Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mountains Out Of Poll Hills - Follow Up

John Sides at The Monkey Cage asks What NY-23 (and VA and NJ) Mean. Sides addresses the theory that yesterdays results are a referendum on Democratic leadership:
"absent more evidence, we simply don’t know if they were referenda on Obama, on Corzine and Kaine, or on none of the above. Interpretations of elections depend on the reasons for voters’ choices. You can’t simply ask voters why they chose a candidate, or whether a particular factor mattered. People do not accurately report on their own mental processes. You can’t simply look at the at overall levels of opinions — what percentage approves of Obama or is dissatisfied with Corzine, etc."
Sides points out the Washington Post's Dan Balz odd contradiction:"

"Especially when these interpretations are contradictory mush like this from Dan Balz:

Off-year elections can be notoriously unreliable as predictors of the future, but as a window on how the political landscape may have changed in the year since President Obama won the White House, Tuesday’s Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey delivered clear warnings for the Democrats.

Unreliable, yet clear!"

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