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I'm Brendan Loy, a 26-year-old graduate of USC and Notre Dame now living and working in Knoxville, Tennessee. My wife Becky and I are brand-new parents of a beautiful baby girl, born on New Year's Eve.

I'm a big-time sports fan, a politics, media & law junkie, an astronomy buff, a weather nerd, an Apple aficionado, a Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter fanatic, and an all-around dork. My blog is best-known for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina, but I blog about anything and everything that interests me.

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Hillary & Huma?

The Hillary-Clinton-lesbian-affair-with-Huma-Abedin story, which has been spreading via blogospheric whispers for months, has finally broken on Drudge after making it into print, sort of, in the Times of London.

This comes after the L.A. Times supposedly decided to sit on the story, though some deny that. Regardless, somebody alert Mickey Kaus and Luke Ford: the "Dark Unseen Scandal Star" is coming into view at last!

One thing's for sure: if it's true, then judging purely on physical appearance, Hillary has way better taste in women than Bill. More on the lovely Ms. Abedin here.

P.S. One other thing that's for sure: even if these rumors are true, Bill can't say that Hillary is cheating on him, because according to his definition of sex, it's physically impossible for her to have sex with a woman!

UPDATE: Is the person stoking these rumors about Hillary Clinton... Hillary Clinton?

More on the Hil-&-Huma allegations here.

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Hmmm... So, is the story that Hillary shouldn't be elected because she's too calculating, never slips up, and has been planning to be president for 50 years, or is it that she shouldn't be elected because she's off having passionate lesbian affairs with staffers? Let's get the propaganda consistent here.

This reminds me of the the left's propaganda inconsistency regarding George W. Bush. On the one hand he's got calculating, detailed plans to take over the Middle East, but on the other hand he's a total idiot who has the IQ of a 10-year-old.

This reminds me of the the left's propaganda inconsistency regarding George W. Bush. On the one hand he's got calculating, detailed plans to take over the Middle East, but on the other hand he's a total idiot who has the IQ of a 10-year-old.

No, no one thinks that Bush is the calculating one, that would be Cheney, Rummy, and Rove.

What makes you think this is a Republican conspiracy? It's not as if there aren't any Democrats out there who want to see the HRC juggernaut collapse for their own political gain.

I think it may prove a fascinating barometer of whether or not the public actually cares about marital infidelity and lesbian relationships.

I wonder if this means that someone is going to report on John Edwards' alleged extramarital conduct as well.

No, no one thinks that Bush is the calculating one, that would be Cheney, Rummy, and Rove.

Rumsfeld resigned from the administration last year and Rove resigned this past summer, so you need to update your talking points.

Rove and Rumsfeld may have resigned, but that doesn't mean they've stopped using their evil mind-control tricks to make Chimpy W. Hitler do their bidding. They've simply recalibrated the Giant Freakin' Mind-Control Laser so it works from a greater distance.

Becky, I'm actually not sure if this is a terribly good "barometer," because Hillary has so much baggage. To really find out how the public feels about "marital infidelity and lesbian relationships" in the abstract, you'd need a case where infidelity and lesbianism are the only plausible objections to a particular person's conduct. Alas, that is not the case here. Clinton-haters can plausibly claim that they aren't mad at Hillary because she's a lesbian who is unfaithful to her husband, they're mad at her because she's a lying liar who has cynically constructed a sham marriage in order to deliberately deceive the public. I mean, if Hillary and Bill really just have a marriage of convenience, as many have long suspected, and they're both getting some lovin' from other ladies on the side -- again, as many have long suspected -- that would mean that Hillary's splash autobiography from a few years back, including her recitation of shock and horror and betrayal and forgiveness with regard to the Monica incident, was all a load of crap. Does that matter? Maybe not, but you can certainly make a plausible case that it does, especially considering that Hillary arguably played the sympathy card to get votes in New York state in 2000.

Now, whether the people who will cite the above-stated facts as reasons why Hillary's lesbian infidelity matters are actually being honest (with themselves or others) about their reasoning, is a separate question. But nobody can prove they're being dishonest, and their non-lesbianism-based, non-infidelity-based rationale for caring is facially plausible, so I'm afraid how people react to a potential Hillary scandal won't really teach us anything definitive about how people feel about lesbianism and infidelity in the abstract.

Edwin Edwards (former Governor of Louisiana who ran against David Duke) famously said, "The only way I can lose this election is if I'm found in bed with a live boy or a dead girl." I wonder how this alleged lesbian affair thing fits into this scheme. One thing is for sure. There shouldn't be any incriminating stains on a GAP dress. I don't think this Huma gal would be caught dead shopping at the GAP.

If this is true, I guess we can put to rest all allegations as to why Bill was fooling around. I mean, really...

And it raises all sorts of questions as to the origins of Chelsea...

(Yes, I am aware that it is possible for a lesbian to be in denial or try to "live life as is expected..." That doesn't mean we can't question...

Looks like Hillary has been "called on the carpet."

Hope she can lick the charges.

Ummm...all these political comments are missing the point:

She's a babe!

A hot chick enters into the political landscape and I have to read BDS-induced conspiracy theories? Maybe I should repeat:

She's a babe!

Internet comments just aren't what they used to be...

Indeed, PenguinSix. I never thought I'd see the day when a post about Hillary Clinton would be in the "Babes, Boobs & Sex" category, but here we are.

"I never thought I'd see the day when a post about Hillary Clinton would be in the "Babes, Boobs & Sex" category, but here we are."

What???? I thought "Babes, Boobs & Sex" was in reference to Hillary!! Pant suits and the naked pursuit of power makes for one hot MILF!

What???? I thought "Babes, Boobs & Sex" was in reference to Hillary!! Pant suits and the naked pursuit of power makes for one hot MILF

Aww, you just made me throw up my lunch!!!

Rumsfeld resigned from the administration last year and Rove resigned this past summer, so you need to update your talking points.

Still they were involved for quite some time, but I was only being half serious. Few have ever claimed that Dubya is the mastermind, usually he's seen as the figurehead.

This is a serious story with national implications. Bubbling up slowly, fed by minions with "plausible deniability" among Hillary's detractors in her *own* party for now. But this one will blossom.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here we are a decade later, and a Clinton will be making the claim that "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

Apparently neither Clinton defines oral as "sex."

"This is a serious story with national implications."

Not really, since I don't think any conclusive evidence proving these allegations will come to light anytime soon, if ever.

"Bubbling up slowly, fed by minions with "plausible deniability" among Hillary's detractors in her *own* party for now."

The Democrats calling out Hillary for being a lesbian would be like the Republicans calling out Giuliani for being Born Again. There's no way to win with the base on this one, and it might actually help Hillary that a rumor like that is floating around.

"But this one will blossom."

There are far more relevant and important things to go after Hillary over than this (FBI Filegate, the Healthcare Reform Debacle, being unlikeable, her husband 'hitting it' since being out of office, etc, etc).

What some of us would like to know is this: Is Huma a wahhabi spy that has infiltrated Hillary's inner circle? Does Huma give lessons to Hillary on Islam? Could Hillary be the target of a "honey trap" and ripe for blackmail? Inquiring minds want to know.

No way you say? You think a fifth columnist can't infiltrate the Gov't? Think FBI/CIA and the Hezbo spy Nada Prouty.

Angrier, thanks for the reminder -- when I first read about this story weeks ago, I fully intended to make a joke about the definition of sex if/when I ever got around to blogging about it, but when I typed this up last night, I totally forgot. I will go back and add it now...

Anon @ 3:21, can we please avoid just ASSUMING that anyone who is Muslim must necessarily be a spy (or at least should necessarily be subjected to suspicion), for no other reason than the person's ethnicity/religion? Good grief. What racist garbage. Disgusting and utterly un-American.

Brendan: This seems so far from serious, and such a stretch in the manner that the Times and Drudge have brought it one step closer to the forefront, that it's disappointing to see a serious-minded Lieberman Democrat like you blog this as "Election 2008."

Vote Hillary! (She'll keep the seat warm for Chelsea)

My main concern here is not that Hillary is a carpet muncher but that her alleged lover is a Muhammadan.

Due to the nature of that religion no Muhammadan can be fully trusted, ever.

This just in: "MATT DRUDGE CAUGHT TOUCHING LITTLE BOYS."*

*I'm not liable here because this post is a gossip post rather than a news post.

Anonymous Hoosier, your objection is duly noted. I do see your point, especially now that I've been linked by InstaPundit. It's times like these when my political serious-mindedness collides with my predisposition to blog about anything in the news that involves hot lesbian action (see, e.g., NFL Cheerleadergate). I guess we can see which impulse won out in this case.

At a practical level, I'm not too concerned about the handful of people who will be exposed to this story for the first time on my blog who wouldn't otherwise have read about it on Drudge or elsewhere -- a group that has to be pretty damn small, given the relative readership numbers involved. At a philosophical level, though, I recognize that I'm feeding the beast, and I certainly understand the principled objections to that. As a mere blogger, I'm not going to lose too much sleep over it, but I admit I do feel slightly dirty at the same time. If nothing else, this at least means I won't be able to jump on my high horse later on and gripe about the media reporting this stuff, since that would now officially be hypocritical of me. Oh well.

Sam, please see my comment at 3:27:20 PM.

I used to feel that way, Mr. Loy. I no longer do because of experience and research. I did use the qualifier "fully".

The media reporting on this stuff is one thing, but you as a blogger mentioning it? Well heck we all KNOW that you have no integrity, you're a lawyer now! ;-)

Well, this being America, you have the right to feel however you want... and the rest of us have the right to call you on the carpet for it. (No pun intended.) Myself, I will continue to judge people as individuals, not as members of groups. Likewise, I will continue to try and uphold the very ideals that the terrorists want to destroy, rather than playing into their hands by turning this into a religious war when it should be an ideological one.

That last comment was directed at Sam, not David, obviously. Though I suppose technically David is judging lawyers as members of a group. FOR SHAME!!! ;)

In defense of Brendan, all he is doing is linking to stories in so-called newspapers.

As for this whole situation, what are the odds something like this would be going on in Westchester without Saturday Night Bill jumping into the middle of it? It's like those porn sites where a guy pays to see his wife get it goin' with a hot babe (not that I have actually seen one of these sites, but I have heard of such things on "the Internets).

Lawyers ARE members of a group, I believe its called the Bar Association ;-)

As someone who is not terribly politically in touch, even I had heard previous rumors about the inclinations of HC... but A&A- I have to admit, you made my LOL with your first comment. Very funny!!!

People in the media were talking (among themselves) about Hillary's lesbianism during the '91 campaign. Flowers or one of the other book-writing Bill exes or victims quotes him replying to her suspicions by laughing and claiming that "Hillary has eaten more pussy than I have" or words to that effect.

New poll shows the wheels falling off of the Clinton bandwagon...

http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN2645320920071126

Thank God. The Clintons deserve it for the way they abandoned the Democratic Party in 2002 and 2004 as part of their cold political calculations.

Don't get me wrong, I hate women as much as the next guy. But isn't it a bit unfair that Hillary has to deal with stuff like lesbianism accusations, for no other reason (it seems to me) than the fact that she is a powerful woman. Now, I'm taking for granted here that this accusation has no substance. But I can't for the life of me imagine that any powerful married man would have to deal with similar allegations on such lack of evidence. Yet, Hillary has had to deal with these allegations her entire political life.

Now, I do think the media treats unmarried powerful people the same. Anderson Cooper gets accused of being gay as much as Condi Rice. But only a powerful married WOMAN could be accused of be accused of being gay on so little evidence it seems to me.

COMPLETELY off topic, but check out the comments section, Brendan got spammed in CHINESE

That was a joke, by the way, about hating women (8:14).

Likewise, I will continue to try and uphold the very ideals that the terrorists want to destroy

You mean like the ideals expressed in making puerile "carpet muncher" jokes?

Did I make a "carpet muncher" joke?

Did I make a "carpet muncher" joke?

Gosh no. You haven't been puerile at all about this.

Oh, and you did -- 4:03.

Oh, the "no pun intended" thing? Okay, fair enough. I actually thought of that phrase without considering the pun -- it just seemed the most appropriate descriptive phrase for what I was trying to say, honestly -- but then it occurred to me that somebody would probably make the joke if I didn't, since several other commenters had already busted out the "carpet muncher" references. So I threw in the "no pun intended," which was, in all honesty, true, but I can see what you mean.

In any event, I'd be the last person to deny that I have a juvenile sense of humor sometimes, particularly when it comes to talking about hot women, and "hot lesbian action," as reflected in those CheerleaderSexGate posts I referenced earlier, among other places. I certainly don't think my sense of humor on this topic is harmful or hateful, though. In fact, the only reason I didn't say something like "personally, I don't care whether Hillary Clinton, or anyone else, is gay" is because I think it's so obvious that my readers already know I feel that way, it would be redundant to say it. So, sorry if I offended you, but I think maybe you're reading a little too much into my admittedly juvenile sense of humor. I hardly think I'm violating American ideals by, in essence, saying: "Heh-heh. Look at that hot chick. Lesbians. Heh-heh."

Condor, something tells me Elizabeth Dole would never have been accused of lesbianism, so I am not sure I buy your theory.

I think my theory still holds.

I'm not arguing that EVERY powerful married woman WILL be accused of lesbianism, on the ground that she is a powerful woman (and possesses the characteristics that accompany a powerful woman).

I'm arguing that A powerful married woman CAN be accused of lesbianism, on the ground that she is a powerful woman (and possesses these characteristics). On the other hand, A powerful married man CANNOT be accused of being gay, on the ground that he is a powerful man (and possesses those characteristics).

What about that New Jersey governor that stepped down? And would you really be surprised if Gavin Newsome (SF mayor) was accused of visiting a bathhouse? You're theory is still super lame.

What about that New Jersey governor that stepped down? And would you really be surprised if Gavin Newsome (SF mayor) was accused of visiting a bathhouse? Your theory is still super lame.

Who's offended? I'm amused.

Puerile "heh-heh lesbian jokes" put up next to "defending ideals that the terrorists want to destroy" is just a pretty comical juxtaposition.

Juvenile humor is fine, and it is, obviously, something American Value, in the sense that it's something Americans obviously value.

The more salient issue is that the report is a baseless smear that depends for its effect on the notion that there's something especially shameful, snigger-worthy, about homosexuality. Which would make it, also, an expression of another obvious American Value.

Not sure why my nic wasn't on the last comment...

"a baseless smear that depends for its effect on the notion that there's something especially shameful, snigger-worthy, about homosexuality"

I'm not sure it "depends" on that notion. If there was a rumor that Hillary was having an affair with a man, do you think it would be ignored? I don't. I think it, too, would be used as a "baseless smear." Would it have less salience than this one? Maybe, or maybe it would have different salience with different people for different reasons. In any event, I certainly don't think one needs to believe that homosexuality is "shameful" to find this rumor interesting.

I'm afraid your understanding of my theory is what's super lame.

There are plenty of powerful men accused of being gay. Sometimes it's justified. But then the justification is usually some kind of action they performed, such as, in the case of Larry Craig, solliciting for sex in a men's bathroom.

But if you're a woman in politics, there doesn't have to be any justification based on an action you took. The accusers can just point to personal characteristics that all powerful people possess in virtue of being powerful people. In the case of a woman politician, these characteristics (strength, toughness, etc.) can be interpreted as consistent with lesbianism. The same is not true in the man's case.

Brendan: Appreciate your response, although "hot" is not the first adjective that comes to mind with respect to the senator that Ms. Abedin is accused of delectableness with... now if Drudge will only hold off until NYE before he runs the [Photoshopped] pictures, all of us readers of your blog will be spared!

That one was for Andrew.

With regard to "hotness," I was referring to Huma, not Hillary. :)

Re: New Year's Eve... LOL!

Would it have less salience than this one? Maybe, or maybe it would have different salience with different people for different reasons. In any event, I certainly don't think one needs to believe that homosexuality is "shameful" to find this rumor interesting

If you could stop sniggering about it, I'd buy that.

What another rumor might be is beside the point. "Lesbians heh heh heh." *This* smear has as *its* effect precisely that response.

Because one of the principals in the smear is "hot," and because lesbians get a sniggering "heh heh heh," the smear gains traction and gets repeated, endlessly, even by those who claim to know better.

Anyway, voyeurism, shame, illicit desire, objectification, eh, it's all the same package.

Oh come on, Brendan doesn't hate gay people! There isn't a man alive who loves lesbians as much as Brendan does! hmmm not sure that came out right ;-)

Meh. As a gay man and a relatively close friend of Brendan's, I feel fully comfortable saying that anyone reading disapproval for homosexuality in what he writes is looking so hard that (s)he can find something which isn't there.

Dismissing concerns about the trustworthiness of a woman described as a "conservative" Muslim, whose father was an Indian who moved to Saudi Arabia to teach Islam, and whose mother is from Pakistan hardly seems prudent.

What do you know of Islam? It is morally good to reject prejudice as a matter of principle, but what if in this case you've judged Islam without knowing anything of it?

Do you know that Qur'an is considered the perfect word of Allah?

Do you know that Allah calls Mohammed a "beautiful pattern of conduct"? That Mohammed is therefore considered the "Ideal Man" in Islam whose command and example is to be followed by the faithful without question, so that even what he saw and allowed is determinative for life and law?

Do you know that Mohammed said, "War is deceit" (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 268)?

Do you know that Allah commands the faithful Muslim to, "fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . . " (Qur’an 9:5)?

Do you know that Jews and Christians are also targets? Allah requires his people to, "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (Qur'an 9:29)?

Do you know that, "Allah's Apostle said: 'I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle . . . '" (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24)?

Do you know that "the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: 'Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya . . . If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them . . .'" (Muslim Book 19, Number 4294)?

In light of this -- all facts easily found by the Inquisitive Infidel with an ISP -- shouldn't you reconsider your uncritical trust in Allah's servants?

Regards,

Amillennialist

By the way, what's a Bruin's favorite time of day?

8:47, because it's 13 to 9! :)

Wow, classy place you have here Brendan.

And Barack Obama is a closet Muslim, John McCain has an illegitimate black baby, etc. etc. Let's see, what other stories can we piece together that have as their source retarded right-wing chain emails?

Idiot.

I'm already tired of people complaining that Hillary is being unfairly attacked because she is a woman. If that is the defense being put out by Hillary's supporters, it will surely lead to her downfall. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't recall Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir ever resorting to the "don't pick on me because I'm a woman" thing. It doesn't seem very Presidential.

We're having some fun with this at the office this morning. Not because of the allegations against Hillary but because of the absolutely 6th grade nature of many of the posts. And the owner of this site? Graduated from a University? Really? Pardon me if I say I think the graduation photo is a fake. From what I read here its more likely he is a grad of the local "special needs" program.

"We're having some fun with this at the office this morning. Not because of the allegations against Hillary but because of the absolutely 6th grade nature of many of the posts."

New to the Internets I see. Maybe you should pull the stick out of your ass or visit a site that won't offend your delicate sensibilities (might I recommend the following http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics5_623210.htm).

As for "fun at the office," maybe your boss should fire your unproductive asses. If you worked for me, and people DO work for me, I would.

I've always found that the best way to get your point across when you find yourself disgusted by someone's "puerile," "juvenile" words is to respond in a manner that asserts your opinion in a calm, forthright manner, bolstered by reasoned refutation of the offending claims.

Such can be accomplished by calling the author an "idiot," a graduate of "the local 'special needs' program," who uses "retarded" sources. Simple and elegant.

The french fry technicians working for Angrier and Angrier don't even know who Hillary Clinton is.

"As for "fun at the office," maybe your boss should fire your unproductive asses. If you worked for me, and people DO work for me, I would."

Funny! Its MY office. I own it along with employing the 52 people on staff. None of my people "work for me". They all work WITH me.

And oh, as for the "stick in the ass"? That would be for anyone who gives Drudge any credibility whatsoever.

You're an embarrassment to Notre Dame.

"Funny! Its MY office."

A Kinkos isn't an office.

"I own it along with employing the 52 people on staff."

I can see it is the 52 people that are keeping your business afloat while you fuck around with this kind of thing. I'm sure they say great things about you during Happy Hour when you are not around.

"None of my people "work for me". They all work WITH me."

We'll see how long that lasts when you have to lay some of them off.

"You're an embarrassment to Notre Dame."

You're an embarrassment to guys named Steve (as if being named Steve isn't embarrassing enough).

Laura Bush can get her whole fist up Lynne Cheney. I know; I've seen it.

"You're an embarrassment to guys named Steve (as if being named Steve isn't embarrassing enough)."

That is the absolute worst attempt at wit ever on this blog.

You clearly haven't seen Alasdair post often enough if you think thats the worst attempt at wit on this blog...

Whah, Dayvid, deah, you say the nah-cest thangs !

ROTFLMFOWEST!

And you even *almost* got the ellipsis thing right ...

"That is the absolute worst attempt at wit ever on this blog."

I wasn't attempting to be witty.

"I wasn't attempting to be witty. "

You should have kept that to yourself. It's even sadder if you actually thought it was a substantive response instead of just a failed attempt at a play on words.

Please. If you know me at all you know I don't give a fuck.

According to Zogby, Hillary can no longer beat ANY of the Republican front-runners...

http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1393


I heard on MSNBC this morning that Hillary's people are trying to suppress these poll results, claiming the methodology is wrong. Of course, I don't recall Hillary's people trying to discredit the poll over the summer when Hillary was leading.

It is obvious you "don't give a fuck" about anything you post. You would sound less stupid if you did.

"It is obvious you "don't give a fuck" about anything you post. You would sound less stupid if you did."

And yet you spend an inordinate amount of time responding to everything I post. Who is "stupid" again?

Responding to your posts is indeed stupid. Thanks for the tip.

No. Bitching about somebody's posts and then reading them and taking the time to respond to them is stupid. If you don't like it, don't read it, you friggin' half-assed asshat.

You so do give a fuck.

"I don't recall Hillary's people trying to discredit the poll over the summer when Hillary was leading."

That's probably because it was an entirely different poll with an entirely different methodology in the summer:

"Figures from the earlier surveys cited in this news release are from Zogby International telephone surveys, including 1,012 likely voters in the July survey and 993 likely voters in the May survey.

"The online survey included 9,150 likely voters nationwide, and was conducted Nov. 21–26, 2007. It carries a margin of error of +/– 1.0 percentage points."

I express no opinion on the merits of the suggestion that the online poll's methodology is suspect, except to wonder if any poll, online or telephone, that is in the field during a national holiday / four day weekend, can be reliable at all.

Brian=

I don't get why conducting an Internet poll over Thanksgiving makes it less reliable. I work with polls. The samples will be weighted to reflect the demographics of the country. Just because someone responds to a poll on the day after Thanksgiving, that makes them less likely to vote?


Typical poll-wonk ! Asks the *wrong* question !

(grin)

Max,

I suppose it might not be so bad for an internet poll as compared to a telephone poll, since with an internet poll you get the link as an email (or visit the zogby website and find it yourself, or whatever) and can participate at any time.

Still though, just as with a telephone poll, it seems to me that you're less likely to reach a truly random sample during a period, like Thanksgiving, or a weekend evening, when greater-than-normal numbers of people can be expected to be away from their phones and computers or otherwise occupied.

If you work with polls then you know that any telephonic survey that was in the field on a Friday or Saturday is highly suspect, if not worthless. I'm inclined to believe the same is true for an internet poll, notwithstanding the ability for a respondent to take the poll on her own schedule. Even if Friday/Saturday doesn't necessarily taint an internet poll sample, surely the Thanksgiving holiday season does.

I'm supposing that Zogby sends out the email to their database on Wed the 21st, inviting people to participate in their poll between now and Monday. Well, by Wednesday lots of people are preoccupied with travel and turkey and whatnot, and for the next several days they have lots of other stuff on their minds, and by Sunday or Monday are they really going to remember about that internet poll and take the time to click through? Seems doubtful to me.

That said, I admit again that the internet poll methodology thing is all new to me, having come into its own after I left politics behind and headed to law school, so maybe there's data that it isn't as susceptible to weekend bias as phone polls are.

I just don't see, intuitively, why that should be so.

P.S.

"Just because someone responds to a poll on the day after Thanksgiving, that makes them less likely to vote?"

Sorry for ignoring your direct question. No, of course not, that's not the problem. The problem is that despite the fact that "samples will be weighted to reflect the demographics of the country," the reality that people have better things to do on Thanksgiving, and on the weekends, that sit around answering polls (whether phone or internet) means that your weighted sample will end up biased.

It's not that anyone who answers is therefore less likely to vote; it's that you're missing significant chunks of likely voters who are in your sample but who aren't answering their phones (or aren't checking their email) because they're busy with other stuff.

And while that's certainly true for non-trivial numbers of people every day of the week, it's even more true on weekends and holidays.

Thus, don't ever field a poll on weekends or holidays.

Brian-

I don't know about you, but I have access to the Internet pretty much all of the time. Personally, I think a person who would take time to respond to a poll about an election on a Saturday would be more inclined to go out on a Tuesday and vote. I also think the general bias against Internet polls that aren't self-selecting should end. Considering the fact that phone polls take place on landlines while young adults are more inclined to use a cellphone skews poll results a heck of a lot more than an e-mail driven poll like Zogby (I also take Zogby polls on a regular basis).

Is the margin of error off on the poll? Possibly. But I think the numbers point to a trend. Whether it is 8 percent or 2 percent or whatever, the Zogby poll points to the fact that Hillary is losing ground while Obama and Edwards are gaining ground.

Max,

Again, I did not question whether those who actually *did* respond to the internet poll over Thanksgiving are more or less likely to vote based on that fact. I expressly disclaimed that. I posted a second time to make clear that the concern is for the people who do *not* respond because the poll was in the field at a time when a great number of people are preoccupied with more immediate and pressing activities than responding to an internet poll.

And having internet *access* over the holidays, or at any other time, is irrelevant to this point -- although it nicely raises the flip side of your landline/cell phone observation. Given the relatively small number of people who actually participate in internet polling, how reliable can they really be as a measure of the general voting population? But I digress. The point, as I said, is not lack of access; it's the fact that people are less likely to *use* their access to take a poll when they could be having another piece of pumpkin pie with Uncle Bill and Aunt Sally before they head back to Omaha.

I said nothing at all about the general bias against Internet polls that aren't self-selecting. I freely grant that what Zogby's doing is a hell of a lot more sophisticated and reliable than the straw polls about all manner of topics that appear frequently on websites across the internets (including this one). My comments have nothing at all to do with that.

I agree that the increasing propensity of people to drop landlines in favor of cellphones presents a problem for the traditional telephone poll, and indeed, that may very well be a strong plus in favor of the Zogby-esque internet poll model. On the other hand, there's no reason why traditional telephone polling can't dial cell numbers as easily as landlines -- it's simply a matter of what's in the database that the sample is being pulled from. If people are giving out and putting down their mobile numbers on the same forms and applications where they previously put their landlines, then those mobile numbers will find their way into the matrix (heh) and soon enough the pollsters will start calling. (In fact, I have been without a landline since June, and I am pretty sure I've been called for consumer surveys two or maybe even three times on my cell since then. Just for an anecdotal data point.)

The concern about bias in the sample based on the days that the survey is in the field has nothing to do with the margin of error and whether it's "off." It has everything to do with whether the concept of margin of error can even intelligently be applied to the results, because if you don't have a scientifically valid random sample of the population you're trying to measure, then you can't have any confidence that the results are within the margin of error that they are supposed to be in at the relevant confidence level.

Again, I concede the possibility that the internet polling methodology may be less susceptible to such corruption of the sample, but I see no reason to believe that internet polls are *impervious* to it, and for that reason I would put little stock in the results of a poll that was fielded over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

I never said anything at all substantive about the results themselves. I'm inclined to agree though that even if the precision is suspect, an overall trend could theoretically be discernible, if you had sufficient data to establish a trend. I'm not sure that a series of snapshots from May, July and November can do that with any reliability, given the frequently-changing dynamics as we approach the first round of primaries and people actually start paying attention. I'd much rather see weekly or daily tracking than try to extrapolate from three benchmarks over five months.


I'd just like to point out how relatively dead it has been around here the past few days leading up to Christmas, as support for my argument that trying to run an internet poll over the holidays is dumb.

:)

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