The poll CNN is trying to bury…

The folks at CNN, who have shown their bias pretty clearly so far, are a bit embarrassed about this poll. It’s remarkable for a number of reasons. The most obvious is that respondents gave Kerry the nod in last night’s debate by a margin of 71% over George Bush. But most remarkable are the number of respondents. It measures 607,064 responses.

My own very unscientific note on last night’s debate, that I haven’t seen anyone else pick up on has to do with applause. At the opening of the debate when Jim Lehrer introduced the candidates there was polite applause for President Bush when he entered the stage. A few seconds later when John Kerry stepped out of the wings the place erupted in cheers. It happened again at the end of the debate. The President was in an obvious hurry to get off the stage and herded his family into the wings, briefly leaving John Kerry alone on the stage. Senator Kerry turned to wave to the audience and as he did there was, once again, raucous cheering.

My gut is telling me right now that all the polls in the last couple of weeks have been wrong, precisely for the reasons that the critics of the pollsters have given: Their samples are skewed, their ratio of Republicans to Democrats that they’re polling (which is based on a prediction of voter participation by party that is not supported by the ratios in the last four elections) and their methods are out of touch with changes in communication styles in our society (none of the polling organizations call cell phone numbers in their telephone polls, but the phone companies have plenty of data that says that people between 18 and 24 are abandoning their land lines in favor of only subscribing to mobile phone service – that means that young voters are being massively underpolled). My gut says that people in this country, in large numbers, are still pissed off about the Iraq war. There were massive anti-war protests in every city in America in the weeks leading up to the war in 2003. Those people didn’t suddenly decide they were ok with a war in Iraq after it had started, and if anything they are more angry now that everyone knows that there were no WMD’s in Iraq, that there was no connection between Al Qaida and Saddam Hussein’s government and that former Army Chief of Staff, General Eric Shinseki, was right on the mark when he said that it would take a force several times larger than the one currently on the ground in Iraq to manage security and contain insurgency after the Iraqi forced had been defeated.

What we saw last night was remarkable. The GOP spin machine has been insisting that Dubya’s strength lay in topics of foreign policy, defense and the so-called war on terror, and polls have been bearing that out for several weeks. But with that very topic on the table in the first debate the President choked. He pulled a Jeremy Giambi and didn’t slide. He was Bill Buckner watching the ball go between his legs as the winning run scored. The final debate, in the same format as this one, will be on the topic of domestic policy, and on that area it’s clear that Dubya is at a disadvantage. No one, including many prominent Republicans, believes that this President has a clue about managing the economy or how to handle domestic issues such as health care and education. His record as President demonstrates that clearly. Unless Kerry stumbles in the middle, town-hall style, debate he should be able to deliver the knockout punch at the third debate.

My gut tells me we won’t have to suffer George W. Bush much longer.

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