September 5, 2008

Obama and McCain tied in a new poll. I attribute that to the attacks on Palin, not the Palin choice per se. And why I haven't been submitted to polls.

Barack Obama and John McCain are now tied, at 42%, according to a CBS News poll taken over the last 3 days. CBS had the race at 48-40 in a poll conducted over the last weekend. Presumably, Palinosity infuses the new results. Yet why didn't it have more effect in that 48-40 poll? Maybe it's not Palin per se, but the attacks on Palin that fired up the support.

Can it be that people really respond to women when they are attacked? It seemed that way with Hillary. Clue to McCain opponents: Be gracious and kind as you undermine confidence in her qualifications and judgments. If you can.

But you can't. Not because you are bastards, but because there are too many different people speaking, and the graciously kind approach will never be adopted across the board. I think Barack Obama himself immediately adopted the graciously kind attitude -- which shows good judgment on his part -- but he's powerless to stop the nastier people from being nasty.

And some will say that's the way he likes it. He can pose above the fray while others do the dirty work. We'll never know what he really thinks, but presumably he likes what works, and ugly attacks on Palin don't seem to be working. Or do you think they just aren't working yet.

By the way, do you believe these polls? Are you getting polled? I must say that I've been getting phone calls every day from people who tell me they are doing a survey. I haven't submitted to a poll yet. Why not? Because the people who call have that terribly weary voice that I've been responding to for years with a reflexive "I'm not interested." If the voice sounded alert and sharp, I'd do a poll, but I instinctively cut off anyone who talks to me in that spam call voice.

A poll about polls:

Do you submit to the phone pollers?
Yes. I want my opinion recorded.
Yes. The pollers inspire my compliance.
No. I want to withhold my opinion.
No. Like Althouse, I can't stand to talk to those people.
  
pollcode.com free polls

64 comments:

bleeper said...

Another option - they don't call.

bill said...

Caller ID: Don't recognize the number, don't answer the phone.

But, in general, I have no problem answering questions from real market research companies.

Sloanasaurus said...

We use caller Id. If it's a number we don't recognize or it appears to be some business, we don't answer it.

Meade said...

"But you can't [be gracious and kind]. Not because you are bastards..."

Althouse, I think you're being overly charitable. Too many are bastards. The rest are angry miserable self-perceived victims. People who see themselves as victims tend to be vulnerable to allowing bastards speak for them. No good ever comes of it.

kent said...

But you can't. Not because you are bastards

Oh, let's just agree to disagree on this one.

Roger J. said...

in your BTW you ask if we believe these polls--I believe them but they are meaningless. as MCG pointed out on an other thread this poll is with the MOE of the one that had Obama at 48 earlier this week.

While publishing national polls may provide some general information, polls in the battleground states of likely voters in swing districts are much more revealing (and relevant). Where is Michael Barone when you need him.

Sloanasaurus said...

I wouldn't put it past Obama and the Chicago machine to be encouraging the attacks on Palin. When my dad went to vote in the 1960 election in Chicago, they claimed he wasn't registered, even though he had voted in the last election. That is how the Chicago Machine carried Illinois for JFK. Have they changed?

Simon said...

Would I do it? Absolutely, if it's political. But I've never been polled, I don't know anyone IRL who's ever been polled, and I know next to no one online who's ever been polled. This does not increase my confidence in poll numbers, I have to say.

rhhardin said...

Years ago I discovered that the pollster had a rule that he wasn't allowed to hang up. This avoids biasing their sample when the recipient is uncooperative.

So I wouldn't directly answer his questions, always going off on a tangential remark, and he had to persist. That was a half hour call before he answered the question himself by ``say-foring'' and hung up, getting out of his predicament.

I kept a bored aluminum siding saleslady on the phone over an hour talking about dogs, which interested her. Who knows what happened to her quota.

But nowadays I keep the ringer off. Phones are for calling out.

The modem is on the line all day while I'm up anyway, and when I hang it up I get a series of abandoned redial-when-line-free calls from telemarketers long gone home. So I just shut it off.

It's been fine ever since.

Expat(ish) said...

Some thoughts on polls - I got a telephone poll a few weeks ago and my options were "1 for Obama, 2 for McCain"

2

"1 for Are you sure you want to vote for third term for Bush? 2 for Obama"

Slight exaggeration.

I also keep seeing polls showing McCain/Obama at 47% to 41% here in NC but my sense is that McCain is much more popular than Bush was four years ago and Kerry much less popular, so that gap seems low to me.

So, polls, not so much.

-XC

Peter V. Bella said...

The only poll I beleive is the one on election day. The final talley. That's it.

Spread Eagle said...

Most if not all polls these days are not underwritten by and conducted by people sincerely interested in finding an objective and accurate snapshot of public opinion, but instead by those with an agenda or ax to grind. That makes them dishonest. Why participate in that?

Peter V. Bella said...

Sloanasaurus said...
When my dad went to vote in the 1960 election in Chicago, they claimed he wasn't registered, even though he had voted in the last election. That is how the Chicago Machine carried Illinois for JFK. Have they changed?


Not much. It is just more subtle now.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But I've never been polled, I don't know anyone IRL who's ever been polled, and I know next to no one online who's ever been polled.

I got a telephone poll back in 2004but it was on various issues and how I leaned toward them one way or another. The final question was how I was likely to vote in the upcoming election.

garage mahal said...

We'll all have to wait a few days and see what kind of a bounce Obama will get after McCain's speech last night.

jdeeripper said...

So when Palin/McCain........I mean....well when they win comfortably are we going to hear a bunch of pissed off liberals complaining about the Bradley Effect and how the poor Golden Child was defeated by the Winged White Racist Devils or are we going to have an investigation into biased polling?

We all have some questions about Old White Haired Dude but Barack Hussein Obama as President is still a kind of surrealistic joke.

It's two months from the election and the debates are still to come. I think if they are town hall style debates without the podiums and of course without the Obamapromters I will favor Yosemite Sam over Urkel and Annie Oakley over The Motor Mouth.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter V. Bella said...

Sloanasourus,
I will give you an example. After Harold Washington was elected mayor, the US Attorney in Chicago was presented with hard evidence- voter registration lists- that proved massive vote fraud. Tens of thousands of voters were registered to vacant lots on the south and west sides of the city. Many of these voters were from suburbs and towns outside of Chicago; as far south as Peoria, Cairo, and East St. Louis. Jesse Jackson was the coordinator this particular get out the vote drive. The USDOJ decided not to investigate or prosecute. They would not be responsible for knocking the first Black Mayor out and they would not prosecute Jesse Jackson.

Since it was publicized and they did in fact get caught they kept and keep refining their methods. Voter irregularity is alive and well in Chicago. It is the Chicago way.

Bissage said...

Althouse said: [B]ut he's powerless to stop the nastier people from being nasty.

Well, maybe yes and maybe no.

He’s a pretty good speaker and he seems to have a lot of moral authority.

Maybe he could give a speech about sin and throwing stones or maybe something else along those lines.

Who knows?

It might just work.

reader_iam said...

We frequently get those calls and have for years. Sometimes I'll participate. Once in a blue moon my husband will. I tend to get the pollsters laughing. My husband tends to get them sighing. I'm sure we both annoy.

Still, they persist.

Meade said...

"I kept a bored aluminum siding saleslady on the phone over an hour talking about dogs..."

No! Over an hour. Imagine.

"Maybe he could give a speech about sin and throwing stones or maybe something else along those lines."

But he won't. Too afraid they'd cut his nuts off/out/up.

garage mahal said...

Maybe he could give a speech about sin and throwing stones or maybe something else along those lines.

Maybe Palin should watch her own mouth? The first thing I thought of when Palin mocking and belittling Obama was "She's a Christian"?

The Drill SGT said...

Theo Boehm said...
I wouldn't say Obama immediately adopted the graciously kind approach.


For the record, here was the first kind and gracious Obama statement on Pakin:

"Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush's failed economic policies -- that's not the change we need, it's just more of the same," said Bill Burton, Obama Campaign Spokesman.

Wurly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

"I kept a bored aluminum siding saleslady on the phone over an hour talking about dogs..."

No! Over an hour. Imagine.


A good rule for unsolicited calls : try to find a common interest. Everybody has one. Then talk about that instead.

Palladian said...

"We'll all have to wait a few days and see what kind of a bounce Obama will get after McCain's speech last night."

Hopefully he'll get something since he didn't get any bounce at all from his own speech.

garage mahal said...

Well I thought Obama went into the 50% recently for the first time this week according to Gallup. Who knows.

Palladian said...

"Well I thought Obama went into the 50% recently for the first time this week according to Gallup. Who knows."

I don't know, I haven't seen any new polling data. I'm quite wary of them, even when they favor my preferred candidate.

Palladian said...

"I don't know, I haven't seen any new polling data."

From Gallup I mean.

Alex said...

Based on last night's report from Marc Ambinder, it looks like Obama not only welcomes attacks on Palin while stays above the fray, he's organizing them.

Peter V. Bella said...

All I remember is being very uncomfortable for at least a day after the anti-Palin stuff began oozing out of KOS, wondering when Obama would say something. He did in the end, and more power to him for doing so.

He waited just long enough until it started to backfire on him. That was unconscionable. He should have stepped up on day one and intervened. He should have told Markos to do something. Contrary to what the nutroots claim, Markos could have done something and fast. He controls the sight. Obama just waited until the damage was done and he started to look bad. Then in typical Democratic faction went oops, gosh, gee, that is not right, let’s move on. Obama allowed the smear campaign to go on as long as there was a benefit for him. I think the people saw through this and the tide has turned.

Peter V. Bella said...

Maybe Palin should watch her own mouth? The first thing I thought of when Palin mocking and belittling Obama was "She's a Christian"?

How is telling the truth mocking and belittling? I seem to remember Hillary doing the same thing and no one on the Left objected. Hmmm, hypocrisy at work?

OldManRick said...

I think Barack Obama himself immediately adopted the graciously kind attitude -- which shows good judgment on his part

Actually, his first reaction was the incredibly catty comment where he referred to her as a small town mayor and compared his experience running for president to her experience as a mayor. It took him two days to change to the “graciously kind attitude”.

Cruel neutrality would require that you recognize his first instincts were much less than gracious.

Jim Howard said...

If Obama or Bidden posts on Kos, attends the Nutroots nation, or invites Kos to any function then that will prove that Obama was lying.

William said...

Any criticism of Palin re the prego daughter is directly applicable to Obama's mother and grandmother. Of course that is an area he would wish to wall off....Both Obama and Palin have this in common: they are more likable than Hillary...Obama's great achievement in life is that he convinced 18 million Americans that presidency of the Harvard Law Review was a great achievement. But people mostly liked him more than Hillary and were looking for a reason to believe in him. That was the reason he gave...Palin is at least as likable as Obama, and she's a new flavor....When Obama first started, he was fresh and good, and people felt protective towards him. A lot of people now feel the same way about Palin. Any attack on her makes Obama look bad--much as Hillary's jabs against him rebounded against her....I don't trust polls in this election because there are many undercurrents here that people do not wish to acknowledge.

P. Rich said...

"I think Barack Obama himself immediately adopted the graciously kind attitude"

Obama is a windup political doll. He is fed his lines and propped up in front of a teleprompter, or "quoted" to the press. Was Axelrod in front of the cameras bashing Palin because Obama is in charge and wishes to portray graciousness? Don't be silly.

Auntie Ann said...

There is, of course, one more option when getting a call for a poll: answer the questions, but lie.

OldManRick said...

Damn.

The Drill Sgt types faster than me.

Going on a little more about the mayor vs presidential candidate comparison.

Not only was it ungracious but it was outright tactically stupid for three reasons.

First, he compared himself to the vice presidential candidate not the top of the ticket. He was picking the wrong battle. Does he really want to be making experience comparisons to the second slot on the ticket for the next two months?

Second, he didn’t even acknowledge her current office. This invited easy comebacks
and corrections. Did he think that his statement would be the end of the discussion?

Third, he started with his greatest accomplishment. This left him with no reserve when the responses came. Did he have any idea what he was going to do next?

Quite frankly, you have to wonder how smart Obama really is when you see this kind of mistake.

The Drill SGT said...

Interesting poll data:

Palin Power: Fresh Face Now More Popular Than Obama, McCain

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/palin_power_fresh_face_now_more_popular_than_obama_mccain

mcg said...

As I pointed out in an earlier thread, both this 42/42 poll and the last 48/40 poll are consistent with the same sentiment. Thanks to a margin of error of 3 points, the true sentiment could be, for example, 45/41 in both cases.

I do think it's likely there has been movement to close the gap, but I doubt it has been that significant.

Jim said...

I think Barack Obama himself immediately adopted the graciously kind attitude -- which shows good judgment on his part -- but he's powerless to stop the nastier people from being nasty.

Gracious and kind? Really? You mean when he tries to demean her by referring her as the Mayor of Wasilla - completely ignoring the fact that she is Governor?

You think he would have dreamt of pulling a stunt like that with a man? He may not have personally uttered some of the most vile things that have been said about Palin and her family, but it's clear that his utter lack of respect for her set the tone for his supporters that they shouldn't show her the respect due a sitting Governor either.

mcg said...

Cruel neutrality would require that you recognize his first instincts were much less than gracious.

Then to be fair we must point out that it was his campaign, not him personally, that put out the initial snark. His first personal statement was more gracious---and then he ruined it when he tried to compare his campaign experience to her small-town mayoral experience, totally ignoring her governorship.

I'm not unwilling to visit the sins of his staff upon him, though. If he expects us to be impressed with his campaign management skills then he's gonna have to eat it when his management, um, fails.

Palladian said...

I'm surprised Obama hasn't called Palin sweetie.

Methadras said...

Does anyone remember the debates between Rick Lazio and Hillary Clinton for the New York Senate seat and how that played out. They were both at their own podiums just slightly askew from each other and facing the debate conductor and Lazio had Hillary on something that she had written her name to, but I can't recall the exact context. Anyway, Lazio picks up the paper, leaves his podium and walks over to hers pointing at this paper and pointing at her that she is wrong or lying about such and such. He never touched her, he never yelled at her (maybe a little), then he goes back to his podium and the debate continues.

He lost that day, not because of the fact that he is kind of a dope, but because it was a perceived attack on Hillary by female voters.

Methadras said...

I think the notion of cruel neutrality is cruel self-inflicted abuse.

Methadras said...

She may also get a bump from bottom-feeding, scummy tactics like this:

http://downspalin.blogspot.com/

lpp said...

Note that the CBS poll showing a tie was taken Monday to Wednesday, not including the Palin speech Wednesday night (or the press coverage of it on Thursday). Do not be surprised to see McCain beating Obama head-to-head in polls released this Sunday.

peter hoh said...

Missed a couple choices:

Sometimes I lie to telephone pollsters

I always lie to telephone pollsters

Pogo said...

Sometimes I answer the wrong question to pollsters.

When they ask which candidate I prefer, I get all excited and say
ME: Oh! Is this a poll?? Um, I prefer Old Coke to New Coke. I don't drink Pepsi."

POLLSTER: Uh, Sir, I was asking...

ME: [interrupting]: Sorry. Wrong question, I know. I do that sometimes.

POLLSTER: Not a problem. What I was...

ME: [interrupting]: Obama

POLLSTER: That's...

ME: [interrupting]: McCain

POLLSTER: **click**"

Bob said...

I'm in the "caller ID" camp - if I don't recognize the number and there's no name, I will almost certainly not pick up. I'm not averse to answering pollster's questions, but I loathe the sales calls, so they all go to /dev/phone/null.

kynefski said...

So...We've got a collection of people here who seem to follow polling data, but who cannot lower themselves to participate in providing that data.

Not unexpected, I guess.

blake said...

Yes, but in fairness, they follow it contemptuously.

Indeed, you might say it's shoved down their throats and they resent it.

blake said...

I take polls. Pollsters gotta eat, too.

Wouldn't surprise me if the attacks have backfired. They've turned my intention to sit out to an intention to vote straight Rep.

I don't agree with the Reps; they should be punished for their abandonment of their principles. But how else can one say, "No. There's the line. You crossed it."?

chuck b. said...

The Neilsens (sp?) tv ratings people have contacted me by mail a few times. They always include a couple dollars cash. The monetary gesture successfully ingratiates them to me and I do my best.

I would be happy to participate and be honest in a political poll if they paid me money.

I generally don't answer the phone if I don't know who's calling.

Pogo said...

....who seem to follow polling data....

Nah. Don't follow it nohow.

rossi said...

I'm sure you guys (including Althouse) are all as outraged when the "right" starts circulating the emails about Obama like they have over the past 19 months. Right?

The notion that Obama can't attack her record is absurd. Palin questioned Michelle Obama, called into question Obama's patriotism, and threw out enough hard punches to make me wonder if I should be surprised that anyone with a clear sense of fair game has just abandoned Althouse's blog.

The "victim" card isn't going to play well. Now that she has apparently decided to avoid the press, I'm sure you'll find a way to cheer her on when the rest of the country becomes less and less sure of this woman since she has not one iota of history on any policies affecting this country.

And if you feel like I'm not being gracious because I'm a leftie, just go read Charles Krauthammer.

vbspurs said...

I never have gotten one telemarketer or pollster call me or my parents. I also have never been called for jury duty.

It's like I don't exist.

I pay my taxes and vote -- WTF?

vbspurs said...

P.S.: I don't believe in polls anyway. Anything with a greater than 2% margin of error is totally bogus.

It's great that they're tied. There are 59 days where it will probably untie itself. Big whoop.

Simon Kenton said...

I do get polled. It's the Peter Hoh choices for me.

1) I always lie to pollsters, generally in favor of the wacko. Nader has always and and will always have my support, when they ask. Nader. Or Buchanan. Pretty big on Ron Paul, too. Any major candidate who deviates further right or left based on the Kenton responses is pepping up the race. And is welcome to the results.

2) I enlist their assistance: "Now you tell that sonofabitch long as he keeps on cramming amnesty down our throats, he's seen the last of the Kenton dollars. You hear? Not one more goddamned penny. Now give it back to me, Miss`, what message you gonna give him from the Kenton house? Loud and clear, now. What's my message here?"

Bill said...

Palinosity. And Palinsanity.

Are we going to be seeing a lot of words like these?

Palindignation? Palindigestion?

peter hoh said...

I'm pushing Palinoscopy.

dick said...

How about the online polls. I keep getting emails from an organization called Polling Point which always has questions about voting and political stance. Would you take one of those?

John is a McConman said...

You left out my answer:

No, like many people, I cannot stand Althouse.

John is a McConman said...

You left out my answer:

No, like many people, I cannot stand Althouse.