… are indeed nigh when I find myself agreeing with the Daily Kos front page much more often than the Republican commentariat.
I suppose this has been gestating for a while, but this kind of thing is happening more and more often, it seems.
The media love these kinds of polls because 1) they offer an attention-grabbing headline (much like bogus “studies”); 2) they usually help the media establishment’s favored candidate; 3) it keeps the overall horse-race drama alive, even if, in this case, the Democratic race ended the night of the Potomac Primary, when Obama annihilated Clinton by 25 points in Maryland and Virginia, and still more in DC; and 4) it enhances the perception of media control over the electoral process.
Astute political analysts and pollsters have, for many months now, tagged the American Research Group (ARG) as a Clinton spin factory trolling as a legitimate polling outfit.
Musings Over Morning Coffee
Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 06:12:50 AM PDT
It’s not unknown, or even unusual, but sometimes cable and print political pundits (especially the ones paid to espouse GOP or conservative points of view) latch on to a meaningless story to fill air time and print space.
… But whatever the reason, the headline writers don’t even pay attention to their own subject matter experts:
…Dr. James Twitchell, an author, University of Florida English professor and commentator on American culture, said the whole elitism back-and-forth is “self-serving nonsense,” pointing specifically to the similarities in the Democratic contenders’ stories…
“The issue comes down to two things. One is — do you let your opponent brand you as elite — in which case you are in a lot of trouble in American politics? And the second is do you convey clearly to people that you understand them and the world they live in and the problems they face?” he said.
“In the case of Barack Obama, my guess is this isn’t going to stick terribly well because he does such a good job of connecting with people that the elitist charge is going to be a harder one to make people feel.
Chris Cillizza, in trying to figure out the depth of the story made a comment the other day:
Polls: Polling holds the key to understanding which direction this story is headed. Everyone in the political world is waiting expectantly for some good data from states –Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina in particular — and national polls that ask voters what their impressions were of Obama’s words. (Quinnipiac University will be out with Pennsylvania numbers tomorrow although it’s not clear how much of the poll was in the field prior to Obama’s comments were made public.) Until then, the political class and punditry (including, sigh, the Fix) is flying blind.
If a series of polls come out in Pennsylvania that show Clinton with a far wider lead over Obama than she enjoyed the last few weeks, it will further drive the idea that this is a seminal moment in the campaign and questions will start to be asked about whether the Illinois Senator can weather the storm.
On the other hand, if polls come out in the next week that show little (or no) movement in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, all of this will quickly be relegated to the dustbin of history as much sound and fury signifying nothing.
Well, polls are out and there’s little (or no) movement in Pennsylvania. Clinton has a static 8 point lead (more or less), down from 20, and what are the pundits and gasbags going to latch on to next?
The DC Republicans will never learn. Every bogus little story, from “Obama wants to invade Pakistan” [wtf], to Jeremiah Wright, to Bittergate, elicits a chorus of crows from the octogenarian commentariat that the end is nigh for the Obama campaign.
The Democratic race has been over for a long time.
The Clintons don’t even have any bargaining leverage. Even if the Clintons threaten a scorched-earth retreat to the convention (their only bargaining chip), an Obama sympathizer in, for example, the Justice Department could reopen any one of a dozen dormant investigations into Clinton skulduggery. The DOJ individual (preferably a Republican) would thus secure privileged rank within an Obama Administration, and the Clintons would be shoved out of the race once and for all.
The Clintons’ favor from the media establishment is the only excuse they have for staying in the race. Kind of like Clinton stalkinghorse Joe Biden’s argument for continuing his nakedly futile campaign: “The press want me in this thing.”