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« "The Shiny Guy Always Worries" | Main | Political Violence! »

February 25, 2008


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why exclude the caucuses? i realize there isn't "vote" numbers in the usual sense, but there are exit polls that can be extrapolated into something like a vote breakdown.

it just seemed like jeralyn was fixing the whole thing when she excluded the caucuses (coincidentally the states where obama did best). and it echoes the clinton campaign's lines that certain states (e.g. states with a lot of black people, states where obama has lived, states with caucuses, states with open primaries, "red states", midwestern states, etc) don't count whereas other states (e.g. states where clinton has lived, states with a lot of hispanic people, states with closed primaries, non-southern states on the coasts, states that clinton hasn't lost yet) do.

when you start gerrymandering the results to suit your candidate that much, it just looks like a pretty weak argument.

Well, I initially excluded the caucus states because it muddles the picture, not because it skews the results. The poll numbers before primaries have been somewhat inaccurate, but the poll numbers before caucuses are totally inaccurate, which leads me to think the sentiment among caucus-goers doesn't reflect that of voters.

but the poll numbers before caucuses are totally inaccurate

then why not use the poll numbers after the caucus, i.e. the exit polls.

exit polls aren't always perfect, but they do tend to be more accurate than pre-election polling simply because they ask what someone has already done and not to predict what they are likely to do in the future.

Um, because the exit polls are polling the same people who participated in the caucus, and caucus-goers seem to be more pro-Obama than primary voters would be. Wait, I'll do an update.

Update posted.

re: the update

those are all fair points. you're right that there probably isn't a good way to capture how a primary vote would have gone if it were a primary and not caucus state.

but why try to convert everything to a primary state? while primaries are secret ballot and thus more like the general election, they don't actually reflect who will turn out in the general election. primaries always have lower turnout than the general. also, if you're trying to build a model that is most like the primaries, then wouldn't you want to count crossover voters (i.e. republicans and independents voting for the democratic candidate) as they are often the swing voters in the general election?

but that cuts to the heart of jeralyn's premise--which i realize you don't completely buy--that the ability to draw non-democrats shouldn't be a factor in the primary process. as you said above, that doesn't really make sense.

Yeah, the whole point here was to count registered Democratic voters, which I found somewhat interesting. I am just saying there is no accurate way to do that in caucus states.

Why are so many of the older white male Obama primary voters saying they'll vote against him in the general election?

For the same reason 6% of Clinton primary voters say they'll vote for McCain. And the same reason a large number of Republicans say they will stay home on election day rather than vote for "that RINO McCain":

Because the election is still over 8 months away, and predicting what people will actually do that far in advance is useless.

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