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Hullabaloo


Saturday, September 17, 2016

 

Polls don't vote

by Tom Sullivan

National presidential polls have tightened a little, so skittish lefties are getting skittish again. Or could it be breathless reports about which Democrat will replace Hillary Clinton when she drops out of the race are clumsy attempts at a mind f**k by our friends on the right?

Nah.

On Monday, it was Cokie Roberts on NPR claiming (in response to Hillary Clinton's walking pneumonia) that Democrats are "nervously beginning to whisper about ... having her step aside." You know, Democrats. Democrats like Dick Morris.

On Friday, it was The Hill and the Washington Times hyping polling that found "48% of Likely Democratic Voters believe Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary rival, should be their party’s nominee if health issues forced her out of the race." You know, polling. By pollsters like Rasmussen.

Nancy LeTourneau at Washington Monthly pushed back against nervousness from the merchants of doubt on Thursday. She cited Sam Wang (Princeton Election Consortium) and others, writing:

Wang says Clinton’s probability of winning is 90%. The Upshot has it at 76%. FiveThirtyEight says its at 64%. In other words, none of them are saying that Trump has more than a 36% chance of winning. Those are not great odds for him. If this were any other presidential election in recent memory, it would constitute pretty good news for Democrats. But coming off the talk about a landslide, it has some people worried.
Those would be people who think polls vote. [Pro Tip: They don't]

The Hill went to bat twice yesterday, citing Donald Trump's staying power (you knew there was a reason he released test results on his testosterone level). The Hill writes:
One reason for his strength: People who intend to vote for him are more enthusiastic about doing so than those planning to back Clinton, according to three major recent polls.

That fact alone makes some Republicans bullish about Trump’s prospects.
Testosterone. Strength. Bullish. You get the picture. Skirts need not apply. This is man's work.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 46 percent of Trump backers were “very enthusiastic,” compared with only 33 percent of Clinton supporters. And a New York Times/CBS News poll saw Trump outperforming Clinton by the same metric, 45 percent to 36 percent.
So with all that enthusiasm on paper, how is Trump doing on manpower? The Hill again:
Earlier this month, the RNC communications director Sean Spicer told CNN’s “New Day,” “I don’t mean to be facetious, but offices don’t vote. People do.”

That’s just as well for the Trump campaign. An analysis by "PBS Newshour” found that at the end of last month, Clinton had 291 field offices in battleground states to just 88 for Trump.
From what I've seen here, not only does Clinton have offices, she has staff filling them and people volunteering for them. They sent me the first name of a voter who might need a ride to the polls in mid-August.

LeTourneau believes the hiring of Kellyanne Conway represents (again) the long awaited Trump pivot:
... we have now passed Labor Day and Ms. Conway’s work is focused on connecting with groups that have typically voted Republican. Beyond that, their challenge will be to convince “persuadables” and get out the vote. That has usually been the function of the campaign’s ground game – which basically doesn’t exist for Trump.
Polls don't vote. Voters do. Percentages of enthusiastic supporters don't win elections. Numbers of raw votes do. Enthusiasm helps motivate voters, sure. But making sure they actually register and show up at the polls takes a strong ground game. Trump doesn't have one. As the Good Book says in large, friendly letters: 'DON'T PANIC'.

Volunteer.