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  • Archive for the 'Polls' Category

    Catalist, “The 480,” and The Real 480

    Posted by David Foster on 23rd September 2014 (All posts by )

    There has been much discussion recently of Catalist, a database system being used by the Democratic Party to optimally target their electioneering efforts…see Jonathan’s post here.  I’m reminded of Eugene Burdick’s 1964 novel, The 480.  The book’s premise is that a group within the Republican party acquires the services of a computing company called  Simulation Enterprises, intending to apply the latest technology and social sciences research in order to get their candidate elected.  These party insiders have been inspired by the earlier work of the 1960 Kennedy campaign with a company called Simulmatics.

    Simulmatics was a real company.  It was founded by MIT professor Ithiel de Sola Pool, a pioneer in the application of computer technology to social science research. Data from 130,000 interviews was categorized into 480 demographic groups, and an IBM 704 computer was used to process this data and predict the likely effects of various alternative political tactics.  One question the company was asked to address by the 1960 Democratic campaign, in the person of Robert F Kennedy, was:  How best to deal with religion?  There was considerable concern among some parts of the electorate about the prospect of choosing a Catholic as President.  Would the JFK campaign do better by minimizing attention to this issue, or would they do better by addressing it directly and condemning as bigots those who would let Kennedy’s faith affect their vote?

    Simulmatics concluded that “Kennedy today has lost the bulk of the votes he would lose if the election campaign were to be embittered by the issue of anti-Catholicism.  The simulation shows that there has already been a serious defection from Kennedy by Protestant voters. Under these circumstances, it makes no sense to brush the religious issue under the rug.  Kennedy has already suffered the disadvantages of the issue even though it is not embittered now–and without receiving compensating advantages inherent in it.”  Quantitatively, the study predicted that Kennedy’s direct addressing of the religion issue would move eleven states, totaling 122 electoral votes, away from the Kennedy camp–but would pull six states, worth 132 electoral votes, into the Democratic column.

    It is not clear how much this study influenced actual campaign decision-making…but less than three weeks after RFK received the Simulmatics report, JFK talked about faith before a gathering of ministers in Houston.  ”I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end,”  Kennedy said,  ”where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind.” (Burdick’s novel also suggests that the Kennedy campaign used Simulmatics to assess the effects of a more-forthright posture on civil rights by the campaign, and furthermore to analyze Kennedy’s optimal personality projection during the debates–I don’t know if these assertions are historically correct, but the religion analysis clearly was indeed performed.)

    Considerable excitement was generated when, after the election, the Simulmatics project became publicly known.  A Harper’s Magazine article referred to to the Simulmatics computer as “the people machine,” and quoted Dr Harold Lasswell of Yale as saying, “This is the A-bomb of the social sciences.  The breakthrough here is comparable to what happened at Stagg Field.”  But Pierre Salinger, speaking for the Kennedy campaign, asserted that “We did not use the machine.”  (Salinger’s statement is called out as a lie in the recent book, The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns.)

    In Burdick’s novel, the prospective Republican candidate is John Thatch, head of an international engineering and construction company.  Thatch has achieved popular renown after courageously defusing a confrontation between Indians and Pakistanis over a bridge his company was building, thereby averting a probable war.  Something about Thatch’s personality has struck the public imagination, and–despite his lack of political experience–he looks to be an attractive candidate.  But initially, the Republicans see little hope of defeating the incumbent Kennedy–”the incumbent is surrounded by over four years of honorific words and rituals,” a psychologist explains.  ”He seems as though he ought to be President.  He assumes the mantle.”  This outlook is deeply disturbing to a Republican senior statesman named Bookbinder, who strongly believes that defacto 8-year terms are bad for the country…but if it is true that Kennedy is unbeatable, then the best the Republicans can hope to do is lose as well as possible.  Things change when Kennedy is assassinated and the election becomes a real contest.

    Bookbinder and Levi, another Republican senior statesman, are introduced to Simulation Enterprises by a young lawyer named Madison (Mad) Curver and his psychologist associate (quoted above), a woman named Dr Devlin.  Mad and Dr Devlin explain that what Sim Enterprises does is different from the work done by garden-variety pollsters like the one they have just met, Dr Cotter:

    “The pollster taps only a small fragment of the subject’s mind, attention, background, family influence, and habits.  The Simulations thing, just because it can consider thousands of elements influencing the subject, even things he may not know himself, gets much better results.”

    “And one further thing, Book,” Mad said.  ”Simulations Enterprises can predict what people will do in a situation which they have never heard of before.  That was the whole point of the UN in the Midwest example.  No one has gone out there and asked them to vote on whether we should get out of the UN, but Dev outlined a procedure by which you can predict how they will react…if they ever do have to vote on it.

    Again Bookbinder had the sharp sense of unreality.  Unreal people were being asked invented questions and a result came out on green, white-lined paper…and when you got around to the real people six months later with the real question they would act the way the computer had said they would.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Advertising, Book Notes, Elections, History, Human Behavior, Politics, Polls, Predictions, Tech, USA | 8 Comments »

    “Scottish referendum: A useful lesson in the limits of fiery activism”

    Posted by Jonathan on 21st September 2014 (All posts by )

    Janet Daley:

    As it turned out, virtually all of the polling in recent weeks had been wrong. In the end, the vote wasn’t very close: it was a clear and decisive No. Whatever poll respondents had said – or been afraid to say – about their intentions because they felt coerced or intimidated by the aggressive tactics of the other camp, when it came to it, they were free to do as they pleased.
     
    This is a salutary lesson in the limits of militant political activism: you can bully people in the street, shout them down at public meetings and dissuade them forcibly from displaying posters or banners you don’t like. You can, with the help of your friends and comrades, create what seems to you, inside the bubble of mutual congratulation, to be an unstoppable momentum.
     
    But making people afraid to voice contrary opinions just reinforces the delusion into which political tribes so easily fall when they are waging war. And, even more dangerously, it leaves them utterly out of touch with the slow-burning resentment they are creating in the opponents they are so determined to crush. The inviolable privacy of the polling booth puts paid to all that: the ordinary citizen, who may well have had his anger and resolve strengthened under fire, gets his revenge.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Anglosphere, Britain, Civil Society, Political Philosophy, Politics, Polls, Predictions, RKBA | 9 Comments »

    Prediction: Romney 2016.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 3rd July 2014 (All posts by )

    I have been predicting this, especially since these polls.

    Even the Washington Post has second thoughts.

    Romney would hold a slight lead on President Obama if the 2012 election were replayed today, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    The poll of registered voters shows Romney at 49 percent and Obama at 45 percent in the rematch, a mirror image of Romney’s four-point (51-47) popular-vote loss in 2012.

    Now, we have this.

    What can I say except I told you so.

    Will Romney be different from these other failed nominees? Could he defy the odds and make a comeback presidential bid capturing the GOP nomination after all the doubt, second-guessing and blame that accompany such a loss? According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, many Americans seem to think so—45 percent of voters said the United States would be better off today with Romney as president.

    I donated more to the Romney campaign than I have in any other election and I was a volunteer for McCain in 2000.

    I told you so. I think there is a case that the 2012 election was stolen.

    The knowledge that the 1960 election was probably stolen helped Nixon in 1968. That and the failure of the Johnson Administration in Vietnam. Anyway, I have been predicting this for a while at Althouse and I can’t remember if I have posted this opinion here. Obama, with the time he has left, will make this more and more attractive. I thought we were doomed after 2012. I still think so but maybe I was wrong. The Megyn Kelly interviews with Bill Ayers might even help although she never got into the Ayers-Obama relationship.

    I just hope we avoid the worst of the blowback from inept foreign policy before 2016.

    More. This is amazing.

    All this is weird, unprecedented. The president shows no sign—none—of being overwhelmingly concerned and anxious at his predicaments or challenges. Every president before him would have been. They’d be questioning what they’re doing wrong, changing tack. They’d be ordering frantic aides to meet and come up with what to change, how to change it, how to find find common ground not only with Congress but with the electorate.

    Instead he seems disinterested, disengaged almost to the point of disembodied. He is fatalistic, passive, minimalist. He talks about hitting “singles” and “doubles” in foreign policy.

    “The world seems to disappoint him,” says The New Yorker’s liberal and sympathetic editor, David Remnick.

    Just weird.

    Posted in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Crony Capitalism, Current Events, Elections, Health Care, Middle East, Obama, Politics, Polls, Predictions | 25 Comments »

    CANTOR DOWN! — Why the Death of the Tea Party Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 11th June 2014 (All posts by )

    Republican Majority Leader Cantor, and next in line to replace the current House Speaker, lost his Republican primary by 10%. The following voter turn out numbers pretty much say it all as to why.

    In 2012 Majority Leader Cantor won 79% of a total of 47,037 votes cast in his Republican primary election, 37,369 for him.

    Yesterday there were 65,008 votes cast in the VA 7th District Republican primary and Cantor’s opponent got 56% or roughly 36,500 votes.

    College professor David Brat both brought in approximately 18,000 more new grassroots Republican primary voters, while he also pulled a small number of Cantor’s 2012 voters to win.

    This is why Cantor’s pollster was so wrong. With all the modern polling tools that $5 million and a 10-to-1 money advantage can buy, all polls are built upon a “turn out model,” an educated guess really, as to who will show up on election day based on past data. If the guess is wrong, so is the poll…and so is the media coverage based upon those “insider candidate polls.” Cantor’s pollsters, McLaughlin & Associates, just didn’t see the small town’s worth of new primary voters the Tea Party brought to the table in Virginia’s 7th House District primary election coming.

    Establishment Republicans have just been delivered the very stern lesson that when you “do a #2″ on your primary base voters in a “safe Republican district,” they can and more importantly *WILL* return the favor…be the issue amnesty or anything else.

    Posted in Conservatism, Elections, Miscellaneous, Politics, Polls, USA | 15 Comments »

    Scott Walker Wins Again

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 18th April 2014 (All posts by )

    I do enjoy watching things blow up for the left. That I will admit.

    Today, the Seventh Circuit Federal Appeals Court upheld Act 10, in yet another victory for the Walker administration.

    After all the protests and nonsense in 2011 – after all the Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth – after the senators fleeing the state and all of the other drama, the left pulled out one of their “old reliable” tricks – try to win in the courts. Each and every time, they have lost. Lost, lost, lost.

    So the score now reads Walker infinite, the left, zero. The left is out of money, and running out of court options. The only thing left that I know of is a pending Wisconsin Supreme Court decision that I predict will also go in favor of the Walker administration.

    The election this fall for Gov. of Wisconsin, according to the latest poll, sits at Walker 56%, and the Democrat candidate Burke, 40%. Unless Walker seriously screws something up, he will coast. The DNC will not be sending Burke any money for what is essentially an election that is over before it starts.

    Posted in Leftism, Politics, Polls, Unions | 4 Comments »

    Illinois Mirror Poll Shows Republican Bruce Rauner is up 13 Points Over Incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn in IL Governor’s Race

    Posted by Lexington Green on 31st March 2014 (All posts by )


     

    My friend Eric Kohn runs a terrific new site: Illinois Mirror.

    Here is his opening manifesto.

    Illinois’ legacy, calcified media long ago abdicated its obligation to provide useful knowledge that engenders an informed public. I don’t really care if it’s out of disinterest, laziness, partisanship, or cozy relationships with those in power, but the establishment media outlets stand by and tap their keyboards while Illinois crumbles. So, if the air-brushed, teleprompter-fed local media won’t do its job, Illinois Mirror will.
     
    We accept the responsibility that they abandoned. We’ll offer a perspectives that they ignore to reveal how Illinois government really works and its effects on the public.

    Right on.

    And so far, so good. In fact: So far, so outstanding.

    The Illinois Mirror today published the amazing results of its poll for the Governor’s race.

    This is the first poll for this race.

    The Illinois Mirror poll shows GOP candidate Bruce Rauner up THIRTEEN POINTS over Donk Pat Quinn!

    Wow. We know Pat is awful, and we know the state is an ongoing train wreck. But still, for a purportedly Blue state, that is a surprising number.

    Barring a disaster, we will elect a GOP governor who at least talks like a reformer and, fingers crossed, will actually be one.

    I, and many others like me, ask only this of Bruce Rauner: Be what you say you are, do what you say you will do.

    Please.

    The old timers in the GOP were against Rauner. And the teachers unions pushed their members to switch-hit and take GOP ballots to vote for Kirk Dillard, the main establishment GOP candidate. As a result, Dillard got within a couple of points of Rauner, confounding many polls which predicted a Rauner blowout.

    In fact, the only poll that correctly showed the race would be close was the Illinois Mirror poll!

    Nice work.

    Question for the studio audience: Is there any chance this lopsided poll result will be a bellwether for the USA generally in November?

    I sure hope so.

    And keep your eye on the Illinois Mirror!

    Posted in Elections, Politics, Polls, Uncategorized, USA | 11 Comments »

    Waiting for tonight

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 6th November 2012 (All posts by )

    My typing may be a bit off today as my dog bit me last night. It was partially my fault because he snapped at me as I was taking off his leash and I smacked him in the nose. He was faster than I was and bit my hand. Bassett hounds are supposed to be mellow but I got the one exception.

    I voted a week ago by absentee so that is done. California has a bunch of state propositions and I voted no on all of them except 32, which would constrain union fund raising, but it will probably lose. I was disappointed to see NRO come out against it because of some footling concern about something. I have been disappointed by NRO several times this year, first when they fired John Derbyshire. His writing is funny and wise at the same time. You probably all know the story of the dispute, in which I believe that Derb was completely correct.

    We also have this small matter of a presidential election today.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Big Government, Conservatism, Elections, Obama, Politics, Polls, Predictions, Tea Party | 22 Comments »

    Presidential Forensics Done Romney-Style

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 25th October 2012 (All posts by )

    After watching the 2012 Presidential Debates, I’ve come to the conclusion we are now seeing a new branch of “President Debate Forensics” being established that is utterly different in objective than traditional one concerned with scorning points. Instead, it is concerned with communicating the candidate’s PRESIDENTIAL demeanor through visual media.

    That it has been successful in communicating that demeanor can be seen in this Michael Barone piece. Barone says the public’s break towards Romney is happening with affluent suburban voters and particularly college educated women.

    It looks like my thought of Romney’s last debate performance being a “intimate performance for women” was spot-on, and his intended audience is responding –

    That tends to validate my alternative scenario that Mitt Romney would fare much better in affluent suburbs than Republican nominees since 1992, running more like George Bush did in 1988. The only way Pennsylvania and Michigan can be close is if Obama’s support in affluent Philadelphia and Detroit suburbs has melted away.

    This also helps explain why Romney still narrowly trails in Ohio polls. Affluent suburban counties cast about one-quarter of the votes in Pennsylvania and Michigan but only one-eighth in Ohio.

    A pro-Romney affluent swing is confirmed by the internals of some national polls. The 2008 exit poll showed Obama narrowly carrying voters with incomes over $75,000. Post-debate Pew Research and Battleground polls have shown affluent suburbanite Romney carrying them by statistically significant margins.

    In particular, college-educated women seem to have swung toward Romney since Oct. 3. He surely had them in mind in the foreign policy debate when he kept emphasizing his hopes for peace and pledged no more wars like Iraq and Afghanistan.

    At this point, my gut says that the Romney campaign bet it all on the debates to get past the Pro-Obama media filters to voters and prepared accordingly.

    Romney’s debate performances moved the focus groups so consistently. I have to think that his debate preparation firm was coaching him through his debate preparation with multiple primary and general election focus groups. Focus groups that were providing video performance feed back to Romney through out both the Republican Primary and General Election campaigns.

    Romney just set a new and very high bar in American Presidential campaigning by founding a new “Presidential forensics” branch of debate. One that isn’t intended to “win” debates in the traditional debate forensics sense of “scoring points.”

    “Presidential forensics” Romney-style is intended to showcase the candidate’s ability to project a PRESIDENTIAL demeanor to a visual media audience past media gatekeepers, whatever the debate format or moderator bias.

    It worked. It will be copied.

    Posted in Politics, Polls, Predictions, Uncategorized, USA | 6 Comments »

    The last quarter is here.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 24th October 2012 (All posts by )

    Bob Krumm, a well known Democratic Party consultant has weighed in today with an analysis that looks like a post mortem on the election.

    If you’re in the Obama campaign–or a numerologist sympathetic to it–you probably console yourself with comparisons to polling results from 2008. Today Barack Obama is running about three points behind where he was at this point in the race two years ago, while Mitt Romney is about four points ahead of John McCain. Since Barack Obama won by 7.3% in 2008, the seven-point swing this year still puts the race within reach.

    However this is not 2008. That year was an anomaly in my lifetime: the first election since 1952 when there was neither an incumbent president nor a sitting vice president on the ballot. The 2008 election was a choice; this year is a referendum.

    We have watched the trend lines and many of us were highly suspicious of the polls last summer.

    The 2012 election returns to the historical norm where you have an incumbent and a challenger. The primary metric is the incumbent’s level of support. He is only safe when he is well above 50%. When his support dips below 50% he is in danger. If it stays below 48% he is in extreme danger. Barack Obama sits at 47% and hasn’t been higher than 48% since the first debate.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Elections, Obama, Politics, Polls | 33 Comments »

    Non-Verbal Impressions of the 2nd Presidential Debate

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 17th October 2012 (All posts by )

    Presidential debates are public demonstrations of leadership ability, not policy, and are THE place where the arguable majority of voters who rely on “non-verbal intelligence” decide who to vote for. The more PRESIDENTIAL a candidate looks, the better he does. If you want to understand what “non-verbal intelligence” voters responds to in a debate, watch it with the sound off and take notes.

    The following are my impressions from doing just that.

    1. Obama did better, Romney scored points, Crowley cut off both Romney’s Fast and Furious and Benghazi responses. Crowley gave the impression she was a debate participant supporting Obama, rather than a moderator. This diminished Obama, in terms of the non-verbals, by making him seem less PRESIDENTIAL.

    2. There were several Bush-Gore 2000 like moments of confrontation between Romney and Obama.

    3. Romney’s non-verbals were more polished, non-threatening, and he had a consistent standing physical stance the pick up artist community calls “measured vulnerability” used by those affecting relaxed Alpha male dominance with women. (The stance is when your body is at a slight angle to those you are speaking too, your legs are apart and feet at an angle.)

    4. Obama had a stance that was more squared up with those he was speaking with. Obama also used a lot of pointing gestures early, like a professor trying to affect physical dominance with a student. He then changed his non microphone hand to a loose fist, and using a full chopping motion rather than pointing later.

    5. Romney kept his non-microphone hand flat, moved it side to side or above his head and down when the ABC text crawl line mentioned “deficit” or “taxes”. Romney seldom used pointing. When he did it was at the ground or himself.

    6. The “split-cam” was not good for Obama (on ABC) due to a head up, nostrils visible, sitting stance. It was sometimes bad for Romney, who occasionally had a constipated look watching Obama. There were other camera angle shots that were more flattering to Obama, but a couple of times that ABC flashed them, Romney was in the foreground fouling the shot of Obama. The number of times ABC went to the bad camera angle on Obama had me thinking Romney was playing to camera angles by positioning himself where that was the only “good” shot of Obama. Later in the debate ABC went to downward camera angles on both Obama and Romney.

    I see no real change in the pre-second debate momentum of the race. Democrats will claim Obama won and people who don’t like Obama will still dislike him.

    The fact that Romney spoke forcefully about jobs, energy prices and the economy are much less important that the fact he looked PRESIDENTIAL.

    Looking PRESIDENTIAL means Romney gives people who don’t like the economy permission to vote Obama out. The preference cascade that Romney kicked off with the first debate — by establishing that he is a man who can take command — will accelerate.

    We have a Romney electoral college rout of Obama in the making.

    Posted in Civil Society, Politics, Polls, Predictions, The Press, USA | 11 Comments »

    The Tea Party will win in the end

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 15th October 2012 (All posts by )

    Frank Rich, a furious and frantic left wing writer, formerly writing for the NY Times, has concluded that liberalism will not be successful in transforming American society because the American public “loathes government and always has.” His essay in New York magazine is interesting although it drifts into his usual hostile rhetoric in the end.

    Were the 2012 campaign a Hitchcock movie, Mitt Romney would be the MacGuffin—a device that drives a lot of plot gyrations but proves inconsequential in itself. Then again, Barack Obama could be, too. Our down-to-the-wire presidential contest is arguably just a narrative speed bump in the scenario that has been gathering steam throughout the Obama presidency: the resurgence of the American right, the most determined and coherent political force in America. No matter who is elected president, what Romney calls severe conservatism will continue to consolidate its hold over one of our two major parties. And that party is hardly destined for oblivion. There’s a case to be made that a tea-party-infused GOP will have a serious shot at winning future national elections despite the widespread liberal belief (which I have shared) that any party as white, old, and male as the Republicans is doomed to near or complete extinction by the emerging demographics of 21st-­century America.

    Here, Rich cannot resist dismissing Romney as an “inconsequential plot device” but he does recognize that conservatism is more in tune with American values than the political left, of which he is an enthusiastic member.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Big Government, Business, Conservatism, Economics & Finance, Elections, History, Obama, Political Philosophy, Politics, Polls, Tea Party | 4 Comments »

    An Uncomfortable Thought

    Posted by Ginny on 29th September 2012 (All posts by )

    “They” say Romney is grasping at straws; another “they” says Obama spends far too much time in some states to indicate those electoral votes are safely tucked away. I have no idea; I know what I want to believe. And it isn’t my impression people are flocking to become Democrats.

    I remember 1972, though, and despite the impending landslide few candidates acted with greater insecurity. (1960 might – understandably – have prompted paranoia.) Just saying.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Politics, Polls | 33 Comments »

    New BlogAds Poll Question

    Posted by Jonathan on 28th June 2012 (All posts by )

    You can register your opinion re today’s Supreme Court decision on Obamacare by answering the BlogAds poll (“Three quick questions”) in the left margin of this blog. BlodAds says that it will publish the results tomorrow.

    (Chicagoboyz is a BlogAds affiliate.)

    Posted in Announcements, Polls | 3 Comments »

    “Do readers of liberal and conservative blogs live in two different countries?” (Part III)

    Posted by Jonathan on 5th June 2012 (All posts by )

    (Earlier posts in this series are here and here.)

    Here’s another graphic based on data from the survey run by BlogAds click here to see their discussion) that I discussed in my earlier posts:

    BlogAds blog-reader survey results 3

    The differences in opinion between the self-identified liberals and conservatives aren’t surprising but the magnitudes of the differences are.

    I suggested to the BlogAds representative who told me about the survey that BlogAds should make the data set publicly available. We’ll see if they do, though it may be that most of the meaningful information is already shown in the graphics that BlogAds has provided.

    (Chicago Boyz is a BlogAds affiliate.)

    Posted in Blogging, Politics, Polls | 2 Comments »

    “Do readers of liberal and conservative blogs live in two different countries?” (Part II)

    Posted by Jonathan on 16th May 2012 (All posts by )

    I put up a post a couple of weeks ago about the BlogAds survey of blog readers.

    Now there’s an updated graphic from BlogAds, based on data from the same survey, providing information about liberal/conservative blog readers’ positions on some questions that weren’t addressed in the initial survey report:

    Survey of Blog Reader Attitudes, Part II

    There certainly are some strong patterns here, not that this comes as a shock to anyone. (Of course my caveat about self-selected data samples applies to these results as it did to the initial results.)

    (Chicago Boyz is a BlogAds affiliate.)

    Posted in Blogging, Politics, Polls | 14 Comments »

    Care to Bet?

    Posted by Lexington Green on 10th May 2012 (All posts by )

    British Bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes both have these odds on the US Presidential race:

    Barack Obama    1/2
    Mitt Romney  13/8

    That means people putting real money on the table are saying that as of today the odds are 2 to 1 in favor of Obama, 8 to 13 in favor, i.e. 13 to 8 against Romney.

    This is consistent with the steady 60 on Intrade in favor of Obama.

    Disregard the polls.

    The betting money says Obama wins.

    It is an uphill race for Romney.

    Posted in Elections, Politics, Polls, Predictions | 30 Comments »

    “Do readers of liberal and conservative blogs live in two different countries?”

    Posted by Jonathan on 1st May 2012 (All posts by )

    The results of a survey of blog readers taken by the BlogAds company. (Some of the survey questions are still running in the upper left sidebar of Chicago Boyz.) The people who responded to the survey are self-selected and it’s not clear how big the sample is, but the results are interesting and worth a click.

    (Chicago Boyz is a BlogAds affiliate, in case this is not obvious.)

    Posted in Blogging, Politics, Polls | 14 Comments »

    Blogging Is for Old People

    Posted by Jonathan on 26th October 2011 (All posts by )

    Is this true? Do younger people now mostly use Facebook, Twitter, phone P2P apps etc?

    Chicagoboyz seems middle-aged; the median age of contributors and commenters here appears to be fifty-something. (Perhaps the age distribution of readers who don’t comment, which is most readers, skews older or younger, but it’s difficult to know.)

    Why is that? This blog has been around for about ten years. That’s a significant chunk of time in anyone’s life. There has been turnover among contributors but those of us who have been here since the beginning are now ten years older. Maybe blogs, or at least blogs that are both 1) around for a while and 2) don’t expand into large enterprises age with their contributors. Blogs, including group blogs, are personal and it’s plausible that the people who read a blog tend to have something in common with the writers. Maybe there’s a cohort of readers aging with the writers, or maybe writers as they age tend to attract older readers. My guess is that it’s a combination, mostly the latter.

    So, is blogging the new TV news, something that mainly older people engage in as either writers or readers? Are older people more likely to blog and comment on blogs because they have free time? Or is reader/writer age an irrelevant variable?

    Feel free to discuss in the comments.

    BTW, here’s a poll:

    How old are Chicago Boyz readers? Please tell us your age (anonymously)…
    Age 20 or under
    21-30
    31-40
    41-50
    51-60
    61-70
    71 or older
      
    pollcode.com free polls 

    Posted in Blogging, Personal Narrative, Polls | 22 Comments »

    Michael Barone weighs on the Wisconsin showdown.

    Posted by Lexington Green on 22nd February 2011 (All posts by )

    Follow the money, Washington reporters like to say. The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every penny of dues paid to public employee unions, who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all of it for Democrats. In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.

    RTWT

    Posted in Big Government, Elections, Obama, Politics, Polls, USA | 2 Comments »

    This is (apparently, so far) shaping up to be a political defeat for the unions, the Democrats, and Obama.

    Posted by Lexington Green on 21st February 2011 (All posts by )

    48% Back GOP Governor in Wisconsin Spat, 38% Side With Unions.

    So far, it looks that way.

    If these sorts of numbers hold up, the unions, the Democrats, and Mr. Obama will have managed to turn a local setback into a major defeat by accepting battle on a ground not of their own choosing.

    (I wanted poll numbers, and I went to Patrick Ruffini’s Twitter stream, knowing if there were any, he’d have them.)

    That poll is a national, not a Wisconsin poll.

    What are the Wisconsin-only numbers? Last week Walker was apparently behind.

    The question was:

    As you may know, Gov. Scott Walker has proposed a plan to limit the pay of government workers and teachers, increase their share of the cost of benefits, and strip some public-employ unions of much of their power. We’d like to know if APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of Gov. Walker’s plan.

    43% approved, 53% disapproved. But that was last week, the question is slanted, events have moved on and that is only one poll. (That same poll found that by 55/36 people wanted the Democrat senators to return to the capitol.)

    I don’t see any other Wisconsin-only polls. If anyone knows of one please put a link in the comments.

    It is too early to say how this will all play out.

    Posted in Big Government, Elections, Politics, Polls, USA | 12 Comments »

    Info Gathering

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 29th July 2010 (All posts by )

    I have a very important poll up at Life In The Great Midwest. If you have a keen eye for fashion (and I know most of the readers here do), please stop by and vote in my poll. Here is the link. Thanks!

    Posted in Polls, Style | 6 Comments »

    The Great Unifier

    Posted by Ginny on 16th June 2010 (All posts by )

    To win wars, clean up oil spills, or define domestic policies, don’t we need to work together? Isn’t the president’s most important duty – the one that lies under all those others – to unify? I suspect that was the founders’ thoughts, since the presidency is the one post for which the entire country votes.

    Sure, I saw enough of BDS to suspect Bush less culpable than his audience; I’m trying to be objective. And the leftist pundits are unhappy. Still, crazy as they are, they aren’t the thugs at polling booth doors – nor responsible for the large numbers at Tea Party rallies.

    Surfing responses, I was struck by Luntz’s focus group: the more Obama talked the more reactions diverged; his audience became intensely argumentative. Some were attracted to populist rhetoric and others turned off by it.

    My impression of past polls is despite a good-sized discrepancy on many issues, the lines were roughly parallel. The more knowledgeable might remark whether this divergence is common. Perhaps it isn’t a big deal. I hope not. We don’t need an increasingly polarized country. But though I would like us all to at least minimally get along and be more productive, that doesn’t mean I’m buying much if any of the goods Obama was selling last night.

    Posted in Obama, Politics, Polls | 8 Comments »

    Statistical Tie in Massachusetts?

    Posted by Lexington Green on 10th January 2010 (All posts by )

    Democrat pollsters PPP show Scott Brown one point ahead of Martha Coakley in the race for the now dead Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat.

    As Michael Barone puts it: Wow.

    This is still a long shot, but not, apparently, a forlorn hope.

    (There is also a poll from the Boston Globe showing Coakley 15 points ahead. I believe the Globe, about anything, about as much as I believe the North Korean Communist Party’s official pronouncements. Rasmussen had Coakley ahead by 9 points on January 5, 2009, and there is no way she has picked up six points since then.)

    I liked Brown’s TV ad, showing JFK’s tax cut message. Nicely done.

    The fact that this race is even close shows that the Obama / Reid / Pelosi leadership is failing miserably for the Democrats.

    I was in Massachusetts in 1980 when the state confounded everyone by voting for Reagan. I am hoping it surprises everyone again.

    UPDATE: A friend wrote, expressing concern about vote fraud in this race. While I don’t discount this entirely, this was my response:

    I am not so sure about massive fraud. Massachusetts is a funny
    place. It is very liberal, but it has very civic minded populace, and
    blatant Chicago style crooked elections don’t really happen there. I
    grew up there and got to compare it to Chicago. Chicago does not come
    off favorably. The race will also be closely scrutinized. I am not
    sure how much of an issue that will be. If it was Illinois, you could
    count on it.

    UPDATE II: A friend out in Mass tells me she is seeing people holding signs for Brown, not seeing that for Coakley, and also way more Brown yard signs. This seems to show the energy level is with Brown, which is consistent with other things I am reading. She also pointed out something about Brown that I hadn’t thought of: He is like Obama seemed to be in 2008: “He’s also likable, handsome and different than usual.” Yes. Right. Obama ran against the status quo, and won. Brown is running against the status quo. He’ll probably lose, but he is making a real race out of it.

    Funny. Brown as Obama 2.0 — returned to Earth as a Conservative.

    Also: Good to see people sending money Brown’s way. The last few days will matter a lot, and money talks.

    Posted in Politics, Polls | 8 Comments »

    Bribes With Other People’s Money Aren’t Always That Attractive

    Posted by Ginny on 30th December 2009 (All posts by )

    We have our faults. We are tempted by power and money – that’s no less true of Americans than any other nation. But we aren’t fatalistic. We are pretty sure that God helps them that helps themselves. And we may covet but we don’t believe that is a sign of injustice but rather of sin. So, all in all, I’m feeling pretty good about us; Obama’s attempts at turning us on bankers or insurance companies or. . . Well, we haven’t been turning in anger or with our raised fists. The biggest movement of the last few months may be anti-tax, but it seems more an argument for standing on our own feet, for independence, for liberty. And if Ben Nelson can be bought, I can (with some pride) point out that Nebraskans can’t be. The poll isn’t some kind of middling, some kind of, well, we’re glad to get the money but it’s a nasty business. It’s I don’t want any of that tainted lucre.

    It’s been a long time since I left, but one of my daughters is thinking of moving there. She’s the one with the “Sowell Bro’” t-shirt. I’m hoping she’ll be happy.

    Posted in Health Care, Politics, Polls | 3 Comments »

    Who’s Left?

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 18th July 2009 (All posts by )

    The headline reads “Obama losing some support among nervous Dems”. Fair enough, but I found the following paragraph to be very interesting.

    “In Missouri, which Obama narrowly lost to McCain, Democratic strategist Steve Glorioso said hardcore base voters were as enthusiastic as ever for Obama but that there was a sense of disappointment about him among less committed Democrats and independents.”

    So the dyed-in-the-wool Dems are still rah-rah-rah for their guy, but the shine has worn off for independents and “less committed” Democrats.

    Look at it like this. True Conservatives will always balk at Obama because of his statist policies. Those who drank the Liberal kool-aide will always love their guy no matter what.

    That means the phrase “less committed Democrats and independents” actually refers to just about everyone who might change their minds. Right?

    (Hat tip to Glenn.)

    Posted in Leftism, Politics, Polls | 5 Comments »