Friday, September 17, 2004

An Inexact Science

At any given moment, political polling tends to be a very inexact science. For example, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll said just before the November 2000 election that Bush was ahead by 13 percentage points, and we all remember who won the popular vote then, don't we?

So you'd think that a poll this week by the Minneapolis Star Tribune showing that Kerry is 9 points ahead in Minnesota, this early in the season, would hardly be controversial. After all, Minnesota didn't go for Bush in 2000; heck, it hasn't been carried by a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon in 1972. And the poll actually showed Bush gaining ground, so that was good news for Republicans, right?

But apparently one lesson Republicans took away from Florida in 2000 was that if you don't like the way the numbers are adding up, you protest.