Minden Press-Herald

Wednesday
Oct 01st

Checking the Numbers this Election Season

One of the fun things about election cycles is the various polls which tell us who's leading in which race.

What your observer finds most interesting is that a "sampling" of anywhere from 600 to a few over a thousand is scientific enough to forecast who's in the lead and who's suffering.

According to some numbers posted earlier this week, President Barack Obama now trails Herman Cain (the favorite da jour among Republicans) by 43 to 41 percent. The telephone poll of likely voters by Rasmussen indicates Cain has moved from three percentage points behind into the current lead.

According to the Rasmussen findings, Cain is currently the only Republican with a lead over the president, although the Georgian remains deadlocked with Mitt Romney for his party's nod.

One item mentioned in the report is somewhat confusing, however. According to Rasmussen's tracking, a generic Republican leads Obama 47 percent to 41. That makes one wonder if somebody believes it will take someone other than the announced Republicans to take over the White House. If adding a name to the poll question draws the president closer or gives him a lead, what does it say about the candidatal confusion which seems to thrive among Republicans where their nominee is concerned.

Example: While Generic leads Barack by six, poll numbers from the beginning of October show the president leading Romney by two points (43-41), Rick Perry by double digits (49-35), Newt Gingrich by roughly the same margin (49-34) and Michelle Bachmann by 48 to 32 percent. Obama leads all other Republican hopefuls by healthy double figures.

Judging from the numbers posted by Rasmussen, somebody needs a name change. Rumor has it that after reviewing the reports, Sarah Palin is rethinking her decision to stay out of this one. Do not be surprised if Republicans find G. S. Palin on their nominee list.

I really can't say I put a lot of stock in polls, though, especially considering a couple of polls conducted in our state. One unnamed survey claims Mike the Tiger is the only candidate who could defeat Bobby Jindal; another indicated Nick Saban would beat President Obama by 24 points in Louisiana.

From the Mouth's mouth...

Vice President Joe Biden is always good for a laugh over some of his quotes (when he's quoted, that is), but we're betting the hind quarter of a spavin hog that not many in his party were snickering following a recent word put-together.

"A significant majority of the American people believe that the country is not moving in the right direction," the VP said a couple of weeks ago. "That is never a good place to be going into reelection whether it's your fault or not your fault."

What may be even more surprising was Biden's answer to NBC newsman David Gregory's question. Gregory asked if that perception would be strong enough for a Republican to win in 2012.

"Oh absolutely, absolutely. It's strong enough to beat both of us," Biden responded.

I find Biden's remarks to be refreshingly candid, especially when one considers how partisan he has been from day one in the Congress. It is even more refreshing to see the remarks hit some mainstream media outlets. Surely the powers inside the Democratic Party were none too happy. Maybe that's why Biden reportedly is leaving on an unscheduled trip to Borneo.

Final thought

Oh those pesky Occupy Wall Street occupiers. Not only have they made their mark on corporate execs and left their assorted marks (literally) on Zuccotti Park, they're now threatening to occupy Manhattan criminal court.

Reports indicate lawyers from around 800 of the protesters arrested during the last month are demanding prosecutors drop all charges, or else. The else, in this case, is to bring every one of them to trial.

Defense lawyer Martin Stolar suggests the DA's office should outright dismiss the cases, adding, "The leverage is, we take them all to trial." That won't matter to some who have been arrested, however. They are demanding their day in court.

"I didn't do anything wrong," said one protestor from upstate New York. "I was expressing my rights." Zach Welch reportedly spent 24 hours behind bars for resisting arrest and wearing a mask of a 16th century anarchist.

Although it cannot be confirmed, a source claims Welch's parents recently spent a very relaxing 24 hours.

A final thought about the protestors. Wasn't it interesting to see the mix of what appeared to be former 60s types who still believe there's nothing like a good sign-tote to keep one young, and the alleged college students who find any excuse to skip class? By the way...wonder how many of those "students" will be punished for missed classes. If you say none, you've been there, haven't you?

Pat Culverhouse is a journalist and political columnist who lives in Minden. You may contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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