Rasmussen Poll and its implications

What a great post this was to read. Thanks for it, Chris.  

After I pulled a bit of a coup this morning by scooping Political Wire, I had my KOS diary cited therein.  I was happy about my diary, but as I read and responded to the comments, I realized I did not make my points clearly.  

This blogging can actually be hard.  I guess that's why they pay Bowers the big bucks.  I mean.. uh.. I guess that's why they pay Bowers.  

The basic premise of my diary was that a poll that shows Lamont above 40% and Lieberman in the 40's at the expense of the GOP candidate, who was polling in the single digits, could only be good news for Lamont.  I made the assumption that Kossacks had been schooled in the Bowers School of Poll Analysis, as I have, but lo, that was not the case.  

It took many snarky replies to try and make my case, an argument that Chris makes here clearly and easily:  If the level of Lamont's support is accurate, at 41%, the only way that this becomes a horse race is if there is no GOP candidate on the ballot.  

As a catharsis for myself, I will paraphrase my arguments with due deference to all the Kossack dissenters.  
1. Hesiod makes an important point, one that I made obtusely.. it is too early to accurately poll this race.  After weeks of non-stop media coverage of, and ad saturation by, the "two" senate candidates, we should expect that the GOP candidate would be largely ignored by the poll responders.  It will take a few weeks at least for people to absorb that fact that there are now THREE choices in the senate race.

2.  In a three way race, the Republican on the ballot can expect to pull at least 20% of the vote.  Why?
     First, the GOP candidate has major advantages.  The Governor of Connecticut is a very  popular Republican governor.  That means that Schlesinger, or whoever is the eventual nominee will be placed first on the ballot, as a major party candidate, which makes him appear far more serious than the third party candidates.  Connecticut for Lieberman will be listed 5th on the ballot, after, I believe the Greens and the Libertarians.  
     The GOP must receive the support of the state party, if not the national party.  That means that he will enjoy basking in the positive glow of Governor Rell.  That alone in CT will guarantee at least a 20% showing in the election.  
     Not all voters are bloggers, or high-information voters.  I found this out quickly as I drummed up support for Lamont among family and friends.  Many voters will simply vote for the Republican because they are Republican.  Now, I like to think that Connecticut voters are savvy, and maybe they are a little more than in some of the less civilized states, but I can guarantee that not every GOP voters will become an insider, strategic voter.  Many will, I am sure, but not all but 6%.  
      As I responded with some frustration to a seemingly dense DKos member: "If you are challenging my logic, cite me one example of a major party candidate running for the senate in a state led by a governor of his party who received less than 20% of the vote.  Ever." (addendum... or shut the fuck up)

3.  The rise in the Republican candidate's poll numbers will come at the expense of Lieberman.  Lieberman is not a Republican, no matter how much the media want to spin this race.  People who have been diligently voting against Lieberman for 18 years or more (at least 34% of the voters) will not vote for Lieberman just because he lost his primary, especially as he promised to caucus with the Democrats.  

Lieberman had made the decision to run as an independent when the primary race promised to be a different game than the one that was played out.  We all expected a low-turnout summer primary, at least through the spring.  I thought that Lamont had a chance to squeek it out, with a low turnout and a mobilized base; this was the conventional wisdom.  And Lieberman thought that was his Achilles Heal.  He said as much to Maura in CT.  But we had a record turn-out and Lieberman still lost.  The justification for forming his narcissistic party has been debunked.

Also, in the early summer primary polls, Lieberman was ahead, but potentially vulnerable to Lamont, but he trounced everyone in a three-way race by huge margins.  With those numbers, forming his own party was his guarantee that he wouldnt slip and fall as a fluke, the mighty Smaug felled by a puny mortal's arrow.  This justification has also been proven bullshit.  

If we get a poll in a couple of weeks that accurately reflects what the GOP candidate will get in the race, and shows Lamont decisively ahead of Lieberman, I think even Joe will get it, and withdraw his bid.  

Tags: lieberman lamont (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

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by Winston Smith 2006-08-11 09:18PM | 0 recs
the too early poll sets up a different momentum

The poll was too early....but it accomplished its purpose.  It will tilt the playing field, media and otherwise, more toward Lieberman.

By the way what were Joe's numbers in 2000?  

And look at the NY Senate race of 1980.  D'Amato beat Javits in the Repub. primary.  Javits had Lou Gehrig's disease, but he ran on a third party line. He lost badly in a 3 way race with D'Amato and Liz Holtzman.  He cost Holtzman the seat.  My initial analogy was that Lieberman was Jacob Javits, however there are different factors at play here than in 1980.  

So let me play devil's advocate for the moment.

Admittedly what was against Javits was not only his illness but the growing pull of conservatism in the Republican party.  In that sense let us hope that there is both a growing progressivism in the Dem party and also a straightening spine in the Dem party.  However after he lost, Javits didn't have anyone on his side in either party.  Joe does have people on his side --- people like Bob Kerrey whom I have always felt was the Joe Lieberman of the Midwest.  And some Dem donors like Steve Rattner will keep giving him money.  He will get Republican money in large amounts because of the millionaire exception.  The republicans will not get Schelesinger out.

He will get covert help --- like this Rasmussen poll which was set up to help him.  The media will carry more story lines like today's NY Times.  Thiis poll was an enormous help --- it wasn't good news but bad news because it created its own illegitimate momemtun.

So these were the numbers from 1980  

Al D'Amato (R): 44.88%
Liz Holtzman (D): 43.54%
Jacob Javits (L-inc.): 11.05%

See someone did get less than 20%.  

I am not saying that you and Bowers might not eventually be right but this damn poll was designed to help Lieberman and it has.

The damn media is not treating Lieberman as the spoiler he is, nor talking about how in his own selfish he i harming the 3 Democrats running in Conn. thu hurting the chance for "Dems to take back the house.

Thi race is now back on a hard slog when it should have been a time to start focussing on the other 3 Dems.  Lieberman is a narcissistic, self righteous, sanctimonious a**
 

by debcoop 2006-08-11 10:03PM | 0 recs
Not Winston's Point at all

"See someone did get less than 20%."

Of course third party and independent candidates often and indeed practically always get less than 20%. The point I think being made is that having an 'R' or a 'D' behind your name means you are going to draw a certain percentage of party loyalists.

We have a term for it in the Democratic Party, some of us are Yellow Dog Democrats, meaning we would vote for a yellow dog (Texas or southern for mangy mongrel) if he were running on the Democratic ticket.

http://www.yellowdogdemocrat.com/history .htm

I am a hyperinformed political partisan. On the other hand on a number of occassions I  have failed to pay close attention to a particular local race (bad me). If it is non-partisan and I have no clue I tend to not choose, if it is a partisan race and one candidate has a 'D' after his name that is the only clue I need. Winston is suggesting, and correctly in my view, that voters for Jodi Rell will more likely than not vote 'R' down ticket. Which given how popular Rell is is bad news for Lieberman.

by Bruce Webb 2006-08-12 03:40AM | 0 recs
Re: An *Independent* Got Less than 20% . . .

Not one of the major party nominees.

Why do you think this poll was intended to help Leiberman? It was perfectly consistent for Rasmussen to poll the race as he has done previously.

by Davidsfr 2006-08-12 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Rasmussen Poll and its implications

Massachusetts, 2000, Governor Paul Cellucci (R)

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D), 73%
Jack E. Robinson III (R), 13%
Carla Howell (Lib.), 12%

Just sayin'.

by brownsox 2006-08-12 08:43AM | 0 recs

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