Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Unsure and Don't Know

In my neverending fascination with the presidential nomination process, the "Don't Know/Unsure" numbers always get my attention.

For the Dems, the "unsure" is down to 5 percent. For the GOP candidates, it is 11 percent.

Why the difference?

Both are consistent. The Republican voters have stuck to about 10 percent (plus or minus a couple of percentage points). The Democratic voters are steady as well, sticking in the single digits and never getting any higher than 8 percent.

Okay, fine. But why? Explain the numbers, oh journalism/quantoid guru...

Er, in another post I will do just that. As soon as I come up with a reasonable, working hypothesis ... or at least something that sounds good enough to get away with. I will note that in various runoff possibilities in the general election, the "unsure" gets down to a couple of percentage points. A working hypothesis? We've become so polarized, so partisan. There is volatility among candidate choices, but we are damn sure to at least say we have a favorite.

Tie it to what people know? Basically, thanks to tons of coverage, we think we know a lot about these people (even though only one-third of Americans in one poll could identify Barack Obama).

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