Barone on the Polls

Michael Barone of US News published an article yesterday with interesting insights into the varying poll results we’ve seen lately. He mentions a couple of things worth noting:

“It seems highly likely that Bush emerged from the debates a little bit ahead. Some Kerry backers argue that voters who are still undecided are likely to end up voting against the incumbent. But it’s also possible that many of these will just not vote. And in any case, Bush is bumping up against the magic number of 50 percent. The debates helped John Kerry but evidently not enough to put him ahead.”

I know this confounds most of the MSM. Stephen Green’s theory is that the polls are working from assumptions on voting patterns built from past elections. On this I agree. Pollsters haven’t adjusted their methodology in this post 9/11 world.

Barone goes on to include Steven Den Beste’s blog article containing a chart with poll trend lines. He notes that Bush’s trend line has consistently gone up, while Kerry’s has not.

“Bush’s most effective opposition this year has come not from Kerry and the Democrats but from Old Media, the New York Times and the news pages of the Washington Post, along with the broadcast networks ABC, CBS, and NBC. Old Media gave very heavy coverage to stories that tended to hurt Bush.”

An interesting observation for sure, one that I’ve believed to be true. I haven’t heard anyone else from the MSM admit this.

“George W. Bush is not running this year as an incumbent in a time of apparent peace or, in public perceptions, a time of apparent prosperity. Actually, the economic numbers are about where they were when Bill Clinton was running for re-election in 1996, but Old Media consistently report economic news more pessimistically when Republicans hold the White House than when Democrats do.”

I’ve lamented the fact that there hasn’t been fair comparisons made between the economic numbers of the Bush administration and past administrations. It’s a shame that this specific relation between Bush and Clinton is just now being revealed by the MSM with less than two weeks before election day.

The full article is here.

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