Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Climbing the Poll

It’s official: Hillary Rodham Clinton is the new president-elect. Her victory was confirmed last week after narrowly defeating former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, the Republican nominee, in an election almost too close to call.

Never mind that the 2008 presidential election is still a year and a half away. Political pundits, party elites, and just about every political junkie in the United States are already analyzing an election that hasn’t happened. Relying on new polling data, these most educated individuals have begun dissecting a campaign season that hasn’t yet started; my hat is off to them. I can’t even predict the winner of the World Series before registering to play Fantasy Baseball.

With the Iowa caucuses still seven months away, it’s impossible to distinguish between frontrunners and most second-tier candidates in either party. In the world of politics, seven months is a lifetime. Congressional presidential candidates will face enough controversial bills this summer alone to make any campaign staff cringe. One wrong vote can spoil years of meticulous preparation.

Combine that with four hundred dollar haircuts for a Democrat that prides himself on aiding the poor, Beach Boys songs’ that shouldn’t be parodied by a former POW turned senator, and a Republican frontrunner’s constant defense of his pro-choice views, and you have one thing: Disaster waiting to happen.

Mitt Romney staffers have been quick to point to polling in New Hampshire that shows their candidate leading amongst likely Republican primary goers, yet they conveniently forget to mention national polls that have their horse running fourth.

The same applies to John Edwards, who has visited Iowa often enough in the last three years to gain residency here, something even I haven’t yet accomplished. His dedication to Iowans has done him well. He leads most statewide polls. Too bad he’s also running in fourth place nationwide, behind Senators Clinton and Obama. And some guy named Al Gore. I didn’t even think he was running.

In fact, if the former vice president is polling within the margin of error of Barack Obama, what does that say about polling? Al Gore has denied on many occasions that he plans to again seek the Democratic nomination; by now most Americans should know this (or at least those that respond to telephone interviews should.)

When given a dozen names to choose from, most people will choose the one most familiar to them. Hillary Clinton, who shares the same last name as her husband and the former president, has been in the national spotlight for fifteen years.

Rudy Giuliani is perhaps the most recognizable mayor in American history. If you didn’t know that he was the mayor of New York City on September 11, 2001, just wait a minute. He’ll remind you himself.

Mitt Romney is polling well in New Hampshire for one reason: The latest round of party debates were held there, and many pundits agree that Mr. Romney won the Republican debate.

Polls don’t mean anything. John Kerry was leading in several polls twenty-four hours before the 2004 presidential election. If you’re so convinced that polls are accurate, e-mail the Massachusetts senator and ask him how everything worked out.

Rob Verhein
DI Editorial Writer

1 comment:

Jon Gold said...

And lest we forget, I believe there were certain minor polling inaccuracies in another recent presidential contest.