Friday, July 25, 2008

Bubba and the Cell Phones

This is a throw-away post. I came across a couple of items lately that I want to keep track of. The poll analysts, like movie critics and talking heads, serve some real need in the public square. But so do skin flicks and soap operas. Sometimes it's hard to tell which is more important. Anyway, it's an amusement to help pass the time. Think playing bingo or waiting for the little balls to blow into the daily lottery machine just before the evening news.

FiveThirtyEight. Great comment about Obama's tightly-controlled persona. This after the Berlin speech.

I've been critical of Obama in recent days for his inability to channel his Inner Bubba, but perhaps the Reagan model is the one he was cut out for all along.

Inner bubba. I love it!

His other list (linked above) of what Obama needs to win includes...

›To embody some of Bill Clinton, let your guard down, and speak to people's economic pain every day.

›To determine whether Hillary Clinton is able and willing to be a high-profile surrogate for you and, if so, to deploy her on the trail immediately.

›To quit being so deferential to John McCain.

›To let the press in all the way, except FOX NEWS.

›To poll the hell out of the cellphone problem and determine if it gives you an advantage, and if so, in which states.

›To quit acting like you have a 10-point lead. You don't.

Which brings us to that other item, the "cell phone problem."

...the fact that many voters are unreachable to pollsters whose samples consist of landline numbers only... The basic issue with cellphone-only households is that their incidence is not distributed evenly throughout the population. Minorities are more likely to be cellphone-only than whites, and men are more likely to be cellphone-only than women. But the most important differences are in terms of the age of the voter.

You may be certain that these guys are looking at every jot and tittle of the polling game. That's how they pay the rent.
Check out the links if you're hungry for more than you ever needed to know about predicting what might happen way in the future by looking at what's happening today. Reminds me of the weather rock.

This tidbit from a January WSJ column by Carl Bialik has pollsters all jumpy.

Part of the urgency stems from projections from a Centers for Disease Control survey that, if growth rates held, one-quarter of U.S. households would be cellphone-only by Election Day.

That makes ME jumpy. I have a hard time getting used to the idea that one out of every four households is expected NOT to have a landline. Just call me an obsolete old poop.

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