Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Ann Althouse frequently deserves the mockery she gets from the left blogosphere, but I'm grateful to her for looking at the new L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll and spotting some results that are utterly illogical -- but, alas, not surprising -- in the PDF of the poll's data.

First, there's this:

About one-third of GOP voters said they would consider supporting a third-party candidate in the general election if the party nominee supported abortion and gay rights.

Which has to be extremely bad news for Rudy Giuliani, right? Er, no, not really, because there's also this:

[A]mong the 34% of Republican primary voters who would consider a third party candidate if the candidate chosen is not conservative enough, Giuliani received more support than the other candidates.

Can you follow that? Can you fathom that? Respondents are asked what they'll do if their nominee isn't conservative enough -- clearly a reference to Giuliani, though no names are named -- and when some say they'd vote third party, the top third-party choice is Giuliani himself!

Wait, there's more:

Although Giuliani is pro-choice and favors civil unions, among those who want abortion to be illegal 35% would still vote for the former mayor; among voters who want same-sex couples to neither marry nor join in civil unions, 24% are also supporting him. He gets the most votes in both of these groups.

Yes, the most votes.

Althouse falls back on the usual explanation: These Republican voters just don't know the truth about Giuliani yet. A lot of you probably agree with that.

And regular readers know my theory: These Republican voters don't want to know the truth about Giuliani. They're hearing it, but they're refusing to process it. They're so desperate for the hero (and winner) they think Rudy is that they don't want to let a few silly core moral principles get in the way. But they don't think they're rejecting their core moral principles. They're just doing a sort of psychic doubling, telling themselves that some principles are inviolable, then violating them with their presidential choice, because he's so manly.

Here's a rule to follow: When you read poll results referring to an unnamed candidate who fits Rudy's description, do not assume that those results apply to Rudy himself.

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