Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 9, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

VOTERS AND THE WAR....I don't want to make too big a deal out of this, but here's a peculiar result from yesterday's primary. First off, the Democrats:

Voters who want to get out of Iraq fast preferred Hillary, voters who want to get out gradually are tied, and voters who want to stay in Iraq overwhelmingly preferred Obama. Huh?

And now the Republicans:

Voters who approve of the war prefer Romney by a small margin, while those who disapprove of the war prefer McCain by a landslide. Again, huh?

Granted: voters are often irrational. And the differences between Obama/Clinton and Romney/McCain on the war are fairly small. Still, Obama is the one who opposed the war from the start and has been more aggressive about calling for a withdrawal. Shouldn't he be getting more support from the get-out-now crowd? And although Romney supports the war, McCain is the dead-endest of the dead-enders. If you don't like the war, shouldn't he be your least favorite candidate?

I'm not sure what explains this. On the Democratic side, Hillary has recently been taking a harder line on withdrawal, and maybe that's showing up here. Or maybe it's just that women are more likely to want to get out of Iraq fast and also more likely to support Hillary. Or maybe Iraq isn't as big a voting issue as we think.

The Republican side is even odder. Why would voters who disapprove of the war overwhelmingly support McCain? Are they reacting to the fact that McCain is constantly claiming that he "disapproved" of the conduct of the war? Has McCain's uber-hawkishness not gotten a lot of play? Or what?

Anyway, not the biggest deal in the world, and it's only one state. But still, a bid odd.

Kevin Drum 6:13 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (90)

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Comments

I tab market research surveys. My opinion? The tab specs are fucked.

Posted by: Joe Mungo on January 9, 2008 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think part of it on the Democratic side is that Republicans hate Clinton more. Obama's running as the guy who's going to unite everyone and work with Republicans to get things done, while Clinton's seen as being much more of an opponent of the GOP. So even though Obama's actually more liberal, a lot of the people who want a harder line against Republicans and Republican policies might have turned to Clinton at the last minute.

On the GOP side, I think it's again just a matter of image. McCain is a "maverick." Romney is the natural inheritor to the Bush mantle.

Posted by: Ned on January 9, 2008 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Homo sapiens = insane monkey.

Posted by: Speed on January 9, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

The war is becoming less of an issue.

Posted by: mark on January 9, 2008 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

I wondered about the McCain bit @ the VC, and someone sensibly pointed out that Republicans who aren't happy about the war may just think it's being waged incompetently, and trust McCain to do it right.

As for the Dems, the differences are trivial except that "stay in Iraq" number, which I agree makes little sense. Hillary's mistakenly thought to be more liberal even by many Dems, so that may be where that comes from.

Posted by: Anderson on January 9, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

In regression analysis, this is a problem of autocorrelation. As you suggested, Kevin, women are more likely to favor getting out of Iraq sooner, but in NH women also wanted to vote for Hillary for a variety of reasons. I also propose that in the Repub. primary, independent-minded voters, as opposed to hard-line right-wingers, are more likely to favor getting out of Iraq sooner, but at the same time, those types of voters like McCain because they identify him as being a maverick like them (even though that's clearly not true now, and probably never was).

Posted by: Duncan Idaho on January 9, 2008 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if we assume that the average voter doesn't, in fact, pay a huge amount of attention to actual policy statements and does assume that candidates aren't necessarily telling the truth half the time, then the McCain-Romney thing makes sense. McCain has the air of a change candidate; Romney has the air of a business-as-usual candidate and the backing of the hard-core (non-evangelical) pro-war conservative movement. Republican-leaning voters who want a change are going to vote for McCain almost no matter what he says.

The Obama-Clinton split - I suspect that's due the smart liberal hawks breed: to Obama's strong appeal to clever young liberals who dislike Bush and the establishment and love Obama's smarts and charisma, but, separately, tend to fall into the "you broke it, you bought it/responsibility" or "we should never have gone in but now that we're in we can't afford to leave it the way it is" camps. It's those everyday under-$50K voters who are sick of the war that just want to chuck it now, I think, and those went for Clinton, but perhaps not BECAUSE of her war views.

Posted by: NK on January 9, 2008 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

It's about the independent votes- independents who vote in a party primary are by definition going to be further from the official party position. The position of Democrats is to oppose the war (although you'd never know etc. etc.) so independents who voted in the Dem primary would be further from this, and Obama had more independents voting for him. Opposite for Republicans- party position is support the war, McCain got a lot of independents, more of them are going to oppose the war than your typical R voter.

Posted by: SP on January 9, 2008 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

+1 on what Mark said above. Iraq war is becoming less of an issue because it is off the front pages. What happens if it makes a return to the front pages? I guess that depends on the nature of news from Iraq. If there is political reconciliation and peace in Iraq (I know, I know. I'm only saying...) vs if the violence resumes (there is an uptick in violence in Jan).

Posted by: rational on January 9, 2008 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

It might be making a comeback - nine American casualties in the last two days.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

As pointed out above, the voters find other issues more compelling and of interest than a low-intensity, side-show of a war. Looks like voters may have a better grasp on reality than many of the candidates.

Posted by: Ron on January 9, 2008 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Why would voters who disapprove of the war overwhelmingly support McCain? Because, the war was conducted wrongly, according to McCain. He said there should have been more troops there much earlier.

The point is, "disapproving of the war" is ambiguous. It might mean beliving that we were wrong to go to war in Iraq. Or, it might mean that we were right to go to war, but we mismanaged it. In short, the group of people who disapprove of the war includes some hawks as well as (mostly) doves.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 9, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

I've looked at the polls, the various "theories" espoused by the talking heads, and I have come to this conclusion:

The big winners in yesterday's primaries are THE HEALTH INSURANCE AND DEFENSE INDUSTRIES.

We clearly got Diebolded again.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on January 9, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

The answer is that the vast majority of the electorate has no idea what they're doing and just vote based on personality.

Posted by: john on January 9, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure what explains this.

It might not be the only issue on voters' minds.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on January 9, 2008 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

I think people can get confused. I follow politics religiously and I definitely flub who supports what from time to time. Running a country is really friggin' complicated and that is, after all, what we are doing as voters.

It is weird that people have a wrong idea about such a key topic, but yeah ... we're all very busy.

If I was Obama, I would make sure people knew exactly who supports what, tho. He needs to draw a clear line between him and Hillary "Peace with Honor" Clinton.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on January 9, 2008 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

I agree, it's the high percentage of "independents" ---a self-congratulatory term for many people who are all over the place with their firm but ill-supported "positions." Maybe I'll vote for Obama--he's such a positive guy, but Ron Paul is really attractive, and McCain's a straight shooter, though we could really use a woman president for a change. Undecided.

Posted by: Martin on January 9, 2008 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Other factors:

The fake "iron my shirt" stunt.
Recent (last week) violence in Iraq.
Bhutto assassination.
Straights of Hormuz incident yesterday.

All of it probably factored in (given that Bhutto's assassination was probably indirectly at the bidding of extremists in Mushty's government, who are indirectly at the bidding of Bandar-Bushco.)

Note also:
DJIA dropped like a rock when Obama was winning.
Clinton's winning: DJIA is up.

BIG MONEY LIKES CLINTON.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on January 9, 2008 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Martin: "independents" ---a self-congratulatory term for many people who are all over the place with their firm but ill-supported "positions."

Yes, anyone who doesn't tow a party line is not to be trusted.

Posted by: alex on January 9, 2008 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Most Republicans who would describe themselves as "disapproving" of the war in Iraq don't actually think the war was a mistake, just its execution, notably Abu Ghraib and so on. For people with that attitude, supporting McCain rather than Romney makes a lot of sense, since that's been McCain's position for a long time. If you're part of the waterboarding-loving part of the GOP, on the other hand, Romney's more your man than McCain, for sure.

Posted by: Nils Gilman on January 9, 2008 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

My theory: independents were more likely to support Obama. Independents are more likely to have more optimistic views of the war than Dems.

And, independents were more likely to support McCain. Independents are more likely than Republicans to disapprove of the war. Seems a little weird that you could use the same explanation to explain both higher and lower approval of the war, but it makes a certain amount of sense to me. Personality & campaign themes over exact issue voting.

Posted by: Chris O. on January 9, 2008 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

My guess: War support, etc. must cluster with some other opinion, perhaps something to do with the economy or social issues. It's just that the war issue is further down in priority, or that people don't know or don't care about the war relative to whatever opinion war support/opposition is clustering on.

Posted by: gfw on January 9, 2008 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Two words: personality contest.

Posted by: CN on January 9, 2008 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Seems to be there's a Democratic consensus to get the heck out of Iraq, and voters aren't really weighing that as essential to who they choose in the primary, since they probably figure all of the candidates will do it.

A poll that told us where voters for each candidate stand as far as withdrawal would be more useful than just slicing up by withdrawal option into a pie and then seeing who voted for who.

By way of example, there is no way to determine how many Edwards voters want to withdraw immediately, because all we know is that 18% of the people who want to withdraw immediately voted for him, not how many who voted for Edwards support immediately withdrawing from the war.

Posted by: Jimm on January 9, 2008 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

I actually mean "withdrawing from Iraq", since there is no war there.

Posted by: Jimm on January 9, 2008 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Just possibly people aren't voting based on a single issue??

Posted by: jen flowers on January 9, 2008 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Romney supporters also approve of Bush more, indicating that Romney is successfully appealing to voters who can't detect an obvious phony. The slightly more discerning Republicans are going to McCain, and being more discerning they are also more anti-war. Simple. It's an intelligence test.

Posted by: bart on January 9, 2008 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
With data like this it is obvious that INKBLOT would do well to run in both the democratic and republican primaries. How can he lose?

You gotta get him on the ticket real fast.

INKBLOT FOR PRESIDENT '08

Posted by: optical weenie on January 9, 2008 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

I should plead the 5th on answering this question. I'll just say that charisma and crying spells are what Americans care about, few having anything like a solid grip on the 'facts.' Pretty much like what Speed said. And that isn't criticism that I wouldn't apply to myself for a decade here and there.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't read all the comments but I recall Obama saying on Saturday evening's debate that he wanted to "redeploy 140,000 troops." That doesn't sound like getting out quickly to me. HRC said she wanted to withdraw the troops now depending on how long it would take to secure all the other people involved such as embassy workers, etc.

Posted by: angel on January 9, 2008 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

optical weenie,

I LOVE your comments. Keep them coming! I can use a smile wherever I can find one...

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

We need to withdraw from that area ASAP. Did you see that fierce fleet of Iranian Boston Whalers that threatened our ships yesterday?

Posted by: Rula Lenska on January 9, 2008 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

angel,

'Redeploy' is military jargon for withdraw.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Just possibly people aren't voting based on a single issue??

That's pretty much it. I would guess that most Democratic voters expect the Democratic candidate to exit Iraq, and are weighing their votes more importantly with other issues.

Come the general election, I'm sure this will reverse somewhat, including amongst independent voters.

The way to increase the information of this poll would be another poll telling us how many Hillary, Obama, Edwards and Richardson voters support the three Iraq options, rather than which candidate voters in the three categories actually voted for (sort of the flip side of the poll).

Posted by: Jimm on January 9, 2008 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Answer: The average American voter is a self righteous idiot.

I think the best solution for the world is for Americans to vote for Ron Paul and hope that he will make America less and less relevant on the world stage. It's time to give saner countries a try at this global leadership thing.

Posted by: anon on January 9, 2008 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Also -- What these voters appear to tell us is that they're voting for the Hillary they're wish would become their strong mommy figure, not the real Hillary who have done absolutely nothing progressive in her years in Congress.

Posted by: anon on January 9, 2008 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

" Did you see that fierce fleet of Iranian Boston Whalers that threatened our ships yesterday?"

Wow! I sure did!!! Scary, huh? I haven't seen the Iranian 'ships' with the US warship in the same photo though. That I would really like to see.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary also won among poorer votes, which makes non sense to me. Edwards I can see. But hillary is probably the least populist candidate of the bunch,.

Posted by: Jor on January 9, 2008 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

To echo a few commenters above, I think it's the "independents." They would be the ones in each party who veer farthest from the party norm; they also this year happen to favor Obama and McCain. Plus, independents have trouble distinguishing between Democrats and Republicans because they don't pay attention. To them, McCain is still just the straight-talking maverick. They probably have no idea where he stands on the war. To them, Obama is the one talking about bringing everyone together. Again, this appeals best to people who can't distinguish a Dem from a Repub.

Posted by: bobbo on January 9, 2008 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

The Obama part seems pretty obvious to me. That looks like clear evidence that the rats swimming away from the sinking ship of Implacable Republicanism are heading straight to the bin Lieberman rohypenol bipartisan ship. Obviously they could never bring themselves to support the hated Hillary, and they would never vote for a REAL liberal like Edwards. Obama is the natural choice.

Posted by: jussumbody on January 9, 2008 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

ALERT!!! ALERT!!! ALERT!!!!

I got this info from a comment in another thread. PLEASE GIVE IT A LOOK!!!
It was Diebold in NH. Ring any bells? From The BRAD BLOG:

Update on Vote Fraud

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Boobus Americanis. Sad, but it explaines much of the past 7 years. You get what you deserve.

Posted by: jay boilswater on January 9, 2008 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

To understand stuff like this you have to be as uninformed as the average voter.

Hillary is a lefty

Obama wants to bring us together, is therefore a centrist

McCain is a centrist, often pissing off other Republicans.

All that other stuff is details that only weirdos know about.

Strip away all facts and think in the broadest generalities and the poll results make sense

Posted by: tomtom on January 9, 2008 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

IQ test and/or torture. There's war, and there's war crimes. If I were forced to vote in the Republican primary, McCain would probably get my vote because he knows what a war crime is, no matter how much we disagree on other issues.

Posted by: dr2chase on January 9, 2008 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Please, somebody. Look at The Brad Blog for evidence of vote fraud in NH. At least you can compare Brad's info to what Kevin has posted here.
I'm no good at this statistical stuff. It was Diebold in NH.

BRAD BLOG, NH Vote Fraud

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

The fake "iron my shirt" stunt.

And if you look closely at frame 312 of The Tearful Moment video, you can see that she has a slice of onion in one hand!!

Posted by: conspiracies all around me on January 9, 2008 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Calm down, nepeta. I already saw the Brad Blog, but instead of setting my locks alight, I went to the NH Secretary of State site. I can't be sure - the .pdf keeps crashing my browser, but it looks to me like NH uses optical scanners, which are paper ballots, and available for recounts. I'm not even certain that the optical scanners are Diebold. I will follow up tomorrow by actually calling the SoS office.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS,

You must not have read the whole page at bradsblog. Of course NH uses optical scanners, made by Diebold. And the company who has total possession of the ballots is the same slimey company LHS, or something like that, who we know from OH. Bev Harris is onto this. Plus Bruce has some very interesting graphs on the results. The ONLY candidates whose results differed from poll results were Clinton and Obama. Isn't that strange???

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Not so strange that I'm going to jump to conclusions and make an ass of myself before I know more. I'll look into it, but it just doesn't pass the (initial, anyway) smell-test.

Sorry to be so deliberative and non-reactionary.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

Correction: The only candidate whose results differed from the vote was Clinton's.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

And remember - one of the polls was spot on. How were the questions framed in the others? I'm no Stats neophyte - I could design a poll that would find any damned thing I wanted it to with carefully worded questions.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS,

You think I didn't consider the fact that I MIGHT be making an ass of myself? You'd better believe I did. Just trying to let everyone know what's out there. I'm willing to look like an ass if the whole thing turns out to be nothing. No skin off my back in 'real' terms.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

One of the polls was spot on? Which one?

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

So you think the possibility (and that's all it is at this point) of vote fraud is any less likely to have been a factor than Hillary's tears, the media, independents going haywire, etc., etc. If you like, we can just continue with everybody's favorite theory for a few more days.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Nepeta, I blogged about that at our site, as BG knows... I think he's promoting conspiracy theory, and said so on Brad's original post.

AS for the stats Kevin cited, to refer to Mencken, nobody ever lost money betting on the stupidity of the American voter.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on January 9, 2008 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Don’t look now, but Iraq is still a festering clusterfuck.

Some facts for you:

- 2007 was the deadliest year for US troops, with 901 killed; and the second bloodiest for Iraq as a whole, with at least 22,586 civilian deaths;
- The level of resistance attacks on US forces is still running at 2,000 a month, and the level of violence is back to roughly where it was in 2004-05 - seen as disastrous at the time;
- Electricity is now available in Baghdad for only eight hours a day, half the level before the invasion;
- Unemployment is over 60%;
- An estimated 2.2 million people have been displaced;
- Food rations are being cut, while 43% of the population now lives on less than a dollar a day.

The UN High Commisson on Refugees also just asked for $261 million to deal with the human catastrophe we have created there.

Of course, the dipsticks that think this illegal occupation of Iraq is “winnable”, whatever that means, will vote for the geriatric leper McCain and the U.S. will continue to circle the drain, regardless of what the truth is. If Hillary wins, she won’t do fuck all to end this disaster either.

Vote for Obama, folks, or move to Sweden.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 9, 2008 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Socratic Gadfly,

Thanks for the heads-up. But why would he be promoting conspiracy theory? Just to get blog hits? I'm not familiar with his blog. First time I've been there. Anyway, time will tell.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone ever calculated the percentage of voters who actually participate in these exit polls? I run from those fucking losers. With all the shit people have to do in a day, who has the time? But well, I guess there is always one or two idiots/jokesters with too much time on their hands, that stop...

Posted by: elmo on January 9, 2008 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

One more theory:

Hilary is perceived as the most leftist candidate (despite really being the most centrist) due to the hatred for her the Republicans have. We know this from previous studies. Because opposing the war is considered leftist, she is therefore assumed to be the most radical on the war front by those who haven't paid attention.

The Republicans are doing their best to paint her as radically liberal, and this is helping her at the primaries. Will it help her at the election, though?

Posted by: Sean Riley on January 9, 2008 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Nepeta, that would be the Suffolk University poll.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Of course, the dipsticks that think this illegal occupation of Iraq is “winnable”..." - Conservative Deflator

The only way I see it is winnable is if we can figure out a way to 'raise the dead.'

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Damnit! That is the wrong link - let me go back to 'teh google' and get the right onw.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

What I found implausible was Obama opening a double-digit lead in 24 hours, when they were tied the day before.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

'I run from those fucking losers.' - elmo

Lucky you! I've never been approached by a political pollster in my life. It's one of my fondest dreams. I get the supermarket shopping polls on a monthly basis.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Sean, good theory. Particularly when most people don't seem to know what 'redeploy' means. I ran into a poster today who was shocked that Obama suggested "redeployment of 130,000 troops."
She thought it meant sending in 130,000 more.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Correlation is not causation.

Hillary's voters are more female and older. This is probably the explanation for more in favor of withdrawal.

Posted by: Horselover Fat on January 9, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately I think this points to the War not being the most important issue for many people. It might be very important, but some other issue trumped it when they made their decision.

Posted by: Fred F. on January 9, 2008 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS,

Not to worry about finding the Suffolk U. poll. I found its results. It still has Obama ahead by 1 point. Also, it was a small poll, only 500 people.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

The McCain numbers are easy to explain. GOP that don't like Iraq, because they don't like losing. They think McCain is more likely to win in Iraq faster than Romney. It has nothing to do with leaving and everything to do with winning.

Posted by: bakho on January 9, 2008 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

It's the independents like 10 other people before me said. They support Obama and they support McCain so these guys get the party contrarians.

Besides, looking forward on Iraq I thought Hillary and Barack are pretty much identical. Maybe 2003 really was a long time ago.

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Here's your local conspiracy theorist back again.
Interesting data, don't you think? Darn it, I lost the link. I think it was Dem Underground. I'm sorry to be a pest, but heck, it's possible, isn't it? Our memories can't be so short. Obama undoubtably has this info and chooses not to make a fuss.

2008 New Hampshire Democratic Primary Results --Total Democratic Votes: 286,139 - Machine vs Hand (RonRox.com) 09 Jan 2008

Hillary Clinton, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 39.618%
Clinton, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 34.908%

Barack Obama, Diebold Accuvote optical scan: 36.309%
Obama, Hand Counted Paper Ballots: 38.617%

Machine vs Hand:
Clinton: 4.709% (13,475 votes)
Obama: -2.308% (-6,604 votes)

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

DemUnderground

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

Only Nixon can go to China.

Posted by: Art Hackett on January 9, 2008 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ugh, RonRox.com, the site attributed with those machine vs. hand counted ballots is Ron Paul's site. How should that affect our belief in their accuracy???

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

"It might be making a comeback - nine American casualties in the last two days."-BGRS

It's fatalities. Casualties are war related injuries, fatalies are war related deaths. I don't mean to be a stickler, but when people use the term casaulties instead of fatalities it makes the Iraq mess sound better than it is. It is used to soft-sell the war. I see it done mostly by RW know nothings like Instaputz and Jonah Goldberg, please don't follow their pathetic example. ;-)

Posted by: Harry S/mdana on January 9, 2008 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

The obvious point to make is that folks like me (who thought the Iraq War vote would matter and who don't particularly think much of Hillary because she voted for it) are wrong, that the demographic groups most likely to want to end the war in Iraq are also most attracted to Hillary for other reasons, and that she made the sale to them.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

The really interesting thing from the NH exit poll was that Clinton took the majority of the most liberal voters and has a huge lead among registered dems.

On Iraq, Economy, Unions, and the majority of the anti-bush vote.

Obama's voters picked personality over policy much as the average republican voters did.

It would appear that the majority of NH's consider Clinton, the one they saw in her extended tour in the state, to be the more liberal of the two candidates, and they decided this based on the POLICIES she put forward.

Posted by: smacfarl on January 10, 2008 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

"maybe it's just that women are more likely to want to get out of Iraq fast and also more likely to support Hillary"

I'd guess that's it.

Posted by: luci on January 10, 2008 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

nepeta--thanks for diligently being the night's local conspiracy theorist. It's disturbing to consider but does provide an alternate explanation for the peculiar finding that the polls were wrong only about HRC.

My primary objection to HRC is the return of the House of Clinton angle, which seems to me to be a huge violation of power, in its own way analogous to getting a bj from a subordinate. But, if pressed, a more substantive one is that she has been in a position to do something for the Democratic party for the past seven years--eg, our anxieties that our votes are being Diebolded-- and hasn't.

The findings that KD posts here--that Clinton won the vote of those who want to withdraw US troops ASAP--is also bizarre.

The easiest explanation is that the columns were switched accidently (but that doesn't explain John Edwards).

A second possibility--we saw this with GWB's supporters in 2004--is that Democratic voters are as ignorant and irrational as Republicans. They are voting for some superficial characteristic not on the specific issue of the Iraq war.

A third possibility--given that only 5% of Democrats want to keep troops in Iraq--is measurement error.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 10, 2008 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

What do you think the chances are that a Republican will be voted in after eight long years of Bushs stupidity, I have the answer between slim and none, we as a nation can not tolerate another Republican in the White House for a while.

Posted by: Al on January 10, 2008 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

"New York refugees" was my immediate thought to these folks who support Bush on Iraq and are Democrats. Many semi-retired folks "left" New York after 9/11 for the calmer and cheaper waters of Vermont and New Hampshire. My experience is that these democrats are more likely to support armed conflict in the Middle Eat.

Posted by: jvoe on January 10, 2008 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Women voters probably tend to want withdrawal from Iraq most, given the high vote of women that Clinton received, that is probably what is controlling the outcome.

Iraq may not be the determinating issue for these voters.

Posted by: Mardg on January 10, 2008 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

These weren't the only issues people cared about. Duh.

Posted by: DNS on January 10, 2008 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

There are lots of issues other than Iraq. Voters who support a candidate will certainly disagree with that candidate on some of them.

However, the wording of the Republican side is a bit vague. One can disapprove of the war from the beginning, or one can disapprove of the conduct of the war. For McCain, who has been consistent critic of the conduct, some of the "disapprove" responders may be the latter kind.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 10, 2008 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Agreed... the independents, plus women. Hillary got a boost from women -- but who likely oppose the war. Obama and McCain got the independent NH men who are mad at Bush (oppose the war) but are in no way liberal (so not demanding that we get out immediately).

Posted by: leo on January 10, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

I think many voters just feel that whoever is the next president will have little impact on if/when we leave Iraq. Many people feel like we are stuck there, in some numbers, for the forseeable future, regardless of who wins in November.

Posted by: Eric on January 10, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

If you think there is hope for Iraq, then given only options for “getting out”, getting out as fast as possible makes the most sense. Giving up mean giving up completely, no use to waste another life if you are gonna give up.

If you think Iraq is mistake and a big dangerous mess, then maybe there is some humanitarian counter terror of whatever things a few US troops can do. They are there now. Its millions versus millions versus millions in a religious/ethnic/tribal/sectarian/civil war, how could a couple of tens of thousand of US troops make things worse?

Posted by: oi on January 10, 2008 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

If you think there is hope for Iraq, then given only options for “getting out”, getting out as fast as possible makes the most sense. Giving up mean giving up completely, no use to waste another life if you are gonna give up.

If you think Iraq is mistake and a big dangerous mess, then maybe there is some humanitarian counter terror of whatever things a few US troops can do. They are there now. Its millions versus millions versus millions in a religious/ethnic/tribal/sectarian/civil war, how could a couple of tens of thousand of US troops make things worse?

Posted by: oi on January 10, 2008 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Disapprove of the war” can mean one of two things:

1). You really don’t like the war period.

2). You like the war but you don’t like the way its being fought.

Most New Hampshireites chose the latter. They support the war, they just don’t like the way the Administration is handling it. In McCain, they see someone who’s beeing upfront with them in saying that we’ll be in Iraq for 100 years and they believe he was a strategy to win it.

Most GOP voters beleive in the war and have tied themselves to it. Fine then. They can die with it as well. They deserve it.

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