Diary

Post-Debate Postmortem

Obama partisans are crowing about CNN’s poll of viewers calling the debate an Obama win. Unfortunately, there is a problem with CNN’s sampling:

The results may be favoring Obama simply because more Democrats than Republicans tuned in to the debate. Of the debate-watchers questioned in this poll, 41 percent of the respondents identified themselves as Democrats, 27 percent as Republicans and 30 percent as independents.

The best estimate of the number of Democrats in the voting age population as a whole indicates that the sample is roughly 5 to 7 percentage points more Democratic than the population as a whole.

Notice that these paragraphs get buried at the bottom of the story. I’m sure that’s just an accident–and Noah Pollak has lots of fun at CNN’s expense. CBS’s post-debate poll shows roughly the same margin of uncommitted viewers going for Obama over McCain as does the CNN poll, but makes no mention whatsoever of party ID–a flaw in its reporting and possibly its sampling as well. I don’t know about you, but I sure am suspicious of this reporting.

Naturally, Andrew Sullivan neither understands any of this (math is hard!) nor cares. What he and others are trying to make a big deal about now is the lack of eye contact made by McCain towards Obama during the debate. When you have to focus on such atmospherics in order to claim that your candidate had the better night instead of actually focusing on the substance of the debate (nowadays, the only substantive matters that occupy the attention of Andrew Sullivan revolve around the parentage of Trig Palin–an issue that has become Moby Dick to Sullivan’s Ahabesque reputation), it’s a telling expression of weakness. Equally laughable is Sullivan’s clinical diagnosis that McCain’s supposed aversion to eye contact with Obama “is, in fact, a sign of insecurity.” All we need to do is to get Sullivan into Vienna and he can be a latter day Freud, apparently. Note as well that Josh Marshall is in on the psychoanalyzing act as well, featuring comments from one person who swears that he/she is a “psychotherapist” and another who swears that he/she studies–I am not making this up–“monkey behavior.” Both conclude that McCain is fearful of Obama, thus the lack of eye contact. If these people are actually professionals–and you will forgive me if I don’t quite believe Josh Marshall on this score–they would know that you cannot analyze a subject from afar. Such behavior is clinically and professionally laughable, which, of course, is why the “reality-based community” is so attracted to it.

Speaking of substantive matters–not that Sullivan or Marshall want us to–let us note anew that Henry Kissinger is really ticked off at having been misrepresented by the Obama campaign. More here (thanks to Brother Lane at RedState for passing this along). The “reality-based community” naturally does not want to touch this issue. This is why I keep telling you all that their chosen term for themselves is such a misnomer.