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  •  it is not meant as a cheap shot... (1+ / 0-)
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    jxg

    I simply take issue with what you wrote:

    "the reliability of the current numbers into serious question."

    The current numbers ARE reliable, completely and utterly, but only as a snapshot in time.

    I completely agree with your points; the primary is not over and Hillary is not inevitable. She is very clearly in the lead, though, as of this writing. As to what significance you place on that, well that's why there are horse races. ;-)

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Oct 27, 2007 at 01:59:04 PM PDT

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    •  Perhaps you can clarify a point. (1+ / 0-)
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      DemFromCT

      And I don't mean to belabor the discussion with this.

      You're right to press me on my claim about the reliability of the numbers; my claim should have been expressed in terms of significance. I was proceeding on the assumption that the numbers reflect 1) what a small percentage of well-informed voters think and 2) what a larger percentage of not well-informed voters think. And I (and another commenter on this thread) am inclined to believe that the opinions of the latter group are tied much more strongly to name-recognition. So, even if the numbers are reliable, they may not be sufficiently significant to say that candidate X has a substantial lead in anything more than a trivial sense.

      I suspect you'd disagree with my assumptions and the conclusion I draw from them, but I'm not clear what your reasons are. So, can you elaborate on that point? Or, if you think the source of disagreement lies elsewhere, what do you think it is?

      "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

      by machopicasso on Sat Oct 27, 2007 at 02:25:49 PM PDT

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      •  good points (1+ / 0-)
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        machopicasso

        my claim should have been expressed in terms of significance.

        Reliability is clear (see graph; overwhelming numbers make for no doubt). But, the significance is questionable because

        1. it's early
        1. state by state matters more (closer in Iowa, e.g.)
        1. things can change (see your points above about Dean)

        The numbers I am citing about name recognition come from Gallup polling two months ago:

        Among Democrats, the pattern is different. Less than one in four Democrats (23%) is not yet familiar with each of the three best known candidates, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. While Clinton holds a very wide lead over Barack Obama (53% to 17%) among those who are unfamiliar with one of the candidates, she still leads by a comfortable 13 point margin (43% to 30%) with Edwards finishing a distant third (with 13%) even among those who know all three candidates.

        Saad's conclusion:

         

        Even as Obama and Edwards build their name identification among Democrats, it would appear unlikely that this increasing public familiarity with Clinton's rivals alone would upset her lead...

        Note that's not true for Rudy. And after two months, if anything, her lead is stronger, while people can't know the candidates less.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Oct 27, 2007 at 02:49:16 PM PDT

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        •  Thanks, that's helpful. (0+ / 0-)

          That second set of numbers was the one I was after but didn't know existed.  

          I'm inclined to think Obama and Edwards have been splitting what one might call the "anti-Hillary vote". If those numbers stayed constant, and Edwards then dropped-out and his supporters overwhelmingly backed Obama, then the race would be tied (all other things being equal).  

          "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

          by machopicasso on Sat Oct 27, 2007 at 04:06:18 PM PDT

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          •  well, maybe (0+ / 0-)

            but according to pollster.com, Hiillary is at 44.3% while Obama + Edwards is no better than 29%

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Oct 27, 2007 at 05:31:39 PM PDT

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