Obama’s Electability

Jim Henley‘s right: David Weigel’s post debunking the “15% lie” (i.e. the theory 15% more people say they’ll vote for a black candidate in a poll than actually do) was unfairly neglected. I realized its brilliance on first reading it, but never got around to plugging it. To summarize Weigel (though you really should read the actual post), the theory is based on a misunderstanding of the polling in Doug Wilder’s gubernatorial campaign in Virginia in 1989, and a whole bunch of elections in 2006 contradicted it.
As Jim points out, this means that people like Robert Ford – who say that a black candidate like Obama can’t possibly win – are full of it. Moreover, it means that polls like this are awesome:

  • Giuliani 47%, Clinton 40%
  • McCain 47%, Clinton 39%
  • Obama 46%, Giuliani 40%
  • Obama 44%, McCain 40%
  • Giuliani 46%, Edwards 40%
  • McCain 47%, Edwards 38%
  • Remember that every time you hear people talk about how Hillary and Edwards are more electable. They’re not, and dramatically so.

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