by Max Brantley
A couple of things about the poll showing Karl Rove hatchetman, Central Arkanas newcomer and virtual unknown Tim Griffin with a 17-point lead over U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder:
1) Marvin Parks had a poll showing him with a 12-point lead over Snyder at this point in 2004. Marvin who?
2) Better is Nate Silver's analysis, which burrows deeper into my own feeling the questioning tended to produce the outcome it was intended to produce:
The website FireDogLake has commissioned a new survey to ask the constituents of Democrat Vic Snyder in the Arkansas 2nd district, one of the most conservative to have voted for health care reform, about about their opinion of the individual mandate. The survey fails to provide context about the individual mandate, and arguably biases the respondent against it through its choice of question wording and question order. Although the survey finds Snyder in a very tough position, it shows little evidence for a further decrease if an individual mandate is adopted as part of health care reform.
He explains in some detail.
PS: A reader observes -- as I should have -- that the poll still begins with a straight-up preference question that shows Snyder 17 back. Not good. I addressed that in the earlier post. Either the Dems will get campaigning on their strengths and turn around the anti-incumbent and anti-Dem sentiment or there will be a GOP tsunami. And we'll all repent in leisure.
PPS: I've been meaning to say and you can laugh if you want but I think if the Democrats dropped all the special interest Rube Goldberg constructions and suddenly voted for a single-payer health system they'd turn everything around.