Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Conservative Wave?

I don’t know enough about the mechanics of polling to have an opinion about the reliability of any polling result considered in isolation. But, as far as I can tell, people in the know take Quinnipiac University polls very seriously. So get a load of this (my emphasis):
“Flame-throwing Republican Carl Paladino is within striking distance of overtaking longtime gubernatorial frontrunner Andrew Cuomo, a shocking new poll finds.

“Among likely voters, the Democrat Cuomo has a paltry 49% to 43% lead over Paladino, the blowhard Buffalo businessman who won a shocking and decisive victory last week in the GOP primary, the Quinnipiac University poll finds. . . .

“Paladino not only crushes Cuomo among Republicans and those who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, but he also leads by a 49% to 43% margin among independents - a key voting bloc.

“The tough-talking Paladino also leads among men by a 49-46% margin, Quinnipiac found.

“Nearly 80% of voters say their minds are made up.”
I confess that, being a blowhard from Buffalo myself, I felt a pang of solidarity with Paladino when I read the Daily News snark. But a Tea Partier in a competitive gubernatorial election in New York? You’ve got to be kidding me.

I haven’t forgotten how the Republican wave in 1994 carried the Republican George Pataki to victory in a gubernatorial  election over Mario Cuomo when he was a three-term incumbent. But Pataki was a socially liberal upstate Republican, recognizably a political descendant of Nelson Rockefeller and Jacob Javits.  And by that time, Mario Cuomo was old news.  Paladino looks like something altogether different:  a movement conservative politician with a flair for populist theatrics. George Pataki wouldn’t have been caught dead brandishing a baseball bat on the campaign trail to show voters how determined he was to bash heads in Albany.

If Paladino can make a race of it in New York against a highly credentialed and still relatively fresh-faced Democrat like Andrew Cuomo, anything can happen nation-wide in November.


Anonymous said...

One thing is for sure: this tea party business is certainly making politics a whole lot more entertaining. See, for example,a great article in today's WSJ about how Christine O'Donnell shouldn't alienate one of the most important demographics of the next 50 years: witches.

Hold on. It's going to be a bumpy ride ....

Anonymous said...

Gerrymandering is the problem. Witches won't be fairly represented in Congress until state legislatures stop diluting the Witch vote by distributing it among irregularly shaped electoral districts.