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View Diary: Special Elections foreshadow change in Democratic fortunes (51 comments)

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  •  Polling Should Have Been Done (0+ / 0-)

    But was not; trade policy is very rarely ever polled because the two major parties are in lockstep on it.  There is no difference in the two parties positions; therefore, there is no need to poll it.  (The 26th is, in fact, one of the rare instances where trade policy has ever been debated in the political realm.)

    Kathy Hochul made her "born again" opposition to American trade policy well-known immediately after she saw Davis' poll numbers.  It was her second talking point in her post-debate spin press release.  It was an issue with the both The Batavian and was the principal issue upon which  Davis was enorsed by the Niagara Gazetteand the Lockport Union Sun and Journal.

    In their words:

    "It’s hard not to identify with Davis’ goals of wanting to create jobs in the United States through the abolition of free trade agreements like NAFTA, which he says is the primary reason jobs are leaving and factories are closing.

     True, [Trade] is Davis’ sole issue. But the issue itself is intrinsic in fixing so many of the other things that haunt us these days, including health care, Social Security and national security.

     If people have jobs, they’re more like to be able to afford health care. If people have jobs, they’re paying into Social Security.

    Remember, too, that these are Republicans going over to a Democrat (and a liberal Democrat to boot!) and that Hochul had been pounding the "Medicare" drum before the race shifted.

    Perhaps someday some pollster (or exit pollster?) will measure the effects of the Trade issue on this race.  For now, though, there is simply too close a correlation between her newfound opposition to NAFTA, CAFTA and KOFTA and her dramatic gain in the polls, a gain that can be directly traced to a candidate whose sole issue was trade policy and at whose expense she is winning her majority.

    •  It's possible (0+ / 0-)

      But another possibility is simpler (and I tend to lean towards simple explanations, since I don't really assume voters know details about candidates' positions and when they change): Davis had run several times for this seat as a Democrat, so low-information partisans might have just assumed that he was the Democratic candidate (or a Democratic candidate) once again, and as the race progressed, and more learned he was running as a Republican, and they switched from him to Hochul.  Davis still retains some of his right-wing support, so he splits the right wing vote.   Several people on this site have speculated that Davis had an amount of "soft" conservative Democratic support on pure name recognition.

      The Democrats+Working Families got 45% in 2008.  Jack Davis got 44% in 2004 and 45% in 2006 as a Democrat/Working Families Party.  Hochul's lead is 42%, according to PPP.  You don't need anything unusual to get a Democrat to the mid-40s in this district.  (Granted the Democratic candidate got crushed by 3-1 in 2010, but, well, 2010 was unusual--presidentially, the district has an R+6 PVI, so the expected result in an even year is 53 R, 47 D.)

      But, really, I'm not going to affirmatively believe it's anything like you describe without a poll that both shows a large chunk of Davis voters know Hochul changed her position and say they changed their votes accordingly.

      25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

      by Xenocrypt on Mon May 23, 2011 at 07:59:37 PM PDT

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      •  Polling Says Otherwise (0+ / 0-)

        Most of the support Davis was drawing was from Republicans.  (He is a registered Republican and was a GOP through 2004, I believe.  His diversion to the Democrats was just something he did to challenge the Republican incumbent whose trade policy Davis says he desprises.)

        So, upon learning Davis was not a major party nominee, those Republican voters would have moved to the Republican, Corwin, whose trade policy is mainstream Republican. But they didn't; they went to "born again" protectionist Hochul.  QED.

        You  should give more respect to the voters. I'm not familiar with what you call "Low information partisans."   In my experience, most partisans are exceptionally well informed.

        •  Perhaps I should give more respect to the voters (0+ / 0-)

          Perhaps not, but either way, you're probably not going to convince me that voters picked up on this until there's direct evidence of that.  I don't think that we're going to get anywhere discussing that much.

          Anyway, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Jack Davis as a Democrat, Alice Kryzan and Jon Powers on a Dem/Working Families anti-fusion anti-ticket, and Al Gore all won a mid-40s percent of the vote in this district--the same vote that Hochul is polling now.  That says "baseline partisan scenario" to me, not "Republicans switching to the Democrats in unusual numbers because of unusual ideological positioning."  We'll really have to wait and see--if Hochul wins with a significantly higher percentage than that, that'll suggest something else.
          (Pres. numbers by CD:

          Back when Corwin was trailing:

          "At the same time, [Davis]'s also hurting Hochul. Looking at the cross-tabs (PDF), Davis gets 24% of the Republican vote, 20% of the Democratic vote, and 27% of the independent vote. Rare to see a candidate with such cross-spectrum appeal!"

          So it's not true that "most" of the support Davis was drawing was from Republicans--maybe a plurality was, but a pretty narrow one.

          Now, Davis is getting 8% of Democrats, 16% of Republicans, 17% of independents:

          He lost 12% of Democrats, 8% of Republicans, and 10% of independents.  (This is assuming you can compare crosstabs at all).  So a significant part of his drop is among Democrats.  Hochul had 62% of Ds in Sienna, 10% of Rs, and 26% of indies--now, in PPP, she has 74% of Ds, 16% of Rs, and 36% of indies.  I'm not sure what that all adds up to, given all the margins of error, but it is def. the case that part of what's going on is Davis losing a significant chunk of Democrats (even if people of all parties may have switched over to Hochul proportionately.)  

          Corwin did, however, gain 5% of Republicans in between the two surveys (again, assuming you can compare them) so many of the Republicans who abandoned Davis might well have gone to Corwin.  Or maybe they went straight from Davis to Hochul and Corwin picked up 5% of the undecided Republicans.  Or maybe this is all statistical float with small sample sizes!  Point is, I at least am not comfortable deciding on any analysis of this based on this information.  You are comfortable with that, which is fine, but I doubt we'll convince each other (and this never really was the thread for it anyway.)

          25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

          by Xenocrypt on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:21:53 PM PDT

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          •  Oh, I should have (0+ / 0-)

            Added the PPP poll in the middle, the first with Hochiul leading:

            Main changes there vs. the Sienna poll are in the independent vote--which actually, I should have added, is kind of a misnomer, since there are R-partisan indies, D-partisan indies, and a very few actually independent indies.  So again--I'm not really sure what's going on.

            25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

            by Xenocrypt on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:30:43 PM PDT

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            •  And also (0+ / 0-)

              Sienna's more-recent poll:

              Hochul: 76% of Ds, 12% of Rs, 44% of indies.
              Davis: 10% of Ds, 13% of Rs, 16% of indies.
              Corwin: 8/66/36

              So Hochul gained 14% of Ds, and Davis lost 10% of Ds.  Hochul gained 2% of Rs, Corwin gained 10% of Rs, and Davis lost 11% of Rs.  Also, Hochul gained 18% of indies, and Davis lost 11% of them.  Still, assuming the first two sentences are true, that much is consistent with a "partisan information/third party collapse" scenario--where Davis loses 10% of Ds and 11% of Rs, and they mostly go to the main-party candidates.  I could also read some of this to support a more ideological case, but again, my point is that I don't think we have enough information to decide.

              25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

              by Xenocrypt on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:43:23 PM PDT

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          •  No, Jack Davis as a Democrat (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Xenocrypt, Bharat

            in 2006 significantly overperformed the others. He got, if I'm correct, 48% against an incumbent Republican who was scandal-free, while Obama got 46% in an open-seat race in a better environment. Kryzan got something in the lower 40s, as did Kerry and Gore, Gore not running against an incumbent either.

            And let's not forget that the Democrat running before Davis in 2002 got stuck in the lower 20s-- and 2002 was not such a bad climate relative to 2004.

            I do buy that Davis has special appeal in this district, and I do think it's related to free trade and his consistent jobs, jobs, jobs message.

            •  In 2008 (0+ / 0-)

              Kryzan got 40 or something but Jon Powers got 5 on the Working Families line.  However, it was an open seat then.  But in 2006, the seat was held by Tom Reynolds who was in fact somewhat caught up in the Foley scandal.  I don't doubt your last sentence though, I just don't think it's as cut -and-dried.

              25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

              by Xenocrypt on Tue May 24, 2011 at 04:07:16 AM PDT

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