Politics without polling has become as unthinkable as aviation without radar.
—Daniel S. Greenberg, editor of Science and Government Report
Pollsters have overused “focus groups,” in which civilians are carefully, demographically selected and wantonly encouraged to whine.
—Joe Klein, Newsweek reporter and author of Primary Colors
Pete Dawkins had everything going for him: good looks, charm, a telegenic family, and a storybook resume—Heisman trophy winner, All-American football player at West Point, Rhodes Scholar, one of the youngest generals in the army, and successful Wall Street financier. In the 1988 New Jersey Senate election, he challenged one-term incumbent Frank Lautenberg. The national Republican Party had committed money and energy to target the New Jersey Senate seat for victory. But Dawkins had one glaring vulnerability: he was perceived as an opportunistic newcomer. He had moved to New Jersey just before