Click here to go to the NEW College Discussion Forum

Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: President of the US?
By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 03:34 pm: Edit

"Ms. President" haha. Bill Clinton as "First Man".

Anyways, what do you think of Hillary beling the first female president. Do you think it's plausible, possible, and something that Americans would make a reality?

Of course, Hillary does not necessarily like Bush (she's very liberal), but she DOES want Bush to win. So that in the 2008 election, Bush can't run again and she can be the fresh new democrat president. B/c of Kerry wins, then Kerry will most likely be the democratic nominee and win, so Hillary can't run.

How does it sound... "Excuse me Ms. President" haha

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 03:47 pm: Edit

If ANYONE but Hillary, maybe... but her??? Nooooooo!!!! Does her husband need another opportunity to grope the interns?

By Magoo (Magoo) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 04:27 pm: Edit

i would support Hill if she ran for president...she is the only female that strkes me as presidential material (there are some more, yes i know, but hillary is in the top 3 for this position)...maybe OPRAH IF SHE WERE A POLITICIAN :)

By Zantedeschia (Zantedeschia) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 04:32 pm: Edit

I would vote for her...but that whole scheme is very unappealing...I mean, it's very common among politicians but it's so selfish! My history teacher told us once, "the difference between a good politician and a good statesman is that the politician looks towards the next election while the statesman looks towards the next generation"
Unfortunately, there aren't many statesmen left... I guess it's a matter of the lesser evil.
And I like Bill Clinton! Aries, you make it sound as if Lewinsky is a victim...i thought she was pretty slutty...

By Demonllama (Demonllama) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 05:00 pm: Edit

If Gavin Newsom was her vice-president or vice versa, then I'd definitely support her.

oh, and Oprah has said before that she would never think of running for president because she doesn't want to get into politics.

By Chapter322 (Chapter322) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 05:49 pm: Edit

I have heard people discussing this on the news. I think this is very possible. I would vote for her! I love the Clintons.

I think she has a very good chance of being the first female president if she decides to run. I hope she does, I think it would be cool.

BTW, I am a guy.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 08:04 pm: Edit

She is also the most hated potential candidate. All polls have indicated that she would never overcome how profoundly -and deservedly- she is despised.

You can carpetbag a Senate race but soon or later your record has to stand. What has she done for New York besides giving us that indelible pictire of smirking at the 9/11 memorial? Her being in mere consideration is a testament of the abyss of our policical system.

Come to think about ... if might not be bad to elect her, the White House would recoup some of the missing furniture.

By Plot93 (Plot93) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 08:14 pm: Edit

I think it would be great if Hillary became president. It's about time we had a female president. Besides, she's intelligent, seems levelheaded, and has experience in politics.

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 09:17 pm: Edit

She is for sure going to run in 08 if kerry loses. She hasn't sponcered any important or controversial pieces of legislation, isnt campaigning hard for kery, and clinton even refrained from critisizing Bush at all on the war during his 60 minutes interview.

I am sure she will get the nomination. She will get it easily. So many women would stupidly vote for her on the basis of gender, even if they arnt supportive of her policies. But in a general election, she would not fair so well because she is very liberal. Although she might moderate for the sake of electability, but still would be too liberal. Guiliani would beat her.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 09:56 pm: Edit

There is no way in hell that Giuliani would win the GOP nomination. The balance of power in the GOP is to the South and the Plains states...nobody is going to get the nomination who doesn't play well there and that includes gay-friendly anti-gun candidates from the Northeast like Rudy Giuliani.

I'm not particularly a fan of Hillary but I've watched her votes and she's been very careful assembling a defensible voting record, voting against some "liberal" positions to keep a more moderate record.

I'm cautiously optimistic that Kerry/Edwards will make talk of Hillary in 2008 a hypothetical. If it weren't for having to endure four more years of Bush, I'd like to see it just to watch conservatives go bugf*ck climbing all the way up the wall and halfway across the ceiling.

Then or now, a bit of conventional wisdom is by the boards for the Democratic party. I have *never* *ever* seen the party this united and energized. The moderate and liberal wings are absolutely united with not a whiff of grumbling...well, maybe beyond a couple of regretful sighs about Wesley Clark. I know what the history is like because I grumbled about McGovern, Carter 1980(I worked for John Anderson),
Mondale, and Dukakis.

The donation level is completely un-Democratic and Kerry may yet catch up to Bush, though Bush may forge back ahead because he has another five weeks to raise/spend before the GOP convention.

And the activity level is something I've never seen. Here it is, not even half past July, and volunteer teams are phone banking voters in swing states. I've *never* seen anything on this scale, this ambitious, this early.

This is not the Democratic party the GOP has rolled in the past.

By Sammgc68 (Sammgc68) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 09:59 pm: Edit

I don't know if you've noticed this, but.... SHE'S A MAN! First woman president, my hiney.

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 11:59 pm: Edit

I like to try to say moderate and slightly to the right without going to bitter towards the libs, but this is where I explode.

Any person who would vote for Hilary JUST BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN is, excuse me, a FRICKEN' IDIOT! (note: if they vote JUST for that reason, if you have other reasons, fine). I'm afraid that's what will happen when/if she runs. If she does run, to counter this, the Republican party needs to just give a big "Deal with it" to the South, and run either Condie Rice or Rudy Guliani, or together on the same ticket, that would be perfect.

I do not know what will happen when the elections roll around, but I do fear a Hilary Clinton Presidency. I fear it most of all because if she becomes president, that would make Bill the First Man; and trust me, the last thing he needs is another pick-up line.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 12:19 am: Edit

As long as we're on the subjects of idiots, I would have to say that not wanting Hillary to become president b/c Bill did something just about every president did (though not excusable) is just about as idiotic as it gets.

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 12:23 am: Edit

Republicans admitted that they did not even want Clinton to be punished enough to be impeached... they just wanted to tear down his reputation enough, make him deal with other less important things - to prevent him from passing some liberal laws, etc.

I agree with Clinton. His mistake is a personal mistake and should be dealt with his own family and private life... But of course, the vehement other side always wants to find something to tear you down.... Clinton's mistake does not merit impeachment.

Anyways, back to his wife... People (girls) will probably vote for Hillary b/c she's a women. But that Rudy/Condy or Condy/Rudy repub ticket sounds interesting. If Condy would become a president... not only is she a female, but also coloured. More power to her... I wonder if the repubs would really nominate them.

It's interesting to hear you people's perspectives~

By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 02:52 am: Edit

IF anyone thinks the GOP would nominate either Rudy *or* Condy, you don't understand the primary process and I'll take bets with you now, $100 minimum please.

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 03:05 am: Edit


By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 03:35 am: Edit


You miss the point about HRC. The problem is NOT about Bill Clinton and what he did; it is solely about Hillary. She represents everything that "non-liberals" hated about the Democratic Party: big government, support and exhibition of questionable morals, poor ethics, socialized medicine at any cost, etc. A candidate like her would set the country back fifty years and probably propel the Democratic Party into total oblivion.

Here we go: another reason to vote for her.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 03:50 am: Edit

Xiggi -- that was in response to Hunter1985's post. I have no problem with people voting against her for political reasons although others may respectively disagree (honestly, I don't know enough to have made a worthwhile opinion yet). I just had a problem with the Hunter's last startement. Just look at the post before mine and you'll understand.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 03:52 am: Edit

I just found it ironic that he was calling people who would vote for her for a trivial reason idiots and yet gave a trivial reason for not voting for her.

By Socaldad (Socaldad) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 10:23 am: Edit

Boy, reading this thread makes me realize that every God-fearing Hillary hater better hold their nose and vote for Kerry-Edwards in 2004. This is the only way to keep the Republic safe from Ms. Clinton's run in 2008. If Bush wins, Hillary has a clear path to the Presidency, and our country is DOOMED.

By Rachelvishy (Rachelvishy) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 11:15 am: Edit

I think its ABOUT TIME we have a woman president in office... I can't take it anymore

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 04:42 pm: Edit

Didn't she make a racist remark about Indians? I only remember because Conan O'Brien did this skit about it a few times where Mahatma Gandhi insults her then comes swinging down from a rope and rips through a picture of her.

If a woman is going to become president then she's got to be post-menopausal. Otherwise we'll be waging a new war every month.

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 04:43 pm: Edit

socaldad, I'm just a measly teenager and would be interested to hear your elaboration on this:
"IF anyone thinks the GOP would nominate either Rudy *or* Condy, you don't understand the primary process and I'll take bets with you now, $100 minimum please. "

By Simba (Simba) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 05:54 pm: Edit

I lke to know too and I am not a measly teenager.

By Neo (Neo) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 06:08 pm: Edit

It's amazing how nobody noticed how Crazylicious called Condoleeza Rice "coloured."

By Ticklemepink (Ticklemepink) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 07:01 pm: Edit

Hillary Clinton vs. Condoleeza Rice? Tough competition. Both are definitely potential presidents.

I visited Hillary's staff office during my CYLC stay (I was just hoping that she'd stop by!!!) and we asked her about her chances of running in the elections. The rep said that she would not run for 2004 because of her promise to stay in the Senate until her term ended in 2006. He was unsure about 2008 and said that 2012 could be possible. He emphasized on her love for her Senate job... hmm. U'm still praying that she'll take the nomination bid and i'll throw in my donation!

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 07:09 pm: Edit

Neo: What's wrong with "Coloured"? I didn't mean to offend anybody if that's what you mean. I'm not even white (I'm Filipina-American). Also, NAACP uses "coloured."

By Imperator_Shaf (Imperator_Shaf) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 08:19 pm: Edit

Hillary Clinton joked of Gandhi, "He works at the gas station around the corner" or something like that.

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 11:43 pm: Edit

How about this (hypothetical):

Bush dumps Cheney, gets Powell.

Colin vs. Hillary Clinton 2008?

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 11:50 pm: Edit

Powell's done with this administration. He wants out so I'm doubting it.

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 11:51 pm: Edit

Hmm. I was just wondering cuz some poll was released today that if the election took place right now (I think it was on the radio.. not sure, my dad told me).

Kerry/Edwards vs. Bush/Cheney: Kerry wins with 51%

Bush/Powell vs. Kerry/Edwards: Bush wins with 65%

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 01:49 am: Edit

The polls are useless. The USA Today poll has kerry with a 5 point lead, the Pew poll has them tied, and the AP poll has Bush with a 4 point lead. The electoral projected vote has Bush winning most often, because of his lead in Wisonsin and Ohio, while Florida (won by Bush last time) and Penn (won by gore last time) are dead even.

Powell will be the sec state next term if Bush wins. He has said so. But he wont run in 08. He was thinking of running in 2000 but his wife wouldnt allow him and he said he wouldnt consider it.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 01:50 am: Edit

It would be funny if 2 women ran against each other, Condi and Hilary.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 01:55 am: Edit

I'm not sure where you got your info. but I've heard that Powell will not be a part of a second Bush administration. I've heard that it has been b/c of disagreements between him and Rumsfield (post-war Iraq plan or lack thereof being one of them). I could be wrong, but that's what I've heard.

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 02:12 am: Edit

CNN poll

By Socaldad (Socaldad) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 10:31 am: Edit

socaldad, I'm just a measly teenager and would be interested to hear your elaboration on this:
"IF anyone thinks the GOP would nominate either Rudy *or* Condy, you don't understand the primary process and I'll take bets with you now, $100 minimum please.

Don't take thedad's bet. It's inconceivable to me that someone without previous electoral success and strong support from the religious right would be successful in the Republican Presidential primaries. In addition, neither Rudi or Condi are particularly appealing candidates.

Having said that, the Democratic Presidential primaries and the Scharznegger election in California have both shown that the conventional wisdom and traditional party mechanisms aren't working anymore.

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 01:03 pm: Edit

Craigk, do you honestly think I would vote against Hilary b/c of Bill? I had no real gripes with Bill on a policy-level, the last line was a joke...again people miss my jokes...the internet is such a bad place to be funny. So yeah, contrary to what you may think, I'm not an idiot.

I would not vote for Hilary because of the many reasons outlined by other posters, and I think anyone who votes for her just because she's a woman is an idiot.

The Republicans are controlled by the South (so are the Dems to an extent) and the religious right, which prevents many great candidates from getting the nomination (notice that ever campaign has to have one of their candidates be from the south in order to win the Southern vote). We need a 3rd party or 2, moderate versions of the far left/right ones of today. Or, like I said, the south should just deal with it for one election and take the most qualified, and most appealing candidates.

I know it's incredibly idealistic, but it would be sweet to see Guliani/Condie/Powell run at some point.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 01:30 pm: Edit

Sorry, I honestly missed it. I've actually run into people who wouldn't vote against her for that reason so it made it more believable. Once again, I'm sorry.

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 01:58 pm: Edit

k, no big deal, like I said, sarcasm/jokes is/are hard to effectively use on the 'net.

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 05:21 pm: Edit

Its harder for a dem to not be from the south than a republican. Regean (California), Ford (michigan?) and Nixon (California).

But since jfk, there has not been one dem who hasnt been from the south.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 06:37 pm: Edit

Powell can not secure a nomination, even if his wife Alma were to give her consent, which has been lacking several times in the past when the question came up.

Also, Powell is...*very* quietly...pro-choice and less quietly pro-affirmative action. You aren't going to get the yahoos of the GOP voting for that position. Also, Powell has been locked in a four-year conflict with Rumsfeld and Cheney, losing more than he's won and with Rice standing ineffectually on the sidelines. And Bush isn't about to repudiate Rumsfeld and Cheney at this point.

SocalDad, re the bet: spoilsport.

Actually, the party mechanisms still are pretty much working though you have to sort through some evolutions to see it. Scammon and Wattenberg had it right in 1968 when they published THE REAL MAJORITY: elections are won and lost in the center [for general elections] and *that* hasn't changed. It's still a dark cosmic irony that the implication of this is that often--at least in close elections--the people with the least partisan affiliation, the least interest in politics, and the least education about politics are the ones who cast the deciding votes.

The two main factors you have to consider when evaluating primaries is the decline of the power of labor (Gephardt FOURTH in Iowa) in the Democratic party and the near-veto that the evangelical Christian Right has in GOP primaries.

All elections can get nasty but two in particular disgust me: McCain's defeat in the 2000 South Carolina primary due to advertising that just absolutely slimed him as being more liberal than Karl Marx and the 2002 Georgia Senate Race, where GOP Paul Coverdell's ads morphed Max Cleland--a triple-amputee and war hero--into Osama bin Laden.

I will send money to Coverdell's challenger in 2008.

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 07:03 pm: Edit

Thedad: You're right, those two elections were absolutely disgusting- the painting of McCain as "pro cancer" was downright funny (watch Bill Maher's "Be More Cynical" to see a funny commentary on this). And the Cleland thing was just low.

You're right too about the power of labor/religious, WAY too powerful, they prevent centrists from coming to power- and because of their power and strong partisan nature they alienate the centrists/independents who decide elections. They're dragging the parties in they directions...

Jlq3d3- I know what you are saying, but look at the VP candidates from those elections, aside from Nixon/Ford, I believe that all candidates in the last half-century or so who weren't from the south had a southern VP.

-FDR had Truman (Missouri?)
-Truman (Missouri?)
-Ike (Texas)
-JFK had LBJ (Texas)
-Nixon had Ford who was NOT Southern (Nebraska)
-Ford was not elected, served out remainder of Nixon's term so he didn't need Southerner (had Rockefeller)
-Carter (Georgia)
-Reagan had Bush (Texas)
-Clinton (Arkansas)
-W. Bush (Texas- affiliated)

So as history has shown, it appears that the south will only vote for southerners...weird...but powerful (if you watch Real Time with Bill Maher, he did a rant on this).

By Neo (Neo) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 08:26 pm: Edit

It's an unusual section of the country. Ever since the civil rights movements, it's been overwhelmingly Republican.

By Hayden (Hayden) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 10:34 pm: Edit

Bunmushroom: As Reagan said "There you go again". You said "Powell will be the sec state next term if Bush wins. He has said so."

Powell has actually already announced that he will leave his secretary post soon after Bush's re-election. He gave health as one of his reasons.

And Thedad - there YOU go again. You're terrific.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 10:44 pm: Edit

Can you send me the news article. How recent was this, becuase about a week ago I heard he was staying?

By Thedad (Thedad) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 01:59 am: Edit

Hunter, I'm a rarity: a long-term hardcore dedicated ideological centrist. Several times I've been marginalized in my own party but Clinton and the DLC, thank God, brought us back from the wilderness.

Btw, what's completely astonishing this year is the complete lack of intramural backbiting about Kerry...EVERYBODY is behind him, without much more than a murmur from former Deaniacs.

The Dems have their progressive and moderate factions but organized labor has a greatly attenuated influence these days.

Long term, I think we're going to see something ironic: the South, which has been responsible for the GOP's leap to prominence, will slowly strangle it. We're seeing a long-term realignment: the GOP went South but New England and the midwest are, with a time delay, turning Democratic. (Illinois used to be the bellwether state in elections...now it's Missouri...this is a significant change.)

The more the South has a veto on GOP presidential nominees, the more intolerant and out of step the party is going to be to the rest of the country.

Some interesting down-the-line numbers from the latest NEWSWEEK poll:

Southern whites support Bush 60-35
Non-southern whites support Kerry 46-44.

That non-Southern white vote, together the black and Hispanic vote, spells eventual doom for the GOP...the only question is how fast.

Other interesting numbers:

Urban = Kerry, 55-36
Suburban = Bush 47-46
Rural = Bush 49-39

Kerry needs only about one percent more in each the suburban and rural vote and this election becomes a satisfying electoral college thumping.

Fwiw, rural/urban is the greatest political divide in America today.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 02:16 am: Edit

I second TheDad's statement about rural/urban political dvide. I live in a state that is pretty liberal in the major urban area, but it is exactly the opposite in the southern/eastern rural areas. It's like there are two states.

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 10:54 am: Edit

I understand where you're coming from, as a Republican from WI, I'm sick of seeing qualified people like Condie, Powell, and Guliani being prevented from getting the nomination because they're not southern. Trust me, if Jeb Bush ever gets the Presidential nomination, consider me an Independent Conservative. Party mechanisms are just too frustrating. There seriously needs to be a third centrist party made up people ostracized from both parties. People like the 3 I mentioned, BILL Clinton (he was a moderate policy wise), McCain, Zell Miller, etc. But again, it's too idealistic to ever work.

About the urban/rural divide, I experience the same thing. In WI, Madison and Milwaukee controll which way the state votes. They're overwhelmingly Democratic (state workers, unions) and there are not enough votes in the rest of the state to counter this, hence we're Democratic. Although, we're just barely Democratic, so we're considered a swing state- which is nice, 'cause then we get visited by both Kerry and Bush many times :) , I've been to rallies for both, and they're always fun (granted, I don't agree with 98% of what Kerry says, but it's always good to know what the other side believes). :)

By Riflesforwatie (Riflesforwatie) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 11:13 am: Edit

"Fwiw, rural/urban is the greatest political divide in America today."

Yep.. Even liberal states like New York, California, and Illinois go Democratic in only the major cities. The vast majority of land goes to the Republicans. A map of the 2000 election showing which party won each COUNTY is especially revealing. The swing state Pennsylvania in 2000, as close as it was, saw Al Gore basically win only Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Bush won the rest of the entire state and Gore still won by 5%.

By Hayden (Hayden) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 01:34 pm: Edit

Bunmushroom - I'm going to take back what I said about Powell. You are correct, there is no announcement that he will be resigning his post. The info was "reported", not announced, on Time, and the major networks, by Powell staffers, rather than the State Dept itself.

I guess there is no way for us outsiders to know unless and until 1) Bush gets re-elected or 2) Powell writes his memoirs. The first instance would be unfortunate, and the second instance would be interesting.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 01:38 pm: Edit

Can you show me the article where Powell's staffers said that? I remember this as pure speculation, and both Powell and Bush himself expressed that Powerll would be sec state when Bush wins

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 02:48 pm: Edit

July polls are meaningless. If you believe in early polls, Dean would have been THE candidate, and Clinton would not have won a single primary.

The elections will be decided by the whimsical decisions of a small and uneducated percentage of our population. They will vote for someone without rhyme or reason.

All the early speculation is a waste of time. Trying to interpret the polls is nothing but intellectual masturbation.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 03:03 pm: Edit

"July polls are meaningless. If you believe in early polls, Dean would have been THE candidate, and Clinton would not have won a single primary. "

That is in reference to primaries, which tend to be very unpredictable. It is hard to get an accurate read when it is party vs. itself. Whereas in the Presidential election, party vs. party can be polled with much greater precision.

For example: An October 6, 2000 CNN/Time poll had GWB with a 47-45% margin over Al Gore...pretty accurate if you ask me

(By the way you cant really make reference to any polls prior to GWB vs. Gore because the technology and accuracy of polling dramatically decreases once you go beyond that point.)

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 03:15 pm: Edit

"For example: An October 6, 2000 CNN/Time poll had GWB with a 47-45% margin over Al Gore...pretty accurate if you ask me"

I may be mistaken but I thought Gore actually won in terms of percentage nation wide, but lost because of the electoral system.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 03:18 pm: Edit

He did.. but barely

The exit polls of the 2000 election showed Bush and Gore both at a 48-48% tie (Gore had 539,947 more votes but that is not enough to constitue even a single percent)

So again the October preliminary poll was pretty accurate

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 04:17 pm: Edit

About the vote count... all of the votes in every state were not counted. The vast majority of the absentee ballots were not counted, as they are only used when they would make a difference. It usually happens that educated guesses are made as to which candidate won in the state, and they are usually right on. When Gore had a 65-35 lead in Massachusetts (or whatever), it was pretty clear that you could just give the state to him. No need to tally up every vote and all the absentee ballots. Absentee ballots are, in large part, from college students (traditionally liberal) and the army (traditionally conservative).

The reason I say all that is that we really don't ever know who won the popular vote unless it was quite a clear-cut victory. Basically, the vote count difference between the candidates is much less than the error. Most likely, Gore won the popular vote, but we do not know for certain.

I agree with Xiggi in that "swing voters" are often the least educated about the issues and the least dedicated to keeping up with politics. Also in agreement with TheDad that catering to the ultra-conservative South (which is really what the GOP is doing) will be its downfall. For that matter, if the Democrats started focusing on the ultra-liberal, Michael Moore types, their party would decline. As we saw in 1860 though, even having all of the South will not carry an election!

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 04:48 pm: Edit

I'm confused how that poll is accurate if it was wrong in predicting who won in terms of total number of votes.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 04:50 pm: Edit

its accurate because most polls have something around a +-5 margin of error

By Thedad (Thedad) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 05:37 pm: Edit

Xiggi, my esteemed distinguished colleague, hold to that position and I'll blow you out of the sky. My academic background, such as it is, in survey research and while specific electoral outcomes are useless in polls at this time, determining trends in the electorate are not. Furthermore, if one is a really on top of it, one has similar polls taken at the same time out in previous elections to do a cross-check on trends. (I happen to have on file the daily CNN tracking polls from the 1992 election, starting with Labor Day, for instance.)

Note: In comparing polls, I prefer apples to apples as much as possible. E.g., you look for trends by comparing polls done by the same organization, and hence the same methodological biases, some time apart. The absolute numbers may be questioned by the *change* in numbers is *probably* accurate, given the levels of confidence they poll to.

Moreover, while a single poll reflects a certain stated margin of error (MOE) and you know that the "true" number is in a range, if several polls are clustered around the same point, you can start to feel a little more confident...it's unlikely that *all* of them are going to be off in a uniform direction.

Also, read the polling universe carefully: likely voters is generally going to be more accurage than registered voters which is generally going to be more accurate than All Adults or some other defined group.

I'm more suspicious of some polls than others: state polls done by TV stations or colleges I've generally found to be suspect, with one or two exceptions. I'm not to wild about either the ARG state polls or either the NBC/Wall Street Journal (seems to have a GOP bias in its numbers) or ABC/Washington Post (seems to skew favorable to Democrats). CNN, Gallup, NYT, and Zogby generally do credible jobs...which isn't to say that they're always error free.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 05:43 pm: Edit

Hunter, the two-party system won't change unless there are fundamental changes to how elections held in this country, none of which are likely to happen and most of which I think would be a disaster.

For instance, if you had multi-seat legislative districts, the make-up of Congress would change and you'd have more third-party candidates becoming viable. Or if you have instant run-off voting that requires a 50 percent vote where people's first choice could be, say, Nader and their second choice be, say, Kerry, which is counted if Nader doesn't win and Kerry doesn't have 50 percent.

There are structural institutional blocks to each of those solutions and short of it is: ain't gonna happen.

Would what make a difference is if more "average" voters in the party primaries, which is where a lot of the *real* decisions get made.

I detest this whole swing towards so-called Open Primaries: why should a Democrat be able to vote in a Republican primary or vice-versa? It's like me having a voice in what your family has for dinner. Feh.

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 06:34 pm: Edit

Yeah, I agree, it is too idealistic. But I just feel like both the parties are representing less and less of what the average American believes and more towards special interests. Like Aries said, the GOP is turning more to ultra-con South, while the Dems are starting (and did somewhat in 2002) to go towards the Michael Moore types- neither of which are good for the country (in normal situations).

I'd just like to see some moderate, some 3rd party guy work his butt off and win some prominent seat like a governor or senator (it can be done, as Russ Feingold from WI showed when he first won, although he was a Dem). Then they run for the Presidency and pull say 20% of the vote and get legitimate attention. That would pull people to the center (ie. the centrist) party and spur somewhat of a movement towards the center. Even if it was just enough to scare the other two back to the center and make them realize how partisan they have become, I would be happy.

By Simba (Simba) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 08:02 pm: Edit


I disagree with your top down approach. This is no different than Reform or Green Party. They all seem to have an eye on the 'big' prize, but have no foundation.

A true centerist movement can only start from the grass root level. The current conservative/religeous tone of the country didn't start from the president. It started when conservative activists started to run/win the local school boards, city councils, state assemblies and many 'un paid' committee memberships.

Centerist candidates have to contest the elections as independents rather than one or the other. In absence of that, they will always be 'spoilers'.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 09:00 pm: Edit


I am more than happy to concede that your knowledge of political surveys and political polling would blow me off the sky. You may also be disappointed to learn that I have little interest in closing the gap, as I found the exercise to be futile or ... beyond my level of comprehension. I rather catch -very rarely- a few lines spoken by Tim Russert. After all, someone is paying him the big bucks to read the tea leaves. If I remember correctly, one of his favorites lines is that no election had ever be won in July.

I stand by my naive opinion that the 90% of the voters have made up their mind along well established idealogical lines, yet with little logic or intelligence. About 40-45% of the population has grown to hate Bush and would rather elect Bozo the Clown while an equal 40-45% won't ever vote for a democrat. It is the remaining 10-20% that will decide the election, and I have extreme doubts that scientific polling will shed much lights about the direction of the undecided and ... reactionary voters. I suspect that many voters will decide the vote only after seeing the pendulum swinging oin a direction they do not like ... that day. There are multiple events that could change the opinion of voters: while the opinions about the Iraq war are pretty much cast, the perception of the economic performance could change depending on the level of objectivity -and intelligence- of the voters.

I could have added that the outcome of the election could also change rapidly the day Kerry uncovers HIS platform. However, that simply would not change much about the elections being decided in November. :)

By Thedad (Thedad) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 11:50 pm: Edit

Nobody takes party platforms seriously, though I have the recently released platform for the Texas GOP if you care to stand by it...whew, what a stinkeroonie!

This election is weird in that more than usual, 90 percent of the vote *is* locked in. One GOP spokesman said it was being fought between the 45-yard lines and he was right.

I don't call an election until the Sunday before...it's one of those things that I'm very conservative about. However, interesting trends are already making themselves manifest and they will be here until election day...the more you understand the cross-currents as reflected in the polls, the more you'll understand the campaigns.

Sorry...I'm real campaign/polling junkie.

Report an offensive message on this page    E-mail this page to a friend
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page