Tag Archives: Polls

The ”electability” canard.Why the Polls of today don’t matter.

RRD:One of the most oft repeated arguments for Romney(just as it was for Mccain)is the “electability” argument.
Or as I call it:the “electability myth”.
The myth is not that there is no such thing as real,actual electibility,with the flip side being that “anyone can win”.

The myth is that a candidate’s electibility can be determined nine months in advance of a election.

People who have no qualms about saying that ”the Teaparty will just have to fall in line”,nine months in advance of the election,in defiance of the Teaparty’s current ”anyone but Romney” stance,
will nevertheless treat today’s polling data showing Romney as electable,(& conversely showing Gingrich,Paul,Santorum as unelectable) as if it was the Law of Conservation of Energy.
Something that is immutable.
The moods & whims of the ”undecideds” are afforded similar awe.
One wonders why we should bother having elections at all?
Why not just take a poll on the day of the nominating convention & declare whoever leads as President?
Any Pollster worth his salt will tell you that you cannot predict the outcome of a election months in advance,(or even weeks ,if it is remotely close),but all that gets tossed out the window by the Rockefeller Republicans who claim that they would like to be ”pure”,but alas,”elections are won in the center”.

The actual motive behind many of the ”Romney is electable” mantras(fn1) is to dismiss anyone not LEFT OF CENTER as unelectable (both Mccain & Romney were left of center on Global Warming,Romney is additionally left of center on the Individual Mandate).
Having lost the philosophical argument,Rockeffeller Republicans have adopted a new “practical” argument:”Elections are won from the center”.Except that their “centrists” keep going down in flames.(Murkowski and some others being notable exceptions).
Carly Fiorina was supposed to be ”electable”.Along with Meg Whitman.Along with Arlen Specter,(versus the unelectable,since elected Sen.Pat Toomey.)
”Obamacan” Charlie Crist(whose advisors are now advising Romney)
was a supposedly unbeatable candidate,versus the ”nice,but unelectable” Sen.Rubio.
The result?
Crist,a pathological liar & flip flopper,hated by the base,lost the nomination & RAN AS A Independent,and,in what must be the most brazen act of narcissism outside of the White House, instructed his Democratic opponent to ”be unselfish” & drop out of the race.(His opponent,Meek,displayed more self-respect & courage than some ”conservatives” who have shilled for Romney & basically told Crist,& probably also Bill Clinton if the rumors are true, to go to hell).

I do not trust polls.Particularly when they are nearly a year in advance of the elections.
This does not mean that a honest person cannot look at the polls and conclude that Romney is the candidate who is most likely to beat Obama.But they cannot treat their extrapolation as if it were a fact of nature.Nor can they say that ”Since the polls say, that IF the election were held today,Gingrich etal would lose”,therefore ”Gingrich etal CAN’T win”,because the ELECTIONS ARE NOT BEING HELD TODAY.You cannot know what people will do if given the choice,in the real world,of GOP candidate X vs Obama.
You can make guesses & projections,but THAT IS ALL YOU CAN DO.A ”hypothetical matchup” does not take into account:debates between the Republican and the Democrat,errors or gaffes by the candidates,the effect of ads that have yet to run,(both positive & negative),real & invented scandals.
etc.
Anyone who claims to know the outcome of a election,with certainty,is a liar or a fool.
One can make predictions about the outcome.
But one cannot anoint candidate X as ”the only candidate who can beat Obama”.
Teaparty members,Libertarians,Conservatives & Objectivists should take any claims of ”electability” with a grain of salt.
They should not dismiss them,but they should scrutinize them carefully to see if they have a rational justification.They should also study the history of elections to gain context on some of these claims.

Footnotes:

1.Not all.But when you have “Progressive” Republicans,and establishment Republicans consistently predicting defeat for Toomey,Rubio,Reagan etc while ignoring the fact that Fiorina,Ford,Dole,G.H.W.Bush & Mccain went down in flames, it is legitimate to question whether they are ”just interested in winning”, or whether they want Rockefeller Republicans whether they win or lose.

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