A lot of Democrats are
about the fact that Barack Obama has not been answering John McCain's
attack ads with negative ads of his own, for example, focusing on McCain's relationship with convicted felon
Charles Keating. But there may be a strategic reason for this silence. McCain has opted in for public financing,
which means he must spend all his primary money during the primary season (which ends the day he is formally
nominated). Otherwise he loses the money. Obama opted out and has no such restrictions. So Obama is spending a lot
of money now on voter registration and is saving money for running ads in the Fall, when many more people
are tuned in.
that she wants her delegates to be heard at the convention. Whether she wants her name placed in nomination and
a roll call vote taken is not clear yet, but unlikely. She will get a prime time speaking slot at the convention,
however. It is interesting to note that Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and the other Republicans who lost their party's
nomination are not asking for their delegates to be heard. Clinton is different because (1) she came much closer
to winning than the others, and (2) a lot of women really identified with her extremely strongly, in a way that
few evangelicals identified with Huckabee or anyone except Mormons identified with Romney. What Clinton says at
the convention and what she does in the Fall may determine the election and the future of the party. If she goes
all out to elect Obama, then win or lose she will get a lot of credit from Democrats for trying. If she makes a
decent speech but then goes back to her Senate work for the next two months, there will be a lot of resentment
against her in 2012 and beyond.
CQ Politics has a good
on the polling process and its pitfalls, ranging from mobile voters to a potentially unpredictable turnout.
Other problems include the 30-40% of the voters who don't follow the news, hesitation on the part of some
voters to admit they would never vote for a black candidate, and undersampling of low-education voters.
To top this off, 14% of adults no longer have a landline, and this group is heavily populated by younger
people, men, and minorities. Many traditional pollsters turn up their noses at the robopollsters such as
Rasmussen and SurveyUSA, but 64% of the polls in our
presidential polls data base are
from Rasmussen and SurveyUSA. Apparently the news organizations that order polls have enough faith in them
to put their money on the line. Both of these have track records at least as good as the others, but
robopolling is a contentious topic in the industry.
Four new presidential polls today. The most interesting one is Oregon, where Barack Obama has a slim
lead over John McCain, 48% to 45%. While this difference is within the margin of error, this is the 12th
consecutive poll showing Obama ahead in Oregon. One of the problems with just looking at the margin of
error is that a state like this could be written off as a tossup but when 12 polls in a row all year long
give the same result, the odds of this happening by chance are much less than 1 in 1000.
We also have one Senate race today. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who is a decade older than John McCain
is miles ahead of his challenger, Dick Zimmer. Age isn't a fatal flaw if the voters like you and think you
can do the job.