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December 27, 2005

The only poll that matters

Either obscure polling wonkery has gripped the Montana Republicans, or Sen. Conrad Burns' campaign manager is a little confused:

‘‘The only poll that truly matters is taken the first Tuesday of next November,’’ said Burns’ campaign spokesman John Brueggeman. [AP]

Hat tip to Bob.


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Are you back from vacation? If so I hope it was nice, and it's good to have you back.

In a way, he's right: the only poll that matters is the election. However, the polls that don't matter are used as indicators of what is likeliest to happen at the poll that matters.

Well, there's also the polling of the jurors. Twelve votes gets a conviction.

I’m the one who is confused. We’re 10 ½ months out from the election and we’re looking at a poll of only 401 random adults, not likely voters or even registered voters that was conducted by a bunch of sociology and political science students (no chance of bias in those poll results) and was reported on November 11, 2005, before Bush’s poll numbers started bouncing back, right?
Is Burns supposed to rend his garments in despair over that?
The democrats seem to think that they have the momentum but I think that it is more likely that they have peaked about a year early and will wake up the morning (afternoon in my case) after election night 2006 shocked that we’ve had our heads handed to us again and will have wasted our last chance to prevent Bush from canceling the 2008 elections and installing himself as president for life.

Also, polls that don't matter can change people's minds about how to vote in the poll that does matter. And, if you are a candidate running for President, and you don't belong to one of the two major parties, then polls determine whether you are allowed into the debates.

But I think the joke is that Election Day is the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, not the first Tuesday of November. It happens that the two are the same in 2006.

Actually, Bush's approval rate remains very low. If there has been a rebound, the polls failed to record it; Bush's approval rate remains in the low 40s, with only one outlier placing it at 50%.

I live in Montana.Please help us. This is no joke.I don't want to end up like Idaho or Utah, described by Alexander Cockburn as "thinly populated states where sexual relations with livestock are still commonplace".


I once worked in the Two World Trade Center, and one of my co-workers and friends was from Cut Bank, Montana, which looks to be about 300 miles from where you are.

We used to tease A. mercilessly about any crazy thing that came out of Montana -- the Unibomber hiding out there, the " Freemen ", all that stuff. He'd retaliate by slagging on Brooklyn etc.. It was all great fun, and if we'd left him alone for some months, he'd start it up again.

A. died on September 11, 2001, and it was reported that he was in the company of firemen at the time.

We miss our friend greatly. He was a great worker, husband, father, man.

Got a Christmas Card from his wife two weeks ago, that had a photo of their two children, who are healthy and strong.

A. was always proud to be from Montana, and you should be too.

His birthday is December 31. If you care to, have a drink in his honor tonight.

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