Faith and Polling


Just wanted to clear up that my Amish cell phone bit did not intend to question the authenticity of Jonah Goldberg's underpolling fears. He's not spinning, he just happens to be wrong.

Jesse Helms, there was a classic underpolling candidate. Helms supporters juiced by Helms' staunch anti-communist foreign policy stands had a reasonable chance of being labeled Klansmen by neighbors if their Helms support was too obvious. You had radically different voting issues in a Helms race.

Bush-Kerry has devolved pretty much to a single issue of security. Your friends and neighbors probably know where you stand on this single issue. If it turns out that there are thousands of voters out there who nixed the Bush bumper stickers or shaded their poll answers despite their strong, decisive support of Bush's Medicare drug benefit, I'll be one surprised Klansman.

NEXT: Till Reconsidered

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  1. I would be shocked if there weren’t people too scared/embarrassed to put up signs or bumper stickers, or even tell their friends they were voting for Bush. But an anonymous pollster on the phone? Hard to believe.

  2. “Bush-Kerry has devolved pretty much to a single issue of security.”

    When will H&R kick it up a notch and concede the War on Terror is no different than the War on Alcohol and the War on Drugs?

    These wars backfired!
    Is anyone here aware that Prohibition was repealed?

    You want security? I’ll show you some steenking security!
    Bush-Kerry sure won’t!

  3. It happened in the UK in 1992 – when the polls predicted a narrow Labour win, but the Conservatives won fairly comfortably.

    Even the exit polls were wrong, though less dramatically so.

    About half the error was put down to Conservative voters who, for one reason or another, were reluctant to reveal who they had voted for.

    The polls were spot on at the next general election, though…

  4. Q. Jeff, which plain folks put their mobiles on vibrate?

    A. The Shakers, of course. 🙂

    BTW, many people don’t believe survey takers when they call saying that answers are anonymous. It stands to reason that if they’ve got your phone number, they know who you are, right? Actually, in this day of reverse lookup on the web, unless you are purely unlisted and haven’t let your phone # get into any database, that paranoia may be justified.


  5. Good point about the phone numbers, Kevin. But if that were the case, shouldn’t it be the incumbent that overpolls since people would more logically fear retribution by someone whose hands are already on the levers of power?

  6. I’d guess that populations who have a history of being persecuted for exercising their franchise would be more likely to fear retribution.

  7. Well, nobody polled me. In fact, I find it incredible with all these polls that I haven’t been polled. Oh wait, I live in a safe state. But you know what? I still had to wait in line today even though there are ZERO competitive races in New York City. Go figure.

    I used to live in Central Pa. The Amish don’t vote. They don’t want anything to do with us. You think evangelicals are fundamentalist? You have no idea. These people barely recognize the legitimacy of our govt.

    You know who else doesn’t have land lines, caller id and cellphones? American Indians. And their registration numbers way way up. Look for their influence in Colo., NM, Ariz and Nevada. They have their own strange special issues, but Bush hasn’t exactly gotten their attention — except once. Can you tell us Mr. Bush what is meant by “tribal sovereignty”? Bush’s only hope is that Indians are dirt poor and vulnerable to corrupt leadership. So maybe the GOP has bought off enough Indian leaders and can scare the rest. Seems like that is the entire GOP strategy today — scare enough people to stop them from voting. Nice.

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