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Who is actually choosing the Democratic Presidential Nominee?

bringiton's picture

While there is plenty being written about who the media or party bigwigs are trying to choose as the nominee, an election process with actual voters is playing out in curious ways. Turns out, Democrats have made a decision; they favor Hillary Clinton by 5:4, more than enough to make her the nominee if it weren’t for The Others, the hangers-on that this year may well choose who represents the Democratic Party while themselves rejecting party membership.

Why would any organization allow outsiders to determine its future?

From the beginning, states had structured their own primary election rules, with a mix of caucuses, conventions and balloting. One of the most unstructured is Wisconsin’s “open” primary, where any voter can cast a ballot for any party without being asked to declare an affiliation. The potential for mischief from cross-party voting are obvious, and following the 1972 landslide defeat of McGovern by Nixon (520-17, Electoral College) the DNC decided that letting outsiders select their nominee was a mistake.

It took several years of often bitter legal struggle but in 1981 the DNC won a Supreme Court case establishing their right to freedom of association as a fraternal organization under the 1st and 4th Amendments. (DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF U.S. v. WISCONSIN, 450 U.S. 107.) It gave the party the power to refuse to seat delegates unless they were elected in a closed primary.

The DNC’s sense of victory was short lived. In 1984, Wisconsin held two presidential primaries, an open one for all parties as before and a separate caucus process solely for selecting Democratic delegates. The results were sharply different. In the open primary, voters went 46% for Gary Hart, 43% for Walter Mondale and 10% for Jesse Jackson. The Democratic Party member-only caucus participants gave Mondale 54%, Hart 29% and Jackson 15%, and that’s the way delegates were apportioned.

But changing the primary rules was apparently not a sure solution; Reagan won the election with an Electoral College majority even larger than Nixon's, by 525-13. What Democrats had failed to realize was that their opposition was not playing by the same rules as they were; the Republican Party had transformed into a vehicle for overthrowing the legitimate government of the United States, they no longer were interested in the general welfare of average American citizens, they cared not at all what negative effects their policies would have on the nation, and they would stoop to any level of dishonesty and criminality to achieve their ends. Running a conventional political campaign bound by rules of decency could not compete.

In the confusion and disarray that followed the 1984 election, the DNC reversed their position and decided that opening the primaries would be the best way to attract voters who had fallen for Reagan. By mistaking the basic failure of the Democratic leadership to clearly articulate, convey and defend their message for a simple question of process in the primaries, the DLC chose an easy but incorrect approach that did not address the fundamental flaws and inadequacies. That mistake has been perpetuated, while the neccessary political communications corrections have never occurred.

What did happen is that the states began to move more and more to open primaries of one sort or another, by ballot or by caucus. Steadily since, participation in Democratic primaries has increasingly included voters who are not party members but independent, unaffiliated and Republican. It is this latter group, voters who are not members of the Democratic Party, who are tending heavily for Obama and determining the outcome of this primary.

According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released February 21, Hillary Clinton leads among registered Democrats by 11% in Texas and 16% in Ohio. Obama in contrast leads among non-Democrats in Ohio by 14% and in Texas by 13%. These polls have the usual uncertainties, with a margin of error of 4%, uncertain responses of 5% to 8%, and those stating that they are either undecided or still open to changing their votes comprise a quarter of voters in Texas and a third of those in Ohio.

These uncertainties aside, the preference data in Ohio and Texas are almost exactly equivalent to what has been seen in results from primaries already completed. While Obama has been favored by voters who are not actually Democrats, it is Hillary who has won the vote among party members.

Who comprises Hillary Clinton’s base? Registered Democrats.

ABC 08 Dem poll web

Typically for the MSM, this is the headline and lead from ABC/WaPo for the poll PDF:

Obama Leads on Electability
in Close Texas and Ohio Races

Trailing on electability, Hillary Clinton
is running in a dead heat with Barack
Obama in the Texas Democratic primary
and holds a single-digit lead in Ohio…

No bias here, just the facts, respectable objective professional journalism. Makes a citizen proud.

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myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

It's stupid as hell to let outsiders help pick the nominee for either party. We're picking who WE want to represent US in the general election.

It's our problem if we pick a candidate who can't win.

But open primaries are an invitation to mischief. Anytime their own primary is uncontested, people could cross lines to pick the weakest candidate on the other side.

It's not like registering in the opposite party for the primaries is that hard, but it takes planning and this makes it too easy to cause trouble.

Charles Lemos's picture
Submitted by Charles Lemos on

like on the spot registration. It's one thing to allow independents to vote in Democratic contests but to allow Republicans to change their registration and cross over to vote in our contests is plainly stupid. I was upset with the DailyKos ploy in Michigan precisely because it is also not in keeping with our sense of fair play. I don't mind a fair fight.

I hope we reconsider open primaries and absurd rules like on the spot registration. If Obama does win the nomination and then gets swamped in the general (other than somehow he will find a way to blame Clinton), then I do think the party has to rethink the openness of the primaries.

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

There is nothing new in the Democrats being confused and unfocused in the presidential election. It is also not news that people tend to find structural solutions to contextual problems. That is, changing the format of the primaries is never going to solve the Democrats lack of understanding of the presidential election process.

This time if Obama is the Democratic nominee, the problem is magnified. First, his views are center-right (except Iraq) and this clearly is not the Democratic preference. Beyond that, alienating the Democratic voters may lead to massive drop in Democratic votes in the GE. As for myself, I'll have to hold my nose with a wrench to vote for Lieberman (i.e. Obama) despite his Iraq policy. I realize that my shortcoming, compared to other progressives, is that I cannot pretend that Obama is a progressive or the latest a "radical centrist."

Sima's picture
Submitted by Sima on

That Hillary is so scary that so many cross over to vote against her. In my reckoning that means they know she has power and is smart enough to use it. I think it also speaks to the power of the media and their many hateful memes against her.

At my caucus the people running it proudly told those signing in 'We don't have to see voter registration cards or ID, only the Republicans ask for that.' I said to the precinct person that I thought their registration policy sucked. She was shocked.

Turns out she was an Independent who had registered Democrat to volunteer and vote for Obama. I told her I was a lifelong yellow-dog Democrat. Heh, she didn't even know what a yellow-dog Democrat was.

sane unaffiliated voter's picture
Submitted by sane unaffiliat... on

Bringiton, a nice historical lesson, but I think your point is to a certain extent moot. First the state's democratic parties set up the rules for their state. In many ways they made a judgment that this made the party more inclusive and was better for the democratic party. Some states do not feel this way. You think open primaries are horrible. I think closed primaries are bullshit. No need to argue this point. The DNC has already overstepped to a large extent and have disenfranchised two major states in Florida and Michigan. And it has hurt Hilary Clinton big time. They created this mess, with their authoritarian stance on trying to control how state's select their presidential nominee.

Second is the fact that you fail to address the real issue. Obama's tremendous advanatage with the youth vote. The younger the voter, the more likely he is not registered. Does not necessarily mean the person is any less liberal. Just tends to mistrust the government and the politicians more, and based on what they have seen, it seems pretty reasonable to me.

Third, the many bloggers on this site have repeatedly called Obama supporters as cult like followers. If we are like a cult, don't you think that if the primary was in fact closed, that we would register as democrats???? Or we are cult like, but not enough to bother to register for a party to vote for Obama? Or are you just in favor of truly closing off the democratic membership from growing and requiring that people be registered a year in advance of a presidential primary?? You might be for that, because it would ensure your candidate a victory.

And finally, thank you for the post, because your poll that you posted referenced that this was a reflection of Obama being the more electable candidate, which many on this site have refused to acknowledge. Thanks for backing up my point on that Bringiton.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

relevant here.

This is in regard to the results of a recent poll from Texas.

"Analysis of the data has revealed a surprisingly large number of Democratic primary voters that would vote against the same candidate in the general that they voted for in the primary. Almost all are older white Bush voters, and they break heavily for Obama. Those that break for Clinton are mostly female, while the Obama voters are equally split on gender."

http://ivrpolls.com/index.php?option=com...

Submitted by lambert on

Why is OK for Republicans to pick the Democratic candidate?

Any "Republican for a day" ads running in Texas?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Sima's picture
Submitted by Sima on

as Dems at my caucus weren't any younger than me and my first vote was for Jimmy Carter. I think that argument is bunk.

In fact, the youngest supporter in the room was for Clinton. Just anecdote, but the surveys don't really seem to show any difference. I was just surprised at how many people were willing to say they were Independents and had never bothered to register Democrat before. Kind of shocking.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I intend to spread that info as fast and far as possible, I think others should do the same.

Something is seriously wrong with how the Democratic party is picking its nominee.

upyernoz's picture
Submitted by upyernoz on

a lot of people have repeated the claim that clinton is the choice of democrats. but that claim is based on a study that excluded all the caucus states, the states where obama is the strongest. polls indicate that obama is ahead among registered democrats nationwide. it's simply wrong to attribute obama's success to "the others" and yet among pro-hillary sites the premise is reaching the point where it is no longer questioned.

there's no question the system is screwed up. but some elements of the screwed-uppedness favor clinton and others favor obama. it is not clear at all that clinton would be winning but for all the quirks in the system.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

a lot of people have repeated the claim that clinton is the choice of democrats. but that claim is based on a study that excluded all the caucus states, the states where obama is the strongest.

Uh, I guess you didn't see the results from Washington, which clearly give the lie to the idea that Obama is strongest in the caucus states.

See, Obama beat Hillary by 34 points at the caucuses, but then the "beauty contest" occurred, and while the final tallies aren't in yet (because it takes forever to count the mail-in votes), the last time I checked, Obama was up by only 5.1% ... hardly the 28.9% advantage he enjoyed in South Carolina in the popular vote. (and lest we forget, the Clinton campaign did squat in WA, while Obama got it organized.)

There are only two caucus states with entrance polls. In Iowa, the Democratic vote was split all over the place, but Obama only got 32% (and Hillary 31%). In Nevada, where even Edwards wasn't much of a factor, the Democratic vote went 51% to 39% for Clinton.

As the author of the study you are referring to, I'd like you to explain to me how you determine a candidates strength among the democrats in caucus states without exit polls, knowing that the caucus results bear virtually no relationship to overall voter sentiment.

Because if you can provide me with that data, I'd be happy to run the numbers for you.

upyernoz's picture
Submitted by upyernoz on

As the author of the study you are referring to, I’d like you to explain to me how you determine a candidates strength among the democrats in caucus states without exit polls, knowing that the caucus results bear virtually no relationship to overall voter sentiment.

i never said that i could determine the candidate's strength in caucus states, nor did i say that the delegates assigned by caucuses accurately reflected the percentage of support for each candidate.

all i did say is that by excluding caucus states from your data pool, you are biasing the results of the study against obama and for clinton. in each of the examples you listed above, the caucuses may have exaggerated obama's lead, but the polls still showed an obama lead. the caucuses tend to be in the region of the country where obama is strongest (the midwest and rockies), which is also obama's home region.

so while i don't argue that there is no good way for accurately measuring the number of obama/clinton voters in caucus states, excluding them from your data pool means that you're not really measuring the country as a whole anymore. indeed, you're cutting out quite a lot of people, all in states where democrats seem to be favoring obama over clinton. all it means is that your conclusion is suspect.

that's what i mean when i question the premise of this post.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

all i did say is that by excluding caucus states from your data pool, you are biasing the results of the study against obama and for clinton. in each of the examples you listed above, the caucuses may have exaggerated obama’s lead, but the polls still showed an obama lead.

As I've already noted, the two exit polls from caucus states showed Obama receiving 32% and 39% of the Democrats who participated. In both cases, this was six points BELOW the percentage of delegates that Obama received. Moreover, Obama lost in Nevada to Clinton -- there was no "Obama lead".

And I don't know if you understand how studies work, but you can't include caucus states for which there is no exit polling data from a study of exit polling data.

so while i don’t argue that there is no good way for accurately measuring the number of obama/clinton voters in caucus states, excluding them from your data pool means that you’re not really measuring the country as a whole anymore.

again... THERE WAS NO DATA TO INCLUDE FROM THE CAUCUS STATES (even had I included IA and NV, it would have had no significant impact on the conclusions to be drawn, and the data from those two states actually favors clinton, because she was down by only 1 point in Iowa among Democrats, and up by 12 points in Nevada among Democrats -- and it was for that reason that I didn't use the data from those states.)

And, if you are talking about including the data from caucus states as part of the popular vote, I will remind you that my popular vote totals showed a BIGGER lead for Obama than was being reported elsewhere, because I gave Obama all the "uncommitted" votes in Michigan.

I have bent over backwards to be as fair as possible to Obama while maintaining my intellectual integrity. If you want to argue that who actual Democrats support for the Democratic nomination is irrelevant, go ahead and do so.

But don't accuse me of screwing around with the numbers to make my case. Ever.

upyernoz's picture
Submitted by upyernoz on

again… THERE WAS NO DATA TO INCLUDE FROM THE CAUCUS STATES

again, i never said there was.

what i am saying is that excluding the data makes your study flawed. i realize there is no real way to include the data, but that just means your study is unfixable. it doesn't make your suspect results any less suspect.

when you exclude that many states you're just not measuring the democrats nationally anymore. there's no sense in pretending that you have determined that most democrats nationwide favor clinton over obama when you don't have any data for a large portion of democrats in the nation.

But don’t accuse me of screwing around with the numbers to make my case. Ever.

i'm not. i'm accusing you of not making the case. as you yourself admit, the data simply isn't there for you to count all the states. if you're not counting all the states, you can't claim to be looking at registered democrats across the nation.

it's really as simple as that. it's nothing personal. as i said above, i don't think there's any way you could have done any better given the lack of data from caucus states. i don't think you're cheating. i think you're overreaching in your conclusion. in fact, the results are indeterminative because of the gaps in your data.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Unexpectedly busy today, apology for the brief followup.

SA - Create your own argument instead of flailing around and trying tohijack others. The data here speak to the preferences of Democrats and non-Democrats in the selection of the Democratic candidates. They say nothing about the electability of Obama in the general. Oh, and the word of the day? Monomaniacal.

UYN – Take a course on logic and reasoning. Both Paul L and I have used published data and disclosed our sources. Paul in particular is meticulous about discussing the limitations of the data from which he draws conclusions. That is all anyone can do. It is not possible to analyze data that does not exist. You are the one projecting your own bias without any data to support it. But I will say that, based on your argument that Obama is strongest in the smaller states (excepting Massachusetts, New Hampshire, places like that, eh?) then Clinton is the better candidate for the general. Dems will never carry Idaho, but with Clinton they have a decent shot at PA and also Ohio even with the election machine rigging. With Obama, those states are much more difficult.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

i realize there is no real way to include the data, but that just means your study is unfixable. it doesn’t make your suspect results any less suspect.

dude, are you actually arguing that caucus states are so unique demographically from the rest of the country that you can't use primary states ro describe trends?

Do you realize that the bulk of the caucus states that Obama did win are deep red states, where the only way a Democrat could win is in a landslide?

The reality is that the ONLY relevance that most of most of these caucus states for which there is no data lies in their ability to contribute delegates in an effort to lock up the nomination. You may not like it, but thats realpolitik... Obama isn't going to win in Alaska, or Idaho, or Kansas, or North Dakota, or Nebraska in November, PERIOD.

Seriously, there have been well under 1,000,000 people that have participated in caucuses so far...and the primary states that I used had 18,648,506 votes. In other words, you're talking about at most, 10% of the votes that I looked at... There are seven states where there were well over a million votes. NEW JERSEY ALONE had 1,120,000 votes.

We know what happened in Washington. There was a 5.1% difference in the popular vote there. Now, the closest margin to that among primary states was CT, which Obama won by 4.1%. And you wanna know what? Based on the exit polls, Clinton got more democratic votes than Obama... in fact, her margin among democrats constituted 1.6% of the total popular vote.

And what that means is that even if we had data telling us how people would have voted in primaries in those caucus states, the difference would not have made a significant impact on what I did. Maybe instead of a 4 point gap from all primaries among democrats, it would have been 3 points. And maybe instead of a 7 point gap among democrats on Super Tuesday, it would have been 6.5%.

See, you don't understand the NUMBERS involved. I've been looking at these numbers for weeks -- and the fact that I left out the caucus states was extremely unlikely to make any significant difference whatsoever if I had the relevant data to add to the study.

upyernoz's picture
Submitted by upyernoz on

bringiton:

Take a course on logic and reasoning

what's with the personal attacks? (misguided too. logic classes were part of my philosophy major once upon a time)

Paul in particular is meticulous about discussing the limitations of the data from which he draws conclusions

you can call it meticulous. i simply don't think he has acknowledged that the limitations of the data make it impossible to reach a sweeping conclusion. a conclusion, i might add, that you act as if it was unquestionable in the first paragraph of this post. the fact is, the underlying data is incomplete. which means there is plenty of uncertainty about his conclusion. and so, it should not be presented as if it were a fact. and that's what you did at the beginning of this post.

You are the one projecting your own bias without any data to support it.

what bias is that? all i'm saying is that we don't actually know which candidate registered democrats favor because the data is incomplete. how is that biased?

But I will say that, based on your argument that Obama is strongest in the smaller states (excepting Massachusetts, New Hampshire, places like that, eh?) then Clinton is the better candidate for the general.

except i didn't say that "Obama is strongest in the smaller states". where did you see me say that? it seems like you're the one with an agenda with regards to the candidates in this discussion, not me. jeez, talk about "projecting"...

paul:

dude, are you actually arguing that caucus states are so unique demographically from the rest of the country that you can’t use primary states ro describe trends?

no, i'm saying that there are regional differences in the candidate's support and that if you don't count certain regions in a way that is likely to hit one candidate disproportionately, your results are not likely to be representative.

Do you realize that the bulk of the caucus states that Obama did win are deep red states, where the only way a Democrat could win is in a landslide?

but that's not true. maryland, illinois, wisconsin, DC, connecticut, delaware, minnesota, hawaii, maine, iowa,

louisinia is a swing state. missouri is THE swing state (whoever wins MO has won the presidency in the past 100 years or so)

virginia and colorado are marginal red state trending blue. north dakota has gone red in the past two presidential election, but has been electing democrats for other offices lately.

the "deep" red states obama has won are utah, south carolina, nebraska, alaska, idaho, and kansas. that's six. "the bulk" his states are not in the "deep red" category. what may have been true the day after super tuesday simply doesn't hold anymore.

and it's not as if clinton didn't win some "deep red" states too like arizona, oklahoma.

You may not like it, but thats realpolitik… Obama isn’t going to win in Alaska, or Idaho, or Kansas, or North Dakota, or Nebraska in November, PERIOD.

well, he could win north dakota. but you're right about the others. on the other hand, obama is not going to lose NY or CA or MA or NJ in the general election if he gets to be the nominee--those are solid blue states. likewise, nor is clinton going to lose IL, or CT or ME or DC or WA in the general if she wins the nomination. there's a major problem if you're assuming that a candidate's primary success against another democrat will somehow tell us how the vote will go in the general election.

but then we seem to be getting off on a tangent with that. i wasn't talking about the general election. i was talking about the problems with your study that was trying to measure whether a majority of registered democrats favor clinton or obama. that's really a different question. the way i read this little digression into why obama is teh suck just confirms my fear that your study's methodology was intrinsically biased.

And what that means is that even if we had data telling us how people would have voted in primaries in those caucus states, the difference would not have made a significant impact on what I did

no, what it means is that you don't have the data for those states (or at least all but two of those states) and so you are hypothesizing that it wouldn't make a difference.

like you yourself admitted above, "THERE WAS NO DATA TO INCLUDE FROM THE CAUCUS STATES". no data means you don't know what the data would have said if it existed. there's no actual basis for assuming that the differential you saw in washington would hold true in other states.

See, you don’t understand the NUMBERS involved.

actually, i think i do. or at least i understand that there are no numbers with regards to quite a few states. and, as it happens, all but one are states where obama won.

when you don't have data from everywhere it sometimes can be okay to use what you got to generalize over the missing areas, hoping that the missing areas are on average the same as the non-missing ones. but, like here, we have some indication that the missing data areas are not like the other areas, then generalizing can only lead to questionable results.

and that's what i see here.

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

i simply don’t think he has acknowledged that the limitations of the data make it impossible to reach a sweeping conclusion.

Well, I was trained in physics, not philosophy, and all the missing caucus states tell me is the lower bound on uncertainty of the data (it can't be more accurate than +/- 10%)

You're saying no conclusion can be drawn because the data are so woefully inadequate.

I think +/- 10% is actually close enough to tell us useful things. Like Clinton has majority support among Democrats in the primaries, and Obama only has the majority when independents and Republicans are also counted.

Heck, in astronomy we come to reliable and useful conclusions based on 1 significant figure of accuracy.

upyernoz's picture
Submitted by upyernoz on

Heck, in astronomy we come to reliable and useful conclusions based on 1 significant figure of accuracy

i know nothing about astronomy. but if you're doing a statistical analysis in any field and there's some reason to believe your sample is not representative of the whole, then the results are always suspect.

and that's what we have here. the data that's missing, in all but one instance, hits states that obama did better than clinton in. that means the remaining primary data is not representative of the whole and cannot be used to infer what may have happened in the excluded states.

because you're not counting all the registered democrats who are participating in the primary/caucus process, there's a problem with your data. and because the missing data is from states that disproportionately favor obama, you can't assume the other states are representative for the missing states.

which means that there isn't enough data to determine who most registered democrats nationwide are voting for. which is why i called your study's conclusion "questionable" and why i do not think it forms a solid premise for this post.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

I wrote: Do you realize that the bulk of the caucus states that Obama did win are deep red states, where the only way a Democrat could win is in a landslide?

upyernoz answers: but that’s not true. maryland, illinois, wisconsin, DC, connecticut, delaware, minnesota, hawaii, maine, iowa

anyone else notice that MD, IL, WI, DC, CT and DE are not caucus states?

no, i’m saying that there are regional differences in the candidate’s support and that if you don’t count certain regions in a way that is likely to hit one candidate disproportionately, your results are not likely to be representative.

lets see now, we have a whole bunch of states that are in one region, that held caucuses, and we don't know how democrats think there yet. Ya wanna know something? I don't CARE what democrats in those states (KS, ND, ID, NE) think, because those states are deep red, and the combined total of votes for Kerry in 2004 is 981,000 -- not enough to make a signficant dent in my results.

Maine? lets just say its like its "regional" neigbor, New Hampshire, and Hillary had a 9 point edge among democrats. Hawaii -- yeah, well, lets just assume that its Obama territory, but it only had 232K Kerry voters, so we're not looking at a major impact here. Iowa? Well, at least there we had exit polls, and Obama had a 1 point lead over Clinton among democrats. Oh, and lets not forget Alaska, with its 111,000 votes for Kerry.

So what we're talking about here is 1,324K votes for Kerry in the states we don't know about. In the most competitive primary states, the vote totals were about 2/3 of what Kerry got in the 2004 GE. So, what we're really looking at is 883K voters... except that only about 78% of voters in primaries were democrats, so now down to 688K. And they're gonna make a big dent in my numbers for how Democrats voted? Puhleez.

Oh, and Washington...can't forget WA. Well, the last time I checked, Obama was up 5.1% in the beauty contest. And since Obama has an average 20% lead among Indepedents, and non-dems average 78% of primary electorates, its looks pretty much dead even there among democrats..maybe a point or two one way or another. Which leaves Minnesota. Which is probably most like Iowa, which means a 1% advantage for Obama among democrats. Figure 1M primary voters, shave off 20% for non-democrats, and we have to subtract 8000 from Hillary's lead among Dems of 678,000 in primary states, resulting in a drop in her percentage of all democratic voters by 00.049% -- like 1/20th of one percent. (and remember... if Obama's lead among dems was 10% in MN, we'd have to shave 1/10 of one percent off of Hillary's percentage of the dem vote.)

In other words, including caucus states would not have made a difference in the overall results.

Finally, Louisiana is not a swing state. Maybe a battleground, but Kerry lost there by over 14 points, and that was before the depopulation of New Orleans -- his stronghold.

skippybkroo's picture
Submitted by skippybkroo on

this is in regard to the results of a recent poll from texas.

“analysis of the data has revealed a surprisingly large number of democratic primary voters that would vote against the same candidate in the general that they voted for in the primary. almost all are older white bush voters, and they break heavily for obama.

aside from the question how accurate ivr polls are, especially in light of the fact they are computer robo-calls (which makes me wonder how the computer knows how a respondent plans to vote in the future), your premise pre-supposes that there are no republicans who did vote for bush that have buyers remorse and are attracted to obama as a candidate.

which, of course, is contrary to everything progressive blogs have been saying and hoping the country would realize in the past 7 years. we have prayed that the country would come to its senses and be disgusted w/the current crop of republican insiders, and turn to the more legitimate, logical, democratic party.

and now that that seems to be happening, except not for the candidate several bloggers support, it can't possibly be true, and it must be thousands of republicans gaming the system.

this also assumes that obama is less electable in the republicans' minds than hillary clinton (so they'd want obama as the dem nominee so mccain could beat him), which, on the face of it, does not hold water in my mind.

clinton comes with so much baggage and so much ready-made reasons for republicans to hate her, i would think (and i admit, it's only my opinion) that mccain would pray to god every night that clinton gets the nomination.

obama, on the other hand, as evidenced by the self-same facts presented here on this thread, has the ability to syphon off voters from the same independent pool that mccain is counting on.

i personally don't care for either candidate over the other; that is to say, i'd be equally happy if either obama or clinton gets the nod (which is to say, not very; neither are progressive; they are both barely liberal, if you define it in the terms of roosevelt/kennedy/johnson).

so i'm not trying to justify results.

what i am saying is, with all due respect, i feel that this thread (and others like it on other blogs), is trying to justify results. "god, the only way clinton can be losing is because the republicans are gaming the system!!"

now, i am not a pollster. i can't speak to statistics. but i can speak to results, reality, and the smell of sour grapes.

caveat: yes, i think obama is full of hot air, and remarkably short on specifics, and no, i don't think he'd be a better president than clinton.

but this thread isn't about how my opinions are shaping the election. it's about how the country is choosing candidates, and, sorry to say, kids, it looks like obama's ahead.

that could change. but it isn't happening because of system gaming by some astute manipulations by ordinary people who happen to register as republicans.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

the way i read this little digression into why obama is teh suck just confirms my fear that your study’s methodology was intrinsically biased.

when I assigned every single uncommitted vote in MI to Obama? When I DIDN'T include the two caucus states with exit polls, because they favored Clinton overall?

What I was biased against was the Obama campaign's insistence that whoever wins the popular vote is the defacto nominee...right at the time when he took the lead in the popular vote. So I wrote about considering other factors -- like who DEMOCRATS want to be their nominee.

And quite honestly, I don't think any of that crap should matter much if no one locks up the nomination. We've got two good candidates, and a structure exists that allows party leaders to consider all the relevant factors in a timely fashion, and decide who the best candidate, and President, would be. By bias isn't pro-Hillary, its anti-bullshit coming from the Obama campaign and his supporters.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

the general--

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...

"... Of the 24 states Obama has won, 14 were carried by Bush in the 2004 general election. Bush won 55 percent or less of the vote in four of those states (Colorado, Iowa, Missouri and Virginia), while he took better than 60 percent of the vote in seven (Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and Utah).

Of the 14 red states Obama has won in this nominating contest, half of them haven't voted for a Democrat for president in a general election in more than 40 years. Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 campaign was the last Democrat who won Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah and Virginia. ..."

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

aside from the question how accurate ivr polls are, especially in light of the fact they are computer robo-calls (which makes me wonder how the computer knows how a respondent plans to vote in the future), your premise pre-supposes that there are no republicans who did vote for bush that have buyers remorse and are attracted to obama as a candidate.

the poll he is talking about includes bush voters that prefer Obama or Clinton for president in the GE. Unfortunately, I can't find a questionaire, so I don't know how the questions were asked, but from the data it appears that the question was something along the lines of "of all the candidates from either party, who would you prefer to vote for in the General election?"

About half of the Bush voters said McCain -- and of those, a large majority was people planning to vote for Obama in the primary.

Oh, btw, computers are quite good at figuring out how the voter intends to vote. They ask the question, and record the answer electronically -- basically, it cuts out the middleman who sits at a desk, and clicks a mouse in the appropriate spot when the respondent says "Obama" or "Clinton"

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

"Bordie's latest statewide poll released last week found that 15 percent of Texas Republicans who said they will support the GOP nominee in November plan nonetheless on voting for Obama next week."

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

that is, at minimum, 450,000 extra votes for Obama.

and THAT is going to be 15-20% of the votes that are cast in texas next tuesday...

I always thought Lambert was being paranoid about the GOP deciding who our nominee would be...now I'm beginning to think he's right.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

that's why they spend so much time in caucus and open primary states that never are Democratic in November, and that's why the "Democrat for a Day" fliers all over, etc. And he's been running away from the base and towards Independents and Repubs all along.

upyernoz's picture
Submitted by upyernoz on

anyone else notice that MD, IL, WI, DC, CT and DE are not caucus states?

hey, you're right. i misread your comment. only some of the states i mentioned are caucus states.

I don’t CARE what democrats in those states (KS, ND, ID, NE) think, because those states are deep red, and the combined total of votes for Kerry in 2004 is 981,000 — not enough to make a signficant dent in my results.

well then i guess you're not actually counting "all registered democrats" then.

In other words, including caucus states would not have made a difference in the overall results.

in other words, you appear to be flip-flopping. first you said that there's no way to get data from the caucus states that obama won. now you're saying that you can guestimate those numbers. except that they're just guestimates. maybe maine is just like new hampshire, or maybe not (NH is a much more conservative state than ME historically). maybe states will follow their voting patterns they showed during the kerry campaign, but those numbers were different during the clinton campaign in the 1990s, and some of those states got a lot more blue during the 2006 election. there's quite a lot of reasons to wonder if the kerry numbers are much of a guide.

the point is, originally this was about who have registered democrats this year been supporting. this year, where democrats have experienced record turnout quite unlike any other year. earlier you admitted you didn't have the data for certain states. now you're claiming that you can guestimate a way to make up for it. maybe what you are saying is accurate or maybe it is not. but unquestionably it requires we adopt a whole host of new assumptions. the more assumptions you have, the less reliable the overall effort becomes.

when I assigned every single uncommitted vote in MI to Obama? When I DIDN’T include the two caucus states with exit polls, because they favored Clinton overall?

i apologize if you misunderstood you to be predisposed against obama. but i do think your methodology results in a bias.

We’ve got two good candidates, and a structure exists that allows party leaders to consider all the relevant factors in a timely fashion, and decide who the best candidate, and President, would be.

i agree. i like both candidates and will be proud to vote for either of them, donate money to them and work for them. i am not a strong partisan in this--except that i am anxious to support the democrat. i just think your methodology has a serious flaw: you don't have data for a whole lot of states that are not representative of the whole. that's it. i'm not making a point for or against either candidate, i'm just pointing out the flaw with the study.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

It’s just that. You neither understand the science of analytical statistics nor are capable of making a logical and reasoned objection to the analyses of others. Clearly from your writing, you do not understand the definition of "premise" or "bias" in this context. Makes for difficult reading and tedious rebuttal, what with the burden of straightening out your misconceptions and errors prior to refuting the specifics of your ill-structured claims.

Had you simply stated opinion without challenging the integrity of those with whom you differ, there would have been no need to challenge your own abilities. However, that is exactly what you did do, repeatedly and egregiously, and so turn about is fair play. If you find it uncomfortable, consider that others do also; next time try to keep analytical arguments focused on the analysis and the data rather than the capability and ethics of your opponent.

Neither I nor Paul represented the data we presented as covering the nation, only as what it is – the sum total of all available data on those who have actually voted. The conclusion that registered Democrats vote 5:4 for Hillary is fact, not conjecture.

Who caucus voters preferred, by party registration, is as you say information that is in most cases unavailable. Information that is not available is not included in the ABC/WaPo data or Paul Lukasiak’s data precisely because it is unknown, except in a limited number of instances where Paul has bent over backwards to give Obama the maximum number of votes even where clear data were not available. Your contention, that if known it would show that registered Democrats actually support Obama, is just that; a contention and a supposition. It is a guess. There is no equivalence between that which is known and that which is unknown. You claim that there is, and that the unknown can be used to refute the known. Not so.

In my post above, data collected by ABC/WaPo agrees with the independent analysis done by Paul Lukasiak. In both, the scope of the conclusion is bounded by what is knowable, the preferences of voters in states where primary elections occurred. As Paul has so patiently and repeatedly explained, the relatively small number of caucus voters would not change that conclusion even if their party registration breakdown and preferences were known.

Your argument that the lack of information about caucus states invalidates the conclusion reached for voters in primary states by ABC/WaPo and Paul Lukasiak is unsubstantiated, poorly reasoned and illogical. Your extended argument that the data presented for primary elections does not reflect preferences for the nation as a whole is irrelevant, since no such claim is made by either Lukasiak or myself.

Finally, there is no equivalence between the preferences of those who have actually voted and the preferences of the general public. In an election, it is only the opinion of those who vote that matters. In this election thus far, registered Democrats prefer Hillary Clinton.

janittdott's picture
Submitted by janittdott on

And what WORRIES me almost as much as the crossover votes,
is how these infiltrators may be skewing the EXIT polls.
Cause as i read through the wisconsin results they were
almost...too...discouraging...you know?

And tha is what bothers me about this candidate...
the mind control factor to demoralize Clinton supporters
it's so...Tokyo Rose you know?
or...hypnotic.

*you are getting very sleepy*

America!
"You need a mother VERY badly!"

-wendy to captain hook

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

And the reality of a "President John McCain" would be very discouraging.

Compared to those as a baseline, and even though these two Dems were not my top choices, I still find myself reeling between optimism and giddiness.

I'm sure that once in office either Clinton or Obama will get rid of that giddy feeling for me, and I wouldn't be all that surprised if some of the optimism gets roughed up too, but discouraged or demoralized?

Nah, not now. Springtime, janittdot, the snows will melt away soon.