Sunday, August 10, 2008

"The Movement Comes After Labor Day" (with video)

Al Giordano with video (05:23):
Nate Silver - whose statistical approach to forecasting the primary results this spring hung bad pollsters out to dry and has sent good pollsters into a long overdue stampede to reexamine the technical bases of how they do their work - was on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night.
It's a sign of the times that the new rising star of political analysis doesn't come from inside a campaign staff (a la Pat Caddell in '76, Roger Ailes in '80, James Carville in '92 or Karl Rove in '00) but from the outside.

In a few short months Nate has gone from being one of thousands of bloggers on Daily Kos (he used the pseud Poblano there) to launching his own website, which in addition to the addictive numbers-crunching, charts and graphs, features excellent commentary (and really good writing).

In this interview with Olbermann, Nate made an important point that we repeat a lot here, too: That public opinion on the presidential candidates won't really solidify until September:

"At this point there’s a pretty big margin of error. Once we have the conventions, especially the first debate, Obama will be vetted by voters… The movement comes after labor day and after the conventions…."

If you find yourself wondering or frustrated why your candidate hasn't thrown the kitchen sink at his rival during these dog days of summer, that largely explains the strategic and tactical reasons for it: a vast chunk of the electorate simply does not begin to pay attention until the conventions are held and it's back to school or work at the end of the summer.

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