Barackracy: The Obama Effect

Is it just me, or does Barack Obama consistently do much better than polls project? I seem to recall this happening in Illinois, too, both in the Democratic Senate primary contest, and then again in the general election (yes, he was expected to win the general election by a lot, but he did even better than that). Now he’s done it again in Iowa, and I’ll bet a nickel that he does better than projected in New Hampshire as well.

What could it be? Could people be telling pollsters one thing and then voting another? Or was this time just an artifact of the Iowa caucus system (but… I thought the effects of the caucus system would have been taken into account by pollsters, since they do ask about peoples’ second choices as well).


  1. Like cake? I imagine actual cake consumption to be rather higher than the amount of cake people have voiced an intention to consume.

  2. Yeah. There may be other ways in which he can be compared to cake (like, kids love him?). I don’t mean that disparagingly: he’s long been my first choice. There’s no positive correlation between experience and success when it comes to the Presidency; there may even be a negative one.

  3. I had almost forgotten that the reason I saw Obama’s 2004 convention speech on TV was because I was wandering the streets of Chicago with you that evening and your attention was caught by the image of Obama glimpsed through the door of a bar.

    Care to elaborate on why he’s your first choice? I’m still trying to make up my mind.

  4. I am pro-Obama for no particular reason than pride in UChicago nerdiness. He’s the only candidate I’ve actually seen in person before. I hope you are well. I’ll try an email to your Knotspam thing, too.


  5. I’ve heard him speak a lot, he sounds solid and extremely intelligent (been watching ever since he tried — and failed — to unseat Bobby Rush from his Chicago congressional seat). Most importantly, he opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning; he was an Illinois state senator at the time, but clearly with national ambitions, so opposing the war was not an obviously good political move for him.

    I mean, I’d be happy with just about any of the Democratic candidates, but both Edwards and Clinton voted for the war (Edwards later apologized and said it was a mistake; Clinton never has). Maybe they’re hawkish, or maybe they’re willing to bow to expediency on even this most important sort of vote. Either way, I’d rather have someone with better judgement than that.

  6. Oh, Rachel: I forgot to mention that melting baritone voice of his. Whoever it is, we’re going to have to listen to them for a long time. Let’s get someone who’s easy on the ears!

  7. I think I only hear the president’s voice once or twice a year–less now that I don’t have a car to drive around in listening to NPR–but I will try to bear the voice in mind for the sake of the rest of you.

    Looks like your general Obama principle isn’t holding, though.

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