John B. Judis

Georgia On My Mind
February 05, 2008

The Georgia results seem to show two things: 1) Almost all the John Edwards vote, which was primarily white, went to Barack Obama, 2) Obama slightly increased his already large margin among black voters over the last weeks. If you look at the Mason-Dixon poll from early January, Obama had 36 percent of the overall Georgia vote, Clinton 33 percent, and Edwards 14 percent, with 17 percent undecided. Blacks often say they are undecided, so it is probably a fair guess to say that more than half of these undecided voters were African Americans.

Race Matters
January 31, 2008

It would have been fine, of course, for a political scientist or a journalist to make the observation that Hillary Clinton stood little chance in the South Carolina Democratic primary running against a black candidate. And it would have raised no eyebrows if he or she drew comparisons between Barack Obama's win and Jesse Jackson's 1988 victory. But Bill Clinton is a master politician who calibrates the exact effect of his words upon an audience.

Are Edwards Voters Obama Voters?
January 30, 2008

Who will get John Edwards's votes? The exit polls give a split verdict. Those in Iowa and South Carolina show a slight tilt to Hillary Clinton. If you look at those voters among whom Edwards enjoyed disproportionate strength, it was among voters less likely to switch to Obama. In Iowa, it was among older (60-64 years old) and conservative voters.

Correspondence: John Judis Responds to Andrew Kohut
January 15, 2008

Here is how I actually characterize Andrew Kohut’s argument. I quote from my article: Kohut's argument goes as follows: Clinton did much better in the final count than Obama among poorer, less educated voters. These voters "have more unfavorable views of blacks" than wealthier, more educated voters. Kohut doesn't accuse these voters of lying. Instead, he argues that the voters who have unfavorable views of blacks tend to be underrepresented in polling samples, because they "do not respond" to pollsters--thus accounting for the inaccurate readings of support for Clinton and Obama.

Poll Potheads
January 11, 2008

Pollsters--along with nearly everyone else on earth--failed to predict the result of the New Hampshire Democratic primary. According to Real Clear Politics, they estimated that Barack Obama would defeat Hillary Clinton by an average of eight percent. She won by three, and eleven percent is an awful lot for pollsters to be wrong by--well beyond the margin of error.

What We Can Learn From The Republican Exit Polls
January 08, 2008

Arizona Sen. John McCain defeated former Gov. Mitt Romney to win the New Hampshire Republican primary.

What We Can Learn From The Democratic Exit Polls
January 08, 2008

I've looked at the current Democratic exit polls, which, incidentally, are adjusted later to fit the final results, so what I have to say here must taken as subject to revision.

The Swing Appeal Of Obama And Hillary, Continued
January 02, 2008

My friend Jon Cohn has asked me to respond to his posting about the Des Moines Register poll, and I will try to oblige. What Jon discovers in Clinton and Obama's totals have shown up in other polls as well: Obama does well among independents and less well among voters without a college degree; Clinton does poorly among independents, but better among voters without a college degree. What this shows is that both candidates have glaring weaknesses that an effective Republican campaign could exploit in the fall. Obama is going to have a lot of trouble with the white working class.

Hillary Clinton's Firewall
December 18, 2007

Hillary Clinton was once thought to have had the Democratic nomination sewn up, but if current polls are any indication, she could conceivably lose not only the Iowa caucus, but also the primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina. Since these states became the major test of presidential aspirations, no Democrat or Republican has ever gotten the nomination after losing all three. But even if she fails to win any of those three critical early states, Hillary Clinton still has a chance. That’s because of her strength among Hispanic voters.

Missouri Breaks
December 05, 2007

INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI “As much as we would all like to believe the General Assembly is a ‘Mr. Smith’ kind of entity, the reality is that these institutions are far more like a tug of war,” says State Senator Chris Koster, as we sit over coffee at the Courtyard Exchange. “If you are going to go down there, you have to get on one side of the rope or the other, and I realized I was on the wrong side of the rope.” Koster was elected a state senator in 2004 as part of a swing to the Republican Party in Missouri.