Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Your Turn, John McCain

"All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.

The newspaper carried the story in our local area, that was not carried nationally, that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it would was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other gay pride parades.

So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing."

- Rev. John Hagee, blaming Hurricane Katrina on God's damnation of New Orleans, for holding a gay pride parade

"I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you, This is not a message of hate -- this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor."

–Pat Robertson, on "gay days" at Disneyworld

"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected him from your city. And don't wonder why he hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for his help because he might not be there."

--Pat Robertson, after the city of Dover, Pennsylvania voted to boot the current school board, which instituted an intelligent design policy that led to a federal trial

And perhaps most pointedly, in the wake of September 11th, Pat Robertson said this:

"Well, I totally concur."

–Pat Robertson to Jerry Falwell following the Sept. 11 attacks...

...after Falwell said this:

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say: 'You helped this happen.'"

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Finally, A National Poll That DOES Matter

It amazes me how often t.v. pundits and newspapers report national head-to-head polls, especially this far out. Give t.v. pundits credit for usually reporting that these national polls are irrelevant, largely because they ignore the electoral math.

Finally, a state-by-state poll by a reputable firm that DOES matter, atleast as far as polls eight months out matter.

The lede:

SurveyUSA's 30,000 sample poll (600 voters per state) gives a slight edge to Obama at first glance, and a big electability edge upon further analysis.

It shows Obama beating McCain, 280 - 258, while Clinton beats McCain, 276-262.

Both match-ups show Democrats winning California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia, for a total of 202 electoral votes.

How they add to those totals is very interesting. Clinton adds Arkansas, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, for a total of 74 more. Winning the big states, as she says.

Obama adds Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska (split), Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington, for a total of 78 more. Doing better in smaller Midwestern states and Western states.

What's MOST interesting about these results for Obama is that Florida (-2 points), New Jersey (virtually tied) and Pennsylvania (-5) are states that Obama hasn't campaigned in. Yet. Head-to-heads also show Obama down only 2 points in North Carolina, another state where he hasn't campaigned.

To be fair, Clinton is competitive in Michigan (virtually tied) and Washington (-2), but much less so in Colorado (-6), Iowa (-5) and Oregon (-5), and don't expect her to compete at all in Nebraska (-27), Nevada (-8), New Hampshire (-8), North Dakota (-19) or Virginia (-10).

Aside from Florida (and Arkansas for Clinton), neither candidate really competes in the South. Which makes the whole "Will the South elect a black President?" question the Clinton's hint at moot.

What is interesting is that Obama does significantly better in Western states and the Midwest, where the other big question, "Do voters want the Clinton's back in the White House?" looms apparent.

(Note: I've been staying away from Clinton-Obama stories, but I thought this might be a good story on poll analysis. Feel free to disagree with me, but before anyone who doesn't like what they read lashes out at thepollster or their methodology, SurveyUSA was only 1 point off on the Foster-Oberweis race, and out of 26 presidential primaries they've polled so far, they've had a median error of +/- 2.0 points). Compared to 5.0 for Zogby (17 polls) and 7.0 for Rasmussen and Mason-Dixon. These guys are to national polling what Dave Fako is to Illinois. No offense, Dave, I know you do business elsewhere)

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