I Don’t Get It

April 11, 2008

Any of you notice the Marist/WNBC poll that came out of New York earlier this week?  It showed, in a nutshell, that if John McCain were to choose Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as his running mate, the McCain-Rice ticket would beat the Democratic “Dream Ticket” of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton no matter which of them headed the ticket (the Clinton-Obama version did slightly better than the Obama-Clinton version).  They’d actually beat them.  In New York State!  One of the bluest of the blues!  The state Hillary represents in the U.S. Senate.

I should state for the record here that I actually don’t believe the numbers.  It’s quite possible for a poll to be wrong.  Once upon a time I worked for a political consulting firm and did a good deal of polling analysis.  I know something about this stuff.  Sometimes you get a bad sample, or a question is worded poorly. There are lots of ways to mess up a survey of this kind.  And that’s what I think happened here.  But while I don’t believe that the McCain-Rice ticket would actually win New York, it seems clear that they’re close enough to make a mistake of this kind possible.  And that’s what I don’t get.

Granted, this poll was taken before news organizations got wind of the fact that Rice had been instrumental in formulating the Bush Administration’s pro-torture interrogation policy.  Many now feel that this has ended any chance of her being tapped as McCain’s running mate.

But still, how is any of this possible?  The same poll showed that George Bush’s approval rating in New York is 22%.  No, that’s not a typo.  22%.  And I’ve got to believe that much of that anti-Bush sentiment is directly related to the war in Iraq.  (Not that there’s any shortage of reasons for people to disapprove of Bush’s job performance, but I’m just saying, the war has been hurting his numbers for a long time.)  Whatever the reason, 77% of New Yorkers questioned in this poll rate Bush’s job performance as only fair or poor.  And yet….

Few people in Congress have been more supportive of Bush’s war than John McCain.  Condi is one of the primary architects of the Administration’s Iraq policy.  So how on earth can so many people think that putting them in charge of our foreign policy would make things better?

I simply don’t get it.  Help me out here.

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2 Responses to “I Don’t Get It”

  1. section9 said

    You notice how the so-called “torture” story isn’t getting any traction anywhere? That’s because registered voters approved of using techniques like waterboarding to extract information from people like Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. That’s what the polling says.

    This story is only important to liberals. Expect Condi to be McCain’s running mate.

  2. davidbcoe said

    Actually, McCain is on record as being against all forms of torture, though he also voted recently to allow torture by the CIA — one of his many flipflops. The reason this story hurts Condi’s chances is that it highlights McCain’s hypocrisy on the issue. I still expect that this story will keep her from being the VP nominee.

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