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Is Dick Morris full of crap?


duke37
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You guys are much more wired into this sort of thing than I am. Check out this Dick Morris column and tell me where he is wrong.

 

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/28562.htm

 

I'll quote a couple of paragraphs to get the flavor for you.

 

"But worse, the poll shows that Kerry must face a basic problem: His own voters don't like him very much.

 

The Fox News poll asked Kerry supporters if their vote for the Democrat could best be described as motivated by support for Kerry (41 percent) or by opposition to Bush (51 percent). By contrast, Bush voters emphatically say, by 82-13, that they are voting for the president rather than against the challenger.

 

This puts Kerry in a tough position in the coming debates. He has no real base of support and any attenuation of the dislike his voters feel for Bush will weaken him substantially. All Bush has to do is to persuade a few Kerry voters to stop disliking him, and he can get their votes. There is no residual affection for the Democrat to get in the way of their switching to the president.

 

The polls already have shown how Kerry's own voters break almost evenly on the issues, with half supporting the war in Iraq and half opposing it, and almost equal numbers saying we must stay the course as say we should bring the troops home.

 

So Kerry can't use issues to hold his own in the debates: Whatever he says will antagonize some of his base. And now it's plain that he can't rely on personal popularity to hold them, since most are just voting against Bush."

 

Yeah I know Morris is a scumbag but does he have a point?

 

Jeff

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Drudgereport.com has a link to a Washington Post poll which showed that 36% of the people had a favorable opinion, down there with Joseph McCarthy, and well below J Edgar Hoover and Atty Gen Ashcroft. The other problem he has that in an attempt to catch up in the debates, his tendency is likely to be more nasty and more bombastic, more harsh, while Bush can continue to be as even tempered as usual. I think it is still possible for Kerry to turn it around, but he has to learn to be nice.

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Zogby has an interesting poll of undecided voters (who, of course, are likely to decide this election).

 

Favorable opinion of Bush: 40%

Unfavorable opinion of Bush: 60%

Favorable opinion of Kerry: 22%

Unfavorable opinion of Kerry: 72%

 

Bush -- positive job performance 18%

Bush -- negative job performance 81%

 

Bush -- deserves re-election 6%

Bush -- time for someone new 37%

 

US headed in the right direction: 20%

US on the wrong track: 60%

 

Personally, do you like the candidates?

 

Like Bush as a person -- 61%

Don't like Bush as a person -- 21%

Like Kerry as a person -- 18%

Don't like Kerry as a person -- 38%

 

Rather have a beer with Bush: 46%

Rather have a beer with Kerry: 13%

 

Those numbers are all for undecided voters.

 

Among Kerry supporters, 77% like him and 81% don't like Bush.

Among Bush supporters, 98% like him and 90% don't like Kerry.

 

***

 

Undecided voters:

 

Very satisfied with presidential choices 1%

Somewhat satisfied with presidential choices 8%

Wish for other candidates 90%

 

18% of Bush supporters wish there were other candidates; 28% of Kerry supporters wish there were other candidates.

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I've been reading Dick Morris ever since he started writing his column. He's an interesting guy, toe-sucking ladies of the evening at national conventions aside (at the 1996 Dem convention he was caught red-handed, as it were). Most of his clients have been GOP, but his biggest and most successful was Clinton. He is credited with the triangulation concept for Clinton that was fantastically successful for him, and was a major Clinton policy maker in the middle 90's. He despises Hillary, by the way. His primary interest seems to be in the area of polling, and when he ventures out of it he sticks pretty close to the horserace aspect of politics. I think he has an acute eye for that. He is a declared Bush supporter, primarily on the basis of the war in Iraq, which he supports, and the war on terror in general.

 

On this issue I would listen carefully to him. Morris's reputation and business depend on accuracy in interpreting polls. He is especially good at reading the "internals" -- and that is what this is.

 

I imagine his point is that most people don't make up their minds on individual issues or on policy in general, but on an accumulated impression from the news, from advertising, from discussion with friends and family, but most of all from the gut feeling they have developed. On that basis the data are not good for Kerry right now.

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Those are fascinating figures. They do not seem internally consistent, but it would not be surprising if the undecided people are a bit confused. You have to wonder how many of them will even bother to vote.

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