That Fine Line Between Correlation and Coincidence


J.L. Wall

J.L. Wall is a native Kentuckian in self-imposed exile to the Midwest, where he teaches writing to college students and over-analyzes Leonard Cohen lyrics.

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    This early, these figures are meaningless. And you’re a bright guy: you know that as well as I do. So why even write the post?Report

    • Avatar J.L. Wall says:

      Because I do somewhat suspect that Romney’s uptick is directly related to public perceptions of Perry. Which could mean one of two things: that Perry has genuinely made Romney more electable (that the effect of being Not-Perry will last into the general election) or that, after (possibly) winning the nomination, Romney’s electability dips a bit — not because of anything Obama does/has done, but because he’s no longer Not-Perry.

      I agree that, as head-to-head indicators, these are meaningless for the general. But it’s still capturing public perception, and there might be something worthwhile in the changes in that perception — or at least something in those changes that allows for me to conclude with the image of Mike Huckabee and Jon Huntsman forming a Jefferson Airplane cover band, whether or not they use it to barnstorm for Mitt Romney. (That was the second reason I wrote it.)Report

  2. Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

    Perhaps there are some good things about Rick Perry. The press hasn’t reported them yet, but I reckon they’ll get around to it. Right now I know he’s a Texan and Texas under him doesn’t suck as much as a lot of the rest of the country. That’s about it. Hell, I don’t even know if he wears boxers or briefs. How can I make an informed decision without the necessary info?Report

  3. Avatar Chris says:

    Right now I know he’s a Texan and Texas under him doesn’t suck as much as a lot of the rest of the country.

    Or rather, Texas used to suck a lot more than a lot of the rest of the country, and now it only sucks a little bit more, because they’ve come down a lot while Texas has only gone down a bit (Texas’ unemployment rate is 8 odd percent, and its economy is in many ways worse than those of its neighbors, but hey, Houston and Austin are hiring).Report

  4. Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

    I dunno, Chris. The press hasn’t told me enough about it yet. Just the bad stuff. There may be some good in there somewheres, you never know.Report

  5. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I understand why you’re writing about this, but there really is something weird about America spending so much time on these issues before elections. I read a blog yesterday in which people were getting fired up because it’s “thirteen months to go!!!” and I thought, wow, I hope I have at least something else to worry about between now and then.Report

    • Avatar Koz says:

      Two quick points:

      1. The thing about being early doesn’t apply as much here as it might under other circumstances (assuming BHO remains the Demo nominee). Mr. Obama has lost the attention of the American people to alter their perception of him by whatever says or whatever policy decisions he makes between now and Election Day. Like the stock gurus say, it’s already baked in the cake.

      2. Ancillary to that, for the first time in a long time, the real political agenda is moving outside the campaign cycle. The dramas over the last ten months, starting with the Deficit Commission, Wisconsin, the debt ceiling wars, that was the real campaign. What we usually call the campaign is the judges in a boxing match adding up the scores and handing the results to the ring announcer after all the rounds have been fought.

      And, I suspect whatever new rounds are fought between now and Election Day will be instigated by the Republicans. I don’t think Mr. Obama has the political strength or the credibility to set the agenda any more.Report

  6. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    As for Perry’s drop in contrast to Romney, does it matter to primary voters, or will they just go with whoever they want?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Can Rick Perry tell better lies than Obama?

      Can Romney tell better lies than Obama?

      Obama is nowhere near as good at telling lies as he was in 2008.Report

      • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

        I appreciate the pox on both houses sentiment, JB, but they are not lies, they are myths, and all myths are true in some fashion or they are never retold.Report