Rovian Optimism

by Sal on October 30, 2006

in Politics

In spite of all the negative press regarding the Republican’s prospects in November, one man remains optimistic. Karl Rove, in an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered states that according to his own internal polls, the Republicans will keep a majority of both houses of Congress. Among the more colorful exchanges:

SIEGEL: We are in the home stretch though and many would consider you on the optimistic end of realism about…

ROVE: Not that you would exhibit a bias, you just making a comment.

SIEGEL: I’m looking at all the same polls that you are looking at.

ROVE: No, you are not. I’m looking at 68 polls a week for candidates for the US House and US Senate, and Governor and you may be looking at 4-5 public polls a week that talk attitudes nationally.

SIEGEL: I don’t want to have you to call races…

ROVE: I’m looking at all of these Robert and adding them up. I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math but you are entitled to your math and I’m entitled to THE math.

SIEGEL: I don’t know if we’re entitled to a different math but your…

ROVE: I said THE math.

The drive-by media has been pounding the fact into our heads that the Democrats will sweep on November 7. But is this really the case? Are the media’s polls still hopelessly flawed, based on an old system of elections in which the Democrats beat the Republicans in voter turnout initiatives, and all politics was about local issues? The more I see, the more skeptical I am that the media is just trying to influence the outcome rather than reporting valid data with these polls. Let’s look at the last several elections and the media coverage:

  • 1994: No one in the Drive-by media seriously predicted the Republican take-over. Yet the Republicans came in and took over both chambers for the first time in decades.
  • 1996: The drive-by media, counting 1994 as a fluke, predicted that the congress would go the way of Bill Clinton. If he were re-elected, the congress would revert back to the Democrats. If he wasn’t, it would stay Republican. After the elections, they chalked it up to a “pro-incumbancy” election.
  • 1998: The media predicted that the fallout over impeachment would bring the Dems back to power.
  • 2000: Media was somewhat non-committal about the congressional elections, focusing more on the Presidency.
  • 2002: Media predicted that Americans, sick of G.W. Bush, would put the Dems back in power because people liked “Divided Government”. Republicans Swept.
  • 2004: A victory was predicted for Kerry, and with him the Dems were predicted to pick up many seats. Republicans increased to a 55-seat majority.
  • 2006: The year of the Democrat, according to the Drive-by Media. They are already calling San Fran Nan “Speaker Pelosi”. We’ll see…

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan October 30, 2006 at 3:36 pm

Great point! I have a sense that the polls (the few that I, myself, see) have been shifting towards the Republican in many elections.

Though Dick Morris is usually wrong about election outcomes, underestimating the Republican victories, he makes an important point that the polls usually do break a few weeks before an election in the direction they usually end up.

In short, using the Morris model, the Republicans will do better than expected because though they were beaten up four weeks ago, the last two weeks have shown some movement in their direction.

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Chris October 31, 2006 at 12:10 am

I also feel pretty confident about Republican chances next week. Republican senatorial candidates have been hitting home runs the past couple of weeks (which they really should have been doing much earlier). Major props to Michael Steele and his recent ad , as well as George Allen and his home runs (by the way, Webb’s explanation is total bunk).

While I am hoping for the best, I am very concerned about Santorum…if he does end up losing, it’s a sad day for the Senate. Mark Levin had some very kind words about him tonight.

One more week to go and I have a feeling there will be more Democrat mudslingging and dirty tricks to come (btw, the news about voting machine problems is coming up…the libs are preparing to blame others for their upcoming loss)

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