Sunday, January 07, 2007


Way Belated Post on Generic Polls

Fortunately, it turned out to be the case that people really did manage to elect Dems. to the House in spite of GOP scare tactics about "Speaker Pelosi of San Francisco", but still I have belatedly figured out exactly the analogy for why poll results indicating people would vote for a generic Democrat over a generic Republican do not indicate those people would vote for an arbitrary Democrat (and hence why such poll results mean almost the opposite of what people think they mean -- something the GOP has long realized, btw):

It's like a form of racism/anti-Semitism/Homophobia. If you ask people if they would vote for a Black person, a Jewish person or even a gay person for president, all but the most racist, anti-Semitic homophobes would say "yes" -- very few people nowadays are out-of-the-closet, even to themselves, with their racism, etc. However, would all those people who answered yes actually vote for a Black person, Jew or homosexual? Alas no ... just as some people who swear they are not (and sincerely believe themselves not to be) racists will always find some way of working in a racial angle if the person they're upset at happens to be Black (or otherwise go on about "those people" or some such), many people who would vote for a generic Black person, Jew or homosexual would, if faced with an actual Black, Jewish or homosexual candidate find reasons not to vote for the actual candidate, even if they would vote for a white, straight Christian candidate expressing the same positions, etc. (I could go off on many tangents here, but I am too under-caffeinated to do so now: the comments might be a good place for y'all to go off on the obvious tangents).

So it may very well be with Democrats. Just because someone says "I'm not a partisan, I would vote for a Democrat" doesn't mean they actually would, even if they are sincere when they say what they say. They would vote for a Democrat, so they think. But unless the Dem. is to the right of Zig-Zag-Zell, they would, in practice, find some reason not to vote for that Democrat.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?