A robopoll, Instap. notes, is supposed to minimize this Political Correctness Error because fewer people will embarrassed in front of a machine. A machine isn't going to call them "racist."
But then why the difference in the polls? Maybe a new and different kind of PC error is at work--call it Red State Solidarity Error. Voters in Tennessee don't want to admit in front of their conservative, patriotic fellow citizens that they've lost confidence in Bush and the GOPs in the middle of a war on terror and that they're going to vote for the black Democrat. They're embarrassed to tell it to a human pollster. But talking to a robot--or voting by secret ballot--is a different story. A machine isn't going to call them "weak." ...
If Red State Solidarity Error exists, it means Dems might do a bit better than the non-robo polls indicate--not just in Tennessee, but in other states where the dominant culture is proudly conservative. ...
Update:Mystery Pollster has been all over the Tennessee polls. He cautions that the differences in the surveys aren't large and my be the product of other methodological differences between the two main polls involved, Rasmussen (robo) and Mason-Dixon (regular). MP also notes, though, that in Virginia's Senate race:
[t]he pattern of automated surveys showing a slightly more favorable result for the Democrats was similar from July to early September, but the pattern has disappeared over the last few weeks as the surveys have converged. [E.A.]
One of MP's commenters names the pattern the "afraid to say I'm voting blue" effect. ... 1:42 P.M. link
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Joe Lieberman on whether he will caucus with the Dems:
"I've given my wor[d] that's what I intend to do. I am going to caucus with the Democrats."
Could be improved by dropping the "intend"--he's maintaining some Saddam-like strategic ambiguity! But this promise would still be fairly difficult to weasel out of, I should think. ...
**--The text, from a NYT blog, says "world," which I assume is a typo. If not, it's redolent with meaning. ... 2:40 P.M.