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For whom the polls toll


salon.com
Former presidential poll front-runner Rick Perry

The December issue of The Atlantic contained an interesting article about early presidential poll front-runners and how they fare in the general election.

The article, by David Greenberg, looked at several candidacies and what the polls said about the candidates a year before the actual voting. One of the examples was the 1976 election. The polling leaders were Ted Kennedy (23 percent), George Wallace (19 percent) and Hubert Humphrey (17 percent). The eventual winner was Jimmy Carter, who was running in the low single digits a year out.

Four years later, Greenberg continues, Ted Kennedy was scoring 60 percent in match-ups against Carter. The polls showed Kennedy had huge leads among black voters, conservative Democrats and Southern Democrats, yet he won just 10 states in the primaries.

In 1987, Jesse Jackson was the polling leader. 2003? Howard Dean. Four years ago? Herbert Cain, who moved ahead of the early leader, Rick Perry. Cain, the article notes, at times had stronger numbers than Donald Trump.

On the flip side, in 1991, Bill Clinton was running at just 6 percent.

Greenberg points out that in largely uncontested races, early leaders have won their party's nominations: Al Gore, Ronald Reagan. This year's Republican nomination, though, is being vigorously contested. Trump may be leading now, to the delight of his supporters, but if I were them, I wouldn't get too comfortable.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
matrixmann
Dec. 26th, 2015 01:48 pm (UTC)
That means in detail - it's just like playing lottery who wins the race in the end (maybe someone plays?).
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 26th, 2015 05:11 pm (UTC)
Some politicker is going to win the lottery, and the rest of us will end up with losing tickets.
matrixmann
Dec. 26th, 2015 06:21 pm (UTC)
If just taking a look at the voting system, one shakes his head and wonders "How can you put up with that for so long?" - and then seeing what is on air on CNN or what ridiculous stuff one said again on Fox News or what's in the theaters, one knows again why you can...

Edited at 2015-12-26 06:21 pm (UTC)
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 26th, 2015 06:57 pm (UTC)
Laziness, apathy, and a sense the system is stacked against us and that we have no real voice: There's the formula.
matrixmann
Dec. 26th, 2015 09:44 pm (UTC)
...It may sound now evil what I'm going to say, and I don't want this to be understood as a call for violence and riot: But - this is the result if you create a society where everyone thinks "we solve this the peaceful way", even where there is no peaceful way possible no more. If people think even natural self-defense with hand, feet and everything you can grab is just a bad thing that you're not supposed to do - or you go to jail for it -, then you needn't wonder why they keep putting up with something that actually destroys them. Physical defense would be the way to go - but inside they were programed to keep still and endure what's being done to them.
And those who show up at rallies with signs and banners - theirs is not going to be heard. The powerful can easily turn their backs on them (or clear them away). There's nothing going to happen to them if they do. People just come, hold their rally and go home again...

Edited at 2015-12-26 09:45 pm (UTC)
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 26th, 2015 10:50 pm (UTC)
Our philosophies part ways here. The progress that's being made here to bring murderous cops to justice is occurring because people are raising their voices, not their guns. The battle for change will be fought with dollars, information and public opinion. Physical upheaval would be crushed so brutally it would make Kent State look like a picnic.
matrixmann
Dec. 26th, 2015 11:12 pm (UTC)
It's what I get to if I take a look at what happens around people and how much people get to have influence on it from their position.
Understand me correctly, I can't understand why people limit themselves in something that in nature is not limited to certain forms. Especially, if that protest which they find to be within that limit just doesn't seem to achieve many results.
To me that's like seeing border fences in the sky. Limiting your mind - in that way that it is of pretty use to the powerful that play with lives and that don't feel sorry for it if anything bad happens to these lives.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 26th, 2015 11:17 pm (UTC)
To circle back, what happens or doesn't happen now is attributable to apathy and laziness. Better must come.

In a related matter, thank you: Your comments no doubt have landed me on another government watch list. I just hope you don't know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who is a terrorist, or I'm screwed.
matrixmann
Dec. 27th, 2015 12:09 am (UTC)
Oh, sorry about that... That wasn't my intention.
...Disclaimer won't help you anymore, will it?
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 27th, 2015 12:46 am (UTC)
A disclaimer won't help either of us. Save me a seat at Gitmo.
matrixmann
Dec. 27th, 2015 01:15 am (UTC)
Perhaps they already wouldn't let me enter the country, but I rest assured, I wouldn't even want to travel there.

Er... I don't know if that sounds too evil again, but... be happy if it still is Gitmo. Who knows which kind of "fun" they still are going to prepare for all people they suspect of anything. Gitmo you have an idea about what will hit you.
Wouldn't be the first time that you had something like this on US soil (e. g. the internment camps for the Japanese migrant population in the US around the time of WWII).
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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