McCain's anti-Obama weapon.

A mostly political Weblog.
Feb. 11 2008 7:22 PM

McCain's Anti-Obama Weapon

If you're a Dem worried about 'electability' ....

(Continued from Page 37)

On a secret ballot, Obama wouldn't do as well. If the Reverse Bradley Effect holds, then, Obama will do worse in New Hampshire than his Iowa triumph would lead you to expect, even if Hillary does nothing to change anyone's mind.  ...

2) I haven't heard any MSM pundit mention another possibility a Polipundit reader mentions: that Romney may have done worse than the polls indicated because the Republican caucuses did use a secret ballot--and people who wouldn't tell a pollster they weren't going to vote against a Mormon in fact voted against a Mormon. This is not a reverse Bradley Effect. It's the regular ol' straight Bradley Effect;

3) Wasn't the Iowa Dem outcome a vindication of the beleaguered Incumbent Rule, which holds that undecideds break overwhelming against an incumbent at the end. Hillary was the functional equivalent of an incumbent. [Thanks to alert reader K.B., who a) emailed it days before the vote and b) suggested that between Edwards was more of an "incumbent" than Obama, so the latter would have the edge among late-breaking anti-incumbent undecideds.]

4) Reader T.F. notes that Edwards did not improve on--or even match-- his 2004 Iowa performance.

In 2004, Edwards got 32% of the caucus in Iowa in a four-person field. 

In 2008, Edwards got 30% of the caucus in Iowa in a three-person field.

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Richardson, Biden, et al might object to calling 2008's race a "three-person field," but you get the point. ... P.S. Defining Nonviability Down--The Union Leader's John DiStaso on Edwards and New Hampshire:

John Edwards? Should he finish a strong third — close to the second-place finisher — he's in good shape. But should he drop below Bill Richardson, which is unlikely but possible, he's in trouble.

Huh? If the result is Obama 42, Hillary 21 and Edwards 19, Edwards is in "good shape"? He has to lose to Bill Richardson to be in trouble?  ... Update:Politico's Josh Kraushaar has some standards  ("at least a strong second-place performance")! ...

5) Note that Richelieu, a McCain booster (even in the highly unlikely event that he's not Mike Murphy) predicted McCain would finish third with 17%--a "surging third." He came in fourth with 13%--a "disappointing 4th,"  wrote NBC's First Read, in an honest assessment you don't find many other places in the MSM. Somehow, the press never requires McCain to actually match the "comeback" hype it generates about him. ...

**--I once speculated that Harold Ford might benefit from a different kind of Reverse Bradley effect in his Tennessee senate race, in the form of conservative white voters who don't want to admit to their buddies or to pollsters that on the secret ballot they were going to vote for the black Democrat. I don't think this effect actually materialized, however. ... Update--Not so fast: Chris Richardson argues Ford did get a boost when many whites "voted for him because of his skin color." But wouldn't this show up in the pollls? Not entirely, apparently. The late preelection polls showed Ford an averge of 6 points behind--and he lost by only 3. ... 8:36 P.M. link

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