Monday, September 22, 2008

Pollster: McCain Will Win Because of Experience

Very interesting story at NewsMax: GOP Strategist: McCain Will Win
[hat tip: LGF reader links]

A pollster, Kellyanne Conway, with an uncanny ability to call elections says McCain will win.
And not based on polling numbers, but based on what the polls tell her about the issues that are important to voters. And leadership and experience, she thinks, are important to voters this time around. So all those popularity contests don't matter.


In the past, Conway’s predictions have been eerily accurate. In the 2004 presidential race, she won the Washington Post’s Crystal Ball Award. Nine days before the election, she predicted the precise outcome in the popular vote — 51 percent for George Bush and 48 percent for John Kerry.

"I look at what the polls say about attributes. I noticed in 2004 that George W. Bush led John Kerry by double digits for eight straight months on the question of who is more likely to take a position and stick with it." Conway decided that in the 2004 election, such consistency was “treasured currency to voters.” After all, it was the first presidential election since the 9/11 attacks. “There’s so much uncertainty in the world,” she reasoned. “I didn’t believe people wanted to invite more uncertainly and insecurity in their national leadership.”

Fast forwarding to 2008, Conway says voters still want those attributes of steadiness, consistency, and principled leadership in their president.

“Now instead of focusing on likeability in the campaign, we’re seeing a focus on leadership,” she says. “Instead of covering biography, we’re covering experience. Instead of only hearing about hope, we’re talking about the Hanoi Hilton again. In other words, we’re talking about what credentials really matter to most voters.”

Conway notes that a lot of polls ask about likeability: With whom would you rather go to the baseball game? With whom would you rather have a beer? Who would you rather have watch your kids for a couple of hours on a Saturday?

“I’m thinking, with three kids under the age of 4, some Saturdays I’d take any of the candidates,” Conway says. “But these polling questions are not the way the average American looks at the presidential candidates. The average American is more focused on leadership than likeability. And more focused on qualifications than quality of speakership.”

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