Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The importance of cross tabs

So many people look at a poll of public opinion and just see the top numbers. Candidate A has 55%, Candidate B has 45%. They never look into the particulars of where that support comes from (otherwise known as cross tabs) for each candidate.

That's why this quote from the March 5 edition of the New York Times is so intriguing:

"Mrs. Clinton maintained an edge over Mr. Obama among women, whites, Hispanics, older voters and those with less education. Mr. Obama continued to edge her out among men, blacks, younger voters and those with more education, according to an exit poll conducted statewide by Edison/Mitofsky for the National Election Pool."

So she has trouble with blacks and younger voters, and he has trouble with older voters. This is significant. If she gets the nomination, all his new support is disenfranchised and doesn’t go to the polls. If he gets the nomination, the old folks look to McCain because "he’s one of them."

Hmmm. While November 2008 is a long ways off, suddenly I’m thinking it might not be so bad to be a Republican.

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