Saturday, October 6, 2012

Last Call

The way I figure it, there's five questions to ask about the "Romney Bounce" in the polls in the wake of the debate, or any poll "game changer" going forward.

  1. Is there a measurable shift in the polls?
  2. If so, how much of a shift?
  3. How long will the shift last?
  4. Is is affecting down ticket races?
  5. Can they maintain that momentum?

Josh Marshall discusses evidence pertaining to the first three questions.

Put all this together and you start to see a pretty clear picture. In the immediate aftermath of the debate, Romney made a rapid move in all the tracking polls. And that move — in the low-mid single digits — appears to have been replicated in a number of swing states to various degrees.

So yes, there's your answer to numbers 1 and 2.  Yes there's a bounce, and it appears to be about a 4-6 point immediate shift.

But.  And there's always a but.  The debate event was followed by the jobs numbers on Friday and the jobless rate falling big time.  Considering all sides agree that jobs and the economy are the biggest issue in this election, that can't be ignored either.  So let's look at question 3.

A bounce like this can be ephemeral of course. And the silver lining in today’s numbers for Obama is that there’s at least some evidence that Romney’s momentum has plateaued or even fallen back. The Reuters-Ipsos online tracking poll moved to a 2 point margin yesterday from a 5 point margin the day before. That was with 2 days of 4 of post-debate data. Today though it held steady at a 2 point margin for Obama with 3 of 4 days of post debate data.

PPP polls also gave some hints about the polling its done over the last 3 days. PPP’s twitter feed said Friday’s polling was actually worse for Obama than Thursday. But it also noted that “Saturday interviews we’ve done for polls across the country look a lot more like our pre-debate than Friday numbers.” In other words, PPP’s data seemed to go from bad for Obama on Thursday to really bad for Obama on Friday and then back to something more like the pre-debate numbers on Saturday.

As far as I can tell, PPP and Ipsos are the only two outlets from which we have late Friday and Saturday data. And both seem to suggest either a plateau or fall off of Romney’s surge of support from the debate.

It's entirely possible then that the jobs numbers may have in turn arrested Romney's rise in the polls.  We won't know for sure for another several days, but I'm betting the Romney bump, unlike the Obama surge since the DNC, will be much shorter-lived.

Don't panic.

Podcast Versus The Stupid!

Episode 16, Thingama-Jobbers is up, with our guest for the hour, writer, journalist and fellow ABLC blogger, Ian Boudreau. Ian chats with Bon and myself about the post-debate reaction, the rise of the Jobbers, and the post-factual world the GOP seems to inhabit these days.

Listen to internet radio with Zandar Versus The Stupid on Blog Talk Radio

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, or download it here.  And Ian's a great guy, be sure to follow him on the tweeting thing.

Three Teachers Arrested For Sex With Students

The arrests come after a two-month investigation. According to a statement released by the prosecutor's office, a student informed a substitute teacher in April about inappropriate relationships between male teachers and female students. The substitute teacher then notified Principal Catherine DePaul, 55, who, "in contravention to her legal responsibilities, failed to contact local law enforcement or the state Division of Children and Families and inform either of the allegations," the statement said.
Instead, DePaul met with the female student who told her that "teachers and students were hooking up," the criminal complaint states. According to the prosecutor's statement, DuPaul asked the student to write an account of the allegations. Vice-Principal Jernee Kollock, 39, "stayed in the room with the student, advised her on what to write and corrected versions of the student's account."
Prosecutors said Kollock admitted that she tried to protect the teachers.
 The three teachers were working in an environment that didn't seem to restrict inappropriate contact.  When given a chance to do the right thing, she "corrected versions of the student's account" to save aggravation for the school.  She failed to report unethical behavior and then actively tried to cover it up.

Teachers are in positions of power.  The age difference is only part of the issue, this is more like sexual harassment than a regular relationship (which would still be iffy territory).

Study Shows Access To Birth Control Dramatically Drops Abortion Rates

Free birth control led to dramatically lower rates of abortions and teen births, a large study concludes. The findings were eagerly anticipated and come as a bitterly contested Obama administration policy is poised to offer similar coverage.

The project tracked more than 9,000 women in St. Louis, many of them poor or uninsured. They were given their choice of a range of contraceptive methods at no cost — from birth control pills to goof-proof options like the IUD or a matchstick-sized implant.

When price wasn't an issue, women flocked to the most effective contraceptives — the implanted options, which typically cost hundreds of dollars up-front to insert. These women experienced far fewer unintended pregnancies as a result, reported Dr. Jeffrey Peipert of Washington University in St. Louis in a study published Thursday.

The effect on teen pregnancy was striking: There were 6.3 births per 1,000 teenagers in the study. Compare that to a national rate of 34 births per 1,000 teens in 2010.

Surprise, surprise.  I've never understood how a rational person could be against abortion and birth control. This confirms what we knew all along - though those pesky facts will not likely derail those who are fighting to restrict birth control or regulations forcing insurers to cover it.

In a tight economy it makes sense to plan families.  Whether single or married, rich or poor, there are thousands of reasons to have or not have a child.  We don't belong in those decisions, but allowing those who don't want to raise children or cannot at this time a choice, we are helping people all around.

Imaginary Numbers, Very Real Blunders

Lunatic central just after the jobs numbers hit:


Stupid reality and its inherent liberal bias.
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