The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

The volatility of the polls

I don't think I've ever seen the polls as volatile as they are now. Real Clear Politics shows a CNN Poll taken May 29-31, showing Obama leading by 3 points, and a Rasmussen poll taken May 30-June 1, showing Romney leading by 4. That's a difference of seven points, and the polls are supposedly only a day apart with a 2 day out of 3 overlap. Either one of them is selecting poorly (or both are!) or the public cannot be trusted to give their true intentions.

But if the numbers are this volatile, can we put any credence in the polling results? I think that about all we can say is that, as of now, it's close. And a lot will happen anyway between now and November. I'm sure that Tuesday, when Scott Walker either wins the recall election, as most polls say, or loses it to Tom Barrett, there will be some movement in other polling numbers: if Walker wins, people will realize that you can fight Big Labor, for example, while some weak Obama supporters may reconsider their choice. Then the Supreme Court will be heard on Obamacare and the Arizona illegal immigration law. If the Obama administration loses on either or both, will it energize the Left (who might want to redo the Supreme Court majority by giving Obama time to appoint new Justices)? Or will it energize the Right, who will point to Obama's assault on the Constitution and make them even surer they want to get rid of him? And, of course, if the Court goes the opposite way, we would see possible reactions that are mirror images of these.

There is a good chance that, by July 1, the polls will look a lot different from the figures we see today. And certainly by November, a lot of people will change their mind.

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