Is McCain hotheaded--or just pampered?

A mostly political Weblog.
March 10 2008 3:34 AM

McCain's Not Unhinged!

His bullying is tactical.

(Continued from Page 38)

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Pre-S.C. Questions: 1)If Hillary comes in third in South Carolina, will Time's Mark Halperin still insist it was a stroke of genius for her to have "[f]orced Obama to spend an entire week in South Carolina while H. Clinton traveled to Super Tuesday states"? ... 2) Did anybody in those Super Tuesday states pay much attention to her? ... 3) If Edwards can steal the white male vote from her in South Carolina, what's to stop him from doing the same thing on Super Tuesday in states like Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee--even Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Idaho and Utah? ... 1:19 A.M.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Won't Get Fooled Again? Zogby's poll right before the New Hampshire primary  showed Obama with a 13 point lead. ... Zogby's poll for Saturday's South Carolina primary shows Obama with a 13 point lead. And falling. I'm just sayin' ... P.S.: Remember, a "Bradley effect" is possible among black voters  as well as white voters. ...

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Update--Would you lie to a robot? I would!  Mark Blumenthal analyzes the diverging (but not all that much) S.C. polls, including the Clemson poll with its huge (36%) undecided result. He's skeptical of a Bradley Effect, noting that if voters lie to polltakers when they say they're going to vote for the black candidate, you 'd expect them to tell the truth to automated polls:

If the Bradley/Wilder effect is operating, we would expect to see it on surveys that use live interviewers, but in this case, the lack of an interviewer seems to work in Obama's favor.

But are we sure this traditional expectation--voters are less likely to lie to robots--still holds? I used to think talking to a robotic phone answerer was pretty close to a "secret ballot"--what was the robot going to do to me, anyway? But machines do a whole lot these days--they track your musical tastes, follow your movements, raise or lower your credit ratings.  Now a robot can conceivably do a lot to me, at least in the paranoid part of my imagination activated when I get an unsolicited call. At best, it's probably generating a list to sell someone! I don't want it know my real innermost thoughts, including my political thoughts, especially my un-PC political thoughts. These days, I'd be much more paranoid about pushing a button that say "I'm voting against beloved minority candidate X" than telling a live operator the same thing. Sorry, Rasmussen! The traditional truth-revealing advantage of robo-calling may be the artifact of a transitional era in info-technology.

That means the classic "Bradley Effect"--whites telling pollsters they're going to vote for the black candidate but then doing something else on Election Day--could apply to both human and robotic pollsters. Maybe it applies worse to robo-pollers.  So if robo-polls favor Obama more than live polls, that could mean there is no Bradley effect--or it could mean there is one but we just can't rely on robotic polling to smoke it out. ...

See also, Charles Franklin:

I think the more compelling story of South Carolina will be the exit poll results. Obama has appealed to white voters in previous primaries and caucuses. The pre-election polls have found him getting as low as 10% of the white vote in South Carolina. The potential for racial polarization in this Southern state could damage his ability to transcend race as a basis of voting. Paradoxically, there has been speculation that Clinton can win the votes of black women, a result that could reduce polarization in the exit poll.

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