Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fun With Numbers

I'm a HUGE sports fan. In particular baseball and football (We Are Penn State!) and one of my favorite things about sports is that statistics can help you better understand the game. The same can be said for understanding the electorate. I saw two interesting polls conducted about the democratic race this morning and I thought I would analyze them a little bit; it will help keep my mind of my busted March Madness bracket.

The 1st item discusses the likeliness of someone who supported the loser in the democratic race to switch over and vote McCain. Specifically Hillary Clinton, in this study 28% of Clinton backers say they would vote for McCain in the general election if Bema would become the nominee. By comparison 19% of Bema supporters would shift to McCain. This study was done by the Gallup people from March 7-22, which would be after Ohio and Texas. I'm trying to figure out what these numbers actually mean, it could be that the Blue-Collar workers that Hillary is getting a majority of would be willing to vote for McCain or it could mean that Hillary supporters HATE Barack Obama, I'm guessing it is more of the former but to say the latter wouldn't be occurring either would be silly. On the other hand the Barack numbers could mean that his backers are more interested in seeing a Democrat in the White House than a Republican. It could also mean that many of those people wouldn't vote at all (mostly the young people) which could explain why his number of defectors was lower. I would bet that Obama supporters are more liberal and thusly less likely to vote for a Republican. It is very interesting to say the least, I have a feeling that this summer will be the hottest one in a long time, lets say in 36 years?

The 2nd item is from Rasmussen Reports and it asked if people thought Hillary or Barack should drop out. As it turns out 22% of Democratic voters nationwide think Hillary Clinton should quit the race. Not too bad, the number is smaller than I thought it would be I pinned it at 30% or so. What is interesting about this study is that an identical number of people 22% think Barack Obama should drop out. 47% of Obama supporters thought Hillary should drop out and 38% of Clinton supporters thought Obama should drop out. The democrats are truly a party divided... see paragraph above where I mention a hotly contested summer.

In other numbers news Barack Obama who was down 26% in Pennsylvania during a 3/15-3/16, now is only down 10% behind Clinton in a poll that was conducted on 3/24. Apparently Obama's speech on race and religion was received well in the Keystone State. If polls remain steady at about 10 points or creep into the single digits Hillary should become somewhat concerned but PA really does have similar demographics to Ohio so advantage is still Hillary's until further notice.

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