Archive for November 25, 2011

Why Polls are for Nerds… Usually.

Battleground Logo- 220x220

OK, Point 1 on why polls are for nerds, at least usually: it’s the day after Thanksgiving, I read a Washington Post blog article on some recent polling from the Tarrance Group for Politico and George Washington University that I think has limited usefulness at best, and I proceed to start writing about it immediately. That’s nerdy.

But while there is much we can learn from public opinion polls, especially in politics, it’s important to keep them in perspective — particularly the perspective of media framing and institutional norms of journalism that are usually all but allergic to a long view.

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A New Political Landscape?

Sometimes the Denizens just want to pass along someone else’s analysis that makes a lot of sense. With the groggy post-turkey semi-coma at work, this is one of those times. In yesterday’s online New York Times “Campaign Stops” opinion section, former Treasury Secretary Robert Reich comments on the possibilities for the American political landscape, given the likelihood of continuing economic distress. This is a great, nonpartisan analysis — check it out.

A teaser: the anti-establishment core shared by both Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party, coupled with the low probability of bipartisan moderation in federal policymaking, will make things really interesting.