Quotes of the day

Obviously, there’s a lot of speculation about what to expect assuming a Republican takeover of the House.  Both Chait and Yglesias have smart takes on the matter.  Chait:

The GOP is set up to protect the financial interests of the rich, not to reduce the size of government.


But conservatives don’t favor deficit reduction. They favor tax cuts.

Are election polls self-fulfilling?

I’ve been thinking about this idea a lot lately, and finally realized I need to blog it when reading a student paper who talked about his time working at the Elaine Marshall campaign.  He talked about the trouble for the campaign in finding enough volunteers and having enough money as well as a certain air of resignation among many.

I think once a candidate is down in the polls for some time without any real signs of being able to catch up it probably becomes pretty much impossible to catch up.  In order to catch up you need energized, active supporters and money.  People with energy and passion are not so interested in investing their time in a campaign that looks sure to lose nor are people with money interested in investing in such a campaign.  If Elaine Marshall looked like she had a chance, I (or, at least Kim, our official family political donor) probably would have donated some money by this point.  But why donate to a campaign that seems to go down to near-certain defeat.  Surely, thousands of others across NC have made similar calculations.  I just don’t see how a candidate can catch up in these circumstance barring some dramatic and unforeseen change in the campaign dynamics.

So, sure the consistent polls indicate an ongoing dynamic that is certainly unfavorable to the trailing candidate, but I also think they definitely serve to strengthen that very dynamic.  Thus, to a degree, at least in Congressional elections I do suspect that these polls can serve as self-fulfilling prophecies.

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