My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


A Different Take

Many bloggers have theorized about what is going on in the polls. Most notable among them are Hugh Hewitt, Instapundit, and Powerline, all taking their cues from this piece by Steven den Beste.

Hugh's take is that this is not necessarily indicative of pollster bias so much as evidence of a shared mindset.

It does indeed look like pollsters generally adopted techniques that resulted in a false impression of Kerry momentum in the past few weeks. This is not a charge of "conspiracy." Far from it in fact. It is an observation that shared "mindset" --when shared across a set of independent operators-- produces similar results.

I take a different thought, though not to discount my betters. It seems to me just as likely that the pollsters recognized John Kerry's inherent weakness as a candidate--weaknesses so profound that they could hasten a dramatic electoral realignment. Were John Kerry's numbers to really reflect the way the country feels about him--debating ability or no--it would have had a significant drag effect on base enthusiasm, on fundraising, and on down-ticket candidacies. In other words, I think it somewhat likely that some pollsters have known for weeks what the recent polls show--they just couldn't expose it that early for the sake of propping up Senate, House and Gubernatorial candidates.

Do I have any evidence of this? No. Well, maybe. Isn't it curious the lengths that Ken Salazar has gone to to avoid being photographed with John Kerry? If Kerry were really running that strong, in this "battleground state," wouldn't you think one of the most important Senate candidates in the country would run shoulder to shoulder with him? Perhaps its just coincidence; perhaps the Dem internal polling shows how weak Kerry is and they're keeping Salazar away from him.

Am I verging on the brink of a conspiracy theory? Mmmm, maybe. But after Rathergate, the CBS draft follow-up, the Koppel expedition to Vietnam, and everything else over the last four years, I have a hard time discounting media intervention out of hand. If the news division can be so biased, why not the polling division?

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