Monday, October 30, 2006

You Know What They Say About Assumptions

Today is Monday, which apparently is Lame Excuse Day in the corridors of Real Clear Politics and Spin. I say this, because even as the RCP guys have backtracked a little bit on their weasel post of October 20, these guys are still saying, in the same sort of voice we hear from Couric, Pelosi, and other minions of Leftist Lying, that the race is a foregone conclusion. RCP is still, quite without merit, claiming that “the lack of any released polling is a sign that this race is almost definitely a Democratic pickup”. I must repeat the obvious, that the absence of information must never be taken as evidence for any assertion, because by definition you cannot derive something from nothing. You would hardly be satisfied with a doctor who did no tests, and used the lack of tests as a basis for his diagnosis. You would hardly be satisfied with a mechanic who didn’t bother to check out your car before telling you what he thought was wrong. Even those old mystic types who ripped out goat entrails to see the future, at least based their predictions on something. There are only two kinds of people who would deliberately try to sell the idea that no data must mean ‘x’. RCP is either getting really, really lazy, or else they are flat being dishonest. Even as they continue to spin this race as “over”, the story they link to in their most recent update calls the race “a statistical tie”.

The Houston Chronicle, not known for supporting Republicans, even admitted that when Zogby’s poll specifically named the candidates running for TX-22, “Sekula-Gibbs drew 52 percent support in that situation, with Lampson holding at 35 percent.”

President Bush is visiting Sugar Land today, and since he claimed 64% of TX-22’s vote in 2004, this can only help Sekula-Gibbs.

Why was there no polling information for so long? The obvious must once again be observed:

[] Through the first couple months of 2006, the widespread belief was that DeLay would run for re-election, and was seen as a very strong incumbent. I note that RCP never bothered to consider that the absence of polling then would have been an “indicator” that DeLay had already wrapped up another term, if we applied RCP’s methodology. The fact that DeLay is not planning for his next term, rather effectively disproves that fable RCP has been selling that ‘no polling’ tells us anything.

[] Ronnie Earle’s vendetta against DeLay was years in the making, and had several starts and stops and spurts along the way. As a result, DeLay ran in the primaries because the GOP wanted a consistent message sent to the district. As for Lampson, he did not even open his office to campaign in TX-22 until April 8th. The pollsters waited for the dust to settle before they could poll on the race, since there was a lot of doubt about who was running.

[] Shelley Sekula-Gibbs was not even running until September. This means that the polls had to decide whether – and how – to poll TX-22, since the nature of the write-in requirement made this election unique.

In total then, the lack of polling was clearly not due to anyone locking up the race, but rather the result of a series of events which raised questions about who was running, and how polls should address the decision. It is simply false to claim that Lampson has effectively won this race, and patently dishonest to manipulate a lack of data to claim a result not in evidence. In actual fact, there is no question at all that if this race were a normal head-to-head race with both Lampson and Sekula-Gibbs on the ticket for their respective parties, Sekula-Gibbs would enjoy a tremendous lead, and notions that the Democrats could hope to take this seat would be a poor joke. The only reason that Lampson is in the position he is, is the result of Democrat dirty tricks. I mention this, because most people outside the District do not understand the underlying facts of this race:

[] Lampson has never lived in Sugar Land, but comes from Beaumont. His eligibility for the Congressional race is not unlike Hillary Clinton’s “residency” which allowed her to run for Senator of New York. Sugar Land Texas, however, is very distinctly not New York, and such tricks do not sit well with many voters.

[] TX-22 is strongly Republican and Conservative. It has been described as “leaning” Republican, but that is very much an understatement.

[] Sekula-Gibbs is very well known in Sugar Land. Her candidacy to run for TX-22 comes from not only her residency there, but also her reputation, which is largely positive.

With those facts in mind, it would seem strange that this should be a race at all, but the Donks played their card well, even if it is a filthy card. Republicans who vote “straight-ticket” not only will not have a vote registered for Sekula-Gibbs, but would not even have a chance to write-in her name, because the Donks got the courts to rule both that DeLay could not run, but that no one else could be put in as a Republican on the ballot, so there is no Republican slot on that race. The real question then, is how many Republicans will understand how to write-in Sekula-Gibbs in this election. The 25% “undecided” response in the Zogby poll, it appears, comes from not only people who are undecided, but also include those who are unsure how to write-in Sekula-Gibbs.

From the available information, garnered from local news reports and the internal data from Zogby’s poll, it would seem reasonable to say that Lampson will collect almost all of the Democrat vote in TX-22. That sounds great, but as I said, that being a largely Republican district means that Lampson is looking to collect between 25 and 35 percent of the voter base there, depending on Donk turnout. As for Sekula-Gibbs, she is actually quite popular, but will lose a chunk of the Republican vote from people who fail to properly write her in. Her share of the voter base starts at 52 percent, but loses 15-20 points due to the write-in complication. Figuring in Republican turnout as well, her basic numbers are between 22 and 42 percent of the voter base. Adding those two together, plus the GOP voters who fail to write in Sekula-Gibbs, and that leaves about 17 percent of truly undecided voters. It is possible for anything from a 47% Lampson 28% Sekula-Gibbs result, to a 54% Sekula-Gibbs 31% Lampson result. The only honest answer here is that

A) This race is very much still undecided

B) Turnout will be critical for each side

C) Calling this a sure Democrat takeover is both dishonest and foolish.

The chief reason I mention this, is because so many on the Left and in the Media are calling TX-22 as an example of some kind of Donkey Tide, and come November 7 there will be a lot of those ‘experts’ trying to explain how their lies and distortions were either honest mistakes, or somehow not as bad as they will look in the light of actual results.

I repeat my earlier conclusion: I have no complaint against a partisan choosing to cheer for their side, but when someone who purports to be objective plays a trick like this, I will not hesitate to call them out. For whatever reason, RCP has abandoned honest evaluation of the evidence in favor of a disguised partisanship, and this conduct is clearly unethical.


Dan said...

Want to put a wager on it?

Budahmon said...

Right fact this will be a Rep keep along with FL-16. How many absentee ballots are being cast in TX-22 from the REPS...This is a quite easy write in and early voting and absentee voting is going the Reps way right now. Take Dan's bet.......

KnightHawk said...

Great post DJ

Dan said...

Hey, how about that wager? Budahmon, do you want some of that action? Or, if you prefer, we can bet on FL-16 . . .