Nate Silver is discussing Democrat prospects for this coming November (bad and getting worse) and says the results are overdetermined.

...there is reason to be skeptical of two types of analyses: those that claim that Factor X definitely isn't contributing to the Democrats' troubles, and those that assert that it definitely is. For instance, I'd urge some caution in reading this article at Real Clear Politics by Jay Cost -- which rightly critiques those who have entirely dismissed the role that health care played in the Democrats' decline, but probably goes too far in trying to argue the contrary. Mr. Cost is right, for instance, that the Democrats' polling decline was steepest during last summer, when health care began to be debated -- but when one delves in a little deeper, the timing of the sharpest periods of decline do not line up very well with specific events in the health care debate.

Does that mean Mr. Cost is wrong? Not at all. Health care dominated the political discourse for about nine months; it seems implausible that it hasn't played some role. But he hasn't offered much in the way of proof -- nor is there much of it to be had: overdetermined phenomena usually beget underdetermined attempts to explain them.

If the results are overdetermined doesn't that mean that the Democrats have a LOT of changing to do?

.i.e. I'm a voter who hates the Health Care Bill and TARP. I only have one vote for two issues. So to get my vote you have to head in a different direction in TWO places.

I don't think the Democrats are constitutionally suited for the changes they need to make. Either the disease or the cure is likely to kill them.

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 08.31.10 at 11:42 PM


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