January 10th, 2008
07:25 PM ET

After New Hampshire, will you trust the polls again?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was one of the biggest misses by the polls ever. They all saw Hillary Clinton losing to Barack Obama, and they were all wrong. As late as nine o'clock the night of the New Hampshire Primary, people inside the Clinton campaign were still saying they expected Hillary to lose.

So what happened? Some possible explanations from the pollsters suggest record turnouts produced a different electorate than expected. There's the idea that while the polls accurately showed Obama's support among independents, they didn't reflect the large Democratic turnout helping Clinton.

Others point to the fact that almost 20% of voters made up their minds on primary day and most of the polling had stopped before then.

There are those who suggest race may have played a role. The head of the Pew Research Center says poorer, less-educated New Hampshire voters may not have wanted to admit to pollsters that they wouldn't vote for Obama, a black candidate.

And, of course, there were the last-minute events on the campaign trail itself, including Clinton's emotional moment in that diner on Monday.

Regardless of why it happened, the polling industry – as well as the news media which rely heavily on polls – were all left looking pretty stupid. And it raises the issue of how heavily anyone should rely on them to begin with.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: New Hampshire • Polls • Primaries
January 10th, 2008
05:52 PM ET

Immunity & destroyed CIA tapes?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

No testimony without immunity. That's the word to Congress from the former CIA official who's said to have ordered the destruction of tapes showing controversial interrogations.

Jose Rodriguez was asked to testify before the House Intelligence Committee next week, but his lawyer wants to play "Let's Make a Deal" first.

Several high-ranking officials inside the Bush Administration, including the President's counsel, Harriet Miers, as well as a federal judge ordered the tapes not to be destroyed. They reportedly showed two key al Qaeda terror suspects being subjected to controversial interrogation techniques including waterboarding, which is considered torture by many.

Another CIA official, John Rizzo, who opposed the destruction of the tapes, has agreed to testify freely before the committee. The CIA, both houses of Congress and the Justice Department have all launched their own investigations.

Meanwhile, in a ruling yesterday, that U.S. district judge put off an inquiry into allegations that the Bush administration defied his order to preserve evidence which may have included those tapes.

Here’s my question to you: The former head of the CIA’s covert service, Jose Rodriguez, wants immunity in the destroyed tapes investigation. Should he get it?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: CIA
January 10th, 2008
04:58 PM ET

An important Obama endorsement?


Senator Barack Obama and John Kerry (PHOTO CREDIT: AP)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A "superb talent."

That's how Democratic Senator John Kerry described Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in his endorsement of him today.

It's a huge endorsement for Obama. Kerry narrowly lost to President Bush in 2004.

Today in Charleston, South Carolina, Kerry told a crowd that he believes Barack Obama can help the country turn the page and get America moving by uniting and ending divisions.

The endorsement has to come as a bit of a blow to John Edwards, who was Kerry's running mate in 2004. But Edwards has said that he respects Kerry's decision.

It's probably safe to say Hillary's not thrilled with the Kerry announcement.

But the Obama campaign is ecstatic. You see, the Kerry campaign in 2004 put together a database of voters, their addresses, contributors... and all of that is priceless to someone running for president.

Obama is also expected to pick up a key endorsement from Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota, and was recently endorsed by two major unions in Nevada, as well as Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Here’s my question to you: How important is John Kerry’s endorsement for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign?

To see the Cafferty File Video click here

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Barack Obama