Thursday, January 29, 2009

Margin of Error

Andrew Sullivan pointed me to this new Gallup poll listing states by party affiliation. I found it interesting that South Dakota was listed as "competitive" with only a one percent difference in claimed affiliation. We do have a fairly large number of independents here, so trying to classify them one way or the other could be problematic. But I think there's a certain amount of "not walking like I talk" in this poll, because election results simply don't match those numbers.

The fact is that Republicans win big and Democrats win small here, especially in elections for state offices. A powerful Democratic personality can win against a lesser Republican, but in a race with candidates of similar stature, the Republican will likely win. Based on those numbers the Presidential race should have been close, but Obama never had a chance here. Only our inexplicable tendency to elect Democrats to Congress defies this, and that can be explained by the headliner nature of those elections. Democrats can come up with good candidates at the top, but the depth isn't there.