CNN/LA Times/Politico statewide poll, the Democratic race for the California primary is:
Kucinich and Gravel are shown as zero, given the media’s assumption that we readers can’t process decimal points.1 The sample is 384 “likely” Democratic voters, and the margin of error is 5 percentage points. So, Clinton’s lead is well outside the M.O.E.
In the other major party primary, based on 255 “likely Republican voters,” it is:
Margin of error is 6 points. Now, that’s an interesting result! Hope it holds. It would be fun to see a patchwork quilt of delegates for four or five different candidates.2
Interesting that the poll also finds that 62% of Democrats say they are sure of their choice, but 61% of Republicans say that they could change their mind!
Now, how to process that Dem poll in decision making…
If it really is that lopsided–and I assume there will be several more polls before election day, 5 Feb.–that would certainly make this undecided voter’s task easier. The decision rule has been something like: (1) Gravel or Kucinich (with various complicated rules for resolving that choice) for expression of sincere policy preference (especially on political reform); (2) Edwards on sincere delegate-preference grounds; (3) Obama on sincere grounds of a candidate’s projected use of the presidential office for persuasion.3
No. 3 comes in to play if my congressional district could give 2 delegates to Obama rather than 1, so I await that congressional-district polling (or a close enough statewide race to make it plausible that one delegate might be in play in this district).4 No. 2 comes in to play if, and only if, Edwards is around 15% statewide, which would net him around 12 of the 81 at-large delegates (and assuming he holds to his promise to stay in the race and not release those delegates; his policy proposals are by far the closest to mine of anyone other than Gravel or Kucinich, and delegates and platforms may not mean a lot, but they mean something). So, if nos. 2 and 3 remain in abeyance, then no. 1 becomes a nice freebie!
- And small sample sizes that have trouble locating supporters of candidates struggling to reach 1%. [↩]
- The GOP gives 3 delegates from each congressional district to the plurality winner. A dumb rule, because it creates serious malapportionment, and because voters inclined to vote strategically have no idea who might be the top two in their congressional district in a presidential primary, yet sincere voting may produce gross distortions of the primary electorate’s preferences. [↩]
- No strategic voting here! [↩]
- For the Democratic primary, each congressional district awards 3 to 6 delegates ‘proportionally’, with a 15% threshold; there are also 81 statewide delegates proportional to those candidates who clear 15%. A far less stupid rule than the Republicans’, but still pretty stupid as it still has that low-information problem at the district level. [↩]