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    Thursday
    Jul222004

    Doing the Numbers

    DATA: Salon is carrying an article that takes a deep statistical look at the poll numbers for the upcoming presidential election. Here David Gopoian makes a persuasive case that Kerry could be set to win the election, provided he understands which voters he can and must win over.



    Most interesting for me was this part about candidataes and education level. Interestingly, Kerry has more support then Bush among people with a high-school degree or less and those with a college degree or more. Who does that leave for Bush? College drop-outs of course.



    Finally, the data related to levels of education provide some interesting patterns that illustrate how the use of partisan benchmarks can shed different light on the obvious. These ABC News-Washington Post poll data show that Kerry may be en route to assembling a top-to-bottom coalition. Pluralities of both high school graduates and college graduates support Kerry. By contrast, the middle educational category, those with some college but not a college degree, supports Bush.







    [...]



    Beyond that, this chart demonstrates that nothing is as it would be in a typical year. Kerry leads among the least-educated voters, as a Democrat should, but is running nine points below expectations. He should be trailing among the middle group, but not by a staggering 14 percent -- which is 10 points below expectations. And neither candidate is following the script for college graduates. The Republican should be leading by 10 points there. Instead, Bush trails Kerry by four points and fares nine points worse than expectations. Kerry is running five points better than expected.



    Nevertheless, these data reinforce much of the conventional wisdom. Bush's disdain for complexity and nuance is costing him the support of voters with a broader understanding of the world. Kerry's patrician manner has not yet won over voters wary of his background and style. They await nonverbal cues and verbal pledges that he cares about them.



    So, the author is saying that polls reflect what we all already know: Kerry seems kinda snooty and Bush is an idiot. (I feel the need to yell: STOP THE PRESS!) I sure hope Kerry can communicate to the less-educated and the less-well-off that it's in their best interest to vote for him.

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