Saturday, April 19, 2008

Yet Another Poll

As the resident office political junkie (in an office of political aficionados), I took an informal poll among the LLWL Gang* the day of the latest Democratic debate here in Philly. Obama was the clear favorite, 8 to 3. There were 2 undecideds, who split between Clinton and Obama when asked the "if the election was held today" question. The LLWL Gang is mostly Democrat, but a few members vote Republican at least occasionally. However, there are no McCain backers. Despite a preference for one or the other, all expressed a generally positive view of both candidates and said they would happily vote for the other if he/she was the Party's nominee.

The Day After, I conducted another poll, to see if anyone's mind was changed and/or made up (for the undecideds) after the debate. Although most people thought that Clinton was the "winner" of the debate, no minds were changed because of it. Two others who hadn't participated initially came out for Obama and Clinton, respectively (and neither was swayed one way or another by the debate), for a final tally of 10 to 4, with Obama the clear winner.

I was out of the office attending a seminar (trying to get my legal education credits before the upcoming deadline) and I emailed everyone during a lull in the conference. I even managed to stir the pot a little with some of the responses, but I thought this best summed up things:

I also thought Hillary "won" but for me one debate doesn't a vote make. She'd better be good -- wasn't she some shining star on some debate team way back? They are both plenty smart and she has it over him on the gotchya and artful dodge and obviously, experience - which does not always make one better or wiser. Sometimes it impedes new thought and daring to try something they say can never work. It is the perhaps niave pollyanna in me - I'm not known for being a hard headed realist - that is going for Obama. The guy [Mark Morford, SFGate] who wrote the article tells why way better than I can...It's here. Heart vs experience? Having known personal despair intimately, I'm going for hope that things really could, possibly, maybe, be different.
Of course, everyone was unanimous in assessing the media as the BIGGEST LOSER of the debate, a well-deserved award based upon their performance.

Much better than the debate were the appearances of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the Colbert Report during his taping in Philly (see video links here). At least with Stephen Colbert, you don't expect serious discourse about issues that matter.

For the rave reviews of the Debate, see Stephen Colbert:

And Jon Stewart:

As Jon Stewart said:
The first hour of last night’s debate was a 60 minute master class in questions that elevate out-of-context remarks and trivial, insipid miscues into subjects of natural discourse…which is my job! Stop doing my job! That’s what I’m here for! I’m the silly man!
(Videos via Crooks and Liars/Stephen Colbert and Crooks and Liars/Jon Stewart)

UPDATE (4/20): Today's Philly Inquirer has an article on the impact of women voters on the Democratic primary results, For women voters in Pa., a shifting landscape. As the article notes:

Allegiances are shifting, and affiliations based on gender and race are weakening, according to interviews in the last week with more than 40 local women voters.

A significant percentage of women still have not made up their minds. In a poll conducted April 2-7 for the Lifetime cable-television network, only 53 percent of Pennsylvania women voters said they had definitely decided whom they would support.

* * * *

Madonna said Clinton was likely to win the women's vote in Pennsylvania, garnering support from older women, with younger ones leaning toward Obama.

But he added, "We're in a very fluid environment in our state."

In the latest Quinnipiac University poll, released Tuesday, Clinton held steady with Pennsylvania women with 54 percent of the vote, compared with 40 percent for Obama.

In a poll two months ago, however, Obama had only 34 percent of the women's vote in Pennsylvania.

I tend to agree that the issues tend to override the gender or race of the candidate for many potential voters, including the LLWL Gang. On the other hand, my informal poll of the women in my office shows Obama way ahead, with 71% of the vote. These are professional women (many of whom can be classified as older) who have long supported feminist causes and many of whom have been supporters of the Clintons. Frankly, even I was surprised at the significant percentage supporting Obama.

UPDATE #2 (4/21): I adjusted the numbers to include me in the vote count. Oops.

* LLWL Gang = Lady Lawyers Who Lunch, a/k/a my officemates

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