Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Monday, April 23, 2007

Polls, Dollars, and Fun with Numbers

  • Nebraska: Looks likelier and likelier that we'll see a Bruning v. Hagel Senate primary:

    Attorney General Jon Bruning said Monday he led Sen. Chuck Hagel by 9 points in a survey last week of likely Republican voters in a 2008 GOP Senate primary contest.

    The poll of 404 Republicans was conducted by Bruning’s pollster, Dresner, Wickers and Associates of San Francisco. In a head-to-head matchup, Bruning led by 47 percent to 38 percent.

    Nebraskans are “very troubled” by Hagel’s criticism of President Bush and his support for legislation calling for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, Bruning said.
    404 people is a relatively small sample size. Nevertheless, Bruning claims to have a significant lead. Let's see Hagel's camp come out with its own numbers to suggest otherwise. This could very well turn into, as the Lincoln Journal Star's Don Walton suggests, "a bitter, even ugly, primary battle."

  • Texas: The DSCC commissioned some numbers from Texas. It's a partisan poll, so ingest with all appropriate grains of salt, but the results are quite intriguing:

    Republican John Cornyn has lower than expected name recognition for an incumbent US Senator, with 39% of the electorate unable to rate Cornyn either favorably or unfavorably. Overall he is 41% favorable – 19% unfavorable.

    Senator Cornyn’s generic reelect versus a Democrat is under 50% (47% Republican John Cornyn - 38% Democratic candidate; 15% undecided).
    Almost 2 in 5 "likely voters" are unable to rate Cornyn. That has to reflect poorly on him. It's not like Cornyn is a first-time candidate looking to raise his name ID. If almost 2 out of 5 "likely voters" don't know who this guy is by this point or don't know enough about him to make a judgment, it means that Cornyn has done nothing to stand out or demonstrate his value as a Senator.

  • From the "You're kidding me, right?" department: Republicans are hoping to make political gains off of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's comments on Bush's mismanagement in Iraq. Seriously? Where does the GOP hope to make these gains? The public trusts Democrats over Bush to handle Iraq by a 58-33 margin, oppose Bush's escalation by a 65-35 margin, and even support a troop withdrawal deadline by a 51-46 margin.

  • Arkansas: In case GOP former Governor Mike Huckabee is considering shifting from the Presidential race to a Senate race, the press is already noting that Senator Mark Pryor is making him look bad in the fundraising department.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    To answer your question (which I'm sure you already know since its covered in the Fix's article), they hope to target Louisiana, West Virginia, and Iowa, since these are states that President Bush carried, and less likely to be on board with the far-left Reid-Feingold bill, even if they disapprove of the way Bush is conducting the war.

    3:39 PM, April 23, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    What, in your opinion, qualifies Reid-Feingold as "far-left"?

    4:18 PM, April 23, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Senator Feingold's authorship is one of the most blatant indicators, obviously. Of all the serious proposals being floated around, the Reid-Feingold goes the farthest in opposing President Bush. And while the country is roughly split on the best course of action to take, conservative states like Louisiana, West Virginia, and Iowa aren't as willing to go along with the plan as other liberal states, hence the pressure on Senators from those states.

    4:35 PM, April 23, 2007  
    Blogger Blue South said...

    roughly split? i call bs
    9% want to cut off funding entirely
    59% want funding ONLY if there is a timetable

    68% of the country saying they want Congress to use their funding power to leave Iraq is a pretty clear indication that "roughly split" is only true if you look at a poll taken in Utah.

    4:43 PM, April 23, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Lots of problems with your response, not the least of which is a lack of any quantitative data, so I guess I have a couple follow-up questions.

    1) So anything Senator Feingold co-sponsors is "far-left"? So what does that say of George W. Bush who signed the McCain-Feingold-Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform legislation? Is Bush a far-lefty now?

    2) (Perhaps most importantly for the purposes of this string:) A majority of the American people support a deadline "no later than August 2008". Reid-Feingold calls for a deadline of March 31, 2008. Do you really, really believe that the four months in between April 1, 2008 and August 1, 2008 transform "majority support among the American people" to "far-left legislation"? Really?

    3) Louisiana, West Virginia, and Iowa are not "conservative states" - Cillizza calls them "Republican-leaning states" and I wouldn't even go that far. Louisiana is clearly trending red - given. West Virginia has been stably purple and blue-leaning, hardly "conservative," with a Democratic Governor, two Democratic Senators, and two-out-of-three Democratic Congresspeople. Similarly, very purple Iowa just elected a Democratic Governor by a significant margin, and has one Dem and one GOP Senator, and three-out-of-five Democratic Congressmen. So I don't know what you're basing your characterization of Iowa and West Virginia as "conservative" on, but it hardly seems accurate if you judge who they elect as Governor and who they elect to their Congressional delegations. Sure, in 2004, WV went for Bush by a significant margin and Iowa went for Bush by a whopping 1 point - but that hardly undermines the preponderance of other electoral evidence.

    Cillizza also accurately notes that "Of course, Republicans have yet to find a serious challenger [to the Democratic incumbent] in any of these states."

    5:05 PM, April 23, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    1) You know what I mean, and being disingenuous about the issue doesn't help your credibility. Senator Feingold is one of the most, if not the most, liberal member of the Senate on a wide-range of issues.

    2) A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll from April 20th puts the support at 54-42 for withdrawal. A CBS News poll from April 16th puts the support at 57-38. I would consider that to be "roughly split". Notice I didn't say "50-50" or "evenly split". You're welcome to disagree with me. I don't care.

    3) Regardless of whether they are Republican or not, I called them "conservative" states. I realize that conflicts with your dualistic black-and-white view of the world.

    5:37 PM, April 23, 2007  
    Blogger Johnny C said...

    Mike Huckabee is probably the only Republican in AR that can give Pryor a run if he gets in this will be a tough race for sure.

    6:20 PM, April 23, 2007  
    Blogger James L. said...

    I can buy Louisiana and West Virginia as conservative states in some sense of the word (although there's more economic populism and fairness engrained in the political culture of West Virginia).

    Iowa, though, a conservative state? I think they made their message against the Iraq War very clear last November up and down the ballot.

    6:58 PM, April 23, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger:

    1) I agree that Senator Feingold is one of the most liberal members of the Senate. That's not what we were discussing. Just because he attaches his name to a bill, that doesn't automatically make it "far-left" - to suggest otherwise is simplistic. Here's a Feingold bill co-sponsored by Senator Brownback (R-KS); here's a Feingold bill co-sponsored by Senator Lugar (R-IN); here's a Feingold bill co-sponsored by over a dozen GOP Senators. Need I go on? My only point is that your claim is wrong that any bill with Feingold's name on it is automatically "far-left" - just a very simplistic view. Some of Feingold's legislation and votes are lefty - but it's obviously not an automatic to anybody who takes the time to actually look things up.

    2) You would consider 57-38 as even "roughly split"?? Almost a 20 point differential you call "roughly split"?? Seriously?? If that's the size of your strike zone, fine, you won't gain any credibility with the rest of the league... But whether it was roughly split or not, again, was not what I asked. What I asked was for you to explain how an August 2008 deadline has majority support across the country, but a deadline just four months earlier is all of a sudden "far-left" in your mind. How do you make that relatively large leap over just four months? Seriously, I'm genuinely curious for your rationale.

    3) Calling Iowa or West Virginia "conservative" doesn't just conflict with my "view of the world" - it conflicts with the actual facts that I listed and that you apparently ignored (both states having Dem Governors and Dem-majority Congressional delegations). I then asked you politely to explain how you came to the conclusion that Iowa and West Virginia are, in fact, "conservative." I'm curious as to how you came to that conclusion. You, instead of offering any facts to back up your claim and actually offer a logical explanation, offered an ad hominem. So, I'll politely ask again: Given that Iowa and West Virginia have Dem Governors and Dem-majority Congressional delegations and have reputations for being very moderate states, how did you come to your conclusion that Iowa and WV are "conservative"?

    7:09 PM, April 23, 2007  
    Blogger NOVA said...

    Okay, the top recruits in those three states would be who??

    Louisiana - Baker/McCrery?
    West Virginia - Capito/Ireland?
    Iowa - King/Latham/Nussle?

    I'm not in the know on those three, so just going by what I've read in the past. Have any of those potential candidates announced their intentions, either way?

    8:35 PM, April 23, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    nova - To give you the quick rundown:

    Louisiana: See here for: Republican Congressmen Charles Boustany and Jim McCrery have taken their names out of the running; and Secretary of State Jay Dardenne is a highly rumored name, but he's not polling well. See here for: Also, GOP Rep. Richard Baker is rumored to be a possibility but his fundraising is lousy (only $66K cash-on-hand at the end of Q1).

    West Virginia: Been very quiet. Most figure that GOP back-benchers are waiting for Capito to decide one way or the other.

    Iowa: Nobody has said anything official yet. See here for: But King's fundraising is almost non-existent and Latham has a few bucks but also isn't raising like he's planning a statewide bid. Nussle has been quiet, but he just got spanked in the 2006 Gov race that was supposed to be neck-and-neck, so he probably wants to lay low.

    9:21 PM, April 23, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    1) I'm not implying that any bill that has Feingold's support is a far-left bill. But he has consistently been one of the most liberal members of the Senate with specific concern to the Iraq War and opposing President Bush. His authorship, then, is an indicator of how far left the bill is, as is the fact that it goes further than any other bill introduced, and the fact that many Democrats (including anti-war Democrats) haven't publically supported it.

    You also have to understand, and you may have been confused by this, but I was posting my opinion when I characterized the bill as "far-left". To be sure, it is not an absolute term. Another observer, for instance somebody who has staked out a claim for themselves as being an unabashed cheerleader for anyone and everyone with a (D) next to their name, may see things from a different perspective than I do.

    2) I would consider polls that fall within a range of 57-38 and 54-42 to be "roughly split", yes. There's no overwhelming majority on either side, and the differential trend flucuates daily between "almost 20" points and single-digits.

    3) Do you believe in such a concept as "conservative Democrats"? Nebraska has one Democratic Senator and one Republican, yet the state is a conservative state. The presence of an elected Democrat doesn't make the state any less conservative, because Ben Nelson is a conservative Democrat.

    Along the same logic, the elected Democrats in West Virginia and Iowa are centrist, conservative Democrats, especially compared to the elected officials in bluer states such as Massachusetts and Washington. I was not relying upon a "Republican-Democrat" dichotomy, which is why using the party affiliation of elected officials is immaterial to my point.

    10:28 AM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - thank you for peppering in a couple facts with your ad hominems this time.

    But some questions you still neglected:

    1) How in your opinion does the four-month span from April 1, 2008 to August 1, 2008 shift a withdrawal deadline from national majority support to "far-left"? I'm asking you to explain your opinion on why that four month span is so significant. (I'm not trying to convince you otherwise - I'm trying to ferret out your rationale so I can see your point of view, if you'll share it.)

    2) You said: "elected Democrats in West Virginia and Iowa are centrist, conservative Democrats" - Are you saying Byrd, Rockefeller, and Gov. Manchin aren't "moderates"? Are you suggesting that Tom Harkin is a conservative or that Chet Culver isn't moderate? Really? I understand that that is your opinion - I'm not trying to convince you otherwise - I'm just asking you to point out on what you base this opinion that Tom Harkin and others are "conservatives". I do believe in the concept of a "conservative Democrat" - Ben Nelson is one, and Nebraska is a conservative state. Tom Harkin ain't one, and Iowa ain't a "conservative" state by most measures - it's very moderate and arguably blue-leaning - by many measures, anyway.

    3) You still say 57-38 is "roughly split"? C'mon, really? The 19-point spread demonstrates "no overwhelming majority on either side" to you? Really?

    11:12 AM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Nova, to answer your question:

    The strongest candidate in Louisana remains Richard Baker. Polling already indicates that in areas where his name ID is equal to Landrieu, he trounces her. He raised $100K+ last quarter, which is not a lot, but the importance of fundraising in the 1Q of a non-election year is vastly overrrated in some circles. When Jim Webb entered the Virginia race last year, he had peanuts compared to the over $6 million that George Allen had. Webb was able to close the gap in a fairly short amount of time.

    Other than Baker, potential candidates include Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, who only has a 66% name ID, and significantly less have formed an opinion about him. A statewide campaign would boost his polling numbers. I've also heard the possibility of Treasurer John Kennedy switching parties and running as a Republican. Other candidates include State Senators Walter Boasso (who's currently running for Governor) and Julie Quinn.

    In West Virginia, Capito has made it clear she wants to run for higher office, but she's more likely to wait until Byrd's seat opens up than try to oust an entrenched incumbent. Betty Ireland might run instead, but she'll probably run for re-election as Secretary of State. Other names include John Raese, '06 candidate Hiram Lewis, and State Senator Mike Hall.

    In Iowa, King, Latham, and Nussle are the top three. Latham is the most preferable choice. Nussle already has high name ID from the Governor's race last cycle, so he'd be well-poised to launch another statewide campaign. And political history has shown that losing a statewide campaign is never a guarantee that the candidate can't be elected. The wildcard in Iowa is if Terry Branstad decides he wants to run, but that's highly unlikely.

    11:17 AM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Do you even understand what an "ad hominem" is?

    1) I never said that the four month gap was significant. I never talked about a four month gap. I don't know where it came from, and I don't know why you keep talking about it, because I never have. I said "the country was roughly split on the best course of action to take." Opinions vary on when we should get out, how much we should withdraw, the manner in which we should withdraw, and whether we should withdraw at all.

    Tom Harkin is a liberal Senator, yes, and he's more liberal than his state. His state is more affected by populism, though, than by left-right politics, and since 2005 the left has wrapped themselves up in "populism". Iowa is by far the weakest example of the three, which both Cillizza and I concede.

    Yes, I believe that West Virginia and Louisiana (and to a lesser extent, Iowa) are conservative states, and elected officials there (for the most part--again, not an absolute) are conservative, especially relative to other states. Thus, using a national poll to extrapolate the opinions of respondents in specific states is a non-starter, because those three states are more conservative than the country as a whole.

    11:23 AM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger NOVA said...

    On the West Virginia race and the subject of Capito, is there a strong feeling about which direction Captio goes? I mean, if Unger challenges her, does she go definitely go after Rockefeller?

    Also, on a semi-related note, if Senator Clinton does get the Democratic nod, wouldn't the GOP nominee have a stronger chance of choosing a female running mate? Wouldn't that list include more than likely include Capito, or is there no chance in hell? I figured the only senator that would make a GOP short list is Hutchison and that, before the Iglesias fiasco, Heather Wilson would have been the top choice out of the House, but now probably Capito, right? Blackburn is kinda of a crazy and Pryce is damaged, maybe Kay Granger, though.

    Okay, that was kind of going off on a tangent, but just thought that would be a scenario that could alter the WV race and leave Capito w/o the damned if you do either House or Senate-possibility...she could get out of both.

    11:29 AM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    nova - As for Capito, I haven't heard anything concrete, but my gut concurs with the conventional wisdom that says she runs for re-elect to the House and waits for Byrd to retire before going for the Senate. As for GOP running mates, way too early, but I doubt any House member would be in the mix. If it's McCain, expect a moderate-to-conservative Governor (Tim Pawlenty?), for Giuliani a more conservative Governor, and for Romney maybe a conservative Senator (early backer Jim DeMint?). But, again, it's very early.

    va blogger - I thought it was clear in an above comment where the "four-month gap" came from, but I'll repeat.

    A majority of the American people support a deadline "no later than August 2008". Reid-Feingold calls for a deadline of March 31, 2008. You have called Reid-Feingold "far-left" legislation. Do you really believe that the four months in between April 1, 2008 (one day after Reid-Feingold's deadline) and August 1, 2008 (what the polling shows a majority of Americans support) transform "majority support among the American people" to "far-left legislation"? Why is that four months so significant to you?

    (And, yeah, I know what an ad hominem is, and "unabashed cheerleader" and "dualistic black-and-white view of the world" pejoratives and accusing me of being "disingenuous" qualify.)

    11:47 AM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Unger would be a tough race for Capito, but Capito would still have the advantage. If she challenged Rockefeller, she'd be the underdog. The safer bet for her is to wait for Byrd's seat to open up and run in an open election. I don't see Unger's decision pushing her one way or another.

    As far as national politics go, I haven't heard any possible female VP candidates other than Hutchison. Condi Rice would also be a strong pick. I don't think Hillary as the Dem pick would influence the VP selection that much one way or another anyhow, though.

    11:50 AM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    First of all, I think there are more than two choices with respect to what our course of action could be. Second, the fact that the poll you use to support shows that 51% supports withdrawal by that deadline further confirms my contention that public opinion is "roughly split" on what to do.

    You're committing a serious breach of logic, however, by assuming that my characterization of Feingold's legislation as "far-left" is due to the specific time-table it sets. I didn't look at the WaPo poll, then look at the Feingold bill, and say "Now that one sounds more reasonable". You are assuming what my justification is, and then assailing that justification for being inconsistent. Frankly, that's a bit absurd.

    I'm repeating myself now, but I'll again go over the reasons why I characterized Feingold's bill as "far-left":

    1) Feingold's authorship, as he has been one of the most, if not the most, liberal member of the Senate with respect to the Iraq War and opposition to President Bush.

    2) The fact that the bill is the most aggressive serious approach that the Senate has considered.

    3) The fact that many anti-war Democrats have hesitated at publically (or otherwise) supporting the bill. Thus, there are liberal Democrats who can be categorized as on "the left", and then there's Reid and Feingold, who are beyond them, and thus "far-left".

    11:59 AM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger NOVA said...

    va and guru:

    Thanks for the responses! So, I guess it seems that Capito more than likely stays put and waits for 2012. Rockefeller should smoothly win then, unless Ireland is stronger than most suspect.

    On the VP equations (and last I'll speak of it on a Senate blog, lol), I think that if Clinton is the nominee it would have at least some effect on the GOP, but Hutchison is very likely to actually make the jump in 2010 for the Governor's mansion, not like her 2006 switcheroo. That primary will more than likely be Lt. Governor Dewhurst, State Senator Dan Patrick, and if Senator Hutchison decides to go for it. That is why I think Hutchison might turn down the job, she's been wanting to come back to Texas for a while. That is why I turned to the House for other GOP women, although Rice and Whitman would definitely be more obvious choices than the Congresswomen, in the absence of Hutchison.

    the two of you can continue your squabble, now.

    12:47 PM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Ah, OK, va blogger, now we're getting somewhere. This begs the Yes or No question: Do you believe that hypothetical legislation that would mandate an August '08 troop withdrawal (hypothetical legislation that has majority American support) is "far-left" in your opinion? (No right answer - entirely your opinion - no factual back-up needed - just trying to understand where your goalposts are.)

    12:58 PM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Nova, just a quick note (and this is said with all due respect and reverence to Senator Byrd), but I said that Capito is likely to run for Byrd's seat when it opens up. Byrd has said that he'd run for re-election in 2012, so if he does, then the seat would still not be open. Its clear that Byrd will be a Senator until he dies. Rockefeller, though he faces some health problems, has been a statewide candidate for office since the 1960s, and its unlikely he's going anywhere either.

    Thus, Capito will run for a Senate seat when a seat opens up. But that's not likely going to be caused by a retirement.

    S2G, its difficult for me to form an opinion on hypothetical legislation, especially since (as I clearly explained) my feelings on the Feingold-Reid bill are due to both the authorship of it and the reaction to it. So taking the criteria I used to classify that legislation as "far-left", such a hypothetical bill would be considered "far-left" if it met the same standards: 1) Is it authored by the most liberal Senator on the issue of the war? 2) Is the the most aggressive approach considered by the Senate? 3) Have other anti-war Democrats hesitated in supporting it?

    The answer to the first is unanswerable, since the legislation is hypothetical. The answer to the second is "no", since the Reid-Feingold bill is the most aggressive, and the answer to the third is unanswerable (thus far), since I'm not aware of any inquiries into the opinions of other Democrats into this specific hypothetical bill.

    To concisely sum up the above two paragraphs: I don't know.

    1:07 PM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    That's a very frightening answer, va blogger. You care more about who signs the legislation than what the legislation actually does.

    If Orrin Hatch and Mike Enzi propose immediate withdrawal by Aug '08 vs. Ted Kennedy and Pat Leahy proposing immediate withdrawal by Aug '08, it shouldn't matter (to anybody with any conviction on the issue anyway) - it's still legislation to withdraw by Aug. '08. What the legislation actually does should matter more than just who is signing it.

    A majority of Americans appear to support that position (of Aug 08 withdrawal), so the position is well in the mainstream of American political opinion. Whether a liberal Senator or conservative Senator proposes the legislation, the goal of legislation is still very mainstream.

    2:28 PM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    In theory, your argument would hold weight. But the "ideological criterion" of legislation is usually comperable to the "ideological criterion" of the person that introduces it. Thus, far-left Senators will introduce far-left legislation, and the same for conservatives. Its not in a vaccuum that I say its important who is proposing the legislation, because the author of the legislation is usually a good indication of what the legislation actually does (emphasis yours).

    Again, I'll remind you that you're asking me to comment on legislation that doesn't exist. I don't mean to disappoint you, but I can't do that.

    2:42 PM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Wow - then how about commenting on legislation that does exist?

    For instance, what happens when a "liberal" legislator introduces legislation - that by your rule makes it "liberal legislation" - but then "conservative" legislators co-sponsor it?!?

    As I mentioned before (and I guess you ignored): Here's a Feingold bill co-sponsored by Senator Brownback (R-KS); here's a Feingold bill co-sponsored by Senator Lugar (R-IN); here's a Feingold bill co-sponsored by over a dozen GOP Senators. I guess all those Republicans are co-sponsoring "far-left" legislation. Or, maybe they took the time to see what the legislation actually does...

    Saying "liberal legislator = far-left legislation" is just a simplistic and two-dimensional way of viewing politics and policy. But, hey, if it works for you...

    And, yes, anybody can comment on legislation or a policy idea that doesn't exist as a bill yet - should we raise taxes 5% or lower taxes 5% - should we increase or decrease funding for program X - and so on. I'll remind you, it's called having an opinion.

    4:29 PM, April 24, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I agree that saying "liberal senator = liberal legislation" is two-dimensional and simplistic, which is why I didn't say that. I said that who introduces the bill is usually a good indicator of what kind of legislation it is, particularly if its a divisive, hot-button issue.

    And I do have an opinion on the hypothetical legislation. I think its bad, and I don't support it (surprise!). But you're not asking for my opinion, you're asking me whether I would characterize it as far-left or not. Given the criteria I used on the first bill, there's not enough for me to go on with this hypothetical stuff to do so.

    9:11 AM, April 25, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    So the fact that a majority of Americans support a proposal has no bearing to you on whether or not a proposal is "mainstream/moderate/centrist" or "far-left"?

    Say Feingold proposes a bill on a hot-button issue that no Republicans will co-sponsor, but it has the support of 85% of the American people. Is it by your measure "far-left" or "mainstream"?

    10:16 AM, April 25, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    I don't use the term "far-left" relative to the term "mainstream". Mainstream does not mean moderate or centrist.

    10:57 AM, April 25, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    OK... so are you calling the majority of American people who want troop withdrawal by August 2008 all "far-left". Again, it's fine if you are - it's entirely your opinion - but if a majority of Americans are all "far-left," it pretty much waters down the term.

    11:20 AM, April 25, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    You're dramatically over-extending the significance of the WaPo poll. When presented with one option, 51% of Americans said they supported it. However, if you ask Americans what they think the best course of action is, you will get a wide range of responses. You definately would not get 51% of people agreeing on any one course of action.

    12:12 PM, April 25, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Well, that's a misrepresentation, va blogger.

    Those 51% might also go for a sooner or later deadline or a different strategy altogether. Sure. But that's not what's at issue.

    51% DO support an Aug. '08 withdrawal. It is an option with majority support. So, despite the majority support that that option has, you still call it a "far-left" option?

    12:25 PM, April 25, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    The misrepresentation is the sentence:

    "So are you calling the majority of American people who want troop withdrawal by August 2008 all "far-left."

    If you asked what the best course of action would be, you would not get a majority opinion about anything. 51% would support one proposal, but don't mistake that for a concensus on what a majority of the country wants.

    And I never called the August '08 language far-left. Then again, such language doesn't actually exist.

    12:40 PM, April 25, 2007  

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