Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Detailed analysis of Liberal leadership poll

While looking for some of the links in my last post, I stumbled upon a wonderful post by local Edmonton-Strathcona blogger Carlos the Jackass about the Strategic Council Liberal leadership poll that came out in late September. He took the poll and did his own analysis of the findings, going beyond the superficial findings of "Ignatieff is the frontrunner but has less growth potential than Rae"--which is not only boring as hell, but has since pretty much been confirmed by the results of Super Weekend, anyway.

He explains his analysis as follows:

The primary usefulness of the poll, besides the fact that it surveys Liberal members instead of Liberal supporters (remember that distinction?) is that, in addition to asking how Liberals intend to vote, it asks them which candidate they favour in a number of categories. Those categories are: has run the best race, has introduced the most innovative and exciting ideas, is most intelligent, comes closest to representing the respondent's own views, is most honest and ethical, has best personality, is most likely to lead the Liberals to victory, would be most effective at taking on the Harper government, is best communicator, is best-liked by the media, would make the best Prime Minister.

From this, one of the things that we can do is measure each candidate's success in each category against his/her overall support from the Liberals, and then determine what the candidate's assets and liabilities are. For this purpose, I removed undecided respondents from the race in all categories and calculated responses among decided Liberals only. From there, I compared each candidate's support to his/her positive rating in each category and determined whether he/she was punching above or below his/her weight class for each one. For example, thirty-seven percent of decided Liberals consider Michael Ignatieff to be the most intelligent candidate in the race, but only twenty-six percent of decided Liberals intend to support him - in this regard, he is punching well below his intellect, because there are a lot of people who aren't supporting him even though they think he's the smartest guy in the race. On the other hand, only nineteen percent consider him the most honest and ethical, so he's punching well above his weight there.
This is political blogging at its finest: taking what the mainstream media has said about something and reanalyzing it in a new way. In fact, it's kind of appalling that the post generated almost no discussion. Anyone who's interested in the Liberal leadership race--whether you have a vested interest in a candidate or are merely viewing it as a spectator sport--should read it.


Steve said...

Hey, thanks muchly for the link. And my url aside, I tend to go by "Steve Smith" rather than "Carlos the Jackass" most of the time - better for the credibility, I find.

In other spreadsheet-playing-with-news, you might enjoy this. Or you might be unable to read all the way to the end, because it's boring.

But, like I said, thanks for the link.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


You're welcome. There's something a little sad about the fact that in all the traffic I sent your way, absolutely no one felt moved to say anything about your post, though. Sorry my readers are so quiet!

Also: don't you ever sleep?