09 July 2012

When Johnny Cab breaks #nlpoli

Last week’s Environics poll caused more than a few people in the province to have a few sleepless nights trying to find a way to prove it was a crock or nothing to sweat.

Those were the Tories.

The NDP wasted no time getting a fund-raising e-mail on the go.

Oddly enough, and as an aside, a couple of prominent Dippers – Jack Harris and Lana Payne – both joined the Tories in trying to dismiss the poll as a one-off.  Maybe their love of Muskrat Falls is clouding their judgment.

Anyway, and meanwhile…

The Liberals were wondering if the poll was good (they were up overall) or bad (they were still polling frig-all of any consequence in the province’s vote-rich capital region.

For the rest of you, here are some further ruminations to help you sort it all out.

For those who think it was wrong or a blip or “just one poll”, here’s yet another chart by labradore that shows poll results and election results from 1999 up to and including the current one.

For anyone still wondering after all the evidence piles up:  this is most emphatically not a blip. The downward trend started in early 2010; that is, it began before the Old Man skedaddled. That might even be why he high-tailed it. If you want to see this on the chart look for the “R” marking Danny Williams’ resignation and look slightly left of that to the peak that coincides with the end of 2009 and early 2010.

After Williams left, support for the provincial Tories continued to fall to what some people might call “normal” levels. But whatever “normal” might be,  the train only slowed down at the station - the last provincial election – before it opened the throttle and carried on past Normal Junction and headed for Crap Town.

Crap Town is where we are today, if “we” are supporters of the current crowd running the place. This would include, curiously enough, people like Jack Harris and Lana Payne.

Now before anyone points it out, this chart mixes polling from different firms and different poll reporting methods as well as election results.  That’s okay since it is what news media reported and what people understand and accept. It doesn’t distort anything if it merely documents what people already accepted, anyway.

What this chart shows is really just the series of data points that some Tories were trying to dismiss last month as the slide became more readily apparent. Their efforts at dismissing the polls – also documented by labradore over the weekend – show the extent to which the Tories are having problems trying to reconcile reality with their really old talking points.

Remember:  these guys have worked on the basis of the simple premise that the polls justified everything.  They were popular because they were right and right because they were popular. That made sense as long as the polls appeared to show they were popular.

Now that the polls don’t support the claim, the Tory caucus hasn’t quite figured out what to say. 

Take, for example, the infamous line-spouter Steve Kent.  Faced with a question from On Twitter with David Cochrane about May’s CRA poll, Kent decided not answer Cochrane.

Y’all are seeing the disconnect there, right?  People support the Tories because of their policies.  That’s a variation on “we are popular because we are right.” Except polling in the mid-30s, which is being in second place behind the New Democrats, isn’t exactly what anyone would call popular.

Steve was basically doing his version of Johnny Cab.  Follow that link  - originally from 2008  - and you will quickly see yet another example of why what the Tories are doing today is what they have always done. They mouth prepared lines regardless of the question. The difference between now and then is that only some people noticed it back then.

And that makes all the difference in the world.