Reasons for Optimism, II

Reading the polls can be depressing, so here are a few things to remember:

1. Very few of the polls take new voters into consideration, and this year the Democrats are putting on the biggest voter-registration drive in my memory.

2. Traditionally, undecideds break for the challenger.

3. Some of the polls have a Republican bias, especially Gallup. (And incidentally, did anyone take the recent GI poll seriously? The military has its own special way of handling that sort of thing, and I wasn’t too surprised at the 70-30 Bush advantage. Let’s just hope that the troops get to fill out their ballots personally.)

4. In 2000, the polls wildly underestimated Gore’s vote in the Presidential race.

The main things we have to worry about are election fraud, voter suppression, and the October Surprise. I think that given the present polling numbers, Kerry should be the favorite.

Salon on the polls

Soto on Gallup (October)

Soto on Gallup (September)