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Polls and Precedents


Second, Klein argues that my example of how misleading polls this far out can be is inapt. I noted that George W. Bush had led Al Gore by 19 points in Sept. 1999. He says that “the Republican brand name is severely damaged, coming off its worst election defeat in at least 15, arguably 30, years.”


Fair enough, but: 1) The Republican brand name didn’t look so hot in 1999, either, following an impeachment that made the party quite unpopular. 2) In the previous election, Republicans had done worse than any opposition party in a midterm since 1934. 3) Bush had a much bigger lead in those polls than Giuliani does now. 4) We were closer to the election than we are now. Taken together, I’d say the comparison reinforces my skepticism of those polls.


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