Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Traditional media gets it wrong: money isn't everything.

Pop quiz: think about the Presidential campaign reporting you've seen, read, or heard in the past week, and answer this question:

Who's the presumptive Democratic nominee?

Ok, that was too easy. Hillary Clinton, of course. At least, everybody seems to think so, right? Well, maybe not. If you've been paying attention, it will be hard for you to not have heard about the Democracy for America poll, and the fact that Al Gore is handily leading that poll despite not being an actual choice in the poll (you have to write him in as an "other").

And no, this isn't another blog post about a potential Gore candidacy (no matter how much I might, ahem, personally hope for such a thing). It's about Hillary. Here's the thing. Hillary's the presumptive Democratic nominee, right? The news certainly keeps saying so. Thus, I'd expect her to be doing pretty well in the DFA poll. Moreover, if we're supposed to believe the analysts and conventional wisdom-makers in the media, we should expect the DFA poll results to closely mirror the amount of media buzz over the candidates generally, meaning I'd expect the results to be:

1. Gore
2. Clinton
3. Obama
4. Edwards
5. Richardson/Kucinich/etc.

But that's not what's happening. The results as of right now are:

1. Al Gore (26%)
2. Dennis Kucinich (24%)
3. Obama (18%)
4. Edwards (15%)
5. Richardson (5%)
6. Clinton (4%)

Now, a few things must certainly be said about these results. One, this is not a scientific poll, by any stretch of the imagination. But with that enormous grain of salt, I still find it terribly interesting and telling that Clinton is in sixth place. Sixth! Everyone talks about what a professional, polished candidate she is, how her team runs like a well oiled machine, how she's always on message, etc. And yet, she's in sixth place, polling at 4% (a number which, by the way, hasn't really moved in the past week or so). I find it equally meaningful that this is a poll of DFA supporters, whom one may presume to be more likely than average to participate in state primaries and caucuses. These aren't cold-calls to likely voters, they're self-selected, highly motivated, extremely-likely voters. This is absolutely not a result that would be predicted by what we hear in the traditional media.

Dear TM,
Money isn't everything. Let's start hearing more about issues than fund-raising.
Love, America.

We're in for an interesting primary season, folks.


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