Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Summer Polls Nothing But Hot Air

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

This week’s Gallop Poll shows Barrack Obama and John McCain in a virtual dead heat.

Riding fresh off the crest of the wave of the primaries that have made him the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party, one would think Barack Obama should be leading John McCain by 15 to 20 points.

McCain had wrapped up his party’s nomination months ago and until recently has been out of the lime-light. Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton had a fight to the finish and the media coverage they received was enormous.

But then you had a Newsweek poll last week that showed Mr. Obama leading Mr. McCain by 15 points. What gives?

George McGovern and Richard Nixon were tied in the polls in the spring of 1972. By the November election, Nixon had won 49 states.

A June 1984 Newsweek poll had Walter Mondale defeating Ronald Reagan by 18 points. Reagan won 525 electoral votes out of a possible 538-the highest total of electoral votes ever received by a candidate.

And a July 1988 Gallup Poll showed Democrat Michael Dukakis in front of George H. W. Bush by a 55-38 percentage margin. Bush won in November, handily receiving 426 electoral votes to Dukakis’s 111.

A June 1992 CBS poll had Ross Perot ahead of both President Bush and Bill Clinton.

A Harris poll in June 2000 showed George W. Bush leading Al Gore 58-42 percent in what turned out to be a cliff-hanger. And in June 2004, a CBS News poll had John Kerry ahead of George W. Bush by eight points.

In the last thirty six years of summer presidential polling only once did key polling data have it right and that was in 1996. Bill Clinton easily defeated Bob Dole by double-digits.

On the whole summer polls are simply unreliable.

The individual campaigns are now attempting to fine-tune their candidate’s message as they position themselves for the stretch run this fall. Voters are beginning to get serious and want to see the candidates debating head to head on issues that affect them and our nation. They want to hear more than rah-rah-rah-shish-boom bah!

The liberal media up to this point has been almost exclusively focused on the word “change.” It’s a great sound-bite and campaign slogan up to a point but voters now want to know what does change really mean? When the answer to that becomes clear polls too will be more insightful.

Does change mean we end the war in Iraq and bring our troops home without victory? Have you checked your newspaper or watched television news lately? Not too much about the war in Iraq is there? You can bet if we were losing the liberal media would be having a field-day. Where do Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain stand on this issue?

How about energy? Mr. McCain advocates drilling here at home for oil and natural gas along with building more refineries. He also wants us to build new nuclear power plants while continuing to aggressively promote the research for alternative energy sources. Mr. McCain is committed to making us more energy independent and less reliant on foreign sources of energy supply.

Mr. Obama also says he wants to see our nation more energy independent. Like Mr. McCain he too recognizes we have an energy crisis. He too is a strong advocate for new greener technology to heat our homes and fuel our automobiles. But unlike his opponent Mr. Obama is opposed to drilling and expanding nuclear power.

So what do we do until then-sit in the dark and freeze to death? Developing and mass marketing new affordable alternative energy sources will take time- more time perhaps than it would take to tap into the known energy resources we have available here at home.

Our “friends” in the Middle East have a stranglehold on our economy and its getting tighter every day. Common sense says part of any comprehensive energy reform must include securing more oil and natural gas. Refusing to drill at home is not only naïve but tantamount to economic suicide.

And speaking of change who will our next president be appointing to the Supreme Court? If you believe in the Bill of Rights but think the future appointments to the Supreme Court are not critical, think again. Last week in a razor thin 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld a U.S. citizen’s constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense. This was the court’s first major pronouncement on gun rights in U. S. history. Would a liberal majority on the Supreme Court have reached that decision?

Voters in America need to know where each of the candidates for the highest office in the land stand on a multitude of critical issues facing our nation as we near the end of the first decade of the 21st century.

With that understanding Mr. McCain has proposed to meet Mr. Obama in 10 town hall meetings between now and Labor Day to discuss the multitude of difficult issues facing America. Mr. Obama, who had previously stated he would debate Mr. McCain anytime, anywhere has agreed to meet him only once this summer. Why?

No wonder early polls are so unreliable. Voters are often clueless when it comes to not only the details of each candidate’s proposed agenda but the consequences, good and bad, of that agenda for America as well. Until the candidates stand side by side and debate the issues of our time and until voters begin to really listen, summer polls will continue to be nothing more than another gust of hot air.

I wonder if the attitude that summer polls mean nothing extends to the recent Civitas poll that shows most people in North Carolina blame Republicans for policies and problems created by Democrats and their laws. It was one of the most frustrating polls I have ever read because I could not think of anything that would allow a rational response. If Democracy is going to work, the people have to be more aware of what is happening than this. How can we govern when the people blame the party who opposed a law for the consequences of the law passed by the people they elected?


At 4:18 PM , Blogger Yes Man said...

Dean, would it be treasonous to vote for you if I am a democrat?

-----Original Message-----
To: WilliamGardner@NCFBINS.Com
Cc:;;; A.Fessenden@MCHSI.COM; ForestRita1@Embarqmail.Com;; LEO8SKY@YAHOO.COM;; DKNixon@GMAIL.COM;;;;;
Sent: 7/9/2008 5:46 PM
Subject: Party loyalty

Dear Bill,

Our state and county Republican Party Plan of Organization prohibits a
Republican from endorsing or in any way supporting someone opposing a Republican
in an election. By signing the petition for Democrat Gwendolyn Brown who is
opposing Eddy Goodwyn this November you are in violation of said plans. Our
Executive Committee will be meeting this evening to discuss this and other
agenda items. The reprimand for this act if supported by our Executive Committee
would prohibit you from running for public office with the local party
endorsement or being able to serve on any local Republican committees including
precinct officer, delegate to county convention, state convention or national
convention. You would have no voice in Chowan County Republican affairs for a
period of four years. At that time you can appeal to the local Party to become
active again.

Bill, you and I have discussed party loyalty on several occasions. You are
well aware of the potential consequences of your recent action.

You will be informed in writing by certified mail of our Executive
Committee's decision.


Bob Steinburg, Chairman
Chowan County Republican Committee

At 9:58 PM , Blogger Dean Stephens said...

yes man,

Treason for voting? Let's discuss this.

The letter you attached is rather interesting. It says that if someone actively supports a member of another party they cannot be a leader in the Republican Party. Whether that is the rule in the Democrat Party I could not say. I have not been a Democrat since back in the 1980s. However Democrats do seem to exercise pretty vicious discipline among their constituents so they may consider it treason. I assume at the least they would not let you be a leader in their party and openly support me.

However voting in America is by secret ballot and since they cannot therefore know how you vote, go ahead and vote for me. I assure you there will be no consequences for that act.

If you brag about it afterwards you are on your own.


At 11:37 AM , Blogger Yes Man said...

Dean, thanks. that was a great way of saying its okay to lie to a candidate's face and say I'm going to support him/her and then go behind the curtain and vote for the opponent. I see your point though.

Just curious. If a Bertie county republican openly endorses and votes for a local democrat running for Board of Education this fall will you and Mr. Stallings follow Steinburg and reprimand that person?

At 9:54 PM , Blogger Dean Stephens said...

yes man,

Excuse me but nothing in my letter can reasonably be inferred to say I thought it was okay to lie. You obviously did not understand what I wrote. If you find it necessary to publicly claim to support someone, I can't imagine how you could then vote for another candidate. I couldn't. That is not what I said and I reject you implying it was.

Bob Steinburg said you could not support Democrats against a Republican and be a party leader. I was not as careful with the way I phrased it, but that is the real test and it is what I meant as well. Since I have a Democrat opponent, that was assumed in my comments.

If no Republican is running, it would be stupid to claim that you could not advocate, work for and vote for the best Democrat. The test for paryt leaders is whether the contest includes a Republican. Is this really hard for you to understand?

It doesn't even stop you from NOT publicly taking a position on someone who has opposition from the other party and then privately voting your conscience.

You seem intent on taking what is a reasonable restriction on party leaders and construing it falsely to imply things it does not mean.

For your information I will be publicly backing some Democrats for Board of Education who have no Republican opposition.

Do you really not see the difference between the two positions?


At 9:49 AM , Blogger Yes Man said...

Dean, you just don't get it my man. Good luck.

At 1:27 PM , Blogger Dean Stephens said...

What is it that you think I don't get? I answered your questions. Twice. To date you have not addressed either the issue that Bob attacked you on, or my explanation of why I agree with him. What logical defense is there to insist you can be a leader in a party and support the opposition party's candidate? As noted, I agree you can personally support a candidate from the opposition party when no candidates from the party you lead are running. do you disagree with that? As I said in the first line, what is it I don't get? Be specific.


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