to 15 without unzipping their collective pants.

    If the polls are getting played, I’m sure this is one of those “Look how Hillary came from behind!” games. She can wave her 47/44 poll and point to her 53/47 win and announce how she’s the Come Back Kid all over again.

    My thought exactly! Just a pre-vote goalpost move to make the win look ‘decisive’. I am holding at +20% win for Hillary, and anything better than that for Obama is a win for him. I will not let Hillary or the pollsters frame this vote in advance. For as much crap as Obama has had to fend off over the last few weeks, +20% sounds about right to me.

    What I want to know is if McCabe uses two-ply or single-ply tissue. I would guess single-ply, and if that is the case then she has a right to be bitter. I sure as hell would be! Other than that, she is the poster child for bitter people who vote against their self-interests. But hey, that is what being free is all about, so what the heck.

  47. 47
    Svensker says:

    The polls right before Ohio showed Obama neck and neck with the Hillster (except for SUSA), so I don’t believe nuttin till the votes are counted.

  48. 48
    The Other Steve says:

    BTW TOS, read this WIll Bunch take on McCabe.

    Yeah, that is interesting.

    The interesting thing about this, is that these voters are easy to sway back to the Democratic side should Obama be the nominee. That is, as long as the nominee shows a compassionate personality.

    Which when comparing Obama to John “Move more jobs to China” McCain, is a pretty easy win for Obama.

  49. 49
    The Other Steve says:

    The polls right before Ohio showed Obama neck and neck with the Hillster (except for SUSA), so I don’t believe nuttin till the votes are counted.

    Well, Ohio did come in close. The polls a few weeks out showed hillary with over a 20 point lead.

    I think in this case, hillary has another problem. This debate showed just how much her being in this race causes damage to the Democrats. There’s a sense of it needing to be over.

  50. 50
    bud says:

    C’mon, John – you’ve been around PA dem politics long enough to realize that if the big boys in the party want HRC to win, she will, and BIG. The machines in Pgh and Philly will turn out the vote, and the O-boys in the hinterlands will be swamped.

    Forget the polls – who does the machine(s) like?

  51. 51
    Fledermaus says:

    Obama will probably win the state. His voters are less likely to be polled. This is the “Dewey defeats Truman” event of our era folks.

    I was thinking the same thing. Esp. because Obama supporters trend younger. Who even has a land line anymore? And pollsters don’t call cell phones, as far as I know. And even if they do most, i suspect, have learned to disregard non-local numbers. My we do live in interesting times.

  52. 52
    zoe kentucky says:

    While the Dem machine in Pittsburgh does favor Hillary one has to realize that might not count for too much– the boy mayor isn’t that popular. Also their support is counter-buoyed by the support of the owner of the Steelers as well as some pretty high profile former players. Casey’s endorsement doesn’t hurt either.

    I drive around Pittsburgh as part of my work and I’ve seen far more visible support for Obama than Hillary. Nothing scientific, I know, just my general impression.

  53. 53
    zoe in pittsburgh says:

    I live in Pittsburgh. I’ve been polled a few times– twice by a person and once by a robocall.

    If the polls overall show a narrowing gap of 5% or less I think Obama could win the state because traditional polling methods– landlines and people willing to talk to strangers on the phone– do miss an increasing number of people. They’re just not as reliable as they once were. Pollsters are going to have to figure out a way to adapt to modern communcation and still follow a scientific method.

Comments are closed.