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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Taking Jason's advice

Jason Cherniak implores us to ignore the "silly" and "insulting" lies floating around in this leadership race. For the most part, I agree with his statement, although I disagree with some of his specific examples/conclusions. In any case, here's my take, from the Decima Poll released today:

Lie #1 -- Ontario won't vote for Rae
Among Ontario respondents, 46 per cent said they would or would consider voting Liberal with Mr. Rae as leader, compared to 45 per cent for Mr. Kennedy, 40 per cent for Mr. Dion and 38 per cent for Mr. Ignatieff. [...] Moreover, 47 per cent of Ontarians said Mr. Rae's record as premier is a non-issue. Another 19 per cent said his record is actually a positive factor, while 25 per cent said it's a negative factor

Lie #2 -- Rae will bleed Liberal support
Mr. Rae's edge was more pronounced among respondents who voted Liberal and New Democrat in the last election [...] Among Liberal voters, 68 per cent said they were certain to vote Liberal again or would consider doing so with Mr. Rae at the helm, compared with 63 per cent for Mr. Dion, 61 per cent for Mr. Ignatieff and 59 per cent for Mr. Kennedy.

Lie #3 -- Liberals must focus on appealing to Conservative swing voters [Note: the line most often peddled by the Ignatieff crowd]
Respondents who voted Conservative in the last election were most likely to rule out voting Liberal under any circumstances; none of the top four leadership contenders had a statistically significant edge with this group. [...] Twenty-one per cent of Tory voters said they'd consider voting Liberal under the leadership of either Mr. Dion or Mr. Kennedy, 20 per cent under Mr. Rae and 17 per cent under Mr. Ignatieff.

Lie #4 -- Liberals shouldn't waste their time appealing to NDP swing voters
Among NDP voters, 41 per cent would vote or consider voting Liberal under Mr. Rae's leadership, compared with 31 per cent for Mr. Dion, 28 per cent for Mr. Kennedy and 27 per cent for Mr. Ignatieff.

Lie #5 -- Michael Ignatieff is the best choice to beat Stephen Harper
Decima also tested the appeal of Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Rae, the first- and second-place contenders, against that of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. When respondents were asked who would make the best prime minister, neither candidate came out ahead of Mr. Harper, although Mr. Rae fared considerably better than Mr. Ignatieff. [...] Respondents preferred Mr. Harper over Mr. Rae by a margin of 44 per cent to 32 per cent. Against Mr. Ignatieff, Mr. Harper's margin improved to 48 per cent to 24 per cent. Among respondents who voted Liberal last time, Mr. Rae was preferred over Mr. Harper by a margin of 54 per cent to 29 per cent. But an Ignatieff-Harper match was a toss up: 39 per cent of Liberals preferred Mr. Ignatieff, 38 per cent preferred Mr. Harper.

So to conclude...
  • For the 24982943 time, a poll has shown that "Liberals would fare best under Bob Rae"
  • Bob Rae appeals the most to progressive voters of all stripes.
  • Bob Rae will maintain our support among Liberal voters and expand our pool (or "pond," if you will) to include those who have voted for other parties in the past.
  • Conservative voters aren't likely to vote for us in the next election, and are even less likely to support our party under the leadership of Michael Ignatieff.
  • Both Ignatieff and Rae trail Harper on the ever-important "Best PM" measure. Regardless who wins this leadership race, we need to turn these numbers around, and fast. I contend the job will be easier with Bob Rae as leader. A 12-point gap seems easier to bridge than a 24-point gap, especially if we have a seasoned campaigner at the helm.
  • Michael Ignatieff is seemingly as popular among Liberal voters as Stephen Harper is. Never fear, though! Should Michael win the leadership, I'm sure he'll appeal to enough "Greens and separatist Bloc Quebecois" supporters to make up the difference.

For those of you waiting for the "more thoughtful analysis" on my previous post, I defer to the delightful CuriosityCat, who said it better than I ever could. Greg over at DemocraticSpace also offers a wonderfully cogent argument on the technicalities of appealing to NDP and Conservative voters.

For those of you waiting for the Kennedy interview, it seems Antonio and I have the same problem...My tape is a little fuzzy as well, but I'm trying to transcribe as best I can.