E já que falamos de candidatos "up and coming", algumas peças sobre as sondagens e o que pode vir a ocorrer nos Estados Unidos:
1. Can You Trust What Polls Say about Obama's Electoral Prospects?
No one would deny that race still matters in U.S. politics. For the past half century, the political parties have been increasingly divided in their positions on racial issues, and that, in turn, has affected voters' decisions to call themselves Republicans or Democrats. But this review of exit polls and electoral outcomes in several recent elections suggests that fewer people are making judgments about candidates based solely, or even mostly, on race itself, and that relatively few people are now unwilling to tell pollsters how they honestly feel about particular candidates. In such an environment, the high standing of Barack Obama in presidential polling -- or, for that matter, of Colin Powell prior to the 1996 presidential election -- represents a significant change in American politics.
2. Blacks Shift To Obama, Poll Finds
Clinton's and Obama's support among white voters changed little since December, but the shifts among black Democrats were dramatic. In December and January Post-ABC News polls, Clinton led Obama among African Americans by 60 percent to 20 percent. In the new poll, Obama held a narrow advantage among blacks, 44 percent to 33 percent. The shift came despite four in five blacks having a favorable impression of the New York senator.
Perhaps pollsters are just cautious by nature, but while I would have included those results as part of the story, I would have given them far less emphasis. The problem is that despite all efforts to emphasize the underlying statistical imprecision, specific numbers inevitably take on a life of their. The narrowing of the race among all voters was more modest, and given the other results out last week, the real shift among African-Americans was likely less than the 40 point net shifts measured by the Post/ABC polls. But that did not stop one Sunday talk show I watched (Chris Matthews) from pushing the 40 point shift as it if was the definitive result (no transcript available yet).
3. E aquilo que as sondagens nos dizem sobre o futuro: How Reliable Are the Early Presidential Polls? Pouco.
A look back at nearly 50 years of early primary polls suggests that Republican front-runners are often a good bet to capture the nomination, but the picture is more mixed for leading Democrats.
Unfortunately for Republican aspirants in this cycle, no candidate can benefit from the GOP's traditional early leader tenacity for the simple reason that no single frontrunner has been established. Until recently, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain had been running neck-in-neck in Republican horse race polls. Although recent nationwide polls show Giuliani slightly outpacing McCain among likely GOP primary voters, some election watchers are skeptical about Giuliani's chances, given his relatively liberal views on social issues.
By contrast, early Democratic poll leaders won four out of eight open contests between 1960 and 2004. In early 2003, Sen. John Kerry was tied with Sen. Joseph Lieberman, but fell behind Gen. Wesley Clark and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean at different times later in the year before eventually getting the final nod from Democrats.
Early general election presidential trial heat polls have a poor track record. History suggests the political climate is almost certain to change between now and November 2008.