Jay Cost is a relative newcomer on the political prognostication scene. He's so new that he has yet to complete his doctorate in political science. He gained attention through his Horse Race blog during the '04 election and now writes semi-regularly for Real Clear Politics (another blog which has become a business). It is Mr. (soon to be Dr.) Cost who has thrown down the gauntlet. He first took on Cook in this post, exposing the flawed analysis (involving pushing "leaners") behind the wave fantasy, then provided a rationale for a different hypothesis, backed by hard data concerning voter registration - with verifiable numbers - and has closed with a stinging critique of Rothenberg's risible methodology.
Cost never comes out and calls Cook and Rothenberg party stooges but he has laid out a critique that would stimulate a reasoned and forceful response from anyone caring about maintaining the legitimacy of their reputation. In my opinion, Cook and Rothenberg have little left to protect, so I do not anticipate any response from them at all.
Mr. Cost will probably have his final calls up this evening or tomorrow morning. Of all the commentators chattering away, his will be the voice to which I pay attention.
BTW - Rasmussen has changed his voter ID R/D split which showed the D's slowly building to a 6.2 lead at the end of October to a 3 point lead on November 6th. That change is of much greater import than the generic shift reported by Gallup, Pew and the WaPo rowbacks. It may very well have something to do with the data presented in the report that Cost cited above. Gans' interpretation of the data was laughable but I believe that the data itself caused a big change in the polling companies recipes for their "secret sauce". The nicest thing about the ruination of the pollster's reputations is that it is the direct result of a quiet Republican "just say no" campaign. I know I've done my part, just as I have by canceling subscriptions, turning off the TV and staying out of movie theaters. And just as I will tomorrow by voting another straight ticket.
UPDATE: Cost is out with a