Rendell More Likely to Support Clinton Due to Rendell's Support for Clinton

I got a kick out of this item from the Pennsyltucky Politics Blog: If you've ever shaken your head and wondered who the heck pollsters ...
by | April 8, 2008

I got a kick out of this item from the Pennsyltucky Politics Blog:

If you've ever shaken your head and wondered who the heck pollsters call to get their results, we now have an answer:

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

...

"That was funny," said Rendell, who says it was the first time in his life that he's been called by a pollster.

What was funnier was his response to a question about whether the governor's endorsement of Hillary Rodham Clinton make him "more likely to vote for Clinton, less likely to vote for Clinton, or doesn't it make a difference?"

"When they asked if Ed Rendell's endorsement had any impact, I said, 'absolutely,'" Rendell told us last night.

(Hat tip: First Read)

But wait, how could Ed Rendell's endorsement have made Ed Rendell more likely to vote for Clinton? By the time of his endorsement, wouldn't he already have been 100% sure he was voting for Clinton (hence the endorsement), making it impossible for him to become more likely to vote for Clinton because of the endorsement? How can Ed Rendell's opinion have an impact on Ed Rendell's opinion?

Perhaps Rendell is tacitly conceding that he wasn't completely sure he'd vote for Clinton in the moments prior to his own endorsement, but that the very act of publicly endorsing increased the probability he'd support Clinton, so as to avoid cognitive dissonance or charges of flip flopping.

Then again, perhaps Rendell means that the only way he wouldn't vote for Clinton is if she dropped out prior to the Pennsylvania primary and, given his own considerable political sway, his endorsement of Clinton made that event less likely, thereby increasing the likelihood he would end up voting for Clinton.

Or perhaps I'm overthinking this one.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com  | 

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