Recall Recriminations: How off was that notorious L.A. Times poll? The widely-disbelieved LAT poll of 9/12, which showed the California recall race in a virtual dead heat, assumed that white/Latino voters would amount to 82% of the total electorate and that "black/Asian/other" voters would, by implication, make up the remaining 18%. At the time, the competing Field Poll criticized this high estimate of blacks and Asians--noting that an oversampling of blacks, a highly anti-recall group, might have skewed the results in Davis' direction. Now it looks like the Field critique was accurate. According the the Edison/Mitofsky exit poll, the recall electorate was 88% white/Latino, and only 13% black/Asian/other. The Timesoversampled this group by almost 40 percent. The Field Poll estimate, in contrast, appears to have been dead on. ... [Isn't this the sort of Times-bashing LAT editor John Carroll dismisses as "journalistic pornography"?--ed I don't believe the Times' junky poll was a case of deliberate distortion. But it was something. (Insufficient budget? Incompetence? Wishful thinking? Bizarrely bad luck?) So far, Times poll director Susan Pinkus hasn't seen fit to even respond to the impressive Field critique. If Carroll is intent on leveling with his readers, he might require her to at least explain the paper's seemingly strange methodology. She could start by revealing to readers what portion of the oversampled "black/Asian/other" group were blacks, and what percent were Asian, etc. ... Bonus question: How badly do you have to embarrass the paper to get fired at the LAT? ... 4:28 P.M.
A second NYU student has died after jumping off the 10th floor blacony of the Bobst Library's dramatic internal atrium. When I lived in New York, I was terrified of using Bobst for just this reason--fear of succumbing to the urge to jump (or worrying that others would succumb). It's now clear that this isn't just an eccentric phobia--the space is an invitation to suicide, a form of architectural malpractice. Other, similar, spaces include the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, Helmut Jahn's Illinois State Office Building in Chicago, and Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum in New York (where you have to make an effort not to commit suicide, because the ramp around the atrium slopes down and the balustrade is not high). To construct such a space on a college campus filled with moody and inebriated kids seems particularly negligent. It's all the more inexcusable because there's a model for a skylit atrium that doesn't create such risks--the historic Bradbury building in Los Angeles, where the balconies surround the atrium are partially terraced, so if you jumped off one balcony, unless you were Bob Beamon you'd just land on the one below. The Bradbury's internal space is just as dramatic as Bobst, but because the risk of falling is smaller, it imparts a feeling of community and peace rather than a feeling of anxiety. ... Prediction: NYU will have to either enclose the balconies or extend the floors to fill the Bobst atrium in. ... Update: They are installing plexiglass barriers. ... 2:54 A.M.
Bill Bradley notes the "two divergent camps" at the Schwarzenegger victory party:
[T]he Wilson people, moderately conservative Republicans; and the non-Wilson people, who urge on the populist inclinations of the action hero. The two groups didn't mix much. The transition, most everyone agreed, is being designed to emphasize the non-Wilson crowd, and Schwarzenegger is well aware of the need to be his own man.
Once Schwarzenegger has used the Wilson team to show him the ropes in Sacramento, how long will it be before he's tempted to completely dump them overboard in favor of his own crew? [Do you think he would use people like that?--ed Hello?] 2:18 A.M.
Sunday, October 12, 2003
How out of it is David Broder? I'd missed this (on the California recall):
This is a flawed process. A man who I was talking to said, "If Leon Panetta's name had gone on the ballot as an alternative, he would be winning this race hands down. But because of this peculiar process there, people are in a dilemma because they don't want to keep Governor Davis as their governor, and they don't really want to see any of these alternatives become governor." -- Meet the Press, Oct. 5, 2003
Huh? How, exactly, was "the process" keeping Panetta off the ballot? If he'd wanted to run, all he needed was $3,500. The "process" was ideal for a respectable moderate like Panetta--a short campaign where he wouldn't have to first appeal to the Democratic primary electorate, where he could add some moderate Republican votes to his natural Democratic constituency. Panetta wasn't on the ballot because he didn't have the guts to run. ... I actually think he might have done well, if he could have gone beyond the platitudes about "tough choices" he favors on TV. But he seems to have disagreed. ... 9:18 P.M.
Friday, October 10, 2003 Battle of the lame post-recall cliches:
Friday, October 10, 2003
Battle of the lame post-recall cliches: