The Bandwagoneers

Have you noticed something?

No “Minnesota Poll” yet this cycle.  Ditto the Humprey Institute.

Usually by this point in an election cycle, they’ve run a poll showing the Republican candidate down by some absurd amount that turns out to be many times greater than the eventual margin of victory (or defeat) for the DFLer.

Now, I’ve been writing about the HHH and Strib “Minnesota” polls for quite some time.  I noted that since 1988, the Strib Minnesota Poll has consistently shorted Republicans by a consistently greater margin than Democrats in their pre-election polls – and that the discrepancy is even greater in elections that end up being closest.  I noted that the HHH poll is even worse – but that in polls where the DFLer appears to be in no danger, their polls end up being more accurate.

It is my contention that the Strib and the Humphrey Institute are allied – at least at the executive level – with the DFL, and use their polls to further the DFL’s ends; everyone involved is certainly aware of the “Bandwagon Effect” – the phenomenon by which voters who believe their candidates have no chance of victory will stay home.

So we’ve seen no “Minnesota” poll so far this cycle; Amy Klobuchar – perhaps the greatest beneficiary of media bias in the history of Minnesota politics, as the daughter of a former Strib columnist – seems to be in no great danger, so the polls say, from Kurt Bills (not to say I won’t do everything I can, personally, to fix that).  I’ll bet dimes to dollars the Strib polls wind up pretty darn close to the election totals, in fact!

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But the “Bandwagon” effect is going nationwide; Minnesota in 2008 and 2010 showed that it can keep juuuuuuuuust enough people home, if it’s relentless enough, to tip a close election.

And so you see the mainstream media already declaring the election over, based entirely on polling that is entirely based on the Democrats getting turnout they didn’t even get in 2008.

It is, in fact, the flip side of the “Low Information Voter” strategy they’ve run on their own side – convincing the ill-informed, the querulous and the not-bright that there’s a “war on women” and Obama “stands with the 99%” and “the economy was Bush’s fault but it’s almost back, any day now”; trying to convince people, especially independents, who might be sick to death of Obama and possibly thinking of voting GOP that it’s all hopeless and they should stay home.

Think about it.  Why else would they run polls that are transparently false?  That rely on assumptions that probably didn’t even occur during the post-Watergate election in 1976, much less 2008, much less today?

Because only the high-information voters either dig into the partisan breakdowns (or read the bloggers who do), and the record in Minnesota shows there are just enough incurious, too-busy, ill-informed, and just plain un-bright people to sway the matter if it’s close enough.

The media at all levels – bald-faced cheerleaders like the LATimes and the Strib and the supposedly-ethical ones like NPR alike – are going to be beating the “it’s over” drum constantly ’til the election.

The well-informed people know it’s baked wind.

But it’s not aimed at them.

12 thoughts on “The Bandwagoneers

  1. You might find this interesting.
    http://www.onthemedia.org/2012/sep/14/

    What you call ‘well informed people’ are often factually wrong.

    I don’t think this election is anywhere near over, although the 47% debacle might very well be Romney’s ‘macaca’ moment.

    The democrats in the past have sometimes shown a remarkable ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    The increase in numbers of voters who have become elegible to vote just by turning 18 is in favor of democrats more than republicans.

    I’ve worked at turning out the vote — ALL the vote, democrats, republicans, independents, undecideds, and won’t-disclose. Unlike Republicans and other conservatives, I’m not interested in discouraging voters from participating, or in disenfranchising large numbers of people. But then I’m sure you know the more people voting, the more the percentage by which Republicans typically lose.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GBAsFwPglw&noredirect=1

    I’m more intrigued by the fact that while Minnesota tends to be among the top states for voter participation, nationally, and even our state average, is much lower than many other countries. Mexico has a higher turnout than we do nationally of voters, and Jamaica has a higher turnout of voters than Minnesota, typically, as do most european countries (Italy 92%) and a number of central and south american ones.

    Republicans have run a poor selection of candidates, and are pushing a repeat of the disastrous policies of Bush. Dubya’s policies were terrible, and he was a smirking idiot, but he was still more appealing than Mittens and Lyin’ Ryan.

    Unless the Dems do something really stupid – – and they might — Obama is doing remarkably well in swing states. The down-ballot effect looks like it will keep the senate blue, and if not win back the House (unlikely) will at least seriously erode 2010 gains on the federal level. The clownish GOP incompetence, combined with Brodkorb and Koch’s soap opera will go a long way towards losing those gains at the state levels, the way things are going.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Cravaack and Bachmann get dumped, myself.
    More than an absence of polls, the absence of some ads is intriguing.

  2. “The clownish GOP incompetence, combined with Brodkorb and Koch’s soap opera will go a long way towards losing those gains at the state levels, the way things are going.”

    That’s right, Dog. What sort of social and sexual miscreant could ever vote for a party whose members committed a social or sexual sin? The dems, pure as the driven snow, would never implode from a lack of sexual restraint (forget Pres Clinton, he was seduced by a trollop!) Or, could it be that dems have a behavior code for non-dems? There is a double standard at work here which cannot be ignored, but it can be obfuscated, as you well know.

  3. One thing you can count on from DG is bloviation to no end.

    As others will ask: Where’s your homework DG?????
    And by the way, PFFT!

  4. “Republicans have run a poor selection of candidates, and are pushing a repeat of the disastrous policies of Bush. Dubya’s policies were terrible, and he was a smirking idiot, but he was still more appealing than Mittens and Lyin’ Ryan.”

    Ahh, the old meme that the current Republican nominee is the worst nominee ever.

  5. polls coming mid-oct, media blitz starting Oct 1st in this state. I have my sources….

  6. gosh DG;

    St Olaf sure failed you – ask for your money back!

    Where is your homework? You were asked politely, so, where is your homework?

    Are you and patrick bryant just so incredibly arrogant that you feel free to say any baseless thing you want without ever feeling the need to justify it? Are you both truly just babbling blowhards?

  7. DG;dr

    Meanwhile, my guess is that the real thing the Strib and the Humphrey Institute want to poll is the marriage amendment, but at this point they haven’t been able to torture out a sample number that works for them. Eventually they will and then we’ll get the breathless dispatch.

  8. You might find this interesting.

    You know what I”d find interesting? If you stuck around and engaged in a discussion after your various rhetorical droppings in this space get engaqged and shredded.

    It’s getting truly annoying.

    http://www.onthemedia.org/2012/sep/14/
    What you call ‘well informed people’ are often factually wrong.

    DG, I’m not sure even you know what you mean by that . I wrote about that NPR piece last week – in which NPR asks “do we have a liberal bias?” and responds with a dismissive “no” (as they declare the Romney campaign over). It has nothing to do with this discussion.

    It’s also wrong; NPR is intensely biased.

    The increase in numbers of voters who have become elegible to vote just by turning 18 is in favor of democrats more than republicans.

    a) less so than in previous elections, as the kids look at a life of unemployment.

    b) Kids below 25 tend to be left of center – liberalism preys on unformed minds, and the school system reinforces this – but they also have by far the worst turnout.

    I’ve worked at turning out the vote — ALL the vote, democrats, republicans, independents, undecideds, and won’t-disclose. Unlike Republicans and other conservatives, I’m not interested in discouraging voters from participating, or in disenfranchising large numbers of people. But then I’m sure you know the more people voting, the more the percentage by which Republicans typically lose.

    Just like in 2010.

    No, DG, it’s when we get an overwhelming turnout of the incurious, the dim, the people who vote based on the last chanting point they heard, that the Democrats do well. Which is the basis of the entire Democrat strategy.

    Republicans have run a poor selection of candidates, and are pushing a repeat of the disastrous policies of Bush

    And that’s part of the disinformation campaign aimed at the low-information voter that the Dems are running.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Cravaack and Bachmann get dumped, myself.
    More than an absence of polls, the absence of some ads is intriguing.

    Cravaack faces a tough race, no doubt about it. The Dems are doing their best to lose it, so far.

    Bachmann will win by 12 points, bare minimum. Likely much more.

  9. Looks like I was right about the Minnesota Poll — the Sunday paper reports on polling on the two amendments.

  10. Pingback: The Bandwagon | Shot in the Dark

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