October 16, 2008

The Left's Big Blunder

Clever Hans
Here is a fascinating article from Zombie called The Left's Big Blunder. The essay itself is intricate enough that it can't be summarized in a short excerpt, but I'll try some bullet points:
  • The "meta-campaign" (i.e. the "story" of the campaign) has become the main emphasis of the Left
  • Obama is made to seem invincible with the hope that this will make him so
  • This is seriously flawed as a strategy and potentially a colossal failure
  • There are many reasons to believe the polls greatly overstate Obama's true strength and understate McCain's
There is a lot of solid, detailed analysis of the polling process that backs up these points, and it seems an excellent explanation of the so-called "Bradley Effect." This effect, a black candidate receiving a much smaller percentage of the votes than in the polls, is often reflexively attributed to white racism. The liberal contention is that whites, who are all secretly racist, just can't bring themselves to vote for a black, despite their own conviction that he is the best candidate. This is preposterous and leads to such peculiar spectacles as Rep. "Mad Jack" Murtha accusing his own constituents of being racists.

I agree with Zombie's analysis: this is a manifestation of peer pressure and white guilt, the opposite of racism. Whites responding to polls may hedge or misrepresent their feelings, often unconsciously, to please the poll taker and to avoid the appearance of being racist. However, in the voting booth it's only you and your ballot, and there is no reason to bend your vote against your better judgment.

This certainly makes a lot of sense in today's environment. We're pounded daily with accusations that McCain's campaign is racist and that the country is too racist to vote for Obama. We're told that electing Obama will finally heal the country's racial wounds, despite that fact that his campaign seems to be aimed at ripping them wide open, and that there will probably be race riots if he loses. So much for the post-racial candidate.

Meanwhile, it's hard to speak up for conservative ideas in public or in polls, if it means defending Bush's record (or a lot of McCain's for that matter). I took an online poll that stumped me with this question: "Do you expect to John McCain's policies compared to Bush's to be more conservative, about the same, or less conservative? How do you answer that when neither man seems to have a coherent philosophy to base his decisions on?

Is Zombie right in suggesting that McCain may even be ahead, despite the poll results? I hope so, but that may just be wishful thinking on my part. There's also the question of how many phony votes Obama and his buddies at ACORN can create out of thin air or dig up out of the graveyards. We can only hope that the electorate, staring into the abyss of President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Reid, will come to its senses at the last moment and pull back. I do know that I fully intend to cast my vote against socialism and class warfare up and down the ticket, and I always vote.
Ann Coulter tackles the question of polling error in her own, inimitable fashion here.

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