Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, amzn.to/2sQBWYL). Professor. Nov. 09, 2019 1 min read

I just saw Harry Enten on TV saying how important general election polls are a year out from Election Day. Of course, they only seem to be important now that a moderate (Biden) is doing well in them. In 2015, Enten told Sanders supporters it was too early to look at such polling.

PS/ As with any candidate, people supported Sanders for many different reasons. Some were persuaded by polls indicating Sanders would run strongest against Trump. Such folks were told they were fools for looking at early polling. The same analysts now say Biden's polling matters.

PS2/ My point: analysts like Enten largely decide which outcome they consider most *likely* (which is whatever the safest play would be if you were in Vegas) and then they emphasize the polls that point toward that result. And then, worst of all, they're unbearably smug about it.

PS3/ By comparison, I'll remain consistent in my analysis:

1. Early polling *is* probative, though not as much as polling closer to election day.

2. Early polls *also* benefit those with name recognition, so they're *always* less accurate as to *upstart progressive candidates*.

PS4/ I'm on record as being a Biden fan. And a Sanders fan. And a Warren fan. And a Beto fan. And a Harris fan. And a Buttigieg fan. And a Castro fan. And (looking back) a Clinton voter. My point is simply that every pol deserves a chance to get his/her name and ideas out there.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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