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What Is A Preference Cascade?
Some scary stories:
Campfire Stories of the ‘Preference Cascade’ That Haunts Campaigns - By Jim Geraghty - The Campaign Spot - National Review Online
Campfire Stories of the ‘Preference Cascade’ That Haunts Campaigns
By Jim Geraghty
October 18, 2012 2:25 P.M.
When campaign strategists and political analysts go out on camping trips — they do, you know — they end the night by gathering around the campfire and telling stories of a terrifying, unstoppable, voracious and mysterious force that preys on vulnerable political campaigns: the Preference Cascade.
“The Preference Cascade only stalks totalitarian regimes,” the skeptics say. “I’ve read Glenn Reynolds’ field reports and eyewitness accounts, about how the Preference Cascade needs a lot of unexpressed emotion to feed upon. ‘A totalitarian regime spends a lot of effort making sure that citizens don’t realize the extent to which their fellow-citizens dislike the regime. If the secret police and the censors are doing their job, 99 percent of the populace can hate the regime and be ready to revolt against it — but no revolt will occur because no one realizes that everyone else feels the same way.’ You just don’t have that same group dynamic in American society.”
“Ah, but how many early-favorite candidates have tried to run on inevitability?” says the old timer, tossing a stick onto the campfire. “Everybody you know is voting for somebody, because everybody they know is voting for that guy. Nobody’s really giving the other candidates a serious thought, until something unexpected happens — and then the favorite finds out his support was a mile wide and an inch deep.”
Another consultant pipes up.
“An old-timer I know said he had the Preference Cascade gobble up one of his candidates once,” he said quietly. “He said it was like a nightmare. You think you’re doing fine, you have enough folks whose default setting is to vote for your guy, and then . . . BOOM. Suddenly, day by day, things get worse. The undecideds start jumping onto the bandwagon of the other guy, and they just won’t stop. They tune out your guy and just about everything he says. Attack ads that normally would be called ‘tough’ or ‘hard-hitting’ start getting mocked as ‘desperate’ or ‘flailing.’ Volunteers stop showing up. Your early voters taper off. It used to be nobody mocked your guy, and suddenly he’s the butt of the jokes of the comics.”
A shiver ran down the spines of the younger campaign strategists. “Does the Preference Cascade give any warnings?”
The old timer piped up again. “It sniffs out weakness and vulnerability in a well-known candidate’s job approval numbers,” he said, pointing his finger. “Sometimes voters avert their eyes from an incumbent’s flaws — he’s in there, they hope he does well. Sometimes they won’t like what he’s doing, but they’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. They’ll come up with all kinds of excuses. But the Preference Cascade’s catalyst triggers this change, and suddenly all of that repressed disapproval comes tumbling out. It’s not that the candidate has suddenly irked these voters so much; it’s that they’ve been irked for a while and they suddenly feel okay expressing it. And once they see more people expressing it, they express it louder themselves — swaying the people around them. It’s like a feedback group that gets louder and more intense and faster as time goes on.”
Poll shows Romney leading in blue Pennsylvania
October 18, 2012 | 5:38 pm
A new poll shows Republican Mitt Romney leading in Pennsylvania, a state that Republicans had all but written off just weeks ago but which is now listed as a toss up by the Real Clear Politics website.
Susquehanna Polling and Research provided The Washington Examiner with a poll it conducted for state party officials that shows Romney with a 49 percent to 45 percent lead over President Obama.
It's the first poll to show Romney leading among likely voters in the Keystone State...
Links at site:
Hey Obama, Your Firewall is On Fire (Update: Keystone Collapse?) Update: Beckel Frets
October 18, 2012 - 1:23 pm
The word you may be looking for after reading the following is “Wow.” Or something more colorful.
North Carolina is looking very good for Team Romney, so good that they’re shifting a key asset to Ohio.
The spokesman, Robert Reid, will be moved to Ohio, which is increasingly viewed by both campaigns as the central battleground of the 2012 race.
“With the increasingly widening polls in North Carolina, we will continue to allocate resources, including key senior staff, to other states,” said Romney spokeswoman Sarah Pompei.
The move comes none too soon. A new poll out today puts Romney in the lead but within the margin of error in two battlegrounds.
Romney takes 48 percent support in Ohio, edging President Obama at 47, in the new poll conducted by American Research Group (ARG). It’s the latest survey to show Romney erasing the gender gap. He now trails Obama only 48 to 45 among female voters in the Buckeye State.
Obama had opened up a commanding lead in Ohio, which no Republican presidential candidate has lost in a successful bid for president. Before last week’s debate, some polls showed Obama with as big as a 10-point lead.
Obama now leads by 3, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls.
Ohio is the third-largest swing state prize with 18 Electoral College votes at stake.
And in Colorado, likely voters went for Romney 50 to 46 over Obama, in ARG’s poll. Romney soundly outpaced Obama among female voters in the state, taking 51 percent support against Obama at 45.
Go ahead, read that last line to yourself again. Feel free to whistle and say “hoo-boy” under your breath. If you’re an Obama supporter, feel free to push this.
the Dam has Burst.
You built a house of cards
And got shocked when you saw them fall
If you go lookin’ for hot water Don't act shocked when you get burned a little bit If you really want some hot water I can help you find it, oh oh, ah yeah
A Preference Cascade is what fills your pants when you donate your wedding gifts to Obama and get picked to eat dinner with David Axelrod.
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