Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Edwards, Obama and Clinton : Goings, McCarthy, Bunney and Lonergan

Polling for RCV elections is a bit different than standard elections. It requires a richer set of questions of voters, but reveals more about voter preferences than standard polling. The Iowa caususes for the Democrats have an element of ranked choice in their process. As a result, polling organizations ask more and deeper questions.

It will be interesting to see if there are any polls on the Pierce County Executive race that take into account the RCV nature of the race. Will voters who list McCarthy as their first choice, list Goings or Bunney as their second choice? Will voters who list Lonergan as their first choice, list a second choice? If so, who? These second choices are likely to have an impact in Pierce County. There are those who think they had an impact in Iowa.

Below is a portion of an article about the Iowa Democratic causus which appeared in the Washington Post.

Iowa Recount

"Speaking of Edwards, former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman Howard Wolfson made a splash telling ABC News that had the Edwards scandal come out before January's Iowa caucuses, Clinton would now be the nominee.

Wolfson's speculated that "maybe two-thirds" of the Edwards voters would have voted for Clinton, who came in third after Obama and Edwards.

A fine theory, except that it conflicts with the networks' polling data at the time, our pollster Jon Cohen notes on

Cohen writes: "In the networks' Iowa entrance poll, 43 percent of those who went to a caucus to support Edwards said Obama was their second choice. Far fewer, 24 percent, said they would support Clinton if their top choice did not garner enough votes at that location." The rest preferred others, had no second choice or were uncommitted.

So what? The undisputed fact remains that if Obama and the other candidates hadn't run, Clinton almost certainly would have won the nomination."



At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelly, I would like to know about the Secretary of State candidates' positions on RCV. Can you help?


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