'Reporters Don't Know What They're Talking About'

J$P Instant Transcript! Pat Caddell with Neil Cavuto on discrepancies among polls.

From Your World with Neil Cavuto, September 17, 2004:

NEIL CAVUTO [FOX NEWS]: My next guest is a former pollster himself, in fact of some renown, here. He says these discrepancies are something we should necessarily be wary about, because really you need to take a deeper look into the polls to see what's going on. Joining me now is Democratic strategist Pat Caddell. Pat, great to have you; thanks for coming.


CAVUTO: What do you make of these discrepancies. Are we making too big a deal out of them? Were they like that when you were with Carter and watching that?

CADDELL: Well, first of all you've got too many polls, some by people who don't know how to poll, which is always a problem. The media hire people and they say we'll invest our name with someone and they often don't know what they're doing. And also we don't know the history very well. One of the things by the way I'll point out to you, having just listened to you and the Speaker, is that no, the undecideds always break to the incumbent at the end of a Presidential campaign.

CAVUTO: Really?

CADDELL: That is the greatest misnomer I've ever heard, because nobody studies the history of this. Undecided voters, by the middle of October, have not decided to vote for the challenger, they go for the safe choice, the person they have. That is what was moving Carter--

CAVUTO: What does that mean, Pat, go for the safe choice, because--

CADDELL: In other words, if a challenger cannot convince them, it's what I used to call the button problem, it's the war problem. If you're not going to vote for, unless you convince yourself that the challenger will do a better job in protecting the country, or handling particularly foreign policy than will be the incumbent or the incumbent party, then if you haven't made that decision, you stay with what's safe, you stay with what you know, that you're comfortable with. And that's been working for Bush I think coming all along, and it's part of the whole--

CAVUTO: Well why didn't it work for Jimmy Carter, Pat?

CADDELL: It did. It did.

CAVUTO: But we had the hostage crisis going on, right?

CADDELL: Neil, Jimmy Carter got by the Sunday before the debate, OK, one week, ten days out, had moved to 7 or 8 points ahead in the Gallup poll.

CAVUTO: Right, right.

CADDELL: We did the one thing I did not want to do. If you go back and read the memos that were published that I did, at that time we did not want to have a debate with Ronald Reagan, to allow the challenger, and particularly late. I said if we have a debate it cannot be late. We cannot let him interfere with that movement. And essentially that debate, by being the last week when they agreed to have a head-to-head debate, short-circuited the movement that was going to Carter then, and allowed him--

CAVUTO: That's fascinating.

CADDELL: No, there's so many fascinating things that we don't know. You just listen to media and the news reporters who don't know a thing about what they're talking about these days. And of course the Kerry campaign believes them.

CAVUTO: Well, that would put me in that camp, but Pat let me ask you--

CADDELL: No, no, Neil, that's not your job; you're not a political reporter.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you something, though. The way things are going now, and you're good at reading the American pulse, how does it look and how do you think it finishes up?

CADDELL: Look, if you get in the internals of any of these polls, the problem with the Harris poll is I think it is an interactive poll, I don't trust anything like that. If you look at the internals of what's going in the states, Kerry has been bleeding now for two weeks. They keep saying he's bleeding; you know what he's bleeding on particularly is on character. And there's no way you can win unless you can staunch that hemorrhaging on that question of character, as actually Newt was just saying. Because in the end people become very concerned about that. And I'll tell you I just watch this, as a Democrat I'm pulling out my hair watching this campaign, because they go from--

CAVUTO: But Newt just said, Pat, 58-42 for Bush. What do you say?

CADDELL: Well, I'll bet any money. This election could be, relatively for this kind of period, a landslide, but I'm glad to take that money. It won't be 58-42. We've only had two or three elections have been that high.

CAVUTO: Who would win? Who wins, Pat, who wins?

CADDELL: Right now? Right now, Bush, but remember this is not over yet. You've got a structure right now Neil, in this campaign, all along in which people are very kind of dissatisfied, they're concerned about the future. The problem is, the Democratic party and John Kerry particularly has never articulated a message. And I've said that since Boston, I've been saying that since Boston, this idea of running as a hero rather than running on a message and record.


CADDELL: You have to hand it with Republicans. Starting with New York, they have never let up on what they think is the major issue in this campaign.

CAVUTO: Pat, thanks for reminding me, that late debate with Carter and Reagan. I'd never connected the two, but you're absolutely right.

CADDELL: Right. The Tuesday before the Tuesday.

CAVUTO: Pat Caddell, brilliant pollster; I appreciate it, sir.

CADDELL: Thank you.

posted: Fri - September 17, 2004 at 05:01 PM       j$p  send 

I am truly interested in the transcript issue, as I always want to "look it up myself", if you know what I mean. I don't take anyone's "trust me" any more... 
I am puzzled how you come up with transcripts like this one. 
Faux Opinion doesn't even list Caddell as a guest on Your World on September 17!
Your source for the transcript, please? BTW, I only guess when you beat around the Shrub on how you come up with transcripts...
September 21, 2004, 2:50:43 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
All of our transcripts, and all of the transcript excerpts, come straight from our Tivo. FNC is very stingy (and slow) in providing transcripts.
September 21, 2004, 3:17:22 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Hmmm, just hit the TiVo site, and don't see any feature available that can provide transcripts... even on their latest Series 2 units.
You said they come "straight from our Tivo."
Am I missing a feature?
September 21, 2004, 3:45:16 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
The feature is our ability to type quickly and accurately, and tivo's marvelous jump-back button, so it won't get ahead of us.
September 21, 2004, 3:48:16 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Thank you for finally admitting the transcripts are self-produced!
September 21, 2004, 3:51:42 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
I didn't know there was any question about it. After all, we do call them J$P Instant Transcripts.
September 21, 2004, 4:05:23 PM EDT – Like – Reply