Streams

Better or Worse?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Is New York suddenly a swing state? Dr. Don Levy, director of the Siena Research Institute, discusses two new polls indicating that while New Yorkers are getting second jobs and are nervous about the future of our economy, they also are warming up to the idea of Senator McCain leading the way.

Guests:

Don Levy
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
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Comments [72]

Jean from Northern NJ

The "Palin Effect" - the media just doesn't get it - most of the "women" I know who've pretty much left the Democratic party or who will be voting Dem downticket but not for Obama are really ticked off at what went on at the Dem convention. And why isn't the media covering it or should I say covering it up by not reporting it.
The arm twisting that went on at the convention is now home via the delegates that were there - they have said it was "dreadful" "unbelievable, that it could happen here in the US" "was like we were in a third world country"
My own Governor turn over all of our delegates that went there to cast their votes for Hillary to Obama. All of them!!!
People were threatened with loss of Fed funding, job loss, etc by the DNC leadership -
Where is the media when needed????

Sep. 17 2008 09:36 AM
phil from Park Slope

I can hear Don LaFontaine now:

"In a world...where most people ride Bianchis...like it or not..."

Awesome.

Sep. 16 2008 09:41 AM
figa from Brooklyn

I lived in Phoenix for 25 years before coming to New York. It was a lush, tropical zone, teeming with flora and fauna before McCain was elected Senator. Now, it's a desert.

Seriously, though, AZ ranks down at the bottom next to the south when it comes to the quality of education and public services, and crime in Phoenix consistently ranks at the top of the nation along with Miami. New Yorkers know that immigrants aren't to blame. He has done nothing good for the state, and voters there remember his role in the Keating 5 that started him on the path to self-righteousness. He should be retiring, not running for president.

Sep. 15 2008 05:48 PM
eva

what happens to women who criticize Palin? They are threatened.

From local news in Alaska, on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8pewzwBybc

unbelievable

I read that they eventually got 1500 women who disagree with Palin's policies at the rally; there were 98 supporting Palin

Sep. 15 2008 05:04 PM
eva

this is a great article from nicolai ouroussof about how we have failed to invest in cities - while China is investing heavily in its cities:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/weekinreview/14ouroussoff.html

Sep. 15 2008 03:17 PM
eva

seth, did you see the new obama ad?
It is strong, but I think he needs to come out with something strong about his tax policy. McCain's new ad says he will cut taxes - it is only a significant tax cut for the 600K and over crowd.

Sep. 15 2008 03:11 PM
seth from Long Island

Eva #65,

You make a good point.
Maybe I should have written that if McCain and Palin win, we'll enter a period of Darker Ages.

Several pundits are finally calling out McCain for his outrageous lies. I think it's too little too late. The media has been worshipping McCain for years and now they're finally waking up to discover that he revels in practicing toxic sludge politics.

Sep. 15 2008 02:40 PM
eva

Seth,
thanks. when you see the presidential campaign hijacked by junior high school style politics, you start to suspect that we already are in the dark ages...

Sep. 15 2008 02:22 PM
eva

phil,
If you have any familiarity with the tax policies of the two candidates, you wouldn't be parsing through what you "think" I meant and tossing out the word "elitist".
Also: I don't live in the Northeast, I'm not considered liberal on a lot of issues, and baby, there ain't nowhere a car can take me that my bianchi can't, so car insurance is a non-issue. Call it elite, but this is actually how it is for most people in the world.
Good luck...

Sep. 15 2008 02:01 PM
phil from Park Slope

If you really want to make a difference, skip volunteering and move to Ohio or Florida asap. You'll save on car insurance, too.

Sep. 15 2008 01:48 PM
seth from Long Island

Eva,

Don't let them grind you down. Stay strong and keep up the good fight.

The stakes could not be higher.
If McCain and Palin win, the country will enter a new Dark Ages.

Sep. 15 2008 01:44 PM
phil from Park Slope

"I never said it had anything to do with whether women agreed with ME. Nothing you quoted me on supports your saying that I said it had anything to do with my positions. I specifically wrote that if you vote against YOUR OWN issues based on gender, you don't deserve the vote. I also wrote that if you vote against your own issues based on who you want to have a beer with, you don't deserve the vote."

It's really the same thing, isn't it, because it boils down to how you rank your own issues? What if your issue is "I don't want a someone I perceive to be a mysogenist to be the president?" Or, "I want to support someone I can identify with and shares my experience"?

It's fun to yank your chain, but I don't really think you're suggesting that anyone should have their vote taken away.

Big picture, though: this is the kind of "I know better than you what's good for you" image of the so-called "Northeastern Liberal Elitists" (like me, in Park Slope) that has kept us out of the Whitehouse for so long.

Fortunately or unfortunately, neither of our votes really counts for much because we don't live in a swing state. Or doooo we?

Sep. 15 2008 01:41 PM
eva

#58,
wow... are you serious? so we can never have a rational discussion about race that references our family? What was it that Obama did that put his grandmother "under the bus"? That he said she loved him, but that she suffered from the same racism that afflicts blacks and whites and everyone in between? Coming from a multi-racial family, I gotta say, you're confused if you call that putting someone under the bus, instead of just acknowledging the inconsistencies we all live with.
And further - it's an infantilization of women to say that we can't criticize the irrational tendencies within a percentage of the voting public. If you're voting for anyone based on identity issues when the US is in this much dirt, you need help.
I spent some time talking with pro-choice voters while phone-banking. They told me how they felt, and why that was turning them toward McCain. That's perfectly rational, and laudable, even though I personally disagree with their stance (I'm pro-life, but I think every woman should have the right to make her own choice about that.) They did not say, "I'm voting for Sarah Palin, because she's hot and sassy." They were voting on the issues. This is what we're ALL supposed to be voting on.

Sep. 15 2008 01:34 PM
eva

correct me if I'm wrong, but blacks did not turn out en masse for Jesse Jackson's bid for the presidency. Blacks have traditionally voted for the party that supported their interests. In most cases, that has been the Democratic Party.
Look where the majority of American women stand on virtually every issue. Then look at Sarah Palin. This 20% number (if you believe it) is voting based on gender and, connected to that, a fantasy of the sort of life they might like to live. (She runs marathons! Her husband cares for the children while she runs the state! And he doesn't have a gut!) At least Hillary was a fit in terms of issues.

Sep. 15 2008 01:24 PM
phil from Park Slope

He goes under the bus, just like Obama's granny. :-0

Sep. 15 2008 01:19 PM
eva

phil,
Not that it matters but, again, you didn't read what I wrote. You also quoted me out of context. Here's your quote.
"BTW--Telling us twice that women who don't agree with you don't deserve to vote makes me wonder about a lot of things."
I never said it had anything to do with whether women agreed with ME. Nothing you quoted me on supports your saying that I said it had anything to do with my positions. I specifically wrote that if you vote against YOUR OWN issues based on gender, you don't deserve the vote. I also wrote that if you vote against your own issues based on who you want to have a beer with, you don't deserve the vote.
Sidenote: I didn't say it should be taken away from you, I said you don't DESERVE it.
If you want to continue to quote me out of context, or to read things into what I wrote, go ahead, but I'm obliged to point out that you're wrong.
BTW, you have something against your grandfather? ;)

Sep. 15 2008 01:15 PM
phil from Park Slope

Eva: Read. What. You. Wrote:

#1: "yes, race is an issue, but the bigger issue is gender politics. Women have just proved to me in this election that a huge percentage of us simply do not deserve the vote."

#2: "Let me just say that if you support a woman's right to choose, but you are going to vote for Sarah Palin only because she's a woman, you don't really deserve the vote."

I vote we put Kathy in charge--she's hit the nail on the head.

Sep. 15 2008 01:02 PM
seth from Long Island

McCain and Palin's new slogan

Mendacity, Hubris, and Kakistocracy

Sep. 15 2008 01:00 PM
seth from Long Island

New Republican Campaign Slogan

Mendacity, Hubris, and Kakistocracy
McCain/Palin 08

Sep. 15 2008 12:59 PM
eva

Kathy,
spot on. He needs to be getting out there with that particular message, as well as many others.

Sep. 15 2008 12:49 PM
Kathy Troyer from Ramsey, NJ

It may be helpful to determine why some polls show white women in particular leaving the Obama camp for the McCain/Palin camp. With respect to Palin, the possibilities include: religion--but it's likely evangelical white women were already leaning toward McCain; son going to Iraq--but McCain already has that covered, and Biden has that factor on his side as well; myth/image of small town, "real" America--but again, I think women vulnerable to that myth making were already pro McCain; gender--but I just don't think white women are that stupid to vote for someone just based on gender; child with special needs- she spoke forcefully about being an advocate for the disabled in the White House. We underestimate the numbers of women in this country who are caretakers of the disabled--developmentally disabled children, mentally ill family members, elderly family members with dementia and Alzheimer's, physically challenged folks, etc. Rarely does government openly speak about the problems and needs of these people and their families. Perhaps families see some hope in Palin. I wish Obama would explicitly talk about his vision for the disabled. His policies are better than those of McCain, but he doesn't talk about that stuff on the campaign trail. He needs to talk specifically about the day to day hardships faced by Americans and what he would do to address them. Ironically, Obama's plans for the disabled would probably help Palin and her son more than those of McCain.

Sep. 15 2008 12:44 PM
eva

Phil,
"BTW--Telling us twice that women who don't agree with you don't deserve to vote makes me wonder about a lot of things."
that's, uh, a complete distortion of what I wrote. I never said it had anything to do with agreeing with me.
This is what I wrote:
"It is outrageous to vote against your interests simply because you identify (or wished you could identify) with a female candidate, who, in all likelihood, is NOTHING like you."
I also wrote:
"Let me just say that if you support a woman's right to choose, but you are going to vote for Sarah Palin only because she's a woman, you don't really deserve the vote."
I think the manner in which you read the posts is skewed, because I clearly never wrote what you suggested I did. Please READ. What. I. Actually. Wrote. Before accusing me of the kind of solipsism I wrote against.
Thanks.

Sep. 15 2008 12:41 PM
dan from brooklyn

We haven't seen many ads running here in NY because this is not seen as a battleground state. I think the attempt by media and pollsters to make it look like a possible swing state is an attempt to benefit from some of the ad dollars being spent on this election. Both campaigns are spending hundreds of millions of dollars -- I'm sure the media in this area wants to receive some of those dollars. Creating a perception that the race is close is one way of achieving that.

Sep. 15 2008 12:27 PM
phil from Park Slope

Up front: I am a dude, and a big Liberal who will never vote Republican just so you know who you're talking to.

I know several women who swore they would never vote for Obama after the way the campaign, the media and the COMMONTOSPHERE treated the Hillary effort. you couldn't read a single news article on line without several pages of Obama fanatic follow-up screed (see above thread). If Sarah Palin represents poke in the eye to the Dems who turned on their own kind during the primaries, there is some appeal there for some people--maybe many people. Specifically swing voters in swing states, who ultimately decide the election.

Whether the perception is right or wrong, it's out there and it is a reality that Obama and his supporters will have to deal with RIGHT AWAY if thy don't want to lose in November. I never could figure out how alienating huge numbers of potential supporters early on was a strategy, but then I'm no David Axlerod.

Too bad my grandfather isn't around any more--he hated the concept of one-person-one-vote. You would have hit it off I'm sure.

BTW--Telling us twice that women who don't agree with you don't deserve to vote makes me wonder about a lot of things. Trust me, if only people who agreed with ME we're allowed to vote, we'd be soooo much better off right now. ;-)

Sep. 15 2008 12:26 PM
eligit from astoria

I hope you are right.

the problem is that even if the polls are "slightly off"....i think these subtle technical polling accuracy issues will not be the deciding factor.

the real killer (as has been noted above and yet does bear repeating) is that people being polled will not admit to motivation based on race, sex, etc....they know it makes them sound stupid and ignorant. so if anything the polls are deceptive in UNDERestimating the pro mccain palin vote.

anyway....i am hoping to be proved completely wrong on all counts and enough wild stuff comes out about palin in the next month to sink her ticket.

unfortunately...much info HAS already been revealed and sadly it has done little to hurt her in the polls. witness the front page of the NYT yesterday...she is vindictive and treats political office as a personal vendetta machine. will this have any impact on the election? unless charges are actually brought against her i doubt it.

even then i bet it would HELP her to be charged with something. people would simply explain that it was a media conspiracy against her and feel all the more passionate in supporting her. "those dirty liberal media people! how dare they attack this poor woman (for being dishonest and dangerously unqualified)? go sarah!!"

this is the level of thought that is going on right now.

hope for the best. prepare for the worst.

Sep. 15 2008 12:23 PM
eva

eligit,
I agree with your concerns, but I think the polls are slightly off, for reasons already discussed on this board.
Thanks (seriously) for putting your money where your mouth is. Keep the faith, it's not over til it's over.

Sep. 15 2008 12:05 PM
eligit from astoria

eva
i am not being pessimistic. i am reading the information as clearly as i possibly can. how else can you possibly explain the bizarre disparity in the polls?

8 years of republican disaster and this presidential contest should not even be CLOSE. what other reasonable explanations do you have for this? people are polling for four more years of republican rule. how do you explain that?

especially with obama being the only candidate who was against the iraq war, just like most of the country is now. you would think this would be huge in people's consciousness. but it is not.

because palin is such a brilliant candidate? because she is so on top of the issues?

a 20 point swing in white woman voters from picking the governor of alaska? this is crazy stuff and i have yet to hear any alternative theory to mine.

i have already put my money where my mouth is, believe me. it would not be the first time i contributed to the guy who got clobbered.

we are witnessing identity politics at it's worst and most unthinking.

Sep. 15 2008 12:00 PM
eva

Phil,
Let me just say that if you support a woman's right to choose, but you are going to vote for Sarah Palin only because she's a woman, you don't really deserve the vote.
Check Hamilton and Jefferson on this, if you don't believe me. When Jeff returned from Paris, he had questions about the bi-level structure of the congress. It was explained to him that it was done to "cool the tea" - that is, the wishes of uneducated, irrational voters had to be "managed". Not without reason....
Similarly, men who voted for Bush because they thought he was a good guy to have a beer with also don't deserve the vote. If it becomes an "American Idol" contest, our democracy has failed.
SOME of us always expected more from women voters, given their earlier voting patterns. We were clearly too optimistic.
Having said that, I wonder to what extent Sarah Palin is merely a media phenom - I didn't reach a single voter in Nevada this weekend who mentioned the name Palin, or who even referred to the GOP VP spot.

Sep. 15 2008 11:59 AM
phil from Park Slope

Eva,

Those sound like logical reasons. Are you part of the percentage of women that deserves that vote or not?

Sep. 15 2008 11:50 AM
eva

eligit,
please-please-please do me a favor and stop being pessimistic and start volunteering for the candidate of your choice. It is useless to be negative without rolling up your sleeves and fighting to support your candidate/platform.

Sep. 15 2008 11:48 AM
eva

Phil,
I am not black, and am not voting based on race. I am voting for Obama, and, incidentally, I am voting against the costly and foolish and fantastically ill-planned invasion of Iraq. I am voting against supply-side economics. I am voting for a sensible tax strategy, which puts money into the hands of middle class families who will put that money to good use - education, food, and diapers. Not giving tax cuts to those making over 600K a year.
I am voting for Obama's stance on the war, and for Obama's sensible tax strategy.

Sep. 15 2008 11:46 AM
eligit from astoria

racism IS the subtext here. we do not want to admit it and it really does not help the obama campaign to point it out. in fact it is counterproductive because there is nothing the racist voter likes less than being called out on their racism.....it makes them push back even harder.

many "undecided" voters or voters who poll for mccain/palin even while agreeing with obama on issues are operating on either conscious or unconscious racism.

as noted above not many americans will admit this kind of thing to a pollster over the phone.

the dramatic impact of the palin pick CLEARLY shows that many voters were simply waiting for an excuse (any excuse) to vote for mccain....and before palin was picked they could not really justify this desire. but now there is "one of us" on the ticket. game over.

i expect that mccain will win in a landslide.

believe me....i hope to be proved wrong....i will be very happy if that occurs.

Sep. 15 2008 11:44 AM
eva

ab,
yes, race is an issue, but the bigger issue is gender politics. Women have just proved to me in this election that a huge percentage of us simply do not deserve the vote. It is outrageous to vote against your interests simply because you identify (or wished you could identify) with a female candidate, who, in all likelihood, is NOTHING like you.

Sep. 15 2008 11:43 AM
phil from Park Slope

Yes!! We should totally blame women for everything, especially white ones. When will people learn? Down with women!! They're only, what, a little more than half of the people? That's more than 1 scapegoat per man!! I love those odds. This is an election strategy that CAN'T fail!

Good thing people are smart enough not to vote FOR Obama based on race...

Sep. 15 2008 11:42 AM
ab

#36

I agree, strategically the Obama camp can't fight on that line--even though it is clearly the truth.

Sep. 15 2008 11:40 AM
ab

#33

Quite frankly, just from my personal experience the Obama supporters I've met don't accuse people of racism for not voting for him even half as much as Clinton supporters accuse everyone of sexism.

And you are correct, racism won't show up in these polls but it is LUDICROUS for anyone to suggest that racism isn't at least partly at play here.We have an old warmonger who has flipped-flopped all over the place and voted with Bush most of the time, and an ultra-right wing fundamentalist who has been lying almost every time she opens her mouth running for a party that has plunged this country into an unjust war and economic crisis....and we're talking about the possibility that they may WIN????

Uh...yeah...race DOES have something to do with it!

Sep. 15 2008 11:38 AM
Leon Wynter from New YORK

Phil-

It's not a matter of what makes me feel good. In fact, it makes me feel quite ill.
It's a matter of the truth. And while it may not be strategic--I would never advise any part of the Obama campaign to fight on this line--it is still a matter of intellectual and (for me as a journalist) journalistic truth.

Sep. 15 2008 11:38 AM
eva

ab,
I'm inclined to agree with you - given that so many women say they are voting for a ticket only because there's a woman on it.

Sep. 15 2008 11:35 AM
ab

#28

Isn't it ridiculous how everyone, including this polling moron, is taking such pains to ignore that simple fact?

I was on line the other day waiting for coffee and this man and woman were behind me talking about Palin...and the woman was going on about how she liked her because she "means what she says and does it". It was all i could do to not turn around and scream at her that Palin lied about the bridge to nowhere and earmarks,etc

But anyway, to make a long story short: when the man touched on issues like abortion....the woman didn't even agree with Palin's viewpoints!!! So basically all she REALLY sees is Palin's gender AND race (let's be honest-the woman was also white)

It's a joke. This country doesn't deserve the vote.

Sep. 15 2008 11:32 AM
phil from Park Slope

Leon, if you're right about racism, it probably doesn't show as strongly in polling as it will in the election. Remember: David Duke polled horribly but got way more votes that predicted. No one wants to admit to being a racist to a stranger on the phone.

That said, Obama supporters need to realize that constantly accusing everyone who doesn't totally agree with them of being a racist is ultimately counter productive, even if it makes you feel better.

Sep. 15 2008 11:30 AM
LKS from Harlem

directly from the website: This SRI survey was conducted September 8-10, 2008 by telephone calls to 626 likely New York State registered voters. It has a margin of error of + 3.9 percentage points. Data was statistically adjusted by respondent age to match likely voters. For more information, please call Steven Greenberg at 518-469-9858. Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at: www.Siena.edu/SRI/SNY0908.

- need i say more: ok ok i will- per the us census in 2001 the population for nyc surged over 8 million. 626 "likely registered voters" per telephone calls. who the *#@&*! has a land line in 2008 (1, who picks up that landline for pollsters (2 and AND are they completely serious about 626?

there has got to be a better way.

Sep. 15 2008 11:25 AM
nostradamus from new york

Doctor Levy, face it: you're polling old people who are sitting at home at 3 in the afternoon, foaming at the mouth to vote republican. Truly laughable that you admitted in the interview that not being able to call cellphone-only voters is problematic for you. Duh, really? Ya think?? Your polling methods are anachronistic and you will be proven a dinosaur when the only poll results that matter are revealed on November 4th.
Let's get back to the issues, please. This is just so much hot air.

Sep. 15 2008 11:24 AM
phil from Park Slope

Places like NY becoming battleground states is the best thing that could happen for us and the world in general as the electoral college system causes national politics to be defined by a few states: the embargo against Cuba, corn subsidies that destroy ocean ecology and cause global food crises, first responder funding being sent to the middle of nowhere--the list goes on.

Also, Obama people, how many of you cited and reveled in the completely irrelevant polls that showed Obama doing better than Hillary over McCain "if the election were held today" way back in May and June, months before conventions, VP choices, any number of national and world events, etc??

Sep. 15 2008 11:23 AM
CH from Staten Island

POLLING METHODOLOGY QUESTION:
On the Siena Research Institute site posting about the poll: (http://www.siena.edu/level2col.aspx?menu_id=562&id=19322) I see this in the methodology/analysis:

"This SRI survey was conducted September 8-10, 2008 by telephone calls to 626 likely New York State registered voters. It has a margin of error of + 3.9 percentage points. Data was statistically adjusted by respondent age to match likely voters."

Please explain: "Data was statistically adjusted by respondent age to match likely voters."

Sep. 15 2008 11:22 AM
Leon Wynter from New YORK

ENOUGH-
I don't care how nice and open minded we want to be, reaching for any and every straw to avoid the gorilla in the room.
Now you say it's not about the economy? Stupid. Stop trying to draw conclusions about the disparity between what people are concerned about, how they rate Obama over McCain on those concerns, and yet are voting for McCain.
The one variable you cannot (or will not) measure is racist reluctance. I can't prove that it's what I think it is, because I haven't measured it either.
But your analysis holds NO water until you somehow take it into account.

Sep. 15 2008 11:22 AM
Sean from Brookyn

Yeah if McCain wins it will only prove how stupid Americans are.

Sep. 15 2008 11:21 AM
Katie Kennedy from Huntington, NY

McCain will keep us safe is a scare tactic, just like Bush's claim that "we haven't had another attack" in seven years. Seven years! Why is that number familier? Oh, yes, it was how many years between the first attack on the World Trade Center and the last and final attack? SEVEN. Why doesn't anyone point that out? What will the Republican's say when Osama bin Laden launches the attack he's been planning for the last seven years? Probably that it's the Democrats fault.

Sep. 15 2008 11:21 AM
lara

God forbid the president we elect is intelligent and compassionate. Apparently we prefer a tough patriot. Looks like the dirty harry trope is alive and well in the USA.

Sep. 15 2008 11:20 AM
derik from edison

People who watch the new's and think voting McCain is a good idea need to go to Politifact.com and factcheck.org. I don't know how anyone in america could think some geezer on his death bed and a high school beauty queen are worthy of running this country. I think these pollsters are comming up to the same problem the record industry is facing... dealing with new media i.e. cell phones like someone else mentioned. DUN DUN DUN by pollsters get out of our lives.

Sep. 15 2008 11:20 AM
ab

#16

I could not agree more. Polls influence the election results and cloud the REAL issues.

Sep. 15 2008 11:19 AM
eva

fyi,
having phonebanked NEVADA for the Obama campaign this weekend, my final tally puts Obama ahead out of the people I was able to reach by phone. Whether those people were honest with me, I don't know. We should focus less on polls and more on getting out the vote, and going down to campaign HQ and volunteering.
The Obama campaign needs us and this is no time to get lazy or to feel like it's "useless."

Sep. 15 2008 11:18 AM
Mike in Manhattan from Inwood, NYC

The published political polls serve the polling organization first and foremost. They are advertising for the polling organization IF they get mentioned by the news organizations.

By the words used for the questions and the preceding questions that define the context even "reputable" pollsters like Gallop use these tactics to get their name in the new.

What were the questions that Sienna used to get these results? What were the preceding questions?

Brian should interview his "On the Media" colleagues since they broadcast an analysis of this over the weekend.

Sep. 15 2008 11:18 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn

How many actual people did they talk to?

When I hear "73% of people" I shudder, they did not talk to 100% of the people.

Sep. 15 2008 11:17 AM
maggie from morristown nj

The Gallup poll called my home twice this election season. Both times I was out, busy with my life, with my cell phone in my pocket.

What does it mean when the polls only question people who spend most of their time at home? There has to be a different profile here.

(BTW Caller ID says "Gallup Poll" and when I called back got a msg that they will try again. I'm sure I won't be home next time either)

Sep. 15 2008 11:17 AM
sarah from Philly

Wait just one second....is this guy asking demographic questions too? Don't most polls? Tell us the numbers! What was the average age!?

Sep. 15 2008 11:17 AM
ab

#13

They are voting on emotions and gender and race apparently

Perhaps Americans no longer deserve Democracy. Clearly we are too stupid to handle it responsibly.

Sep. 15 2008 11:16 AM
shc from Manhattan

I also wonder if polls should be done away with completely. I can see their value in statistics, but in terms of swaying public opinion, it's not much different than influencing who someone votes for homecoming king and queen. I'm not talking about intellectual voters who actually look at the issues (thank gawd for BL), but we have to face reality, there are Americans who vote without knowing what the issues are and rather who the more popular choice might be. Can anyone give a valid, persuasive reason for the weight the MSM gives to polls?

Sep. 15 2008 11:16 AM
Josh from fort greene

I'd like to know why the subject of polling is important enough to devote a segment to it. I really get tired of hearing what the latest poll numbers are when there is much more relevant information out there to help me make a decision.

Sep. 15 2008 11:16 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn

You can't talk to everyone.

Sep. 15 2008 11:14 AM
rosie

clearly, people are NOT voting issues! all emotion. This is dangerous and frightening.

Sep. 15 2008 11:14 AM
sarah from Philly

Let's just point out that "younger" is anywhere from 35 and under. A HUGE voting sector. Not to mention large portions of low income families and what about those pre-paid phones? There are SO many people not being counted that these polls are more annoying than helpful. Figure out a new way!! You are staring hysteria based off of the 75 and older population!

Sep. 15 2008 11:14 AM
ab

Where is the feature onall the blatant lies that Palin has been spewing out? WHERE IS THAT SEGMENT???

NPR= MCM

Sep. 15 2008 11:12 AM
Francesca from Manhattan

Has anyone ever gone back to look at how accurate this kind of polling has been AFTER the fact? If you look at the first election in England where Tony Blair beat John Major, polling indicated that the race was very tight, however, the Labour victory was very decisive. So - how good are these things, really?

Sep. 15 2008 11:12 AM
Nancy from Little Silver, NJ

To amplify what Antonio said, I am so sorry I turned on your show this morning! I'm used to you, Brian, focusing on the issues not the horse race. There are a lot of strange forces in play right now (Palin, financial meltdowns) that are going to take some time to percolate through the polls. Can't we *PLEASE* get back to the issues?!??

Sep. 15 2008 11:12 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

These polls show how much misinformation has been spread about Obama. Even though he's a Democrat in a Democratic year, he is not trusted, people don't know who is, the lies about his religion and background still stick. Clearly this is something people didn't focus on sufficiently in moving from the primaries to the national election.

Sep. 15 2008 11:12 AM
Mike in Manhattan from Inwood, NYC

The polls serve the polling organizations, first and foremost. I suggest that Brian interview his On The Media colleagues and ask their analysis of the way "reputable" polling organizations can use both wording of the questions and the context of preceding questions in order to make their poll more news worthy and therefore better advertising for the pollster.

What were the questions this group used and what were the preceding questions?

Sep. 15 2008 11:11 AM
shc from Manhattan

General poll question:

Who gets polled? People who have land lines? Numbers? Are certain demographics being missed depending on the method of contacting them, when they're being contacted (what if someone is working 2 jobs?), etc...I'm wondering about the technicalities that might artificially slant the results. I have also never met anyone who has ever been polled.

Sep. 15 2008 11:10 AM
Sean from Brookyn

Ummm no one has ever polled me.

Sep. 15 2008 11:10 AM
tom from greenpoint

what antonio said.

Sep. 15 2008 11:09 AM
jeff from NYC

How do they handle or account for cell phone people?

Jeff

Sep. 15 2008 11:09 AM
ppv1 from NYC

Brian- I curious to know if anyone who was excited by Sarah Palin has lost interest since she made her remarks at the Convention? All we hear is how more and more people love her even after stories come out questioning her record, showing her lies, and questioning her qualifications. And then, why is she so interesting after some much of what she claims turns out to be lies?

Sep. 15 2008 11:08 AM
antonio from park slope


ENOUGH! Not one of these polls take into account the millions of new registered democrats. The media does not report on this because no one likes blow outs...
Stick to the issues..

Sep. 15 2008 11:07 AM

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